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The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza (FHMP), in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIASF), have announced the design team led by Perkins Eastman as the winner of a competition to reimagine San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Plaza.

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Harvey Milk Plaza is situated at the entrance of the Castro Street Muni Station, which was built in 1980. In 1985, the plaza area was named in honor of the civil rights activist and elected official Harvey Milk, who lived and worked on Castro Street before he and then-Mayor George Moscone were both assassinated in 1978. Harvey led soapbox political rallies at the plaza which has since been used as a gathering place for community protests and celebrations. The site serves hundreds of commuters daily, as well as thousands of tourists who come through the transit station on their way to visiting the famous neighborhood. 

The announcement marks the end of the design competition phase for Harvey Milk Plaza. The competition was initiated after two community meetings held by the FHMP in January 2017, where public input about the potential future of the plaza generated a competition brief. The design brief was distributed in collaboration with AIASF when competition officially opened March of 2017. By the end of the competition period on May 31st, 2017, 33 entries had been submitted from the Bay Area, Canada, Sweden and one from Mobile, Alabama. A design jury of City officials, nationally-renowned architects and landscape architects selected three finalists. FHMP selected the winner with input from the design jury and technical staff from various government agencies. 

“While each of the three finalists delivered wonderful concepts for the future plaza, what set the submission from Perkins Eastman apart was their bold, immersive idea; passion for Harvey’s message; and willingness to iterate the design based on feedback during the competition process. We are excited to continue the design process with them and incorporate all the learning and input from the community to create a space that reflects the community’s values, including its love for Harvey and all that he stood for,” said Andrea Aiello, president of Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza and Executive Director of Castro Community Benefits District (CBD). “We envision a plaza that honors the contributions of Harvey Milk, and also inspires people to continue his mission.”

Community input
Once three finalists had been identified, FHMP reached out to online platform Neighborland to host the community input initiative, which generated an overwhelming response. The Harvey Milk Plaza project received over 20,000 responses from 9,645 people who participated in the two-week long survey, ranking this project as the most heavily trafficked ever in Neighborland’s history. 

“Once the competition got underway and we heard from the community, our own ideas and vision for the plaza expanded, and we now have even higher hopes for creating something that captures Harvey’s spirit and honors his contributions to the struggle for civil rights,” said Aiello. The list of jurors for the competition – as well as the group of individuals who are volunteering their time to FHMP – includes San Francisco citizens, business owners and City officials. Jurors included Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works, George Hargreaves of Hargreaves Associates, Jennifer Yoos of VJAA, San Francisco City Architect Edgar Lopez, Director of SF Planning John Rahaim, Chief of Park Development and Operations at The Presidio Trust Michael Boland and community member Gregg Cassin. As the project propels forward, FHMP is accepting applications from individuals who are interested in contributing professional services and support in generating fundraising for the project. 

What’s Next
In November, FHMP and Perkins Eastman will begin meeting to process information gathered and learned during the competition, and to continue development of the design proposal. Perkins Eastman will also begin to interface with SFMTA to coordinate with their planned accessibility upgrades project, which involves the installation of a new elevator connecting different levels of the transit station with the street; and to identify efficiencies between the two efforts. As with any project in its early stages, substantial changes to the design are expected based on more public feedback, technical, and engineering concerns. FHMP plans for future public meetings at various stages of design development.

Visit the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza web site to learn more about the project, sign up for updates, and stay informed on our progress.


Recent Activity

Harvey Milk Plaza Community Meeting
Saturday, March 3, 2018, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Most Holy Redeemer – Parish Hall at 100 Diamond Street

We are reaching out to you today because you have expressed interest regarding the future of Harvey Milk Plaza. If you share our mission to see that Harvey Milk is properly honored at the plaza that bears his name, your continued participation in the process is critical to its success.

FHMP has begun the process of hosting four community meetings that will enable you to communicate directly to FHMP and representatives from Perkins Eastman, the firm that won the competition to reimagine Harvey Milk Plaza. Content from the first Community Meeting held on January 27th can be found here - www.friendsofharveymilkplaza.o...

These meetings are your opportunity to speak directly to members of the design team that will design the plaza, and to provide feedback that will propel the design process forward. The meetings will be held at Most Holy Redeemer – Parish Hall at 100 Diamond Street in San Francisco on the following dates:

Saturday, March 3rd 3:00-4:30 p.m.

If you were unable to join the meeting on January 27th, please contribute your input regarding the questions presented here.

We hope you can attend the upcoming meeting on March 3rd. Please invite others who support the effort to recognize Harvey’s contribution to our neighborhood and to our community.

Please mark your calendar and plan to join us, your input is critically important! Tell your friends and neighbors too!

Also, we invite you to stay connected with the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza online at www.friendsofharveymilkplaza.org and facebook (www.facebook.com/friendsofharv...) and Twitter (twitter.com/FHMP_SF).

Who’s Going?

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Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza

FHMP is entering the next phase of the project to re-imagine Harvey Milk Plaza as a tribute to Harvey Milk and the LGBT civil rights movement. This phase of the process will begin with community input by providing opportunities for interactive community engagement.

The purpose of these meetings will enable FHMP and Perkins Eastman to listen and navigate a design process that is propelled forward by community feedback. These community meetings will allow community members to explore and share their thoughts and work collaboratively with other interested members of the community.

All are invited and encouraged to attend. In addition to the four planned community meetings, various mediums for public engagement, including online participation are planned. Details can be found on our website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages:


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Posted Jan 11, 2018
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Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza

Thank you to everyone who participated on the competition - we received over 20,000 responses from 9,645 people. Congratulations to Team Perkins Eastman, selected as the winner to reimagine Harvey Milk Plaza!

Please sign-up on our web site to receive regular project updates, and to donate to the fundraising effort to build the New Harvey Milk Plaza - www.friendsofharveymilkplaza.o...

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Posted Nov 1, 2017
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Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza
Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza proposed this fundraiser for Harvey Milk Plaza.

November 8th is the 40th Anniversary of Harvey Milk's historic 1977 election as California's first openly gay elected official. That night Milk returned to the Castro where he received a "tumultuous and moving welcome" home.

This November 8th, people will gather again at the famed intersection of Castro and Market streets to honor the life and legacy of Harvey Milk and reaffirm our commitment to equality for all. In addition to speakers and performers, the 100% peaceful and positive gathering will feature the grand lighting of two signature works of public art.

We invite you to honor Harvey Milk's life and legacy by helping fund the cost of installing the artwork. HARVEY'S HALO raises a colorful beacon of equality into the sky above Harvey Milk Plaza for seven nights over two weekends. HOPE WILL NEVER BE SILENT immortalizes Milk's words in neon over Harvey Milk Plaza as a permanent greeting to all those who call Castro home, be they San Francisco residents or not.

Learn more and donate here: www.youcaring.com/illuminatefr...

We also invite you to find your way to the hallowed ground of Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco on the evening of November 8 to stand united, once again, in the name of equality.

Illuminate is the San Francisco-based non-profit arts organization behind The Bay Lights and the illumination of the Conservatory of Flowers for the Summer of Love. Our mission is to rally large groups of people together to create impossible works of public art that, thought awe, free humanity's better nature.

The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza's mission to build a public space that inspires generations to come about Harvey Milk and his message of hope and equality for all disenfranchised communities.

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Posted Oct 2, 2017
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Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza

Discuss Perkins Eastman

Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza

Discuss Kuth Ranieri

Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza

Discuss the Groundworks Office proposal.