The Northern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) has selected Joe DiMaggio Playground as a public works project of the year. San Francisco Public Works provided design, engineering and construction management for the park renovation. The 105-year-old park was improved with funds from the 2012 Clean & Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. The San Francisco Recreation & Park Department managed the improvement project and opened the playground in November 2015. The award will be presented at a luncheon where outstanding public works projects are recognized on Feb. 25.
“It’s a great honor to receive this award and be recognized by our peers,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “Joe DiMaggio Playground is finally worthy of its namesake and will be a model for future playground design in San Francisco.”
Joe DiMaggio Playground is approximately a 110,000 square foot park with a children’s play area, tennis courts, bocce courts, pool building and sport courts. It is located immediately adjacent to the North Beach Pool and Clubhouse, as well as the newly constructed North Beach Branch Library (opened in 2014). The $7.3 million renovation project was funded by the 2012 Parks Bond, State Housing Related Park Program Grant, and a generous donation from the Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground.
The park is named for the legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio, who grew up playing at (formerly) North Beach Playground.
The renovation expanded and improved the safety of the children’s play area and adheres to ADA requirements. The upgrades also included additional landscaping and seating throughout the Park. The design transformed one block of Mason Street from a street with vehicular traffic into a public park space – this was conceived to make this a neighborhood gathering place with the new library.
“The playground and new branch library were designed together as part of a community driven master plan,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “It’s exciting to see that effort recognized and celebrated.”
The 8,500-square-foot library was planned in concert with the park so that its windows overlook the entire park and its plaza entrance leads directly to the playground. The library also includes dedicated, separate children’s and teen’s rooms, in addition to a community program room for neighborhood activities, creating an entire block that is a true family friendly hub for North Beach. Public Works also managed the planning, design and construction of the new library.
“The work and thought that went into building this community space deserves to be commended,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park’s General Manager. “Joe DiMaggio Playground is now a premiere park in a vibrant neighborhood hub.”
The American Public Works Association is an international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies and individuals dedicated to providing high quality public works goods and services. Chartered in 1937, APWA is the largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world with over 28,000 members. The Association currently consists of 67 chapters throughout North America.