International Lighting Teams Sought for Harvey Milk Plaza Competition


A civil rights icon who stood up for inclusiveness and access for all.
Now, a design competition seeks to preserve his legacy so that all may be inspired by his example.

When San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk took his bullhorn and rallied crowds at the intersection of Market and Castro Streets in San Francisco, he inspired a generation and helped forge the LGBT civil rights movement. Now steps are under way to make this hallowed ground a fitting tribute to both Milk and the gay rights movement with a major reimaging of Harvey Milk Plaza, including an international competition to design the space.

The Harvey Milk Plaza Competition is open for submissions until May 31, 2017, and the selected design will re-imagine the space at the corner of Castro and Market as a LGBT and civil rights memorial and public gathering space by leveraging best practices in architectural, lighting, landscape and memorial/public plaza design. Design teams should consider the economic and environmental challenges inherent to San Francisco and review the details gleaned from community meetings to influence and inspire final solutions.

“Harvey Milk was always pushing what is possible, bringing people together, and focusing on what we can do collectively to create change,” says Jennifer Jones, AIASF Executive Director. “That’s really what we’re doing with the design competition: sourcing ideas from architects and design teams who comprehend the challenges of the space, but, like Harvey, recognize that no challenge is insurmountable or outweighs the importance of creating a gathering space for a community.”

The Harvey Milk Plaza Design Competition is a partnership of the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, the American Institute of Architects San Francisco Chapter (AIASF), the Center for Architecture + Design, San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Art Commission. Initial funding of $500,000 from an anonymous donor will support the design competition and subsequent plaza development. Additional fund raising efforts are underway to secure the additional $10 million required for full funding of design, construction and maintenance of the plaza.

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16 Apr