Warmwater Cove and San Francisco’s Eastern Waterfront
Sitting at the end of 24th Street in San Francisco is a small waterfront park called Warmwater Cove. Neglected, polluted, and isolated from nearby areas, this patch of scruffy land is known by many as Toxic Tire Beach. It’s surrounded by a Muni rail yard, a crane storage facility, the future site of a peaker power plant, an active power plant, and two historic sugar warehouses (featured above). It’s not exactly the most inviting of parks, but it has an overwhelming redeeming value: spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay.
This summer, I was the Piero N. Patri Fellow in Urban Design at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR). The Fellowship is a partnership between SPUR, the Port of San Francisco, the Neighborhood Parks Council and the design firm EDAW.
It was a pretty great summer. I got to know a part of San Francisco I haven’t seen as much, learned a good deal about ecological systems on the Bay, and dived head-first into the politics of development in the city’s Central Waterfront. The area is mostly industrial right now, with some housing in the Dogpatch area. There’s a good deal of pressure to develop that area, and how that happens, and for whom, will be an issue the city will be grappling with for some time.
The scope of this project was focused on the park itself and the adjacent properties, while looking less at the overall landuse of the area. I proposed an “elemental skate park” and the rehabilitation of the beautiful sugar warehouses north of the park. The plan got some press in the SF Examiner,
You can download the final document here.
I’d appreciate your feedback and suggestions. You can contact me at michaelernst [at] berkeley.edu.