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    Harvey Milk Plaza Community-Selected Design Approach to Be Revealed on May 15

    At the third in a series of four community meetings on April 14, Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza (FHMP) in partnership with the architecture firm Perkins Eastman presented four preliminary drawings for the future design of Harvey Milk Plaza located at the corner of Market and Castro Streets. Public comment on the proposals occurred through April 30.

    Building on an SFMTA accessibility improvements project, the four proposals are designed to ensure a safe and efficient transit station and a public space that truly honors the legacy of San Francisco icon Harvey Milk, according to FHMP. The designs presented to the community were:

    Design 1

    Simplifying the landscape of the plaza, this proposal raises it to street level to create more public space in areas that are currently below ground level. The entrance to the MUNI station is enclosed in a glass structure that can be secured at night. A memorial timeline winds through the pathway from Castro Street toward Collingwood.

    Design 2

    A large glass-enclosed room encloses the station entrance and provides gathering space in the form of stepped seating. Overhead is a smooth mirrored ceiling that reflects the image of the community back to itself. This ceiling is punctuated by a circular opening through which the large Rainbow Flag can be seen overhead.

    Design 3

    A new rectangular shape embedded in the ground raises upward near Castro Street to create a cover over the entrance to the MUNI station below. Atop this raised end is a winding memorial timeline and, at the opposite end, is terraced seating and new open space. At the concourse level is a community room and additional memorial elements, including a mural.

    Design 4

    Organic forms rise from the ground to create additional gathering space in the plaza. Winding through the entire site is an infinity loop timeline that invites movement throughout the plaza. A glass-enclosed metal chime rings and lighting effects illuminate when a button is pressed, creating an interactive memorial experience.

    Meeting attendees were invited and encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions for changes and design adaptations. All four designs are now available on the FHMP website (https://www.friendsofharveymilkplaza.org/) as well as on Neighborland (https://neighborland.com/harveymilk), to enable further community input from individuals who were unable to attend the meeting. 

    “This was a pivotal meeting for the Harvey Milk Plaza project. After so much community input and collaboration, we were finally able to present visual possibilities for a hub that many consider the heart of the Castro … and San Francisco, really,” said FHMP President Andrea Aiello. “The importance and magnitude of this project has never been underestimated, and once we get a design that people can wrap their arms around, we can initiate the fundraising efforts. It truly does take a village to pull something like this off.”

    From these four design approaches, one consolidated approach blending the elements that the community found most compelling and viable for Harvey Milk Plaza will be revealed at the next community meeting on May 15 from 6–8 pm at Sanchez Elementary School in San Francisco.