Two weeks have come and nearly gone since Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza announced the three final designs to remake the area outside the Castro Station.
At the beginning of the year, the group held a couple meetings to hear out the community’s vision. Tonight is the last chance to leave comments on the final designs before they consider a winner.
Andrea Aiello, who directs the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, said it has been in the works for a year after receiving $500,000 from an anonymous donor to get started with San Francisco’s chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
They have collaborated with the SFMTA in its push to improve accessibility and elevators that also speaks to Milk’s legacy.
The competition wanted design teams to honor its namesake by leaving visitors with a sense of inspiration to learn about Milk and his push for civil rights and allowing for public gatherings. The group also wanted it to be a function as an urban transit center and turns the area into a city destination.
“All three proposals are very different, yet each speaks to Harvey in a different way,” Aiello writes in an email.
The Perkins Eastman design centers on a “soap box” to speak to Milk’s messages of empowerment, Aiello says. The Kuth Ranieri proposal includes historical images of Milk and the Castro on a metal ribbon that would run through the plaza, while Groundworks designed it with plenty of space for gatherings.
SFTMA’s project will begin in 2020, but there is no set timeline for the new plaza’s unveiling, Aiello says. The partners will seek funds from private donors, corporate, or foundation donations to cover the estimated $10 million for construction and maintenance.
The survey closes tonight at 11:59 p.m. and can found on the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza website, along with additional images and videos of the final designs.