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Hallidie Plaza
Hallidie Plaza

Hallidie Plaza is a public square located at the entrance to Powell Street Station (the third-busiest BART station as of 2015[1]) on Market Street in the Union Square area of downtown San Francisco, California, United States. Hallidie Plaza was designed jointly by Lawrence Halprin, John Carl Warnecke, and Mario Ciampi,[2] who were also responsible for the United Nations Plaza at the neighboring UN Plaza station. The plaza also contains a visitor information center.[3]

The plaza sits 20 feet below street level, built with granite walls, terraced concrete planters and brick paving, extending into a walkway underneath Cyril Magnin Street.[1] It is located next to the Flood Building and the cable car turntable at Powell and Market streets, and opposite the Westfield mall.

Hallidie Plaza opened in 1973, as a central element of a remodeling of Market Street spurred by BART.[4] It was named after Andrew Smith Hallidie, who developed the world's first cable car system in 1873.

The San Francisco Chronicle's urban design critic John King has described Hallidie Plaza as desolated, denounced its design as deeply flawed and commented that "what was envisioned as a grand entrance instead is a void to avoid, a deep, angled space beloved by none but too pricey to fix."[1]

Coordinates: 37°47′4″N 122°24′29″W / 37.78444°N 122.40806°W / 37.78444; -122.40806


  1. ^ a b c King, John (2015-11-11). "Sunken Hallidie Plaza was a deeply wrong design idea". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  2. ^ King, John (August 16, 2014). "Spoilers: Eyesore buildings that taint their environment". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Visitor Information Center FAQ". San Francisco Travel. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  4. ^ King, John. "Just start over with desolate Hallidie Plaza". SF Gate.

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