Foreigners Not Welcome at UN Plaza Anymore

San Francisco plaza has to wait for its day in the sun

Out: London’s Foster + Partners! In: San Francisco's Architectural Resources Group! Please make a note of it.

The building at 50 UN Plaza -- currently unoccupied -- was slated to get a upgrade, courtesy of the stimulus bill.

But the General Services Administration elicited gasps when it picked a British company to do the work. British! The very idea! As if that country has ever produced any architectural work of note.

At the time, the GSA pointed out that Foster + Partners was the most qualified. But political expediency seems to have won out, because now they've switched gears and are in talks with a local firm. Architectural Resources Group might not have been their first choice, but at least they don't have funny accents.  

The initial plan was to sweep out the homeless who urinate in the fountains at UN Plaza and replace them with "a free wireless Internet network, a new outdoor cafe, and improved lighting," according to the San Francisco Business Times.

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