Since late 2009, Friends of
the Music Concourse has been concerned about the placement of vendors and other equipment in the Music Concourse. We have talked about our concerns both at the Historic Preservation Commission and at the Recreation and
Park Commission. We appreciate that the Department of Recreation and Park (RPD)
moved the hot dog stand out of the center of the Concourse Bowl, first to the sidewalk on the south side of the Bowl, and,
most recently, behind the Bandshell.
In recent months, other food
vendors have been added to the hot dog stand, and there are plans for more vendors in the same area. We toured this area with RPD recently and appreciate the opportunity given to discuss these plans with
We understand the need for
RPD to earn income to support its programming. However, although alterations
within the landmark boundary that are temporary installation do not require a Certificate of Appropriateness, the carts have
been in the Music Concourse area for over a year now, and the new contracts will be for five years. We do not consider a five-year presence of food carts to be temporary.
According to the landmark legislation,
alterations that require a Certificate of Appropriateness include:
" 1) A
plan or proposal involving the removal, relocation, replacement or significant alteration to the appearance of contributory
features within the landmark boundary listed in Attachment F, or introduction of new features not already established in
the landmark boundary. "[Italics added]
Therefore, we request that
the Department of Recreation and Park (RPD) submit a Certificate of Appropriateness before these concessions become a long-term
feature of this historic site.
In addition, there are greater
issues than the presence of specific vendors. We ask that the Department of Recreation
and Park present a long-term plan for both the area behind the Bandshell and the bus parking lot. We suggest consulting the Golden Gate Park Master Plan and following the spirit of this design, which is
that of an attractive, high-quality area to match the dignity and spirit of the overall Music Concourse. We also suggest that this long-term plan include the type of vendors, the locations and extent of the equipment,
the appearance of the equipment, the activities (eating, bicycling, Segway training) supported in the area, and the style,
color and materials of the seating and tables that will be provided by the vendors.
The Music concourse is a classic,
peaceful space that provides a beautiful respite for San Franciscans and visitors alike from the pressures and commercialism
that permeate our 21st century society. It is a special place, unique
in San Francisco and perhaps in the world. The Department of Recreation and Park
has taken care that the original design and materials be preserved, and at great expense.
We encourage RPD to also preserve the special feeling of this area in its development of commercial opportunities behind