Earlier today, we received a tip from Gerard K. about possible damage being done to a plaque that's part of the Rainbow Honor Walk in the Castro.
Gerard's Facebook post explained what was going on in the image:
"Looks like Tennessee Williams risks getting at least a few scrapes from an excavation job happening nearby. Castro Street in front of Sliders (between 17th and 18th streets)."
Comments on the post included questions as to why the plaques couldn't simply be covered during construction work, fear of the specific plaque being scratched, and anger over what some deemed "disrespectful" treatment of the plaque.
Rainbow Honor Walk Chair David Perry commented, expressing his annoyance with the Department of Public Works over the incident, and saying that he was looking into the issue with the help of Supervisor Scott Wiener.
"Am waiting on a response from DPW and have asked Scott to investigate. Every bit of the money for these plaques -- $5000 each -- was raised privately. But, I can ASSURE you that any damage done will result in a bill to the City. DPW and the City have been very supportive but this is a truly bone-headed 'public works moment.'"
Perry also assured readers that the plaque was probably fine.
"Fortunately, however, the plaques are sturdy and quite scratch resistant."
We reached out to Perry to try to get any additional comment on the incident. "We are aware of the situation and working on it with Supervisor Wiener and the Dept. Of Public Works," he told us.
In general, the plaques are steam-cleaned by the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District when they do regular sidewalk cleaning. "Also, other merchants—voluntarily—care for the plaques in front of their places of business," Perry told us.
Have you seen other Rainbow Walk plaques in similar states of distress? Let us know in the comments.
UPDATE, 10/19/15: Supervisor Scott Wiener commented on the incident, saying that it was unclear if the plaque sustained any damage, but that necessary steps would need to be taken in the future:
"This also brings up the larger issue that when contractors are doing work on Castro Street, one of the conditions of their permit needs to be that they protect the plaques. I’m working with DPW to make sure appropriate administrative changes are made to make that happen."