On a clear, sunny and warm day in the Portola neighborhood of San Francisco, community leaders, residents and local businesses gathered to celebrate the opening of the 1 Burrows Pocket Park, enjoy a new public space and provide feedback on what they'd like to see for a prospective Second Phase to commence in the Fall.
• Jack Tse, Corridor Manager for the Portola Neighborhood Association
• David Campos, San Francisco District 9 Supervisor
• Ruth Wallace, Portola Neighborhood Association
• Mohammad Nuru, Department of Public Works
• Joaquin Torres, Deputy Director at the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, head of Invest in Neighborhoods initiative
Soundbites from the ten or so minutes of speeches.
"[It's amazing how] this park has transformed this pocket, this area that used to have trash, graffiti, so many problems for the community - and now look at what you've started.
"What you're doing is not only creating this amazing, unique public space - the only space of its type on San Bruno, but I think you're setting an example for [this and] other neighborhoods that, with some outside the box thinking, a great deal of creativity and a lot of energy that you can make something like this happen."
Mohammad Nuru, DPW:
"Huge thanks to the Portola neighborhood. What they did is how communities change their neighborhood corridors. They took it upon themselves to decide what project they wanted to change, they worked very hard, they learned a lot of lessons in the process," (audience chuckles) "but we shouldn't hide that because it is part of the process...! If they do it again, they'll know how things work."
"The leadership and the commitment to change your corridor, and to make your neighborhood better, has definitely been demonstrated by the Portola neighborhood."
Deputy Director Torres:
"These things aren't possible without incredible leadership.... Certainly stubbornness and dog-fasted commitment across departments...is all because we're trying to clear way for leadership from the community.... It's important for us to recognize the leadership not only from Ruth Wallace but also the architect, Reaz Haque put in so much effort.
"Reaz, for your tireless efforts on behalf of the Portola community and for San Francisco that's incredibly appreciated by us, and all the support of Architecture for Humanity and the vision and intention of your work, we thank you so much, on behalf of Mayor Lee and the City and County of San Francisco and all the partners, and the best of luck on all your future endeavors."
Awards distributed, the partners collected behind the ribbon, which spanned between broom sticks planted in Christmas tree stands, a huge pair of scissors for Ruth, and the crowd counted down from ten to one - snip - cheers and applause.
Ruth, with giant scissors, moments from the park's official opening
Traditional Serbian dancers take the 'stage'
The San Francisco Chapter of Architecture for Humanity collected suggestions and feedback from Portolans on how they'd like to see a second phase take shape
Local coffee roasters Four Barrel make samples out of a pop up location, soon to be a new permanent location for the company
Testing the stones. The bridge will make more sense as the bioswale matures and fills in with grasses and street drainage.