Blue bridge will remain and be repaired again

The often vandalized blue glass panels will remain on the bridge at Geary and Fillmore.

Despite an earlier recommendation that it be removed and relocated or put into storage, “Blue,” the public artwork on the bridge at Fillmore and Geary, will remain in place.

At a recent meeting, the citizens advisory council was told by officials from the Redevelopment Agency, which commissioned the artwork, that it would be too expensive to take it down. “It will cost at least $300,000 and perhaps as much as $500,000 to remove it,” the Redevelopment Agency’s Gaynelle Armstrong told the group. “And that doesn’t include storage.”

Instead, Armstrong said, it will cost about $20,000 to repair the glass panels and another $20,000 each year to maintain them. She noted the bridge may be changed as part of a new Geary transit plan.

The blue glass panels etched with words reflecting the area’s disparate ethnic groups have been repeatedly vandalized since the artwork was installed a decade ago. Some of the glass panels have already been replaced, some more than once.

“This thing is an eyesore,” said Barbara Meskunas, vice chair of the advisory council. “If we’re not going to take it down, it needs to be fixed.”

Rev. Arnold Townsend, who chairs the council, said the problems are caused by rowdy fans attending concerts next door at the Fillmore auditorium. “As long as it’s there, it’s going to be vandalized,” he said.

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One Response

  1. I  would like to  respond to Rev. Arnold Townsend, who stated the reason the blue glass on the Fillmore-Geary bridge is vandalized is because of the “rowdy patrons who attend concerts at the Fillmore Auditorium.”

    I have worked at the Fillmore for nearly 12 years, most of it at the front door during the shows with a clear view of the bridge. I have  never seen any  patron, rowdy or not, do any damage to the glass. And I am there well past when our  patrons leave the area.  Unless he actually saw someone leaving our venue and vandalizing it, I think he’s  using our venue as an excuse. 

    I remember when the glass was installed.  I was very excited to see it go in since my mom works for the Redevelopement Agency and told me about  restoration of the jazz influence in the Fillmore District.  Unfortunately, there is always someone who has no respect for the neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean it’s our customers only, as he implies, if them at all. A lot of businesses and storefronts are vandalized or tagged  in this neighborhood, including the Fillmore Auditorium. We always try to do our best to keep our corner clean and try to look out for our fellow neighbors,  since we all have to work or live here.  I think that goes for our patrons as well,  who come from all over the Bay Area  to have a good time and spend their money in the Fillmore District.

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