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Rainbow light installation coming to Harvey Milk Plaza

Temporary light show will brighten skies above the Castro for seven nights

Havey’s Halo lights. Renderings courtesy of Illuminate

Next month marks the 40th anniversary of Harvey Milk’s election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. To commemorate the event, Illuminate, the group behind the Bay Lights and Summer of Love light show at the Conservatory of Flowers, will create another spectacle in honor of the late politician.

The former Bank of America (now a SoulCycle) at Harvey Milk Plaza will soon feature 15 rainbow colored lights shooting into the sky. Christened Harvey’s Halo, the installation will illuminate above Harvey Milk Plaza for seven nights over two weekends beginning November 8.

In addition to the light show on the structure’s rooftop, one of Milk’s famous quotes, “Hope will never be silent,” will be emblazoned in white neon on the building’s facade below the cornice. The quote will remain a neighborhood fixture, a “permanent greeting” for tourists and locals alike.

"People of all colors and stripes will stand together,” said Ben Davis, Illuminate's executive director. “We will honor Harvey Milk. We will reaffirm our shared commitment to equality for all.

According to SFist, “A crowdfunding campaign to fund the two pieces has so far raised about half of its $60,000 goal.” (Feel free to chip in should the mood strike!)

This will be an important piece for the neighborhood, which has seen an influx housing stock and new residents over the last few years. And hopefully, like the Bay Lights, Harvey’s Halo will turn into a permanent fixture.

November’s light show isn’t the only change coming to the dated, uninspired plaza. The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, the American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIASF), San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), and the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) held a competition for redesigning the plaza this year.

The finalists have been narrowed down to three teams, with Perkins Eastman leading the pack.