In coordination with Lower Polk Neighbors and the newly established Lower Polk Community Benefit District (CBD), INTERSTICE Architects has begun working with the community on an Improvement Initiative to create and define a new Polk Alleyways District in the heart of the Lower Polk area. There are six uniquely situated Alleys in the Lower Polk Neighborhood that extend outward from the Polk Street commercial spine. These two block long intimate alleyways form a finer urban grain to the central core of this rapidly changing neighborhood – extending from Olive at the South to Austin Alley at the North, and bounded on the West by Van Ness Avenue and East by Larkin Street.
We recognize the dramatic need to understand and re-envision these six alleys as open space opportunities, instead of underutilized “back-alleys” often viewed as problems, and are collaborating to identify opportunities for community engagement, physical changes, and future funding opportunities. In recognition of these public streets cumulatively as a significant open space resource, we propose studying them as a whole and as integral parts of a neighborhood core. In this way each can be uniquely and individually integrated into a larger, planned amenity for the whole neighborhood, which is desperately in need of improved green spaces and quality shared public space.
IA has completed the initial phase of existing resource documentation and introduced the existing conditions studies at the LPN meeting on August 12 enjoying initial feedback from the community. All who attended this meeting, as well as any persons in the Lower Polk neighborhood, are encouraged to join the upcoming workshops: Workshop #1A Wednesday October 7th at 7pm and Workshop #1B Saturday October 10th at 11 am at First Congregational Church, 1300 Polk Street (at Bush) to share ideas and aspirations for the alleys.
An RSVP is appreciated so we can plan for food and refreshments, but not required for attendance.
Please follow us on Twitter @lowerpolk or stay tuned on the LPN mailing list to keep up with announcements and community outreach workshops in the months ahead, as a comprehensive Master Plan evolves treating the Polk Alleys as a treasured asset and destination in this vibrant San Francisco neighborhood.