Georgia Lindsay



After over a decade of reports, designs, and public outreach, the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco was dedicated in 1976. Using historical documents such as government reports, design guidelines, letters, meeting minutes, and newspaper articles from archives, I argue that while the construction of the UN Plaza has failed to completely transform the social and economic life of the area, it succeeds in creating a genuinely public space. The history of the UN Plaza can serve both as a cautionary tale for those interested in changing property values purely through changing design, and as a standard of success in making a space used by a true cross-section of urban society.


United Nations Plaza; Lawrence Halprin; urban renewal; Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART); public space

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