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The Embarcadero: What's Up With Sue Bierman Park?

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[All fenced in. Photo Credit: Buboblog]

We got a plaintive "What's up with Sue Bierman Park?" in the tipline last week from the blogger Nick at Buboblog, who ponders urban questions like parks in addition to writing about great kids stuff and parenting. Along with his snaps, he blogged this lament:

I understand the city's perspective. There's a homeless encampment next to Justin Herman Plaza, and when they do finally open Sue Bierman Park, its destruction will probably resemble a time-lapse film.Nick, you'll be glad to know that the fence comes down tomorrow along with the 5.3-acre swath of green's official opening at 11am, along with a "special announcement" about Ziptrek, the aerial cable ride across Justin Herman Plaza, flying over Vaillancourt Fountain and the bocce court. Former Supervisor Sue Bierman, who died in 2006, was a neighborhood activist and slow-growth advocate. She came out of the '60s movement to stop the Panhandle Freeway from going up Fell Street and across Golden Gate Park, subsequently spent sixteen years on the Planning Commission, and was elected to the BoS after Mayor Frank Jordan forced her off the commission in 1992.

She went on to a long career serving on various commissions, Ports and the MTA, to name just two, and there's no small irony in having Sue Bierman Park- on the site of two freeway ramps demolished decades ago- right next to Justin Herman Plaza, named after the urban planner who ravaged the Fillmore and Western Addition. For better or worse, their fingerprints are all over the San Francisco we know today. Below, the site of the yet-unimagined Sue Bierman Park in 1965 via the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection, our favorite archive of mid-century vintage images of San Francisco:

[Photo Credit: Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection, Indiana University Archives/Digital Library Program]

Got a question we can answer? Direct it to the Curbed SF tipline.
· (Not) The People's Park [Buboblog]
· Ziptrek [Ziptrek]
· Sue Bierman: Neighborhood Activist Led Battles Against San Francisco’s Runaway Development [BeyondChron]
· Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection [IU/Digital Library Program]