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Trespasser's Delight

Lauren Murrow | July 31, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

Legal or not, skateboarding has always been a prime San Francisco pastime. So when the Department of Public Works floated the idea of filling the dilapidated 21,000-square-foot parking lot abutting Zeitgeist in the Mission with a skate park, “it was the most skaters we’ve ever had at a community meeting,” says landscape architect Koa Pickering.

That was five years ago. This month, skaters can finally glide across the finished product: a $3.3 million concrete playground in the shadow of the Central Freeway devoted to street skate boarding. (“Birdman” Tony Hawk kicked in $10,000.) The park was conceived by Canadian design firm New Line Skateparks, which surveyed the local skate community.

Various ramps, banks, ledges, and stairs were inspired by iconic skateboarding destinations like the San Francisco Armory (aka 3-Up 3-Down), the old Federal Building, and Justin Herman plaza. ”The skaters them selves had a huge input,” says Pickering. (As did pet owners: The skate park is flanked by a 7,000-square-foot synthetic-turf dog run, complete with a built-in irrigation system for nightly wash-downs.)

The park was under construction for over six months, but the skaters who showed up in the beginning saw it through. “Oh yeah, they’ve been dedicated,” sighs Pickering. “They kept breaking into the construction site at night to test out the ledges.” Duboce Ave. at Stevenson St., 6 am to 10 pm

Originally published in the August issue of San Francisco

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