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Alamo Square reopening delayed again

Latest spring opening date has been rained out, one of a series of weather-related delays

A shady day in Alamo Square, with Victorian houses in the background. Ken Lund

The city closed Alamo Square, a vital resource for both Western Addition park goers and San Francisco’s postcard industry, in May of 2016, at the time hoping to finish its planned upgrade in less than a year.

But now San Francisco Parks and Recreation says completion is delayed until further notice. As usual, you can blame it on the rain.

When Alamo Square originally closed its non-doors to “undergo a park-wide irrigation system replacement, construction of a new wheelchair-accessible restroom, and installation of new landscaping,” and get a “a new lawn and areas of drought tolerant shrubs and ground cover,” the plan was to reopen in about seven months.

But that late winter deadline eventually became an early spring deadline as 2016 turned to 2017 with things a touch behind schedule.

Even as crews were busy planting those drought tolerant shrubs, potentially drought-ending rains swamped the region, holding up the work. The Park & Rec blog said in January that paving would continue through February.

Ken Lund

Of course, the rain did not stop, and now the department says we won’t even have a projection about when work may finish until mid-April.

“In the coming weeks construction will focus on pathway replacement, new planting, and putting the final finishes on the new restroom,” project manager Brett Desmarais writes.

A small part of the park remains open to allow tourists and locals alike to gander at the painted ladies.

Originally part of a horse trail between the Mission and the Presidio, San Francisco Mayor James Van Ness conferred the Alamo Square name on the 12-plus acre patch of land in 1856.

SF Public Library

Fifty years later, earthquake refugees staying in the park ended up with a prime viewing spot to watch the 1906 fire, whether they wanted it or not. But by and large the park’s storied views have been a pleasant diversion over a century and a half.

A $4.3 million combination of bonds and grants paid for the current upgrades, the first bond approved by voters back in 2008.

Alamo Square

Steiner Street, San Francisco, CA 94117