The five-month-long community planning and design phase of the Dolores Park Renovation project, which aimed to bring neighbors and actual park users together to produce a comprehensive, consensus renovation plan, recently wrapped up, producing the above plan for the park. Dolores generally looks the same: the tennis courts will remain in the same location, the off-leash dog play areas will not be relocated or diminished in size, and almost all the trees and grass will still be there when the project is all said and done. However, there are some changes that will made when the 16-month renovation project kicks off next October:
- The high corner of the park at 20th and Church (you know, the corner with the view) is going to be completely overhauled. The three avocado trees will be cut down, a new tree planted, and the corner will be refreshed with a new plaza made of “decorative paving and benches” covering the grassy overlook.
- The nauseating bathroom building that sits in the middle of the park will be leveled, replaced by grass and a “tai chi plaza,” where park-goers can presumably practice tai chi in the tranquil company of thousands of people chowing down on weed cookies.
- Tallboy Terrace won't be seeing an astroturf soccer field, which soccer proponents originally lobbied for. Instead, everyone's favorite summer weekend hangout spot will receive two “unstriped and unlit” multi-use fields “for events and sports,” constructed with “special drainage and irrigation to sustain high use.” (Read: the landscaping will be designed in such a way that that portion of the park will, hopefully, not be an unusable mud pit for half of the year.) There's still no word as to how the Rec. & Park will deal with the inevitable usage conflict that will arise between uppity soccer moms and everyone else, but it has been suggested that the field will be limited for soccer play to weekdays between 4-6pm only.
- “Hipster Hill” will see a transformed off-leash dog play area, complete with a “drinking fountain, bag dispensers, trash receptacles” and “marked by signage [explaining the rules and boundaries of the dog play area] at corners.”
- The 19th Street entrance plaza will be made ADA complaint, with the bell being moved closer to the sidewalk.
- The giant stretch of grass between the playground, Muni tracks, present-day bathroom building, and central walkway will have an updated dog-play area, being fenced off from the rest of the park with a “low fence and backless bench border.”
- A new, ten-foot-wide concrete path (6 feet of concrete and 2-foot-wide “cobble shoulders”) will snake through the park.
- As previously reported, a bike polo court will be built adjacent to tennis courts, the 19th St. Muni stop will be demolished, and two new bathroom buildings will be constructed.
- Notably absent: there will be no mobile food court within the park proper, as Supervisor Scott Weiner is working on having the taco trucks moved to the curb.
From here, urban planners, city officials, and Rec. & Park staffers have three months to butcher the community plans, followed by the unveiling of the finalized “Rehabilitation Plan” in February. Construction is still slated to begin in October 2012, which means we still have 11 months before the rest of San Francisco is forced to discover just how rad of a place Precita Park is.
In the meantime, here are the full-size community-driven designs: