John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
People are encouraged to scribble notes to loved ones on the intricate, 37-foot-high wood structure.
San Franciscans no longer need trek to Nevada’s desert to get a taste of Burning Man. They can simply visit Patricia’s Green in the tony, family-friendly neighborhood of Hayes Valley, which recently sprouted something that looks like a Thai temple crossed with an ayahuasca dream.
The 37-foot-high structure was made by David Best, a sculptor known for constructing immense, intricate structures that are sometimes set aflame at the end of Burning Man. (Please don’t do that to this one, though.) It’s the second iteration of the “The Temple at Patricia’s Green”—the original that Best and other “Burners” built in 2005 “quickly became a cherished focal point for the community, providing a beautiful space that inspired connection, dialog and civic pride,” writes the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Here’s more from the commission about the structure, which will stand for one year:
“David Best’s temple was universally loved and continues to be among the most memorable temporary art installations the city has ever presented. It just made sense to bring it back for the 10th anniversary of Patricia’s Green,” says Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. …
Like his other iconic temples, eight of which have appeared on the playa at the annual Burning Man festival, this sculpture is intended to be a place of remembrance where people can write personal notes to loved ones on the artwork itself. As David Best says, “When we finish the temple and turn it over to the community it is an empty building. They bring their Mothers, they bring their Brothers, they bring their best friends, their weddings and their celebrations to it. And then it becomes something. It has no life until the community brings that life to it.”
Gaze with wonder at the geometric intricacy of the temple, which functions not only as a cool piece of public art, but a reminder that Burning Man originated on a San Francisco beach:
A temporary #temple in #hayesvalley built by an #artist who normally builds such things at #burningman. (I totally had to Google this to find out the story.) It's made entirely of #plywood and the idea was to give the #community a place to leave their thoughts and remembrances, etc. You know, #justtemplethings. The timing, though, coincided with #prideweekend and the #scotusmarriage decision, so a lot of people left pretty touching commentary on that. Close-ups to follow. Evidently the same artist created a building like this in 2005 and this iteration is meant to commemorate the 10th anniversary of...arts in the community or something. I forget the exact reason. Regardless - a really amazing piece and something you should take a look at if you find yourself in the area. A sight to behold. #patriciasgreen #sanfrancisco #california #artwork