San Francisco

Golden Gate Park's Sharon Meadow To Be Renamed For Robin Williams

Three years after the actor's passing, the city is honoring Robin Williams by renaming Sharon Meadow after the comedian and actor, who started his career in San Francisco.

Going forward, the area surrounded by Sharon Arts Studio, the lawn bowling court, tennis courts, as well as Koret Children’s Playground and the historic Carousel will be called Robin Williams Meadow.

As we reported last year, the effort to rename the space began after local comedians Will and Debi Durst launched a fundraiser in an effort to build support for celebrating Williams' life and legacy with the name change.

"Through his comedy, Robin Williams brought so much light into this world, which is why it is fitting that we are naming a beautiful outdoor meadow in his honor," Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement.

Robin Williams and Debi Durst in 2010. | Photo: Dave Pokorny

The name change is partly due to the fact that the meadow is also the location for Comedy Day, an annual free event which is celebrating its 37th year on Sunday.

Debi told us last year that Williams was a huge part of Comedy Day. "There were times we wouldn't have had a Comedy Day if he hadn't stepped up, but we couldn't tell anyone when he was alive," she said.

"Because the event’s mission embodies Mr. Williams’ true nature as a comedian and kind spirit as a human being, it is so fitting to name this meadow after Mr. Williams," said Phil Ginsburg, Rec and Parks' general manager.

Robin Williams at Comedy Day. | PHOTO: Comedy Day

Christopher Pollock, Rec and Park's historian-in-residence, notes in his book that the field was identified in 1894 as an ideal site for the Sharon Art Building, a Victorian Romanesque style structure designed by George Washington Percy and Frederick F. Hamilton.

It was named after William Sharon, banker, Nevada senator, and a partner in the Financial District's Palace Hotel. After the 1906 earthquake, the meadow also served as an emergency hospital and commissary.

"Robin was a friend not only to me, but to Comedy Day and the entire City of San Francisco," said Debi Durst in a statement. "We miss him horribly, and think it is only fitting that this wonderful Meadow, where he made so many people laugh and forget their troubles for the day will be named in his honor."

Comedy Day takes place on Sunday from noon to 5pm in Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park. Visit the official schedule for a lineup of performers and set times. Admission is free.

Golden Gate Park, Inner Sunset, Upper Haight

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