Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday October 17, 2018
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Reject political opportunists

San Francisco continues to face complex challenges that require experienced and dedicated leadership. Now is not the time to gamble on inexperienced political opportunists seeking political office; we need to elect supervisors committed to the success of the residents, employees, and businesses in San Francisco. Please vote for Catherine Stefani, District 2; Gordon Mar, District 4; Matt Haney, District 6; Rafael Mandelman, District 8; and Shamann Walton, District 10. They are the best candidates for San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Marilyn Murrillo

San Francisco

Reject Milk plaza proposal

Harvey Milk Plaza is a community asset that should be treasured, not demolished. It has been a defining feature at Castro and Market streets for almost four decades. If a new Castro LGBTQ Cultural District is created, surely Harvey Milk Plaza would be near the top of the list of significant sites to be preserved. It has formed the backdrop for every protest march and memorial gathering since 1980.

What is the compelling reason to demolish the plaza and replace it with bleachers and paving at street level as shown in the new Perkins Eastman plans? The architects do not talk about the disruption and inconvenience demolition and replacement of the plaza would bring for the hundreds of Muni Metro patrons and adjacent neighbors. Imagine rush hour crowds trying to enter or exit the station from the small north entrance, crowding the sidewalk waiting for traffic lights to cross Market Street.

The plaza is an extension of the Castro station design. (I was the architect for the station and the plaza.) The curves of the planters and the bridge connecting to Collingwood echo the curves of the station below and the arches of the old Bank of America building. The extensive landscaping adds richness to the built environment. Milk's name in large letters on the bridge keep his legacy in our consciousness. This is the spot where Mayor Dianne Feinstein; Harry Britt, Milk's replacement on the Board of Supervisors; and Supervisor John Molinari stood when they dedicated the plaza to Milk in 1985.

They had a vision of what that place would mean to future generations.

The Perkins Eastman proposal for bleachers to cover the plaza creates a barrier that obscures their new plaza and the view through to Collingwood Street. Benches originally installed at the plaza were removed to discourage the homeless from congregating, and yet the new bleacher plans will most likely become sleeping platforms without hired security.

There are imaginative ways to make the memorial more impressive and memorable without demolishing the plaza — all of the proposals to honor Milk shown in the architects' graphics can be achieved within the present plaza. More ideas can be seen at https://www.saveharveymilkplaza.org/.

Howard Grant

Oakland, California