sist the budget-cutting onslaught. And today the
park continues to suffer from natural disasters, old age and financial neglect. In recent
months, however, Brown has spoken forcefully about using private funding to help fix park
problems. And in unveiling a new plan for Golden Gate Park's southeastern end, the city is
taking on an area that has become symbolic of many of those problems.
The Alvord Lake
area, fronting on Stanyan and Waller streets, is a gateway to other sections of the park.
Yet the homeless and drug users so dominate the area that many parents and other park
visitors are often afraid to use it.
Under the concept developed by Joel Robinson, the city's recreation and park manager,
the area would be transformed into a haven for family recreation, a place where people
would roller-skate in the summer and ice-skate in the winter and kids would clamber over
In the northern section, the plan calls for an in-line skating rink that could be
converted into ice-skating in the winter. The area is designed to replace the ad hoc
skating scene on John F. Kennedy Drive and would include terraced seating for spectators
and a family picnic area.
At the southern end would be a skateboard and roller-skate park, complete with bowls
and curving tracks so that, as Brown said, skaters ``can kill themselves if they choose.''
In the middle, Alvord Lake would get an amphitheater for puppet shows, mimes and other
performances. Nearby would be a kids' playground with shapes of animals and storybook
characters for younger children to play on.
Along Stanyan Street would be a broad pedestrian promenade. Parts of the area, if not
all of it, would be closed off at night to prevent homeless people from moving in, said
Donna Ernston, executive director of Friends of Recreation and Park, which helped develop
``We were really thrilled to hear that (Mayor Brown) had endorsed the ideas for the new
east end,'' said Ernston, whose organization is midway through a highly praised
restoration of the park's western end. ``It's going to make a huge difference for the way
the park serves people.''
Brown said the $2.5 million project will be privately funded, and the city already has
received a commitment of $500,000. ``We're already a long ways down the road,'' Brown
said. The mayor did not identify the source of the $500,000.
``It's a fantastic idea, and it can be done by drawing on private funding,'' said
Supervisor Susan Leal. ``There are foundations and corporations in town just dying to be
asked'' to participate.
Includes open, in-line skating track that would convert to ice-skating rink in the
winter. Terraced hillside would accomodate spectators. .
An amphitheater with lakeside stage would provide a new venue for puppet shows, mimes
and other performances.
The park would include a freestyle court, slalom run and bowls.
A broad pedestrian promenade, well-lit and lined with trees, would run the length of
Stanyan Street, from Waller to John F. Kennedy Drive.
Adjacent to a picnic area would be a new playground with shapes of animals and
storybook characters for young children to play on.