The oldest building in Golden Gate Park, a wood-and-glass greenhouse first constructed in 1879 in an elaborate Victorian style, has plans to step into the spotlight.
The SF Parks Alliance is hoping to raise funds to light up the Conservatory of Flowers by night in an artistic display along the lines of City Hall's lighting scheme, or so claims Willie Brown in an aside in his Chronicle column this past weekend.
Brown has called the lighting of City Hall — in a variety of ways and colors, from orange to red, white, and blue depending on the occasion — "one of San Francisco's most wonderful traditions," and he'd like to bring that magic to the Conservatory.
But since the former mayor and current lobbyist wedged the news between his review of Kong: Skull Island (a "clever and fun remake of the classic monkey movie") and an item about high-profile diners at his favorite haunt Kokkari Estiatorio, you'd be forgiven for missing it altogether.
"It’s [a] great idea," Brown writes. "We ought to be recognized as a city of lights. So, for my birthday Monday, you can join me at the Devil’s Acre, but bring a donation. Checks made payable to the SF Parks Alliance, no cash. We need to raise $100,000 to complete the task. The fun starts at 7 p.m."
To find out more, SFist has reached out to the Conservatory of Flowers, and they'll be getting back to us shortly.
One more thing, though: According to Brown, "By the way, the food and drink are on Devil’s Acre and me." That's classic from a guy with a habit of advertising big events such as his election luncheon at John's Grill as "on him and the restaurant" — but he once left John's owner on the hook for about $50,000. So, just to be safe, SFist has reached out to the Devil's Acre to see if they know they might be footing the bill for Willie Brown's Birthday Party, cleverly couched in the aforementioned fundraiser. We'll update this post if they respond.
Lighting experts Obscura and Ben Davis are on board for the project, Brown writes, calling him a genius. The firm, he explains, also lit his namesake section of the Bay Bridge, the Willie Brown Bridge. Did Willie Brown mention that he has a bridge named for him? He does. It's called the Willie Brown Bridge.