After delving into the potential futures of Harvey Milk Plaza yesterday, I thought I’d hop across the street and discuss one of the most overlooked public places in San Francisco hidden in plain sight.
Located on a small triangular piece of land between Market Street and 17th Street, Pink Triangle Park and Memorial — often simply referred to as Pink Triangle Park — commemorates the LGBT victims of the Nazi regime during WWII.
According to PinkTranglePark.org:
Being one of the earliest minority groups targeted, approximately 100,000 men were arrested during this time and as many as 15,000 were sentenced to work and death camps. Assumed feminine by nature, Homosexual men were tagged with Pink Triangles. Lesbians however, were not considered Homosexual but Asocial, they were given Black Triangles and forced into prostitution.
During the later part of the 20th century, the Pink Triangle transformed from a symbol of hatred to one of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer pride.
From Market and Castro there isn’t really a designated safe way to approach the park as Streetsblog SF pointed out last year. Unfortunately whatever plans were in the works to address this issue were never completed. Your best bet is to carefully walk from the 17th Street side, but be warned that for whatever reason motorists absolutely floor it down this tiny residential street! Still, at least it’s a one way, one lane street at this intersection.
So as memorials go it’s not the most serene place by any measure, with cars whizzing by on two of the park’s three sides. Still, at least the shape of the place is appropriate. The space is maintained by volunteers; if you’d like to help out visit PinkTranglePark.org for more info.