A regeneration of neglected urban space, San Francisco's 1 Burrows St. Pocket Park grew out of the efforts of one ambitious architect, a neighborhood association, and an enthusiastic Mayor's office to become a pilot intervention for a new city initiative.
The park has been years in the making, an uphill push against jurisdictional gray areas and red tape. At last the first phase will have its ribbon cutting, and the backing for a Second Phase augmenting its public services, art and connectivity.
Thanks to the efforts of architect Reaz Haque and Portola Neighborhood Association representative / Project Manager Ruth Wallace, a two-year dialogue to revitalize neglected urban space has transformed into a lush, productive, and activated mini park.
The project not only increases access to green, but transforms a previous dumping ground (this one especially attracted toilets) into a public asset already attracting new businesses to open, such as the newest location for local coffee roasters Four Barrel.
Phase One celebrates its opening with a ribbon cutting this Saturday, July 20.
Announcing Pocket Park Phase Two
The hard work of this team has not gone unnoticed. Recently Architecture for Humanity was approached by a major partner and offered to support the design and construction of a domestic project in either the Northeast region or the San Francisco Bay Area. We introduced them to the work of our chapters in those regions. After reviewing projects in process, the potential donor asked specifically about the pocket park, and the elements cut from the original scope due to budgetary constraints. Today we are fortunate to have established a wonderful partnership between the local San Francisco Chapter, a large donor, and Headquarters.
This opportunity is a new challenge for Architecture for Humanity, that of a partnership with a local chapter including full funding for the work has yet to occur. The process will be carefully documented so we can begin repeating it!
Garrett Jacobs from Headquarters will be managing the relationship with the donor, working with the local chapter on the budget and execution of Pocket Park Phase Two while the Chapter members maintain the design and work with the community and contractors.
"What elements constitute Phase Two," you might ask? Well it includes street furniture, creative lighting installation, murals, bike racks, a green wall, a neighborhood information kiosk, more plants and a fully-functioning bioswale.