Queer visions

What do you think of the cool new designs for Castro’s Harvey Milk Plaza?

It’s perhaps the word’s most iconic LGBTQ location–but also the most tragic: San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro.

An awkward red-brick, garbage strewn space the size of a school bus, it’s dominated by a long flight of stairs descending below to a subway station and above to a pedestrian passageway along Castro and Market Street, a super-highway disguised as an urban boulevard. Two gas stations flank the intersection with a usually empty Pottery Barn dominating the other.

Hardly the kind of urban area befitting a key location of the birth of the modern gay rights movement, a place that still draws tens of thousands of visitors every year for a taste of freedom enjoyed in few other places on earth. The only saving grace is a monster rainbow flag flapping in the wind above the plaza that can been seen from miles away.

The good news is that thanks to Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, a non-profit set up to reimagine the public area with a lotta cash still to be raised, it’s on the way to a major makeover.

Here’s how the plaza looks today:

Here are the three finalists from design groups in the competition. Which do you prefer?

1. Groundworks:

2. Perkins Eastman:

3. Kuth Ranieri Architects:

More views of the design can be found at Neighborland

What’s your favorite? Sound off in comments…

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