Alamo Square Park, perhaps the most photographed of San Francisco's many green spaces thanks to its prettily painted Victorian and downtown views, will close to the public beginning next Tuesday, May 10, for an estimated nine months.
SF Rec and Parks issued their Temporary Closure Advisory during April, which Hoodline has been watching since the construction was pushed back from last December, the last time we checked in. It originally appeared set to begin in April, but now it's really happening, and the timing is such that the park will narrowly avoid becoming a pitstop during the annual Bay to Breakers race and revelry, which goes down on May 15 (though fencing has prevented that the last couple years anyway).
While there were attempts to complete the renovations piecemeal — going halfsies on the park like they did at Dolores — those were over budget and eventually rejected. So it's all happening at once, and most of the changes won't be visible to the naked eye, save for the removal of several large trees and the planting of some new ones.
The biggest fix will be a full replacement of the "antiquated" irrigation system, which is supposed to result in 37 percent water savings, the equivalent of 3,260,000 gallons per year. Also, a "curving" restroom, one that's finally ADA compliant and wheelchair-accessible, will be going in.
Last, there will be some native, no-mow grasses on the perimeter by Fulton and Scott Streets, so don't expect to lounge there anytime soon.
The total cost of the project is $4.3 million, which Rec and Parks explains is paid for by the Restroom Bond Program of the 2008 Park Bond, an SFPUC grant, and the Water Conservation Program from the 2012 Park Bond.
"While the construction will inevitably be inconvenient for the neighborhood, in the long term, the replacement of the irrigation system, the re-sodding of certain sections of the park, and the brand new ADA-accessible bathroom will result in a better park for the community,"Alamo Square Neighborhood Association president Lisa Zahner, who signed off on the plan, told Hoodline.
Renovations will also close the playground at Alamo Square, but let's hope they don't change a particularly clever detail there, a playful nod to the Painted Ladies.