Architect: Leeb Architects, 2001
This building's 45-degree cutaway with its "Go By Streetcar" sign
gives the corner terrific presence. The seven-story building has a pleasing execution; it was apparently designed to reflect the style of the loft conversion of San Francisco's SoMa district. The exterior is precast reinforced-concrete panels, leading to one writer's criticism that the building suffers from "relentless modularity." The best retort to this negativity: Go By Streetcar.
Kitty-corner from the big sign is Jamison Square (Peter Walker & Partners). In the park's west end are the funky Tikitotemoniki (2000, Kenny Scharf). Art in America magazine designated these funky totems as one of their best new public displays of art and, at 30 feet tall, these aluminum pieces are certainly eye-catching. If you don't like them much at first, give their spirit of whimsy a chance to infect you. (If you're inoculated against that sort of thing, you need to go play in the park's tidal pool to insure your visit isn't a complete wash.)
Sharing the block with Jamison Square to the north are the Park Place Condominiums (2004, Carrier Johnson Architects [California]/Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects). This is an interesting public/private space. The goal with this block was reportedly to combine buildings with different sculptural forms. In the pursuit of this ideal, the block has a varied identity. A glass and steel-clad main tower abuts a smaller lowrise building to the south, and a prow of balconies extends upwards, sailing over the townhouse patios below. This variability makes for a welcome change from the area's familiar squared-off neo-industrial buildings.Less Text