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City officially renames Golden Gate Park meadow for Robin Williams

Rec & Park commission’s unanimous vote makes it final.

35th Annual People's Choice Awards - Show
Williams at the Shrine Auditorium in LA in 2009.
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for PCA

By a unanimous vote on Thursday, the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Commission officially changed the name of Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow to Robin Williams Meadow.

The vote was not a surprise, as officials have seemed agreeable to the idea all year. The department report on the name swap notes:

[Williams supported] the annual free Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park. Comedy Day, the annual free event, began in 1981 in Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse, then due to expanding crowds, was relocated to the Polo Field, and now Sharon Meadow.

[...] When the idea of naming the meadow after Mr. Williams was announced, Mayor Edwin M. Lee said the following: “Through his comedy, Robin Williams brought so much light into this world, which is why it is fitting that we are naming a beautiful outdoor meadow in his honor.”

Photo via Golden Gate Park

Rec & Park historian Christopher Pollock says that Sharon Meadow was originally named for banker and US Senator (from Nevada) William Sharon, or more specifically was named after the nearby Sharon Building which bore the senator’s name.

After the 1906 Earthquake the meadow served as an emergency hospital. During the Summer of Love it became a hangout for counterculture youths, along with nearby Hippie Hill. But the new Williams moniker means Comedy Day will now loom largest in the green space’s portfolio.

“He was at the very first Comedy Day,” festival Chairman Debi Durst said of the late Williams at Thursday’s meeting. “I felt the need to do something for this man that would honor his memory and San Francisco,” Durst added.