Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

SF rec and park to light up historic conservatory structure for Pride

A photo from a test run of the lights shows how the Conservator of Flowers will look for Pride. Courtesy SF Rec& Park.

A photo from a test run of the lights shows how the Conservatory of Flowers will look for Pride. Courtesy SF Rec & Park.

Starting tonight, the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park will be lit up in rainbow colors in honor of Pride. It is the first time ever that the city’s recreation and park department has changed the lighting in such a way for the historic structure.

The Conservatory opened to the public in 1879 and over its history has had to be rebuilt due to damage from fire and wind. An especially severe winter of storms led to the building’s closure in 1995, and it wasn’t reopened until 2003.

The colorful display for Pride will remain through July 1. The Conservatory is located at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive.

“From our own programming, to the events happening within our parks, we stand with the entire LGBT community in celebrating Pride,” stated Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park general manager. “Recreation and Parks are truly for everyone — and this month, like all months, we’re proudly demonstrating that parks are for all communities.”

The city agency has been taking special actions for years to mark the annual LGBT celebration. Four years ago it debuted an altered logo – which depicts a girl on a swing hung from a tree drawn in silhouette – so that the sky is rainbow colored.

Many of the city’s Pride events take place on rec and park properties throughout the city. The agency’s staff raised rainbow flags in Civic Center Plaza, where the two-day Pride festival will take place next weekend, and a number have been flying at half-mast due to the shooting rampage early Sunday at a gay Latin nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead.

Among the department’s sponsored Pride activities is the annual Women on Women Dodgeball Tournament, which kicks off this Friday at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center in the gay Castro district.

At the Harvey Milk Photo Center, named for the former San Francisco Supervisor and gay rights leader and located in Duboce Park, the department is hosting a new photo exhibit titled “LGBTQ Chronicled: 1933-2016.” Featured are historic photographs from past Pride celebrations, as well as more recent photos of LGBT youth and seniors, including works by Bay Area Reporter photographers Bill Wilson, Rick Gerharter, and Peter Thoshinsky.

The exhibit opens at 4 p.m. this Saturday, June 18, with a party and performance at 8 p.m. hosted by drag performer Peaches Christ.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 16, 2016 @ 4:11 pm PST
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