A partnership of the San Francisco Arts Commission and Public Architecture Three temporary, large-scale media art installations bring light to San Francisco’s Mid-Market District
PUBLIC ARCHITECTURE Arts 2010-11
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET
A CASE STUDY
ON ARTS & CULTURE
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TABLE OF CONTENTS 9
MID-MARKET CONTEXT CHALLENGES OPPORTUNITIES
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET ARTISTS & SITES PARTNERSHIPS TIMELINE
ANALAGOUS LIGHTING PROJECTS LUMINOUS PATHWAY LIGHTS ON TAMPA BUILDING ON NORTH BROAD STREET
SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON
LEARN MORE & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
IMG 1 | Market Street is San Francisco’s main artery, spanning from the Embarcadero to Twin Peaks
Market Street serves as San Francisco’s main artery and the city’s major hub for commerce, tourism, and transportation. From the Embarcadero to Twin Peaks, Market Street encompasses nearly five miles of a grand pedestrian and vehicular thoroughfare. More than 200,000 pedestrians use it daily in addition to countless buses, streetcars, passenger vehicles, and bicycles. 1 Yet the stretch of Market Street from Fifth to Ninth streets, known as Mid-Market, marks a stark and immediate change from the two neighborhoods that bookend it, San Francisco’s Civic Center and the lively shopping district of Union Square. Originally designed as the city’s widest street, 120 feet from property line to property line, the impressive scale of Market Street has served as an important stage for protests and parades, from this year’s 41st annual Gay Pride Parade to the Vietnam War peace march in 1966. But more typically, Mid-Market’s underutilized storefronts and expansive sidewalks are uninviting to visitors and equally challenging to prospective tenants and property owners. Mid-Market has not always been this way. For the first half of the 20th century, Mid-Market was home to a thriving theater district, known as the “Great White
Way” and the “Broadway of the West Coast.” The street glowed with bright white lights over a fashionable promenade lined with prominent nightclubs and fine restaurants. Over the last forty years, many of the grand theaters have closed. American tastes began to change with the invention of television, the rise of the automobile, and the trend of affluent families moving to the suburbs. The decline of Mid-Market began in earnest in 1967 when the street was torn up for six years to make way for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) underground system. Since then, numerous attempts to revitalize the district have proven unsuccessful. Today, momentum is building in some promising efforts to re-envision Mid-Market as an arts and cultural district. In 2010, San Francisco was awarded a $250,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Mayors’ Institute on City Design. Leveraging this funding, the San Francisco Arts Commission led The ARTery Project, a proposal to jump-start revitalization of Market between United Nations Plaza (UN Plaza) and Sixth Street through short-term expanded arts programming and long-term investment in the arts organizations that make Mid-Market their home.
1. Popper, Adam “Walking, Bicycling & Public Space on Market: A Public Space, Public Life Study of San Francisco’s Most Important Street.” San Francisco Planning Department, March 2010
Lights on Market Street was a signature initiative of The ARTery Project, and marked the gateways to Mid-Market with three largescale temporary public lighting installations. The interactive nature of the site-specific light installations encouraged passersby to engage public space in new ways and to see the neighborhood in a new light. In addition to The ARTery Project’s yearlong calendar of visual and performing arts public events, as well as Art in Storefronts, visitors were inspired to return again and again to the district. The ARTery Project would not be possible without the collaboration of public agencies, community organizations, arts organizations, and local merchants. Lights on Market Street was realized through a partnership of the San Francisco Arts Commission and Public Architecture. As the project manager, Public Architecture oversaw the initiative’s progress from artist selection, concept development, property identification, fabrication, and installation to the launch on December 9, 2010. Additionally, Public Architecture continues to support Mid-Market’s revitalization by facilitating pro bono design services for the arts organizations who want to make Mid-Market their home through our program The 1%, a nationwide network of architecture and design firms who have pledged a commitment to public service.
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With this publication, Public Architecture seeks to focus on the context, collaborators, and opportunities critical to the realization of Lights on Market Street. The report highlights the multidimensional process and diverse stakeholders, such as government agencies and community organizations, that all play a role in the realization of positive growth in a district long in need of revitalization. It includes historic assessment, precedents, and project analysis. These components help provide a comprehensive view of the process and partnerships it takes to realize an initiative like Lights on Market Street. This report is intended to serve as a case study for city agencies and their partners as they consider or embark on comparable arts and culture initiatives.
IMG 2 | Market Street Cinema, 1077 Market Street
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FIG 1 | San Francisco
H 5T E RE ST
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ASIAN ART MUSEUM
SF PUBLIC LIBRARY EE T
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THE WARFIELD THEATRE ST R
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FIG 2 | Mid-Market corridor
THE ARTERY PROJECT
MID-MARKET CONTEXT The bright lights of the “Great White Way” in San Francisco have long since dimmed, leaving many once-vibrant Mid-Market theaters demolished or vacant. Up until the 1950s, MidMarket was able to survive the rapid changes in American entertainment tastes. District theaters reinvented themselves and thrived by changing formats with the times—from vaudeville and live acts popular in the early 1880s until the early 1930s, to nickelodeons and the first “talkies” in the 1920s, and the era of war-time cinema. By the 1940s, Market Street theaters began a slow decline, along with the rest of the nation’s moviehouses, as the popularity of television took hold.1 Moreover, “white flight” also began to dramatically change the demographics of Mid-Market. Reported by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1961, close to 90,000 whites had left San Francisco and migrated to the suburbs between 1950 and 1960, while the African American population grew in the adjacent South of Market neighborhood and segregationist barriers began to erode. 2 The majority of buildings in Mid-Market date from the years following the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Ground floors are characterized by glass storefronts designed for the display of merchandise. The architectural style is predominately Beaux Arts, with most of the ornamental flourishes located on the mezzanine and upper stories of the buildings. Because the area has not been redeveloped over the years, Mid-Market boasts some of the city’s best examples of early 20th century architecture. 3 Today, much of Mid-Market real estate is made up of these old grand theaters, with storefront retail space and upper story office space mixed in. Typically, these theaters have large stages originally designed for an orchestra to accompany silent films. This layout works well for several of the surviving theaters today that showcase live music, theater, and performance, as well as striptease and less wholesome activities. At the beginning and end of shows, Mid-Market temporarily comes alive with activity and dispersing waves of theatergoers on their way to public transit and parked cars. Sadly, this stretch of 1. Stevenson, Jack. Land of a Thousand Balconies: Discoveries and Confessions of a B Movie Archeologist. (Headpress, 2003). 2.Johnny Miller, “The Wayback Machine: July 4, 1961,” SF Gate, July 3, 2011 >>>Link 3. Schwarzer, Mitchell. Architecture + Design: SF. (Understanding Business, 1998).
prime real estate remains a sea of boarded-up storefronts, whose most visible occupants are the homeless, prostitutes, and drug dealers. Vacant buildings pose many of the problems associated with Mid-Market’s resistance to change. Aside from the age of the buildings and the high cost to upgrade, it can be difficult for property owners to find tenants that would not require gutting the floor plan to accommodate a new use. While many of the small local theater companies would benefit from relocating to Mid-Market’s central and transit-rich location, utilizing the available theater buildings is further complicated by their size. Their square footage is typically larger than the spatial needs of small theater companies. Many property owners are happy to sit on their Mid-Market properties, leaving them vacant while waiting for real estate prices and demand to rise. As of 2009, 40 percent of Mid-Market stood vacant. With the ambition to turn the neighborhood around, real estate developer and Mid-Market property owner David Addington launched Proposition D, which would have allowed for lighted signage and general advertising along a three-block stretch of Mid-Market. Proposition D evoked the bright lights of Mid-Market’s past, but in the end, failed to win voter approval. 4 Yet in the process, it may have sparked some city leaders and community members to begin to envision the district’s revitalization through an arts- and culture-infused strategy.
“Over the years, city and community agencies and business people have waged numerous campaigns to clean up the area, but infighting over strategies and deeply ingrained social problems such as drug use and homelessness often derailed those efforts. This time, too, some are skeptical of the efforts, which have yet to pan out. But civic leaders and community groups say they hope to make more headway by working together in ways they hadn’t in the past.” Vara Vauhini, Wall Street Journal5
4. Cagle, Susie. “The Gap-Toothed Face of Mid-Market.” Spot. us: Community-funded Reporting, June 28, 2011 >>>Link 5. Vauhini, Vara. “Once Again, Revitalizing Market Street,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2011 >>>Link
CHALLENGES Despite many revitalization attempts by the city and others, the Mid-Market area still continues to struggle with social and economic challenges.
REAL ESTATE Mid-Market is a complex mixed-use district with a strong civic presence. While it is home to many artistic and cultural institutions, performance venues, public spaces, and diverse housing, it sustains a persistently high number of vacant storefronts. Due to the expense of necessary building improvements, such as bringing a building up to code for new tenants, it can be less hassle and expense for building owners to leave the buildings unoccupied. Single-room occupancy hotels, liquor stores, bars, and doughnut shops make up much of the rest of the streetscape, attracting a community of drug addicts, prostitutes, and the homeless.
south of Market Street has close to unanimous support. Despite the demand, scarce resources have resulted in delays in making the substation a reality, and to acerbate the situation, the nearby Tenderloin substation recently lost seventeen of its officers due to budget cuts. 3
“The neighborhood definitely hurt our business. When you only have three stores open on the block, it takes away foot traffic. A lot of the complaints we have on Yelp are about the rough neighborhood.” James Dufresne, Pearl Paint Company (closed 2010)
“We don’t have open doors, ever. They’re always locked. We must see a hundred crimes every week out of these windows, and although the city wants it to change, it hasn’t happened yet.” Josette Melcor, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts 4
“While some of these buildings are empty for lack of repairs, many are actively for sale or lease. But there aren’t many buyers willing to put down upwards of $5 million for a building that hasn’t seen tenancy since the Clinton administration, or take on a huge, expensive, and time-consuming historic renovation project.” Suzie Cagle, Spot.us Community-funded reporting1
CRIME Mid-Market has some of the highest crime rates in San Francisco. By comparison, the Civic Center and Union Square neighborhoods on either side of Mid-Market have much less illicit activity. According to Crimemapping.com, the three months between April and June 2011 found 401 crimes reported at the corner of Market and Mason Streets where the urban fabric changes as Market Street boarders the Tenderloin disctrict. Yet just three blocks down Market on the tourist-friendly corner of Stockton Street, there was 44 percent less crime. Four blocks up on Market at Hyde Street, there was 62 percent less crime by comparison. 2 When it comes to Mid-Market’s revival, city leaders are well aware of the challenges posed by the area’s high crime. From the mayor to the Police Department and the Redevelopment Agency, locating a new Sixth Street police substation just 1. Cagle, Susie. “The Gap-Toothed Face of Mid-Market.” Spot. us: Community-funded Reporting, June 28, 2011 >>>Link 2. Source: CrimeMapping.com >>>Link
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3. San Francisco Police Chief Supports Sixth Street Substation.” CBS San Francisco, July 13, 2011 >>>Link 4. Hindery, Robin. “Big Names Eye Real Estate in Blighted SF Downtown.” Journal News, June 28, 2011 >>>Link
264 STREET GEARY
234 STREET MASON
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FIG 3 | A snap shot of the crimes reported in the Mid-Market corridor, from April 1 to June 30, 2011. Circles represent a 500 foot radius >>>Link crimemapping.com
IMG 4 | A stretch of boarded up storefronts near Civic Center BART
© Sharilyn Neidhardt
History of Mid-Market Theaters, South and North Elevation*
MARKET STREET | SOUTH ELEVATION
Sixth Street 1069
1075 MARKET STREET CINEMA OPENS 1912 G RAUMAN’S IMPERIAL 1916 IMPERIAL OPENS 1929 UNITED ARTISTS OPENS 1931 LOEW’S OPENS 1970 MARKET STREET CINEMA OPENS (ADULT FORMAT)
CENTRE THEATER 1944 ROUND UP OPENS (CHANGES TO ADULT FORMAT) 1947 RENAMED CENTRE THEATER 1987 CLOSES (CONVERTS TO RETAIL)
MARKET STREET | NORTH ELEVATION
GUILD THEATER 1924 EGYPTIAN THEATER OPENS 1943 STUDIO THEATER OPENS 1947 RENAMED GUILD THEATER (AS ADULT MOVIE HOUSE) 1974 PUSSYCAT THEATER OPENS
Mc Allister Street
Sixth Street 982
1 TAYLOR GOLDEN GATE THEATER 1922 OPENS AS VAUDEVILLE THEATER FEATURING BROADWAYS SHOWS 2006 S PORADICALLY OPEN
THE WARFIELD 1922 LOEW’S WARFIELD OPENS AS A VAUDEVILLE HOUSE (CHANGES FORMAT TO LIVE MUSIC) 1979 BOB DYLAN PLAYS 2-WEEK SHOW 2008 R EOPENS AFTER RENOVATIONS UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
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1066 PARAMOUNT THEATER 1921 OPENED 1965 D EMOLISHED AND REPLACED WITH RETAIL
REGAL THEATER 1925 OPENS AS POMPEII THEATER 1936 R EOPENS AS REGAL THEATER SHOWING ACTION FILMS 1972 FORMAT CHANGES TO ADULT FORMAT RENAMED AGAIN LA GIRLS (ADULT ENTERTAINMENT) RENAMED REGAL 1974 RENAMED BIJOU 2009 VACANT
Seventh Street 1125
1127 STRAND THEATER 191 6 OPENS 1989 CLOSES FOLLOWING THE LOMA PRIETA EARTHQUAKE 1997 REOPENS AS ADULT MOVIE HOUSE 2003 CLOSES AFTER SFPD RAID
EMBASSY THEATRE 1907 RIALTO THEATER OPENS 1920 RIVOLI OPERA HOUSE OPENS 1927 EMBASSY THEATRE OPENS 1989 U NINHABITABLE AFTER LOMA PRIETA EARTHQUAKE 1994 DEMOLISHED OLDEST MOVIE HOUSE IN SAN FRANCISCO
Seventh Street UN Plaza
1192 ORPHEUM THEATER 1926 O PENS AS A VAUDEVILLE HOUSE REPLACING PANTAGES THEATER 1931 REOPENS AS ORPHEUM THEATER SHOWING MOVIES 1970 CLOSES 1977 REOPENS FOR LIVE THEATER 1977 CLOSES 1981 R EOPENS WITH NEW OWNERSHIP FEATURING BROADWAY SHOWS SAN FRANCISCO HISTORICAL LANDMARK
For Rent/Lease *Based on observations taken on May 2011
MUNI BUS STOP
METRO MUNI (SURFACE)
BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT
MUNI METRO (SUBWAY) POWELL BART STATION H
CIVIC CENTER BART STATION ST R
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1. Fiscal Year Weekday Average Exits. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) >>>Link 2. Transit Ridership Report: First Quarter 2011. American Public Transportation Association, May 13, 2011 >>>Link
As a “Transit First” city, San Francisco is committed to reducing dependence on cars. In 2009, a pilot program closed Market Street between Sixth and Tenth to most private vehicles, as part of a plan by the mayor and public transportation officials to ease traffic congestion and make it safer and more enjoyable for pedestrians and bicyclists. Though the idea to eliminate traffic on Market Street is not new, this time many in the business community saw the benefit of a friendlier pedestrian environment. Since these trials began, Muni reports a 3 percent increase in bus speed and there is a visible increase of
Market Street is the major thoroughfare of San Francisco. Various modes of transportation, including cars, buses, railcars, subway, bikes, and pedestrians, all take advantage of Market Street to navigate around the city. In 2010, the Civic Center BART station averaged more than 18,000 exits a day. In addition, Mid-Market is served by seven San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) streetcars and nineteen local and regional bus connections.1 An estimated 150,000 Muni passengers take surface buses and streetcars on routes that use Market Street every day. 2
PEDESTRIAN AND TRANSIT HUB
FIG 5 | Bike, pedestrians, and traffic count locations 1) Powell Street and Market at Spear Street 2) Market between 8th and 9th streets7 M
With the high volume of people moving through Mid-Market and the adjacent Union Square area every day, the challenge is to provide more opportunities to spend time in the district instead of simply passing through to another destination. When a theater show lets out, there is a tendency to head straight for BART or one’s parked car. The presence of restaurants, retail, and other services is critical to support the revitalization of the district. Additionally, vacant and uninviting public space can be made friendlier with increased programming. For example, weekly markets held in United Nations Plaza (UN Plaza) give the community a recurring opportunity to have a positive connection with Mid-Market.
One of the district’s strongest potentials lies in its favorable central location and access to all the area’s major transit systems. From Mid-Market, commuters can reach the entire city and outlaying Bay Area region by public transportation.
people walking on the street. 3 The pilot program was launched to test the viability of permanently limiting cars on Market Street, in preparation for a comprehensive streetscape upgrade to break ground between 2013 and 2015. 4
The bicycle community is growing on Mid-Market as the street becomes safer and riding gains more dignity. As of 2010, the San Francisco Planning Department reported a weekday average of nearly 3,000 riders on Mid-Market. 5 The same year, the first physically separated green bike lanes were expended on the street. 6
FIG 6 | Pedestrian, bicycle and traffic counts >>>Link
UN Plaza was built in 1975 as part of the Market Street Reconstruction Project in conjunction with the subterranean installation of BART, affording great access to public transit. The 2.6 acres of pedestrian mall extend from Market Street to Hyde Street in San Francisco’s Civic Center area. UN Plaza is an ideal open space for public programming. It hosts a twice-weekly farmers’ market on Sunday and Wednesday. The Heart of the City Farmers’ Market has been around since 1981, is served by more than sixty-five farmers and vendors, and has grown to draw crowds of more than 8,000 consumers.7 In 2010, Independent Arts & Media and the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) launched a new weekly Arts Market on Thursdays, featuring arts, crafts, and performance in the same location8.
BUSINESSES In 2011, the social networking and microblogging company Twitter signed a lease for the San Francisco Mart on Market Street between Ninth and Tenth streets. Twitter was lured to stay in San Francisco by the city’s agreement to exempt businesses with payrolls over $250,000 from paying a 1.5 percent payroll tax on new hires for six years. Between Mid-Market’s new enterprise zone status and the arrival of signature 3. “Market Street: Be a Part of the Historic Better Market Street Project.” San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, July 18, 2011 >>>Link 4. Knight, Heather. “Pilot Program to Limit Traffic on Market Street.” SF Gate, September 10, 2009 >>>Link 5. Popper, Adam. “Walking, Bicycling & Public Space on Market: A Public Space, Public Life Study of San Francisco’s Most Important Street.” San Francisco Planning Department, March 2010 >>>Link 6. Jones, Steven T., “The Rise of Bike Culture.” San Francisco Bay Guardian Online, July 13, 2011 >>>Link 7. Heart of the City Farmers Market >>>Link 8. San Francisco Arts Market >>>Link 7. “Market Street Data as of August 11, 2010,” San Francisco Great Streets Project.
IMG 6 |The Heart of the City Farmersâ€™ Market
© Sergio Ruiz
companies such as Twitter, Mid-Market is becoming a magnet for both the arts and new technology. 1 The services necessary for a healthy neighborhood are following. OEWD reports increased interest from restaurants and other small businesses interested in the district since Twitter signed on—up from two or three inquiries a week to about fifteen. 2
“We are proud that Twitter will be among the first companies moving into the Central Market area and will be playing a role in its renewal with the city and with other businesses, arts organizations, and the numerous community organizations that have been doing hard work in the neighborhood for many years.” Ali Rowghawni, CFO, Twitter 3
ARTS Mid-Market is on the cusp of becoming a thriving arts and cultural district. Many of the performing arts venues on Market Street today have a lineage of live music and theater that go back to the 1920s, including The Orpheum, The Warfield, and the Golden Gate Theatre. Other theater companies are now investigating their options to move into the district. The American Conservatory Theater (ACT) could be the next neighborhood anchor, with several small companies following suit. ACT is studying the feasibility of locating a 300-seat theater on Market between Mason and Taylor streets, funded by the Tenderloin Economic Development Project. Additional resources are being directed to help the arts community on Mid-Market. In 2010, an $11.5-million loan program, financed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, began helping attract nonprofits and arts businesses to the area. 4 Furthermore, The 1% program of Public Architecture is helping a number of arts organizations by facilitating pro bono preliminary design services through its network of architecture firms. Adding to the mix, the San Francisco Film Commission is offering an incubator program for local filmmakers to set up shop on Golden Gate Avenue. The visual arts scene is growing with a concentration near Sixth and Market streets, one of the 1. Hindery, Robin. “Big Names Eye Real Estate in Blighted SF Downtown.” Journal News, June 28, 2011 >>>Link 2. Vara, Vauhini. “Market Street Looks for Twitter Revival.” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2011 >>>Link 3. Evangelista, Benny. “It’s Official: Twitter Stays in SF, Moving to Market Street.” SF Gate, April 22, 2011 >>>Link 4. Harmanci, Reyhan. “Momentum for a Revitalized Arts District.” The Bay Citizen, July 29, 2010 >>>Link
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most challenged intersections in San Francisco. The Luggage Store gallery is the trailblazer of the bunch, having made Market Street their home since 1991. Together with recent move-ins by Black Rock Arts Foundation, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, International Art Museum of America, and OnSix Gallery and Satellite 66 on Sixth Street, the area is becoming attractive to other arts groups, enticed by the growing community and the comparatively low rent. Temporary arts initiatives and festivals are also helping to bring activity to the district. Organized by the San Francisco Arts Commission, Art in Storefronts (AIS) is transforming vacant and underutilized storefronts and exterior walls into works of public art, two years after its first successful run in 2009, AIS returned to Mid-Market with six storefront installations and five murals, bringing a new opportunity to visit the neighborhood to hundreds of visitors, artists, and art lovers. 5 Market Street Blooms was an additional temporary initiative that placed two large flower sculptures designed by Karen Cusolito on public display near UN Plaza.. Combined with the 24 Days of Central Market Arts Festival, audiences are encouraged to visit the spaces where art is envisioned and created. 6 The arts-focused revitalization strategy of MidMarket is not necessarily unique. From the most widely celebrated precedent in Bilbao, Spain, to the cultural districts in Philadelphia, Montreal, and Tampa, strategies that capitalize on the arts and bolster existing assets have proven successful in bringing about positive urban change. The next section features a case study of Lights on Market Street and reviews the partners, processes, and outcome of the project. The case study is followed by a review of three analogous lighting projects that serve as precedents. The report includes interviews with key stakeholders that had a hand in a district-wide revitalization effort in their cities.
“[The arts funding] is seed money. The property owners have to make the major improvements, which we’ll do if we think we can get a return on our investment.” Stanley Herzstein, owner of 1019 Market Street 7
5. “Art in Storefronts.” San Francisco Arts Commission, July 13, 2011 >>>Link 6. Central Market Arts >>>Link 7. Bay City News. “Community Leaders Defend Mid-Market Art Projects.” SF Appeal, May 5, 2011 >>>Link
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FIG 7 | Mid-Market Businesses ART / CULTURE 1| Alonzo King Lines Dance Center 2| American Conservatory Theater 3 | Asian Art Museum 4| Black Rock Arts Foundation 5| Boxcar Theater 6| Counterpulse 7| Cutting Ball Theater 8| Electric Works 9| Golden Gate Theater 10| International Art Museum of America 11 | Kunst-stoff arts 12| National Film Preservation Foundation 13| 1 : am Gallery
14| San Francisco Public Library 15| Satellite 66 16| The Warfield RESIDENTIAL 17| Soma Grand 18| Trinity Place EDUCATION 19| The Art Institute of California, San Francisco 20| University of California, Hastings College of the Law
RETAIL / RESTAURANTS 21| Dick Blick Art Materials 22| CityPlace 23| Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers 24| Showdogs 25| Westfield San Francisco Centre TECHNOLOGY 26| Twitter 27| Zendesk
© Courtesy of the San Francisco Arts Commission
IMG 5 | “Valiant Flowers” by Karen Cusolito, part of the Art in Storefronts initiative
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET
THEODORE WATSON FACES
PAUL NOTZOLD STORYLINES
JIM CAMPBELL URBAN REFLECTION
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET PROGRAM NAME The ARTery Project LOCATION San Francisco, California PROJECT AREA Market Street, between Sixth Street and United Nations Plaza PROJECT TYPE Lighting program (temporary) DURATION December 9, 2010 to June 2, 2011 PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) and Public Architecture ARTISTS Theodore Watson, Paul Notzold, Jim Campbell FUNDING Lights on Market Street was one of the initiatives under The ARTery Project, which was funded by a $250,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Mayors’ Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative (MICD25); with additional public and private support.
The ARTery Project was a large vision for San Francisco’s Mid-Market area. Four creative place-making projects were aimed at transforming the blighted neighborhood into a lively and sustainable destination with the arts at its core. In addition to Lights on Market Street, the projects included: Art in Storefronts; coordinated art openings by galleries in the area; and a series of coordinated special events including festivals, exhibitions, and performances hosted by neighborhood arts organizations. 1 Lights on Market Street commissioned three large-scale, site-specific lighting installations along the Mid-Market corridor (sometimes called “Central Market”), to mark the district gateways at United Nations Plaza and Sixth Street. The artists—Theodore Watson, Paul Notzold and Jim Campbell—were challenged to create a positive and engaging atmosphere through an innovative use of light and technology. The installations highlighted Market Street’s cultural and architectural gems, and brought exposure to the district’s social and economic challenges. Lights on Market Street recalled Market Street’s history as the “Great White Way,” and looked to the reestablishment of the neighborhood as a premier arts and cultural destination. Highlights from Public Architecture’s (PA) conversation with Luis Cancel (LC), former Director of Cultural Affairs, San Francisco Arts Commission2
PA: How does Lights on Market Street fit into the short term goals and long-term plan for Mid-Market? LC: The MICD25 grant was a large infusion of funding for a lot of short-term activities over the course of a twelve-month period. SFAC sees the activation of central Market as necessary to help turn around the community’s mindset that nothing can ever get accomplished there. It is important to bring energy to Central Market and demonstrate what is possible when the space is activated with creative organizations and individuals. In the long term, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) both play a key role in the sustainability of central Market Street. Through projects like helping arts organizations move into vacant storefronts, 1. “Art in Storefronts Returns to Central Market.” San Francisco Arts Commission. February 9, 2011 >>>Link 2. Luis Cancel (former Director of Cultural Affairs, San Francisco Arts Commission), interviewed by Public Architecture. December 2, 2010.
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© Lydia Gonzales
│ 31 Eric Staller’s LIGHTMOBILE at the launch of Lights on Market Street | IMG 7
property owners need to be convinced that it is in their best interest to create affordable, long-term leases with the arts community. Working together, these efforts will accumulate a positive impact and turn the situation around on Central Market. PA: Describe the project area and why MidMarket was chosen. LC: San Francisco’s Market Street is the equivalent of Broadway in New York. It is the central artery of the city and plays a major civic role. Parts of Market Street are fabulous. Powell Street is a great tourist destination, but if you walk just a couple more blocks west of Powell Street, you encounter a lot of closed storefronts and not the best pedestrian environment. Early in his term as mayor, Gavin Newsom expressed interest in Central Market. Over the last four years of his term, he had tried to reinvigorate that community. Newsom made it clear to all the department heads that he wanted to see some action in Central Market—to improve it, beautify it, and to help turn the energy around in that area. PA: How did the proposal for MICD25 come about? LC: The mayor had already requested department heads to collaborate and put their thinking caps on. Grants for the Arts, OEWD, Department of Public Works, and SFAC were already vested in trying to find ways to attract cultural organizations and artists into some of the underutilized spaces in the Central Market corridor. Then low and behold, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced this extraordinary competition to fund pilot programs around the country that would use design and the arts to revitalize corridors. It was tailor-made and perfect timing for Mid-Market. The inter-agency group had already been working together for more than a year to try and tackle Mid-Market’s problems. SFAC had the good fortune to have NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman visit San Francisco about a month before the deadline. We made sure there was a meeting between the chairman and the mayor. Newsom made the most perfect presentation that one could ever ask of any mayor to promote the arts. Chairman Landesman left that meeting totally excited about what could happen in San Francisco. Out of hundreds of applicants San Francisco was one of four that got the $250,000 grant.
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PA: Why were technology and light chosen as the medium for Lights on Market Street? LC: Very early in the proposal process, SFAC thought about how to use the arts and design to be competitive in the NEA grant. One of the scariest parts about Mid-Market is nighttime. It’s desolate and there are a lot of closed storefronts, so it’s not the best pedestrian experience. To tackle that head on, we brought light installations to the area. Lights on Market Street used the creativity of visual artists and the power of light to illuminate and excite the area. It was our key to success. LC: The projects were clustered within close walking distance of each other and attracted a lot of folks to the area. Lights on Market Street took advantage of the theaters in the corridor. The significant pedestrian theater traffic at night provided an additional audience for the work. SFAC was very excited about the projects accomplished by the three selected artists: Jim Campbell, Paul Notzold, and Theodore Watson.
“The goal of the initiative is to build upon MidMarket’s assets—its strong arts institutions, historic buildings and transit access—to advance revitalization and foster long-term investments in this challenged commercial corridors.” Luis Cancel1
1. “Arts Commission Receives $250,000 Grant from NEA for Mid-Market Thursday: Press release.” San Francisco Arts Commission, July 15, 2010.
© Lydia Gonzales © Lydia Gonzales
IMG 8 | Crowd absorbed by Theodore Watson’s Faces installation
IMG 9 | Luis Cancel introduces WritersCorps and the students begin a poetry reading to share their Market Street observations │ 33
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET ARTIST
JIM CAMPBELL URBAN REFLECTION INSTALLATION LOCATION American Conservatory Theater (ACT) costume shop, 1119 Market Street
BIOGRAPHY Jim Campbell was born in 1956 in Chicago, Illinois. He received degrees in both electrical engineering and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1978, and is currently living and working in San Francisco, California. As an engineer, Campbell holds more than a dozen patents in the field of image processing and is currently working on HDTV-related products in a laboratory in California. He has exhibited internationally and throughout North America, and his work is included in many important collections. In 1992, he created one of the first permanent public interactive video artworks in the U.S. in Phoenix, Arizona.
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© Public Architecture
3510 Urban Reflections by Jim Campbell activates ACT’s costume shop storefront on Market Street across from United Nations Plaza | │ IMG
ÂŠ Steve Rhodes
IMG 11 | Urban Reflection plays on the ambiguity of whether the video projected is live or not
Highlights from Public Architecture’s (PA) conversation Jim Campbell (JC) 1
Up close it’s abstract, but the projection becomes clearer when viewed further away.
PA: What drew you to take on this project?
PA: Describe some of the process you went through to realize the project.
JC: I was invited to participate by Public Architecture and SFAC. I make public art, but I also make art for museums, galleries, and other private locations. I like the different challenges that public art gives me. How will people approach the work? How will they respond? What will be perceived on different levels? PA: As a resident of San Francisco, what is your impression of Mid-Market? JC: Mid-Market is a relatively poor area that seems to be changing, getting smaller from encroachment on both sides. The street is challenging from an artist’s perspective. People who are struggling aren’t necessarily going to pay attention or even notice the artwork. I thought about how to make this work brighten up the area, and I don’t mean “brighten” in the way of light. PA: What does Urban Reflection portray and how does it work in the context of Market Street? JC: I covered two storefront windows with two thousand LED lights, projecting low-resolution, abstract images that I captured in video in front of the two storefront windows. The LED lights mirror the activity on Market Street. The work plays on the ambiguity of whether it’s live or not. Low-resolution images eliminate all the details in the people, the cars, and the trains going by. You get the sense of Market Street—the feel of it, the rhythm, the movement—but you can’t tell whom or what it is going by. The result is a form of abstraction and a way of distilling information to find the essence of the activity in the area. PA: How would you like people to interact with your project?
JC: There were two or three locations to choose from. The storefront windows at ACT’s costume shop made the most sense for working with custom electronics and the short timeframe. The installation was viewed from outdoors, but we installed the work inside the window facing out. The intimate site was an advantage, but did make the work a little smaller. PA: Describe any challenges or opportunities that came up during the development of the installation. JC: The short timeframe to realize the project was the greatest challenge. The project required support from outside my studio. I would have preferred to do a project outdoors. Given the timeframe and the custom technology, that would not have been possible. Custom technology isn’t inherently waterproof. People noticed the work and some of them smiled. That was one of the most positive experiences. PA: Has your work ever been used in a city’s revitalization effort? JC: Generally speaking, that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve only done about half a dozen public art projects and they tend to be in venues like sports arenas and airports, places that have a different demographic than Market Street. I’ve noticed around the country, as opposed to ten years ago, new media is invigorating public art programs, giving them more dynamic opportunities. New media is a way of taking an existing art program and revitalizing it.
JC: There are two kinds of people that will see the work. One is the people who come to see it because they’ve heard about it. Other people will see the work because of its relationship to the viewing distance. They see it from far away, then come up close to investigate. The project is designed to make sense viewed at eye level two feet away and from across the street, as well as seventy feet away. Seeing the installation differently from two locations is typical in my work.
1. Jim Campbell, interviewed by Public Architecture. December 16, 2010
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET ARTIST
PAUL NOTZOLD STORYLINES LOCATION Projecting from the Art Institute of California at 10 United Nations Plaza onto the Seventh Street side of the Renoir Hotel, located at 45 McAllister Street
PARTNERSHIP WritersCorps, a program of the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Public Library
BIOGRAPHY Paul Notzold is a Brooklyn-based designer, performer, and artist. Notzold aligns himself with street art practices, staging ephemeral, and often-unsanctioned interactive performances that fall under the category of “urban intervention.” His most notable work, TXTual Healing, is an ever-evolving exploration in how mobile technology can transform public action into theater involving an audience in the street. His work has been exhibited internationally and has received critical acclaim. Most recently, he was featured in Google’s Creative Internet, and the books Trespass: A History of Un-commissioned Urban Art and Street Art and the War On Terror. He’s appeared in multiple publications including Communication Arts, the Economist, Wired, Time magazine and Overspray. 1
1. Lights on Market Street Installation: Storylines by Paul Notzold. San Francisco Arts Commission, December 9, 2010 >>>Link
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© Public Architecture
│ 39 Artist Paul Notzold works with a WritersCorp student in the process to realize Storylines | IMG 12
Highlights from Public Architecture’s (PA) conversation with Paul Notzold (PN) 1
PA: What does Storylines portray? PN: Storylines is a public projection piece about the repetition of expressed thoughts that come from an exploration of urban space. It is a representational “walkabout.” The streets of San Francisco become our wilderness to explore and create individual narratives from our observations while we navigate through its streets. The narratives in this work are delivered through dialogue speech bubbles populated with poetry created by the students in WritersCorps. Different poems dynamically populate the speech bubbles every night. It’s in a comic-book style, using an endless, meditative visual of legs walking, and represents the importance of having a physical presence in the creation of these stories derived from the urban setting. PA: How does Storylines work in the context of Market Street? PN: When I first saw the Renoir Hotel wall it seemed like it was asking for something. The wall is about six stories, massive and yellow. In most places, it would get hit with an advertisement. Verizon would buy the space and then we would be stuck with another one of their advertisements. I would like to see people fight advertising with interactive public art. The Internet has given so many people an audience that never had one before. It would be great if the Art Institute students could have access to go big on the wall in a relatively harmless way. PA: Has your work ever been part of a city revitalization effort? PN: My work has not been a part of any revitalization effort, at least not on this scale. In this piece, I try to revitalize how people see public space by making them look up at the architecture that surrounds them, and hoping they notice how they are moving through that space. They might actually get involved along the way, changing that trip from being mundane to an experience people can participate in. PA: How have people reacted to your project? PN: I consider myself as more of a facilitator. The most encouraging reactions have been from the way this work changes a person’s trajectory and 1. Paul Notzold, interview by Public Architecture. November 17, 2010.
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catches them off guard. Right off, people see that it’s playful and not threatening. I enjoy watching what people decide to create when they’re being spontaneous, for better or worse. I capture all the text messages contributed by people to my work, which can be 300-500 messages during the three-hour span of a live piece. I have tens of thousands of these messages from different cities and can sort them chronologically, and by the themes that people are talking about. In China, people texted, “I love my girlfriend,” “I love you mom,” “I love you dad,” “I love my boyfriend.” You can guess the typical kinds of conversations I get in the U.S. I learned that Chinese people don’t typically express themselves so openly, yet they felt comfortable texting it up on the wall. That’s cool. I like the way that played out. PA: What is the role of public art? PN: Public art is great because it gives everyone access to experience it. I would love to see public art by more artists addressing everyday issues and subjects that started out working in public space without a commission. A trend is starting to go that way, asking artists who run around, legally or walking a fine line, to do more in public space and giving the facilities to do it. We haven’t fully seen what artists and designers can do in public space when they are given more tools, and bigger tools, to work with.
© Ian Wang
IMG 13 | Paul Notzold’s Storylines installation projects onto the wall of the Renoir Hotel
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET ARTIST
THEODORE WATSON FACES LOCATION Portrait capture station at 998 Market Street, projecting onto 1017 Market Street
BIOGRAPHY Theodore Watson is an artist, designer, and experimenter whose work is born out of curiosity and the excitement of designing experiences that invite people to play. Theodore’s work ranges from creating new tools for artistic expression and experimental musical systems, to immersive environments with full-body interaction. His recent work includes the Eyewriter, an eye-controlled drawing tool; Graffiti Research Lab’s Laser Tag, a laser graffiti system; and Funky Forest, an immersive, interacV tive ecosystem for young children. In 2010, the Eyewriter project won the Future Everything award, an international prize for artworks, social innovations or software, and technology projects that bring the future into the present, as well as the Design of The Year award.
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© Lydia Gonzales
│ 43 A passersby gets their photo taken at Theodore Watson’s Faces capture station | IMG 14
Highlights from Public Architecture’s (PA) conversation with Theodore Watson (TW) 1
PA: How does Faces work? TW: Faces is an interactive projection where passersby have the opportunity to have their portrait captured and dynamically re-drawn larger than life on a wall overlooking Market Street. Passersby walk up to the capture station and it captures their image, sending it to the display projector where it is drawn out line-by-line rendering their portrait in a graphic, wheat-paste style. PA: How does Faces work in Market Street?
PA: Describe the process to realize the project. TW: The San Francisco Arts Commission and Public Architecture contacted me in September 2010. It was a pretty short timeframe. We talked about the area and I got an idea of the different parts of Market Street. Then it was about picking a location. I worked with Public Architecture on a rooftop, measuring the width of one area I wanted to project onto, to figure out how far back the projector needed to be, and what kind of equipment would be needed. In the end, when you walked down Market Street, it was like, boom, right up there. There was a lot of coordination in that respect.
TW: When I visited San Francisco and got to see this area of Market Street, I was very much struck by how many different types of people there were in this neighborhood. There are the people that call this place home and there are a lot of people coming through quickly. I thought it would be interesting to find a way to get people to stop for a second and visualize the different faces of people that come into this area in a very fun, playful way.
David Addington, who owns The Warfield, was another person who has played a part in the project. He was a huge supporter. He lent us his storefront to install the capture station and I projected from the fifth floor of his building.
Every day I learned more about Market Street and I recognized more people. People give off a very tough and unfriendly persona because everyone wants to be left alone, but the moment they stop and you actually talk to them, it’s amazing. There are super-friendly people here. That’s what’s been nice about this project. It provided an excuse for people to stop and hang out and actually talk to each other. The last few nights of testing the project I saw people from completely different walks of life hanging out, having conversations, laughing, smiling, and getting their photos taken. To me that’s a really positive thing. It makes me smile and it makes other people smile. That’s a nice result.
TW: One of the biggest challenges with the storefront was figuring out how to secure the installation so that it could run for six months. It’s kind of a tough neighborhood with a lot of crime and break-ins. We had to figure out if we wanted to secure the storefront window with wood on the outside. In the end, we decided to secure it from the inside. If presented as a big wooden wall on the outside of the storefront, it would be a bigger target for graffiti or vandalism. I worked with Shane Klare, the carpenter provided by the project manager Michael Bernard. Shane was awesome. He figured out how to secure everything from the inside with all the equipment locked inside the storefront. We spent weeks trying to figure out how to get the right balance of security and aesthetical considerations.
PA: What drew you to take on this project? TW: I do a lot of interactive installations using technology to transform space, whether that’s inside or at a citywide level. I really like this idea of making the city something that doesn’t feel static by adding some dynamic elements to it. Faces was about making it more human, showing actual characters and letting people play with it. Some people have already been hacking it; drawing smiley faces on their hands and taking photos of themselves with their phones. That to me is really exciting, to see how creative people can use this very open tool.
1. Paul Notzold, interview by Public Architecture. November 17, 2010.
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PA: Describe any challenges or opportunities that came up during the development of the installation.
PA: How have people interacted with your project? TW: There were some really interesting characters that became mini stars in the project. While we were testing before the launch, the capture station collected 500 portraits in just about five hours. This guy, Charlie, showed up and proceeded to hang out the entire night. He kept saying, “Hey you—stop! Come have your picture taken.” He grabbed people walking by, old ladies and whole families, picking up the kids, helping them get their photo taken. I was looking through the pictures that we saved that night and every other photo was of Charlie. Initially, I hypothesized that one person might always want to have their face up on the wall and be the king of the block.
ÂŠ Lydia Gonzales
IMG 15 | Faces projects portraits taken at the capture station onto a building wall across the street
It turned into an entrepreneurial sort of thing. I like when an installation gets used in an unexpected way and seeing the surprises, and the creative hacking of our project.
PARTNERS THE ARTERY PROJECT LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET
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AIASF American Institute of Architects San Francisco CMCBD Central Market Community Benefit District GAFFTA Gray Area Foundation for the Arts NCCLF Northern California Community Loan Fund NEA National Endowment for the Arts 46 â”‚ LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET
OEWD Office of Economic and Workforce Development SFAC San Francisco Arts Commission SPUR SanFrancisco Planning + Urban Research Association TEDP Tenderloin Economic Development Project
TIMELINE LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET
2010 MARCH —SFAC — submits proposal to the National Endowment for the Arts Mayors’ Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative (MICD25)
APRIL —SFAC — is invited to submit a full proposal to MICD25 —SFAC — holds grant proposal partners meeting
JULY —Mayor — Gavin Newsom announces $250,000 MICD25 grant award to SFAC
AUGUST —Initial — meeting between SFAC and Public Architecture —To — meet the December launch, Public Architecture hires Virtual Practice as project manager consultant
SEPTEMBER —Public — Architecture submits a shortlist of artist candidates to SFAC —Public — Architecture distributes the project brief to ten artists, includes: scope of work, schedule, site information, and artist fees —SFAC — reviews artist candidates —SFAC — and Public Architecture interview artist candidates —SFAC — selects three artists to participate: Theodore Watson, Paul Notzold, and Jim Campbell —Selected — artists agree to participate —Public — Architecture and SFAC assemble site documentation —Office — of Economic Workforce and Development secures property owners’ support —Sites — are selected —Paul — Notzold and Jim Campbell visit their sites
—Artists — submit concepts for their projects —Artists — commence work
OCTOBER —SFAC — and Public Architecture hold weekly progress meetings with the artists —Theodore — Watson visits the site —SFAC — Letter of agreement is signed by the artists —SFAC — Letter of agreement is signed by the property owners —SFAC — Memorandum of understanding is signed by Public Architecture
NOVEMBER —Artists — begin fabrication —Paul — Notzold completes installation
DECEMBER —Theodore — Watson and Jim Campbell complete their installations —Artists — run systems test —Lights — on Market Street opening!
2011 MAY —SPUR — holds lunch time forum, Nurturing Change on Mid-Market —SFAC — and Public Architecture lead an art walk on Mid-Market for SPUR members
JUNE —Lights — on Market Street closes —Lights — on Market Street artist Theodore Watson speaks at the Gray Area Foundation
AUGUST —The — NEA funding for The ARTery Project is complete
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ANALAGOUS LIGHTING PROJECTS
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET
BUILDING ON NORTH BROAD
LIGHTS ON TAMPA
LUMINOUS PATHWAY PROGRAM NAME Quartier des Spectacles
LOCATION Montreal, Quebec
PROJECT AREA Approximately 1 square kilometer centered on Sainte-Catherine Street, between City Councillors and Saint Hubert streets
PROJECT TYPE Lighting Plan (permanent)
PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and City of Montreal
FUNDING City of Montréal, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and land use in Québec, Canada Economic Development, and participating cultural sectors
In 2003, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership (QDSP) formed to establish a strategy for the development of Quartier des Spectacles, a downtown Montreal neighborhood. The partners collaborated to create a vision based on the enhancement of the neighborhood’s existing cultural assets. Because the district was already a cultural and tourist destination, the partners sought to develop a stronger identity while respecting the Quartier’s special qualities. This identity manifested in a district lighting plan, a new way-finding system, and distinctive new street furniture. 1 QDSP presented the redevelopment plans to the public in 2004 and by the following year they organized a competition for interdisciplinary teams to develop an identity for the Quartier des Spectacles. After a professional workshop, a jury selected a team including Intégral Ruedi Baur Zürich and Intégral Jean Beaudoin Montréal. Launched in 2006, Luminous Pathway was implemented as the strategy to brand Quartier des Spectacles with a friendly identity using energy-saving technology to limit light pollution. Luminous Pathway consists of three components: 1) signature lighting that illuminates the ground floor of entertainment facilities on Sainte-Catherine Street with a carpet of double red circles; 2) architectural and stage lighting that showcases the façades and the identity of cultural venues; and 3) identity and informational signage using a variety of technology and lightbased media. By 2010, nearly a dozen cultural venues in the district had implemented their own lighting plans. 2 Today, one can find eighty cultural venues, including thirty performance halls with almost 28,000 seats, within a square kilometer of the Quartier des Spectacles. The district boasts 45,000 jobs, including 7,000 cultural jobs in education, production, and broadcasting. The area is home to 6,000 residents and supports a diverse demographic, hosting 47,000 students in its cultural institutions and attracting 5 million people to festivals annually. 3
1. About.” Quartier des Spectacles >>>Link 2. “Identity.” Quartier des Spectacles >>>Link 3. QDSMTL. (August 10, 2009). The Quartier des spectacles in 4 minutes (Video file). (July 26, 2022) >>>Link
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Highlights from a conversation with Jonathan Lapalme, Communications Coordinator, and Mikael Charpin, Assistant Director at Quartier des Spectacles 4
How did Quartier des Spectacles come about? Quartier des Spectacles used the common element of light to bring cohesion to the neighborhood. Luminous Pathway dynamically expresses movement in the district. The use of light had immediate results in transforming the district, accelerating revitalization. Montreal is known as a city of pleasure. Over the last century, Quartier des Spectacles experienced its share of spectacle. During the Prohibition era, Americans came to this district known for its darker currents, and the New York mafia followed. Prostitution, gambling, and speakeasies thrived. Today, the red dots of light in the Luminous Pathway are a reminder the district’s infamous past. What has been the impact on the community? Before the Luminous Pathway, people would attend cultural events in the Quartier de Spectacles, but there was no reason to stay afterwards. The district had many empty lots, abandoned buildings, and the rents were cheap.
IMG 16 | Luminous Pathway playfully uses light for way-finding and brings a strong identity to the Quartier des Spectacles
More people are inclined to visit and stay a little longer in the district when public spaces are animated with light. Creative signage using interactive technology and light highlights nighttime performances. From day to night, public spaces are modulated, permitting the harmonious cohabitation of the business world, the life of the neighborhood, and cultural events. 5 Describe some of the partners and their contributions. Each cultural venue in the district selects and commissions a lighting designer or artist to customize a lighting design for their facility. Quartier des Spectacles covers up to 75 percent of the lighting budget, which is funded by the City of Montreal, while the cultural venue covers the rest.
“We don’t want to be like a Broadway, with all the advertisements flashing. We want to be more about culture. It’s about creating an artistic project, not about branding.” Jonathan Lapalme, Quartier des Spectacles
4. Jonathan Lapalme (Communications Coordinator, Quartier des Spectacles) and Mikael Charpin (Assistant Director, Quartier des Spectacles), interview by Public Architecture. February 11, 2011 5. “Identity.” Quartier des Spectacles >>>Link
LIGHTS ON TAMPA LOCATION Tampa, Florida
PROJECT AREA Downtown Tampa, location and sites vary per year
PERMANENT LOCATIONS The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa Convention Center, and the Tampa Municipal Building
PROJECT TYPE Biennial public art program (temporary)
PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP Art Programs Division, City of Tampa and the Friends of Tampa Public Art, a 501(c)3 nonprofit
LIGHTS ON TAMPA 2006
Budget: $1 million, with $750,000 from private funding Duration: three weeks Participating artists: Eva Lee; Juliet Davis and Stephanie Tripp; Molly Schwartz; and Pablo Valbuena Attendance: 20,000 people on opening night
LIGHTS ON TAMPA 2009
Budget: Several million Duration: three weeks Participating artists: Carlton Ward, Jr.; Casa Magica; Chris Doyle; Marina Zurkow; Will Pappenheimer; and Chipp Jansen Attendance: nearly 3 million people over the program run Additional partner: Southwest Florida Water Management District
Lights on Tampa is a biennial program that allows visitors to encounter artistic excellence and emerging technologies in Tampa’s urban environment. The program began in 2006 to give tourists and citizens alike free access to an experience that spotlights Tampa’s regional assets downtown. The program blends art and technology, and commissions the talents of local, national, and international artists. The program returned in 2009 when Tampa hosted the NFL’s Super Bowl XLIII. In 2010, Americans for the Arts recognized Lights on Tampa as one of the fifty most significant art programs in the U.S. in the last fifty years. 1 In 2011, Lights On Tampa was a site-specific onenight event featuring theater, dance, music, and visual art by individual artists and ensembles of local and international acclaim. Participating artists were challenged to consider the subject of intergenerational fun and engagement. 2 Lights on Tampa is gaining a positive reputation. Americans for the Arts Public Art Network named two Lights on Tampa projects in 2006 and one project in 2009 as the best public art installations in the country. The program has become a model for other cities to make positive urban change through arts-focused initiatives.
“It was created as a way to get public art out there and make it noticeable.” People have really fallen in love with it. It’s less about seeing something and more about being part of a something.” Nancy Kipnis, Lights on Tampa3
LIGHTS ON TAMPA 2011
Budget: Over $1 million Duration: one night Participating artists: Erwin Redl; Janet Echelman; Jorge Orta; Stephen Knapp; and Wendy Babcox Additional partners: MetLife, Sykes, Shumaker Loop & Kendrick, AVI – SPL, Tampa Digital Studios, The Tampa Downtown Partnership, The St. Petersburg Times and The National Endowment for the Arts 1. “History.” Lights on Tampa >>>Link 2. “Lights on Tampa 2011,” Lights on Tampa >>>Link 3. Thurston, Susan. “City Will Shine During Lights on Tampa.” The St. Petersburg Times. February 18, 2011 >>>Link
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Highlights from a conversation with Robin Nigh, Manager of Art Programs, City of Tampa Art Programs Division 4
How did Lights on Tampa come about? Downtown Tampa suffered from being too bland. To help change the public’s perception, the partners wanted to bring a cutting-edge and bold program to the area. Lights on Tampa was conceived to cast a completely different light on downtown Tampa. The program creates a unique experience and inspires people to engage with the city in new ways.
© Chip Weiner
Describe some of the other partners and their contributions to Lights on Tampa. From the beginning, Lights on Tampa partners understood the importance of having the most influential people on board to stand up for the project needs. In 2006, the partners sent a white paper to the mayor and won his support. The first chairman came from Verizon and made important calls to increase private funding.
IMG 17 | “Shadow Plays” by Susan Taylor Lennon and Jennifer Rosoff invited participants to cast shadows on a screen 6
Friends of Public Art serves as Lights on Tampa’s fiscal agent and manages the program budget. We found it necessary to have a private partner due to the city’s fiscal limitations. What experiences or lessons learned do you bring to Lights on Tampa? Lights on Tampa has learned to keep the process fluid and not to finalize details until absolutely necessary. The launch of Lights on Tampa 2006 was initially planned for November  but was moved to the following January. Pushing the launch date out gave the organizers more time to realize the projects. What surprises, challenges, or opportunities have you encountered in the process of launching the projects? Launching Lights on Tampa 2009 on Super Bowl Sunday was an opportunity to have a lot more visibility, but it also made our work more stressful. Lights on Tampa lost a big sponsor due to that sponsor’s support of the National Football League. What has been the impact of Lights on Tampa on the community? The exposure Lights on Tampa receives increases every year. The greatest impact has been to re-brand Tampa through series of short-term investments in the city’s infrastructure. 5. Robin Nigh (Manager of Art Programs, City of Tampa Art Programs Division), interview by Public Architecture 6. Weiner, Chip. “Lights on Tampa 2011: Photos of the light fantastic. Daily Loaf. February 20, 2011 >>>Link
BUILDING ON NORTH BROAD STREET PROGRAM NAME Avenue of the Arts
LOCATION Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
PROJECT AREA 3.5 miles on Broad Street, including one block east and west, from Washington Avenue on the south to Glenwood Avenue on the north
PROJECT TYPE Lighting Plan (permanent)
PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI) and the City of Philadelphia
“Avenue of the Arts” is a registered historic district and the heart of Philadelphia’s arts and theater scene. The goal is to become an identifiable “destination” that attracts an unparalleled number of consumers and investors, similar to other famous thoroughfares such as Broadway in New York, the Champs-Elysées in Paris, and Picadilly Circus in London.1 In 2008, the city implemented a lighting design strategy that included a new permanent public lighting display highlighting fourteen buildings in a four-block area on South Broad Street. The display, designed by The Lighting Practice (TLP), creates a nightly “ballet of light,” allowing visitors to appreciate one of the city’s great public spaces. Ongoing programming attracts visitors and residents and promotes the area as a venue for seasonal, entertainment-based celebrations. Beyond providing beauty, safety, and entertainment, the project aims to serve as a catalyst for development of the Avenue. 2 Though most of the attention has been focused on the development of Avenue of the Arts south, now the lighting strategy is beginning to march up Avenue of the Arts north. Stakeholders from community groups, the city, business owners, and developers are working to support the revitalization of the northern corridor of Broad Street. AAI’s Building on North Broad Street initiative establishes the ground for a multi-year urban renewal platform that includes a bold promenade of lights and an array of streetscape plantings that will provide greening, definition, and screening. 3 Most recently, TLP has been at work again on the newly expanded Philadelphia Convention Center, whose North Broad Street façade has exploded with a permanent installation of thousands of LED lights. In 2011, the firm is set to complete another lighting project across the street for the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts’ Lenfest Plaza. In 2007, Avenue of the Arts activities generated an estimated $424 million for the region, with an approximately $150 million in total earnings, and supporting approximately 6,000 jobs. Furthermore, the number of arts organizations located on the Avenue almost doubled, from thirty-one arts organizations in 2003 to fifty-nine in 2007. Visitors to the Avenue are doing their part, too, with arts patrons spending $84.2 million annually. 4 Note the 2007 Econsult study does not distinguish between Avenue of the Arts north and south.
1. “Case for Support”, Avenue of the Arts Inc. >>>Link 2. “Avenue of the Arts.” The Lighting Practice >>>Link 3. “Building on North Broad Project Update.” Avenue of the Arts, August 2, 2011 >>>Link 4. “Economic & Social Impact.” Avenue of the Arts >>>Link
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© Rendering courtesy of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Highlights from a conversation with Karen Lewis, Executive Director, Avenue of the Arts 5
IMG 18 | Building on North Broad Street plans for 55-foot tall light masts down the center median of Avenue of the Arts North
How did Building on North Broad Street come about? The Avenue of the Arts is three and a half miles long—running three miles to the north and a halfmile to the south with City Hall serving as the transition point from north to south. Most people think of South Broad when they think of Avenue of the Arts. Avenue of the Arts south is economically viable, with more cultural institutions and a beautifully lit and vibrant streetscape, while Avenue of Arts north is historically known for its blight and decay. Current efforts are focused on extending the vision of the Avenue of the Arts north on Broad Street. We consulted with the architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) to come up with a concept for North Broad Street that would unify the street and show its potential. From the $40-50 million master plan, AAI allocated $9.2 million in 2010 to move forward with Phase 1 streetscape improvements, including a lighting strategy and greening plan. Describe working with the architects. I chartered a bus and drove the architects down the entire three and half miles of Broad Street. They noticed the historic architecture in the corridor. That’s when they thought about light as a unifying element. At the turn of the century light poles went down the center of Broad Street. BCJ brought the lighting artist James Carpenter onto the project. Together, they came up with a concept for twenty-nine 55-foot-tall light masts to be erected in the Avenue’s center medians. The light masts will be spaced every 300 feet between Spring Garden Street and Norris Street. By September 2011, a full-scale mockup of a light mast will be installed on Temple University’s campus. What has been the best experience for you? Each time AAI shows someone the three-dimensional model of the light mast we see people’s excitement and anticipate the impact the project will have on people. It makes working on this project a rewarding experience and confirms that our work has been worthwhile and beneficial.
“I grew up here, and it’s great to be involved in something where you actually see change happening.” Karen Lewis, Avenue of the Arts, Inc
5. Karen Lewis (Executive Director, Avenue of the Arts), interview by Public Architecture. April 15, 2011.
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SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPARISON When it comes to public art programs, in both good and bad economic times, it’s easy to say that most municipalities’ resources are constrained. As a private partner of the San Francisco Arts Commission, Public Architecture collaborated to realize the successful launch of Lights on Market Street. Through the process, we wished there had been a resource to help us learn from the best practices and lessons of precedent projects, to save our blood, sweat, and tears. This report is intended to be that kind of resource, to aid other cities and their private partners considering a comparable lighting project. Lights on Market Street, Luminous Pathway, Lights on Tampa, and Building on North Broad Street all share some commonality. The public and private partners that accomplished these projects understood the power of light and technology to bring energy and cohesion to their districts. Lights on Tampa struggled to re-identify downtown Tampa as cutting-edge and engaging, not bland, while the rest brought light to blighted areas to attract visitors and new business. They capitalized on the existing cultural assets, from the community of arts organizations and their districts’ unique histories as places of entertainment.
The side-by-side chart compares a range of temporary and permanent lighting projects at a glance MONTREAL, QUEBEC PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA TAMPA, FLORIDA
NO OF ARTISTS
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET 2010-2011
SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Temporary lighting program – occurring once for a run of six months
BUILDING ON NORTH BROAD 2011 (ONGOING)
Permanent lighting plan, a first phase of streetscape improvements that also includes greening.
LUMINOUS PATHWAY 2006 (ONGOING)
LIGHTS ON TAMPA 2006 2009 201 1
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Permanent lighting plan
Temporary lighting program - one evening to three weeks; occurring biennially
National Endowment for the Arts Mayors’ Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Award
Opening night attended by several thousand people Faces, on average, captured 100-150 portraits every night, or roughly 22,500 portraits over the life of the project Lights on Market Street video counts over 700 views, flickr photos receive 900-plus views
“Great Streets” Honor Roll, American Planning Association 2010
AAI formed a maintenance committee to respond to the city’s requirements of a maintenance agreement for all capital improvement projects. 40 organizations expressed interest in participating
Five national and international awards, including the International Illumination Design Award grand prize for excellence
“50/50: Important, Impressive, Influential, Personally Pivotal Public Art of the Last 50 Years.” Americans for the Arts 2010 Half-Century Summit in Baltimore, Maryland, in June, 2010. Americans for the Arts Public Art Network, “best public art installations in the country,” two projects in 2006 and one project in 2009 Urban Excellence Award, Tampa Downtown Partnership Best of the Bay award, Creative Loafing
Over a dozen cultural venues have contributed to the lighting plan and implemented a custom lighting design on their façade
20,000 visitors on opening night (2006) 3 million visitors over three weeks (2009)
IMG 19 | CityPlace will be located on the south side of Market Street, between 5th and 6th Streets
60 â”‚ LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET
LOOKING FORWARD MID-MARKET FUTURE INTIATIVES In the last few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the revitalization and development of Mid-Market. The opportunities are plentiful and hopes are high that initiatives that build on the assets of the neighborhood will help it to flourish. Plans and proposals from the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), and others are consistent in their vision to improve Mid-Market through a series of interventions with multiple partners. Mid-Market cannot become a healthy cultural district with broad-stroke initiatives, nor can only one group do it alone. The following is a list of resources and initiatives aimed at revitalizing Mid-Market.
“There are many different aspects in terms of revitalizing a neighborhood. Small-scale projects won’t be cure-alls, but we want things we can manage and test to see how they work.” Daniel Hurtada, Executive Director, Central Market Community Business District1
Better Market Street | City of San Francisco and several city agencies This plan focuses on creating active public spaces. Its overarching goal is to “make Market Street the signature sustainable street in San Francisco and the Bay Area by creating a memorable and active identity, with gathering spaces, the ability to promenade, and a vibrant public life.” 2 Mid-Market Redevelopment Plan | City and County of San Francisco Redevelopment Agency The agency has initiated the process necessary for the city to reconsider a Mid-Market Redevelopment Plan. The adoption of a MidMarket Redevelopment Plan would allow the city to utilize tax-increment financing, a longterm and stable funding source, to invest in the physical rehabilitation of existing buildings and spaces, new mixed-use affordable housing, and arts-focused catalyst projects in the area. Can a great street be great again? How to transform Market Street | SPUR The July 2011 issue of the Urbanist updates the conversation around SPUR’s long-term plan for Mid-Market, 3 a report published almost a decade ago. Topics include linking the fortunes of the Tenderloin and Mid-Market districts, strategies for a vital economy on Mid-Market, and using arts districts as a redevelopment tool. CityPlace development | Urban Realty Co., Inc. CityPlace is a proposal for 250,000 square feet of new retail on Market Street between 5th and 6th. These stores will be more budget-friendly than the high-end stores in Westfield San Francisco Center down the street. CityPlace is currently under development by Urban Realty, Commonfund Realty, Gensler, and Plant Construction. Architecture and the City: Renewal of San Francisco’s Mid Market Area | HOK In 2010, the architecture firm HOK held an eightweek charrette that began by identifying the problems that plague Mid-Market. They made an agreement that all solutions would conform to the principles of being actionable, sustainable, scalable, and realistic. The team arrived at a simple adaptive-reuse solution using Market Street’s newspaper kiosks. The plan proposed repurposing the kiosks for a number of modern applications, including: an anchor for food trucks, an artist-in-residence booth, a ticket kiosk, and a
1. King, John. “SF’s Mid-Market: Small Steps Point to Potential.” SF Gate, November 8, 2010 >>>Link
2. About Better Market Street.” Better Market Street, February 9, 2010 >>>Link 3. Mid-Market Street Redevelopment District: A Plan for Incremental Change. San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR), January 16, 2002 >>>Link
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Lights on Market Street Artists Jim Campbell www.jimcampbell.tv Theodore Watson www.theowatson.com Paul Notzold www.txtualhealing.com
LIGHTS ON MARKET STREET is a publication of Public Architecture
American Institute of Architects San Francisco www.aiasf.org
EDITOR & PROJECT MANAGER Amy Ress – GRAPHIC DESIGN Cynthia Garcia –
Black Rock Arts Foundation www.blackrockarts.org Central City Hospitality House www.hospitalityhouse.org Central Market Community Benefit District www.central-market.org Gray Area Foundation for the Arts www.gaffta.org Luggage Store Gallery www.luggagestoregallery.org National Endowment for the Arts www.nea.gov People in Plazas www.peopleinplazas.org Public Architecture www.publicarchitecture.org Lights on Market Street, Public Architecture’s four-part video series www.vimeo.com/24034928 San Francisco Arts Commission www.sfartscommission.org San Francisco Beautiful Mid-Market Report www.sfbeautiful.org/images/other/ MarketReport_0910.pdf
Public Architecture staff and volunteers contributors: Amy Ress, Anna McCorvey, Cali Pfaff, Cynthia Garcia, Dennis Madamba, Ellen Anderson, John Peterson, Leah Nichols, Liz Ogbu, Ruth Keffer
SPECIAL THANKS TO
National Endowment for the Arts San Francisco Arts Commission Judy Nemzoff, Jill Manton, Robynn Takayama Office of Economic Workforce Development – Amy Cohen, Ellyn Parker Virtual Practice – Michael Bernard Avenue of the Arts, Inc. – Karen Lewis Lights on Tampa – Robin Nigh Quartier des Spectacles – Jonathan Lapalme and Mikael Charpin – And thanks to the many photographers who contributed to this publication – Established in 2002, Public Architecture is a national nonprofit organization. Visit www.publicarchitecture.org for more information. – This publication was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts: www.nea.gov – This publication is licensed by Public Architecture under a Creative Commons AttributionNoncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States www.creativecommons.org/licenses
Tenderloin Economic Development Project www.nomnicsf.com
Historically, the central stretch of San Francisco’s main artery Market Street was home to a thriving and fashionable theater arts district. Most of the old-time theaters have since closed, but a handful, like The Orpheum and The Warfield, are a vibrant reminder of Mid-Market’s former glory. In the late 1960s, the neighborhood was transformed with the introduction of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which brought a world-class underground transit system to San Francisco’s main street. But Market Street businesses— already pained by the exodus of city dwellers to the outlaying Bay Area suburbs—suffered through the long construction process. The challenges continue today, with most San Franciscans identifying Mid-Market by its persistent social and economic struggles. Yet there is growing optimism that a groundswell of public and private efforts is beginning to create real and lasting change. The collective hope is to reestablish the area as a premier arts and cultural district. A number of arts organizations and technology companies are now choosing the district as their home. Launched in the summer of 2010, Lights on Market Street was one of the significant efforts to encourage Mid-Market’s revitalization, and featured commissioned light and technology-based art installations by Paul Notzold, Theodore Watson, and Jim Campbell. It was part of a larger incubatory twelve-month, arts-focused revitalization strategy funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Mayors’ Institute on City Design. This report focuses on the context, collaborators, and outcomes surrounding the three large-scale public light installations that anchor the Lights on Market Street program. It includes historic assessment, precedents, and project analysis. These components help provide a comprehensive view of the process and partnerships it takes to realize an initiative like Lights on Market Street. This report is intended to serve as a case study for city agencies and their partners as they consider or embark on comparable arts and culture initiatives.
Launched in December 2010, Lights on Market Street was a temporary public art initiative produced as an effort to help revitalize San Franci...
Published on Jan 4, 2012
Launched in December 2010, Lights on Market Street was a temporary public art initiative produced as an effort to help revitalize San Franci...