You can’t walk by Union Square and not take notice of the huge Central Subway construction site. And last week, the construction crews rolled out a grassy lawn over the two blocks along the walls surrounding the construction on the bottom of Stockton Street.

Contrary to some speculation, the change is not permanent but is a temporary installation for the holidays.

Winter Walk SF

Two blocks on Stockton Street, between Geary and Ellis Streets, have been closed off since 2011 for the construction of the Central T subway line, a new underground Muni system that will connect parts of Third Street, with Yerba Buena, Union Square, Chinatown and perhaps even North Beach in the future.

However, construction crews are taking a break over the holidays, and instead of keeping up the construction walls, (which made Stockton Street one of the most frustrating places in the City) they replaced it with a large, walkable plaza.

The project will last the entire holiday season, and has been dubbed “Winter Walk SF.” According to the Union Square Business Improvement District website, the two blocks will be “open for winter merriment” featuring a light-art show on the face of Macy’s Mens Building. As an added bonus, Off the Grid food trucks will be set up every other day of the week for lunch.

Macy’s will offer a special Concierge Desk each weekend, where tourists will be able to pick up a holiday brochure, and Union Square map and ask general questions about San Francisco and Union Square.

Increasing Foot Traffic for Business

The Winter Walk SF project will increase pedestrian traffic in the area, giving Union Square businesses an extra boost in holiday traffic. The ice skating rink is already open and we’re also looking forward to the puppies and kittens that are annually placed in the Macy windows for adoption!

Winter Walk SF opens Friday, November 28, and will run until December 31.