Treasure Island to be Made into Significant Culture Visitor Site

The storied history of Treasure Island is about to enter another chapter: as a major cultural center destination for San Francisco and SF Bay Area tourists. Or, of course, us residents. And, of course, artists. The plan, put together by the San Francisco Arts Commission, is to make Treasure Island into the success that Governors Island in New York has become—an art mecca for artists and visiting art appreciators alike.

The vision put forward by the Commission brings in almost $50 million worth of artwork over the next 20 years. The art will be funded over the 20 years by a 1% for art outreach that collects from the island’s new developers. There are plans for apartment buildings, hotels and retail stores providing for 20-25 thousand residents. The art will be shown among the island’s public spaces and parks. First up are three large sculptures now being commissioned through open invitation. Later artworks will include performance and video art, plays, and more sculpture. The project is SF’s largest open space development since Golden Gate Park—built in 1871.

Treasure Island (405 acres) is man made, built on top of a natural reef in the SF Bay, and was first created in 1939 to host an international exposition, then served as a naval base with the advent of WWII.