Photo: Michael Short, Special To The Chronicle
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If there’s one BART station that definitely listens to My Chemical Romance, it’s Glen Park.
Distinctive for its Brutalist architecture, complete with unfinished grey concrete and sharp black arches jutting into the heavens, the station is now being considered as an addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
Some, like San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King, are fans of the station’s aesthetic: “Tucked deep inside the earth, below a muscular, skylighted shell, trains pull in and out amid a brooding grandeur of rough concrete against polished stone, thick structural arches and sharp shafts of light. BART has 43 stations; this surely is the best,” he wrote in 2009.
Others find the design oppressive.
“As a wonderful example of a mind-numbingly boring, suffocatingly sterile, and threateningly dehumanizing architectural style, why yes, the Glen Park BART station is praiseworthy,” wrote Bay Area science and design teacher Fred Werner on Twitter.
Glen Park station was designed by Ernest Born and opened in 1973, just a year after the BART system as a whole opened to the public. Born helped BART with the conceptual design of all of its original stations, as well as the system’s graphic design.
The historic preservation consultant who sent in the application for Glen Park station to be added to the national register was Chris VerPlanck, who wrote, “The Glen Park BART station is widely recognized as the crown jewel of the BART system and also as one of the finest examples of Brutalism in San Francisco.”
BART, however, is not a fan of the designation, disliking the singling out of one station as the “crown jewel” of BART, according to Chief Planning and Development Officer Val Menotti, as reported by the East Bay Times.
On August 1, the California’s State Historical Resources Commission will decide on whether to recommend Glen Park BART station for the national register. If it receives the honor, it won’t have too much significance — mainly, the title just helps to ensure the preservation of the aesthetic aspects of the building.
Regardless, some are pulling hard for the brooding BART station to get its due.
“For regular passengers, it’s a daily treat, as if ascending into paradise during the rapture,” wrote Curbed SF editor Brock Keeling.
Madeline Wells is an SFGate editorial assistant. Email: email@example.com | Twitter: @madwells22
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-Glen-Park-Brutalist-Register-Historic-Places-14132578.php.