Civic Design Review Committee - October 15, 2018 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
October 15, 2018 - 2:00pm
401 Van Ness, Suite 125
san francisco, CA 94102


Monday, October 15, 2018
2:00 p.m.
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 125



Commissioner Kimberlee Stryker called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.

  1. Roll Call
    Commissioners Present
    Kimberlee Stryker
    Abby Schnair
    Dorka Keehn
    Lydia So

    Commissioners Absent
    Paul Woolford

    Staff Present
    Aleta Lee, Program Associate, Public Art Trust and Special Initiatives
    Jill Manton, Director, Public Art Trust and Special Initiatives
    Rebekah Krell, Arts Commission Deputy Director
  2. Public Comment
  3. 1550 Evans Southeast Community Center Project: Phase #2
    Greta Jones, Project Designer, Public Works
    Shelby Campbell, Project Manager, SFPUC
    Reggie Stump and Fara Perez, Architects, Public Works
    Rob Tidmore, Landscape Architect, Public Works

    The team reviewed their civic design review schedule, previous site plan, and comments from their informal and past Phase  #1 review. In response to these comments, the project team redesigned the corner entry, simplified the garden pathways, made the wetland more prominent and interactive, and created a new portal axis point from Evans Avenue. The team showcased the updated site plan with the new design, along with renderings and site sections of the building and open space. The team reviewed the material palettes for the paving, seating, entry and play area, along with the lighting to be used. After, the team went over the planting palette and the trees and plants intended for the landscaping.

    Lastly, the team reviewed the updated design of the community center. The team responded to their last review comments, by implementing a multi-layer sunshading system to address glare and heat gain, addressing the rhythm of the shading system and façade to respond to the interior program, and modifying the architrave to a simple header at the lobby. The team provided renderings, elevations, and material samples of the building.

    The Committee congratulated the team on the new thoughtful design. They felt the landscape and architecture contrasted in a complimentary way that was appropriate for the two different designs. They appreciated the night time study that the project team provided. Furthermore, the Committee thought the topography and sections were enlightening and helpful to understanding the presented landscape. Lastly, the Committee suggested having a written maintenance plan for reference. The motion was unanimously approved.

    Public Comment:

    Tom Grites, a member of the public, mentioned that the white birch trees suggested in the landscaping plan were prone to graffiti and tagging.

    The team responded that the community center would be in a secured area which would prevent vandalism

    Motion to approve Phase #2 of the 1550 Evans Southeast Community Center Project.

  4. The New Harvey Milk Plaza Project: Conceptual Presentation
    Erich Burkhart, Justin Skoda, and McCall Wood, Project Designer, Perkins Eastman
    McCall Wood, Project Manager, Perkins Eastman
    Perkins Eastman, Architect, Perkins Eastman
    SWA, Landscape Architect, SWA

    The team presented the New Harvey Milk Plaza project which was derived from a design competition sponsored by the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza organization for the redesign of site. Perkins Eastman Architects won the competition and lead the presentation of their plans for the new design of the plaza. They presented the project history, project context, project precedents, and concept design. Their concept design highlighted three overarching themes of Harvey Milk’s legacy, Action, Community, and Hope. The new design included an amphitheater, interactive bronze sculpture, educational timeline, graphic display walls, art gallery, permanent candlelight vigil, tree grove, and medallion marker. Lastly, the team presented the landscape plan, ADA accessibility diagram, material palette, and structure elements.

    Public Comment:

    Harry Breaux, Castro Neighborhood Ambassador, commented that the new amphitheater design would not serve its purpose and would instead become a gathering place for the homeless. He felt that the plaza needed some work and could use exhibition information. Moreover, he said he had no problem with the new design, but a problem with requiring tearing out what is currently there since he felt it is a sacred space.

    Joseph Chase, affiliated with the Save Harvey Milk Plaza organization, commented that the plaza needed a canopy to protect from the weather, but not the obliteration of the current design. He agreed that the plaza needed to be developed and enriched, but not by putting a homeless encampment there. He agreed that the plaza needed to be retrofitted and ADA compliant, but felt the new plan turned it back to the Castro.

    Paul Turner, a Stanford University Professor, commented that improvements needed to be made but that the existing plaza is well designed. He stated that the current design respects the adjacent building design. Additionally, Mr. Turner felt the construction would cause disruption in the neighborhood.

    Howard Grant, the architect that led the current design of Castro Station, commented that the plaza was a community asset that should be treasured and not demolished. He felt that it was a significant site that should be preserved, as it served as a backdrop for protests and memorials since 1980. Additionally, he expressed that there would be disruption for muni users and neighbors during construction.

    Arthur Corban, a member of the public, commented that he attended four community meetings and there was never a proposal about the reuse of the current plaza design. He liked the new design’s update on the new elevator and ramp, but believed the amphitheater would be a magnet for the homeless and cover the old Bank of America building.

    John Goldsmith, affiliated with the Save Harvey Milk Plaza organization, commented on his appreciation for the current Castro Station design because of its open green space. Mr. Goldsmith thought the plaza is already a significant, historic, and culturally relevant site.

    Ron Wiggin, affiliated with the Save Harvey Milk Plaza organization, commented that the amount of money dedicated to the redesign of the Harvey Milk Plaza could be used for issues affecting the Castro neighborhood instead, such as helping the homeless. He thought it was already a beautiful station that just needed some renovation and upgrades.

    Daniel Bergerac, Castro Merchants Association President and small business owner on Castro Street, commented that the Merchants Association were in support of the new redesign and felt that it will draw more tourists .

    Tom Grites, member of public, commented that he was against the amphitheater concept. He also asked how the elevator would work in collecting fares, since it would be accessible from the street level all the way down to the train platform.

    The Committee commented on the need for a cohesive design that included a tight relationship with the elevator plan, especially with the project well under way. They asked that the team investigate how people in the neighborhood use the space, and the possibility of retaining parts of the current design that have cultural significance. The Committee suggested completing wind studies in the area, since it is a very windy and cold corner, as well as looking at different materials that would respect existing elements that are important to the neighborhood.

  5. Eagle Plaza Project: Phase #2 and Phase #3
    Mark Bonsignore, Project Manager, Place Lab SF
    Marcel Wilson, Landscape Architect, Bionic Landscape

    The team presented the site context, existing conditions, design precedents and updates to the current plaza design. The team stated that the plaza would now have a twenty-eight foot, two way, shared street running through. The planters were now more cohesive and larger in size, along with being protected and more maintainable. The team presented the plant and tree palette, along with diagrams showcasing their landscape mapping due to clearance requirements for underground utilities. The project team reviewed the lighting plan, programming diagrams, furnishing palette, and renderings of the site.

    The Committee commented that they would like confirmation from the other public agencies involved about the location of the lighting plan, flagpole, and food truck. As the team did not bring sample materials for this review, they requested the team bring them in the following phase. Additionally, the Committee asked for a current planting plan and renderings to review. Due to these missing elements, the Committee unanimously approved only phase #2 of the project with the below contingencies, and asked the team return for a phase #3 review.

    Motion to approve Phase #2 of the Eagle Plaza Project contingent upon: 1) acknowledgement that the Department of Public Works accepts the lighting, flagpole and food truck locations; 2) providing current planting plan and renderings for review and 3) bringing material samples to Phase 3 review.
  6. 30 Otis Project: Phase #1
    Frida Escobedo, Program Designer
    Jessie Stuart, Project Manager, Align Real Estate
    Gould Evans, Architect, Gould Evans
    Fletcher Studio, Landscape Architect, Fletcher Studio

    The team introduced themselves, including the artist, Frida Escobedo, who would be taking the lead role for design of the project. Ms. Escobedo presented the project concept, site plan, perspectives, activation, site sections, and material concepts. The proposed plaza design included a reflecting pool, area for performance, a mist cloud feature, and functional artwork benches. The team reviewed the circulation, access, sight lines, and solar studies. Lastly, the team provided views and renderings of the plaza.

    The Committee commented that the plaza was a good scale, and felt open yet intimate. They liked the fluidity of the topography, but would like to see more detailed drawings with topography lines, as well as dimensions and street names for better orientation. They asked that the team study the different colors and orientation of the pavers in order to have a smooth transition from plaza to street. Additionally, the Committee commented on the safety of these proposed elements. They asked the team to investigate ADA accessibility and slipping hazards.

    Motion to approve Phase #1 of the 30 Otis Project.


  1. Gene Friend Recreation Center Project: Phase #1
    Brian Milman, Project Designer and Architect, WRNS Studio
    Melinda Stockmann, Project Manager, Rec and Park
    Philip Vitale, Landscape Architect, Trust for Public Land

    The team presented the project process summary, existing facility conditions, design intent, and current updated design. They shared the reason for their three-year pause on the project was due to considerable research of an indoor pool for the site. After completing the pool study, they came to the conclusion that a publicly accessible pool would be built in the neighborhood in the coming years and reconvened on their original design for the project. They provided a proposed site plan, floor plans, landscape palette and plan, material palette, and proposed elevations. Lastly the team provided renderings of various views of the facility with the new design.

    The Committee expressed appreciation to the team for their time spent on this project. They liked the large massing and the team’s desire to bring in more light into the spaces. They suggested that the team have alternative materials in case cost estimates would not allow for the current materials they proposed. They asked the team to investigate how to make the entrance more welcoming, along with providing a lighting study.

    Motion to approve Phase #1 of the Gene Friend Recreation Center Project 1) providing a lighting study and 2) studying the building entry to make it friendlier and more welcoming.

    Commissioner Dorka Keehn left the meeting at 5:41pm.


  1. SFPD Traffic Company and Forensic Services (TCFSD) Facility Project: Phase #2
    Alan Bright, Project Designer, HOK
    Michael Rossetto, Project Manager, Public Works
    Kyle Prenzlow, Architect, HOK
    Anthony Esterbrooks, Landscape Architect, Public Works

    The team presented their new design, showing the design evolution of what was last presented and the current updates. The team provided elevations, renderings of multiple views, material palette and sample materials. Next, the team presented the landscape plan, stone wall detail, courtyard site plan, material and plant palette, and renderings of the landscape.

    The Committee commented that the design of the building would be more powerful if the courtyard wall adjacent to the glass box was completely orange, as well as getting rid of the short orange vertical stripes on the front façade on Evans Street. As for the landscaping, the Committee thought the trees on the plaza did not need edges and should be flush. They asked the team to further research the security wall and to reduce planting at the edge of the plaza.

    Motion to approve Phase 2 of the San Francisco Police Department Traffic Company and Forensic Services (“TCFSD”) Facility Project contingent upon: 1) simplifying the exterior cladding of the courtyard wall to one color, such as the orange as shown in the presentation materials; 2) eliminating the short orange vertical stripes on the front façade on Evans Street; 3) removing the edging around the trees of the plaza; 4) conducting further studies on the security anti-ram wall; and 5) reducing the planting at the edge of the plaza.
  2. Visual Arts Committee Update
    There was no Visual Arts Committee update.

  3. Staff Report
    There was no staff report.

  4. New Business and Announcements
    There was no new business and announcements.

  5. Adjournment 
    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:29 p.m.
    posted  10/26/18, 5:00 p.m., akl
    updated 11/1/18 akl

    approved 11/5/18

Language Accessibility

Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost. For assistance, please notify Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Associate Aleta Lee, 415-252-2251,

我們將為閣下提供免費的書面翻譯資料和口譯服務。如需協助,Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Associate Aleta Lee, 415-252-2251,

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Associate Aleta Lee, 415-252-2251,

Ang mga materyales na nakasalin sa ibang wika at ang mga serbisyong tagapagsalin sa wika ay walang bayad. Para sa tulong, maaring i-contact si Special Projects and Civic Design Review Program Associate Aleta Lee, 415-252-2251,