A small section of Alamo Square Park will reopen to the public Thursday, and remain open through November, according to the Recreation and Parks Department. The popular park closed May 10 for nine months of construction work — leaving neighbors dismayed and tourists confused as they could no longer get the angle they needed for Postcard Row portraits. It was to remain 100 percent shut off to the public until the work was completed, but now we now that will no longer be the case.
While the the press release announcing the opening doesn't specify the reason, the fact that many individuals simply ignored both the fences and "closed" signs in pursuit of photographs with a Painted Ladies backdrop likely had something to do with it.
“Alamo Square and the Painted Ladies are an international destination and a vital part of our neighborhood,” observed Supervisor London Breed (the park is in her district). “The renovation project is important, but I did not want it to completely close off the park to neighbors and visitors, or force tourists into the street while taking pictures."
Locals imagining picnics should likely temper their expectations — Rec and Parks says the area will merely be "the grass at Hayes and Steiner streets." We reached out to a spokesperson with the department for more details on what will actually be open (square footage, access points, etc.), but did not receive a response as of press time.
The last minute nature of this announcement is sure to raise a few eyebrows — neighbors had long advocated for a staged closure of the park (like with the Dolores Park renovation), but such an approach was determined to be too expensive for Alamo Square Park. And while the opening of the small section of the park will reportedly be done "without delaying the project or significantly increasing costs," one has to wonder why it took a bunch of people busting into the fenced-off park for Rec & Parks to once again wake up and realize that these park closures cause major drama.
The newly opened corner will be once again fenced off in November to allow crews to complete work in the area.