Working with our client, the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD), Annie Alley was identified in the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan as a high-potential alley conversion project. Projects like Annie Street Plaza were proposed to make the neighborhood more accessible and comfortable, and add a grain and texture to pedestrian life currently missing from the area.
The design is a temporary plaza, as part of the San Francisco Pavement to Parks program, to test the viability of a permanent plaza where Annie Alley meets Mission Street. To separate the space from Mission Street and make visitors feel protected, it is closed on one end to vehicles. The plaza is a new community center of activity throughout the day and year, programmed by the YBCBD and by the community itself. It welcomes eating and gathering, screenings, performances, lectures, events, vending kiosks, food trucks, and art. As a community resource, it also offers a community posting board and a neighborhood art program.
Design elements include a stage and screening structure, seat walls, tables and chairs, planting, and lighting. It is intentionally flexible for its various purposes.
The project was vetted with Annie Alley neighbors and stakeholders, SF Planning, the SF Fire Department, SFDPW, SFMTA, the YBCBD Streets Committee, and approved and permitted by the City. It is hoped that the success of this temporary project will lead to permanent improvements in Annie Alley as well as pedestrian safety improvements at associated intersections.