I’d like to replace / restore / recover / rebuild the non-existent Pier 11 and Pier 13 on San Francisco’s Embarcadero with two wooden sculptures of Piers 11 & 13 and a small plaque. As part of the project, I’m planning on a ribbon-cutting ceremony with various experts and non-experts to speak about the Missing Piers. My goal with the installation is to spark questions in passers-by about the history of our city’s built (and demolished) environment. It’s too easy to not notice what’s not there!
Here’s some background: After a predictable Pier 1*, Pier 3, Pier 5, and Pier 7, the piers on the Embarcadero go from Pier 9 (Autodesk) to Pier 15 (Exploratorium). Pier 11 and Pier 13 are missing and there’s no explanation! I’d like my installation to recognize the spot of the Missing Piers and to prompt pedestrians to ask themselves, ‘Was Pier 13 considered too unlucky to construct? Was Pier 11 too boring to build? Why didn’t I notice this lack of piers sooner?’
I’d like the ribbon-cutting ceremony to be a kick-off of the inquiry into the history of Piers 11 & 13. As a big group we’ll go through noticing the empty space where the Piers are not. Then, in small groups, we’ll formulate some theories of where they might have gone. After we share those theories with each other, we’ll hear from some experts, non-experts, and (hopefully) musicians! Finally, we’ll read the plaque and cut the ribbon!
Here are some fun theories: Pier 13 is unlucky. They sank! The piers fell down in the 1906 earthquake. They were moved to Treasure Island. They caught fire! Their pilings were eaten away by crabs. I bet you can think of some more good ones!
*granted, Pier 1-½ is a bit wonky!
Funded by San Francisco, CA (November 2016)