Joseph Conrad Square / A Safer, More Sustainable Urban Landscape
From the windows of our San Francisco office, we can see the trees of Joseph Conrad Square, a mini-park in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf. The Square provides a respite from its high-traffic surroundings; however, the last designer to touch this small, leafy park was Garrett Eckbo, in 1985.
In 2015, the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District hired Carducci Associates to design short-term improvements to the Square, which falls under the responsibility of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. Currently, the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) is also studying the Square as a possible T-Line MUNI station.
Principal Bill Fee and Associate Principal Jin Kim (bios here) proposed changes to the park that are based on the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Modest strategies include tree pruning, lampposts, irrigation system upgrades and colorful, low growing and drought tolerant plants. An existing retaining wall will be painted bright orange as a place-making device: as in, “I will meet you at the orange wall.”
Following meetings with neighborhood residents this year, the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department provided informal approval of the proposed design. The Department continues to move forward by raising funds, pruning trees and seeking approvals from the Mayor’s Office of Disability, for a categorical exemption from the Planning Department, and formal approval from the Recreation & Parks Commission. Once these goals are met, we will begin to install our design.
For current information on Joseph Conrad Square, visit here and here.
Below are original 1982 plan, paving and detail drawings by Garrett Eckbo with Eckbo Kay Associates.