North Beach's jewel of a green space, Washington Square Park, reopens to the public today following a six-month rehab project by Rec & Parks that included upgraded irrigation and drainage systems.
The park closed back in June, at least the lawn portions did — the playground stayed open and the park's restrooms already had their renovations done in 2015 — in order to replace the 65-year-old water system. With the new system, annual water consumption is expected to fall from 3.3 million gallons to 1.1 million gallons
Unlike with other projects at Alamo Square and Dolores Park, this one didn't end up needing extra months, and now the park is fully back open just in time to get to get rained on a lot.
The Chronicle's urban design critic John King discusses how Washington Square Park is neither square nor really devoted to Washington — there's a statue of Benjamin Franklin, though. King notes the ample use of cobblestones in the renovated park, in particular to define borders around planting areas. Also, "The entryways from Filbert and Union streets now are marked by basalt tiles. [And] Dense shrubbery inside the park at the Filbert opening was replaced by softer plantings such as lavender."
Benches have either been fixed up and repainted or replaced with replicas that make the place feel vintage but well cared for, he says.
Next time we have some sun, go check it out.