Rec & Park To Weigh Justin Herman Plaza Name Change Next Month

Rec & Park To Weigh Justin Herman Plaza Name Change Next MonthJustin Herman Plaza. | Photo: Shani Heckman/Flickr
Carrie Sisto
Published on September 21, 2017

After the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution to rename Justin Herman Plaza this week, the Recreation and Park Commission is expected to take up the issue next month. 

The resolution, which was sponsored by all 11 supervisors, argued that Herman does not embody San Francisco’s values of “equity, inclusion, and forward thinking.”

It called for Justin Herman Plaza to be renamed Embarcadero Plaza as the city determines a new name. 

Before any name change occurs, the Recreation and Parks Commission must approve the resolution. It is expected to consider the issue at its October 19th meeting, Rec and Parks spokesperson Connie Chan said.

Justin Herman Plaza | Photo: SF Rec and Park

The Rec and Parks Commission will conduct its conversations about this issue in a public forum during the October meeting, Chan said. She added that the commissioners were unlikely to comment prior to the meeting. 

If the commission approves the resolution, the plaza will be called Embarcadero Plaza. District 3 supervisor Aaron Peskin will also lead a public outreach to identify a new honoree whose name will grace the plaza.

In 2015, a Bayview couple petitioned to have the plaza renamed for author Maya Angelou, who was also San Francisco's first African-American cable car conductor.

For now, that initiative is on hold until the commission takes action, Peskin spokesperson Sunny Angulo told us. 

Spicy Unlimited food festival, Justin Herman Plaza. | Photo: Geri Koeppel/Hoodline

Renaming the plaza could also cost more than expected. We had previously reported that it would cost $5,200 to change signs to display the plaza's new name, but Chan said updating maps and other systems would accrue additional costs.

At this point, how much it would cost to temporarily rename the plaza to Embarcadero Plaza—and then after a new honoree is selected—is not clear.