Did you know that there are a sundry of assorted privately-owned public spaces in San Francisco crying out for your attention? It's true. And if you read John King's (glorious) article about said privately-owned public spaces, you already know that more are on the way. As King notes, "San Francisco requires downtown developers to provide space in their projects that is accessible to the public at large." And there are so many of them that you probably don't know about yet. The most interesting one we've come across thus far has to be the rooftop terrance at 1 Kearny.
Problem is that few of the private establishments want commoners like us visiting these wonderful and wonderfully clean public space. Thus they rarely get any attention. That is, until now. SFist will continue to bring you more images of privately-owned public spaces in the coming weeks. Who knows? Maybe you will take the time to visit one to, say, bring a date, smoke a bowl (which is technically illegal!), cruse the men's room (what!), or just enjoy the view. (Here is a map featuring a slew of public spaces just ripe for the taking. )
First up? 1 Kearny. John King reports:
At One Kearny, the developer was required to provide roughly 2,500 square feet of space for the public - no easy feat, given that the project consists of a mid-block addition to a modest 1906 bank tower already fused to a 1964 wing.
The solution: pull back the addition's 11th floor to tuck in a terrace that also maintains views from the west of the 1906 landmark's regal mansard roof.
The result is unique, a vantage point of the sort that until now was available only to penthouse dwellers or corner-office executives. The space itself is amply outfitted with benches and planters.
The problem, again, is knowing that it exists.
The 1985 plan states that when public spaces are located within or on top of buildings, "their availability should be marked visibly at street level." But because the guidelines are so vague, it's easy to fulfill their letter but not their spirit.
That's true of One Kearny's hideaway. By placing the sign at knee level - and making it less than 5 inches wide - the likelihood of outsiders finding their way to the roof is almost nill.
- 1 Kearny (at Market), open Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm