Fort Mason
While there’s currently no budget to implement, invitations have been sent to a select group of firms to participate in a design competition for “creative and practical” concepts to “enliven and integrate” the 13-acre waterfront campus that is San Francisco’s Fort Mason.

While Fort Mason Center has been successful in offering programming and events that are diverse and engaging, the campus lacks a clear identity and cohesion that often prevents visitors from understanding the variety of uses on the site.

In addition, the campus includes spaces and amenities that have not been fully utilized to further Fort Mason Center’s mission, notably the vacant Pier One and the campus’s public realm, with a 437-space parking lot and an advantageous location on the bay.

Designed by the military with gates and retaining walls to separate the Fort from the city, ideas for improving its connection is a key element on which concepts will be judged.
A public presentation of the finalists’ concepts is tentatively scheduled for October 15.
Fort Mason Center 2012 Design Competition Brief [fortmason.org]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by unwarrantedinlaw

    Fort Mason is great as it is. Perhaps it was inevitable that parasites would get around to finding ways to kill this golden goose. It will be sad to see what these morons do to screw it up.

  2. Posted by futurist

    Unfortunate you choose to call people parasites and morons.
    Fort Mason has many great aspects already, but could support some changes to the amenities: better signage and graphics to promote the venues, more landscaping, perhaps less parking, more outdoor seating areas, upgrade to some of the buildings with better entry points, steps, ramps and approaches.
    One doesn’t have to assume changes mean “screwing it up”.

  3. Posted by DCR

    So who are the six invited firms?

  4. Posted by Around1905

    Fort mason is a wonderful place as it. It’s big problem is that it is so cut off from everything else. From the west you face this wasteland of parking lots, then the walls of fort mason itself, then more parking lots. Although there is a footpath it seems lost. Widening the path into a promenade and shrinking the parking lots would go a long way.

  5. Posted by Scott

    Yes. Fix the suburban style parking lot and bring the Fline to Fort Mason. The place needs to be more pedestrian friendly.

  6. Posted by eddy

    We need a giant ferris wheel and formula based chain restaurants there. Just kidding, but something interesting like a mixed used version Navy Pier in Chicago that is focused on more arts, culture and some activity for kids could be great. Maybe we already have Fishermans Wharf but as a long time resident I generally stay far away. But if they ever cleaned up the museum on the other side of Ft Mason and build a nice pedestrian walkway along the waterfront that connected the two sides in a nice way it could be very nice.

  7. Posted by Fishchum

    What about incorporating the F-Line? Isn’t there a tunnel in place already that would allow for the trolleys to connect the Ferry Building and Ft. Mason?

  8. Posted by invented

    “What about incorporating the F-Line? Isn’t there a tunnel in place already that would allow for the trolleys to connect the Ferry Building and Ft. Mason?”
    The F will eventually go to Fort Mason and probably the Presidio.
    (none too soon imo – connect the city).
    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectId=15547

  9. Posted by bernalkid

    Anybody have any idea why Pier 1 has never been used? Does it need reconstruction therefore money? Hard to believe that there was no demand for the place if it was usable, but don’t really know the place. Big shed like the embarcadero piers?

  10. Posted by rubber_chicken

    Great project.
    The challenge: “Proposals for Pier One should incorporate Fort Mason Center’s need to be financially self-sufficient”
    Hmmm. Tech use? Hotel? Medical Pot farm?
    It will take a nimble imagination not to screw it up. But to say leave-it-as-is is silly. Look at the high-line or our own ferry building as positive examples (though not to be replicated here).

  11. Posted by jlasf

    A Cavallo Point-type hotel. Seems like a nice idea.

  12. Posted by SocketSite

    With respect to extending Muni’s historic streetcar service to Fort Mason: What The F-Line.

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