What was all that commotion around Summit Coffee on Friday? A tent, plants, turf, pumpkins, beach chairs? That was employees of local planning firm The Lawrence Group occupying a corner of the parking lot on a holiday we’ve never heard of, but like the sound of: National Park(ing) Day.
Park(ing) Day is annual event in which citizens, activists, artists and planners take over parking spots as temporary public spaces. The event started in 2005 when an art and design studio called Rebar turned a metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco.
On Friday, The Lawrence Group’s planners and architects first set up their tent in front of Summit, then later moved around into the parking lot. The idea, said planner Monica Holmes, was to “reclaim a little bit of green space” in an otherwise car-oriented piece of downtown.
She and her office mates, who normally work upstairs at 108 S. Main St., were there with beach lounges, sunglasses, a high-top table and laptops – planning to make a day of it.