Expanded Parklet, Recreated Historic Arch Proposed For Fillmore & California

The intersection of Fillmore and California streets is one of the area's most bustling, particularly the busy corner that houses Dino & Santino's, Pizzeria Delfina, and Smitten Ice Cream.

Now, the Fillmore Merchants Association is proposing an extension of Delfina's existing parklet to create a public space at the intersection—complete with a modern recreation of one of the historic arches that once lined the corridor.

At a community meeting at Dino & Santino's on November 15th, the Merchants Association unveiled the plans, which were designed by the parklet's original architect, Siol Studios.

The plans call for extending the parklet east on California Street, adding a bulbout, and creating a landscaped area and public seating in place of the parking spots currently fronting the three businesses and the Preston Apartments. 

Fillmore and Sutter in days past. | Photo: George Fanning, SFMTA/SF Public Library History Center

Fillmore once had 14 iron arches lining the corridor. They were erected in 1907 in the wake of the earthquake, and taken down in 1943, to be used as scrap iron in the war effort. 

“At one time, Fillmore Street was considered the most illuminated street in the city," said Vas Kirnis, the executive director of the Fillmore Merchants Association. “We want to illustrate that history and draw some awareness—there are many people who don’t know the history of the area. We feel this is a good community-building project.”

Attendees at a community event spotlighting the proposed changes. | Photo: Meaghan M. Mitchell/Hoodline

If they can move this project forward, Siol Studios architect Kevin Hackett said Siol may attempt to get consensus for adding more arches along the corridor, uniting the various intersections.

"It's not just about this particular intersection at California," he said. "The storytelling process of these arches is a wonderful metaphor for where we can go to stitch this street together."

"The Fillmore is the urban spine of the city," said Kirnis. "I believe it connects all the neighborhoods surrounding it, like Divisadero, the Marina, and the Haight. We have to find a way to highlight that."

For updates on the proposed project, visit the Fillmore Arch Facebook page.

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Expanded parklet recreated historic arch proposed for fillmore california