SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

Freeway off-ramp at the corner of Mission, Otis and Duboce Streets

Bonnie Sherk, Portable Park II (26th June 1970)



The second site of the Portable Park […] was on two concrete islands underneath a freeway off-ramp. For this site there were more cows and also chickens involved, picnic tables, and bales of straw. It was a participatory piece for many pedestrians and art lovers, and a tableau for those in cars. (Burnham and Sherk  1981: 50)

I remember vividly having to get an “encroachment permit” from Caltrains for the freeway where it crossed Market Street for Portable Park 1 on for the concrete islands adjacent to the Mission/Van Ness offramp for Portable Park II. I went with the prominent architect Piero Patri to visit the director of Caltrains. His name was Mr. Hart. On his desk was a small, framed drawing of the Golden Gate Bridge tunnel on the Marin side with a painted rainbow. At the time he was contemplating whether or not to pursue that imagery for the tunnel, and he asked my opinion as to whether or not he should go forward with that painting. Of course I said yes, and when I saw that he was even considering that makeover, I knew that he would agree to give me the necessary permit for Portable Parks. Mr. Hart had vision, a sense of humor, and a big heart. It was an amazing time! Very different today. 
(Cavagnaro and Sherk 2012)

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