San Francisco to Develop Treasure Island as Major Cultural Site

2017-06-15 17:08:02

 

San Francisco to Develop Treasure Island as Major Cultural Site

Earlier this year, George Lucas rejected Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay as the home for his new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. But San Francisco arts officials remain committed to developing the island as a major cultural destination and this week are releasing their Treasure Island “arts master plan” to the public.

The goal is to create a cultural tourism destination akin to Governors Island in New York, which has become a playground for contemporary artists and their followers. (Children flock there, too.)

Developed by the San Francisco Arts Commission, a city agency, the Treasure Island plan entails spending nearly $50 million on artwork over a 20-year period, with funding during that time coming from a “1 percent for art” program that collects a fraction of the new project’s costs from the island’s developers.

First up, the agency is working to commission three large-scale sculptures, through an open invitation for proposals to be detailed on the arts commission website by the end of the month.

“We are encouraging individual artists, artist teams and studios to apply,” Tom DeCaigny, San Francisco’s director of cultural affairs, said.

He added that the grant for each artwork would range from $1 million to $2 million. “We really want a signature work to greet you upon your arrival at the ferry building, so that would be the largest commission,” he said.

The plan describes additional commissions for sculptures, performance, video art and plays, with an existing chapel to be used as a theater.

An artificial island on a natural reef, Treasure Island was built to host the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939. That world’s fair celebrated the completion of the Bay Bridge, which connects the island to the mainland, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge nearby. Starting in World War II, the island served as a naval base.

Now the windy island has limited schools and spotty services for some 2,000 inhabitants, but plans are underway to build apartments, hotels and retail stores to serve 20,000 to 25,000 residents, with art planted throughout the island’s parks and public spaces.

Governors Island has 172 acres. Treasure Island has 405. “This will be the largest development of open space in San Francisco since the Golden Gate Park was built in 1871,” Mr. DeCaigny said.

Add comment