SoMa workers looking for another new outdoor spot to sit and eat lunch or nap off the previous evening’s hangover get a new courtyard/plaza today, as the ten-years-in-development Trinity Place at Eighth Street and Mission Street officially opens its Piazza Angelo courtyard. The courtyard will be most notable for its 92-foot-tall post-modern Venus de Milo statue the tallest sculpture in San Francisco and while the courtyard is the private property of the larger big-box housing development Trinity Place, the one-acre Piazza Angelo will be open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The head was placed on the plaza’s Venus de Milo statue a year ago, but you’re more likely to recall having a few laughs last summer when a naked-assed contractor (NSFW) pretended Venus de Milo was fellating him with her oversize mouth. The sculpture has been hidden behind scaffolding in recent months prior to the, umm, “grand opening”.
Speaking of oral sex, the Chronicle has an unconditionally gushing writeup of the new courtyard and Trinity Place in general, even though architecture critic John King has previously denigrated the building itself. The Chron paints a poignant picture of late landlord Angelo Sangiacomo, who passed away in 2015 at age 91, and traveled the world looking for just the right artwork and materials to adorn the piazza.
“The gift that Angelo has given the city is the experience of art,” the sculpture’s artist Lawrence Argent tells the Chron. “It is not a decoration. It’s a place, a space that people can come and enjoy a respite from the bedlam of the city. That is what is magical.”
What the Chronicle does not mention is that Sangiacomo unflatteringly earned the nickname “the father of rent control” in the 1970s by instituting a series of rent hikes so outlandish that the city was forced to institute rent control regulations. Further, this very Trinity Place development was nailed in 2015 for illegally renting below-market units at above-market rates.
Trinity Place is not one, but four separate buildings which primarily contain housing. Three of these buildings are currently open with 1,398 units, a fourth, facing Market Street, is planned to begin construction this fall and will add 503 more units.
The new opening courtyard, which the Chronicle predicts “will attract a brisk lunch trade,” currently has just one tenant a Focaccia Market & Bakery that opened in 2015. But it does have the tallest statue in San Francisco, so that is indeed something.
Venus won’t remain the tallest statue in town forever, though. Once the Central Subway station opens its Yerba Buena/Moscone Center station in 2019, a sculpture by Roxy Paine will be 20 feet taller. The Chronicle indicates that Frankie Avalon will be on hand today to perform his old hit “Venus” for the Trinity Place courtyard opening, though no time is given for the performance, and Trinity Properties has not returned SFist’s requests for comment on the performance time.
Image: Warner Bros.