Call it a subway to nowhere, or call it the greatest thing ever to happen to riders of the Dirty 30, the Central Subway is going to be a fact of life for many of us for years to come. While Stockton Street gets dug up for years, and while various pundits and politicos debate the cost and merits of the thing until they're blue in the face, we're guessing you've been as curious as we were about how the entrances were going to work in what's already a crowded part of town. Now architecture critic John King shares a couple of renderings of the most visible above-ground piece that will come of this new line: the Union Square/Market Street Station entrance at Union Square.
There are only going to be three stations constructed for the short subway line, you see: one at Fourth Street near Howard, across from the Moscone Center; this one that spans Stockton Street between Market and Geary, with another entrance connected to the existing Powell Street BART/Muni station; and the terminus at Washington and Stockton in Chinatown. King notes that this entrance at Geary and Stockton was the most tricky, because it has to blend nicely with the existing park. And thus it's kind of just a nondescript glass and concrete box, sure not to offend nor excite anyone. The original design, which included a striking red canopy, was nixed by nearby merchants. "Projects like this, where you're putting infrastructure into an existing park, you can't expect a masterpiece," says architect Cass Calder Smith, who was part of the design committee overseeing revisions. So unfortunately, even though this thing is going to cost like a trillion dollars, we won't be getting anything pretty out of it.