Re-name Sharon Meadow to Robin Williams Meadow in honor of the late comedian? Yes!


There’s a grassroots effort underway to rename Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park to Robin Williams Meadow in honor of the late comedian who died in 2014.

Williams was a headliner in his early career, and later a frequent surprise guest at the annual Comedy Day Festival in Sharon Meadow which is still going strong after 36 years. Now the organizers of the event are trying to get the location of the annual event – Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow – renamed to honor him.

It’s not just because Williams was hilarious, and talented, and a local. He was also a great (anonymous) benefactor to the event. Comedian Will Durst called Williams the “anonymous angel” of Comedy Day and said that one year, Williams’ contribution was the entire budget.

Robin Williams and Steve Bloom pose backstage at Comedy Day in the Park in 2011. Source: capradio.org

Robin Williams and Steve Bloom pose backstage at Comedy Day in the Park in 2011. Source: capradio.org

The Waldo tunnel on Highway 101 north just outside the city was renamed to honor Robin Williams earlier this year, due in part to the rainbow decoration on the tunnel which mirrors the rainbow suspenders of Williams’ first major television character, Mork.

Re-naming Sharon Meadow to honor him would be an even greater tribute to his comedic legacy in San Francisco.

Will Durst and his wife Debi are spearheading the effort to rename Sharon Meadow after their friend, but it will require Board of Supervisors approval and approximately $100,000 to change all the signage in the park. The Durst’s already have the blessing of the Williams family, and SF Rec & Park is already on board.

So they’ve started an online fundraiser at http://text.gives/robin which so far, has raised about $800.

If you would mourn the loss of the name Sharon Meadow, named for the generous park donor William Sharon who gave funds in 1874 to have a building erected in his name, know that the building adjoining the meadow will always bear his name.

“The meadow is referred to as Sharon Meadow because it is next to the Sharon Building,” said Sarah Madland, Rec & Park’s director of policy and public affairs. So, as Durst points out, “you’re not really renaming the Sharon Building, you’re naming the meadow.”

Plus, if he were still with us, I’m sure Mr. Hellman would support the name change for one of his fellow San Franciscans, right? 🙂

Sarah B.


  1. As a San Francisco historian, I don’t generally support name-changing in my city, but in this case, I am all if favor of honoring a comedy icon who contributed so much enjoyment to the world, and locally (his late night raging at the open mike at Holy City Zoo on Clement St. were legendary). William Sharon was a scoundrel, who accidentally got the meadow named after him. Money in his estate was donated to Golden Gate Park in 1886 to diminish the assets challenged in court by his mistress. The original name of the meadow was Hammond Valley, named in the 1890s for a president of the park commission. That name was forgotten and Sharon’s name applied by default because of the relationship to the adjoining Sharon Building. It is time to do it right, and honor Robin Williams, a comic genius with a solid connection to the site.

  2. No.
    Robin already has the Waldo Tunnel named after him. He was a nice guy (for the most part), and lived here for a while. But one naming per celebrity should be the limit, IMO.

  3. nope
    just name the band shell after him
    maybe then the city will finish the clean up and stop kids from riding their bikes on it

  4. I think the city should have a policy of no memorial naming until the honoree has been deceased for 10 years or more. We don’t need trendy politically motivated naming policies. Let’s focus on those that leave an enduring legacy of accomplishment that stand at least some test of time.

    If we have to have some quickie memorial naming I think park meadows are perfect for that. Pretty much an inconsequential city feature. If no one seems to readily recall the reason for a particular name I’d say the area is available to be renamed.

    In the spirit of Robin Williams why not name a park restroom complex after him? Thinking different. There’s some humor in that.

  5. The city should go through a thorough vetting process on Robin Williams before doing this. We may find that he was a less than perfect person, or worse, a registered Republican. We should avoid the possible embarrassment we now face with high schools named after such objectionable people like George Washington.

  6. Nothing should be named after anyone who has not been dead at least 100 years. Why? The test of time. Williams was a good comedian. So was Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbuckle. How many people, in the general public today, remember him>

    Public property should be named for people who stand the test of time. Not because of a contemporary fan club.

  7. robin committed one of the greatest sins against humanity and disrespected his family and friends. i met him on several ocassions in AA. We all ahve problems, but he destoryed those around him. he doesnt deserve being memorialized in this way

  8. He hurt his family. He also didn’t support public schools, sending his kid to private schools, the biggest cause of racial segregation. That’s one of those things that is OK now but in 50 years people will look back at an era when there were 1% black schools blocks from 50% black schools (Hamlin, Cobb) and kids were segregated by parental income and primarily race, the way we look at South Africa in the ’70s and ’80s now, or George Washington with slavery, and then we’ll have to rename the meadow. Let’s leave it Sharon Meadow.

  9. Suicide is not OK particularly when you have children under 18. Not OK.

  10. I’d say rename Nancy Pelosi Drive as Robin Williams Way.
    Robin did a lot and chose his own way.
    Pelosi is an ultra-rich “you’ll find out what’s in the bill when we pass it” oligarchy politician.

Comments are closed.