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Reenergizing a San Francisco Neighborhood

Mid-Market Revitalization
San Francisco, California, USA

“It is not an empty relic any longer. It’s reborn and very much giving life to Central Market.”

Justin Kelly
Design Team Member, HOK

When a group of designers gathered to brainstorm ways to revitalize San Francisco’s downtrodden Mid-Market district, they knew they had to begin with small steps.

The team determined that the district’s shuttered newspaper kiosks presented an opportunity. Their plan called for the green, Parisian-style newsstands – used as advertising space – to be transformed to fulfill a more functional, dynamic purpose.

In conjunction with AIA San Francisco’s Architecture and the City Festival, a charrette group developed ideas for the pro-bono project. Designers envisioned the kiosks’ reincarnation as space for artists-in-residence or theater ticket sales.

In the fall of 2011, the effort saw its first success: a free bike repair station opened in a kiosk on 7th Street. The team hopes the new shop is the first of many abandoned newsstands to find a fresh purpose and help reenergize the area.


8 November 2010
“SF’s Mid-Market: Small Steps Point to Potential”
San Francisco Chronicle