Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Urban Vision
"Ferlinghetti founded the Piazza Saint Francis Foundation and is working with the Planning Department's City Design Group, Caffe Trieste and many others, including attorney and former supervisor Angela Alioto and film director Francis Ford Coppola (who worked on "The Godfather" screenplay at Trieste), to create an Italian-style piazza, with inscriptions on the paving stones from up to 30 or 40 authors, mostly poets.
North Beach is an ideal place to do this, not just because of its Italian flare. The neighborhood consistently shows some of the highest pedestrian counts in the city, yet lacks a lot of usable public space. It does feature Grant Street, though, one of San Francisco's most pedestrian-friendly streets, which runs through the heart of Chinatown, across Columbus, and into North Beach alongside Trieste, and Washington Square Park.
The biggest obstacle to realizing the project is the estimated $3.5 million price tag. The city can't afford to do it, so private funds will need to be raised to make it happen. "We urgently need money to make it go forward," said Ferlinghetti."