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Case Studies 
*Nominee 

Washington Square, San Francisco

San Francisco

CA

USA

Contributed by 
Michael Leo
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
January 7, 2002
December 14, 2017

A green oasis in the tight grid of one of the most densely populated parts of San Francisco.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

Washington Square is a green oasis in the tight grid of one of the most densely populated parts of SF, North Beach. Its location, at the mid point of Columbus street, makes it a natural gathering place for the community.

Access & Linkages

It is probably one of the most accessible parks in SF.

Comfort & Image

All the basic amenities are there, plus great Italian food within crawling distance in any direction. Sidewalk cafes ring the perimeter for a glass of wine or a cold beer, and it's a walkable downhill destination from most of the northeast part of town.

Uses & Activities

Besides its rich history, the park draws people in mainly because it is full of activity and has a "town square" feel. There are lots of benches along the pathways, and lots of grass on which to spread out, play frisbee, etc. It is also the location for many special events.

Sociability

One of my favorite parts of a visit to Washington Square is overhearing conversations in Italian as one strolls past the benches of park users.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Located in the center of the predominately Italian North Beach Neighborhood, Washington Square is a simple expanse of lawn surrounded by benches and trees. Set against the towers of Saints Peter and Paul church. The park was first laid out in 1955, the park now hosts a variety of commnuity events including early morning Tai Chi.

Related Links & Sources

Washington Square, San Francisco
Washington Square, San Francisco
Washington Square, San Francisco
Washington Square, San Francisco
Washington Square, San Francisco
Washington Square, San Francisco
Washington Square, San Francisco
Washington Square, San Francisco

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

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