Mere days before San Francisco’s annual Comedy Day, San Francisco is memorializing the late Robin Williams by officially dedicating a meadow in Golden Gate Park in his honor.
The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department announced the “renaming” of Sharon Meadow to the Robin Williams Meadow on Monday. The initiative to name the space to celebrate Williams’ life was led by Debi and Will Durst, the producers of Comedy Day and longtime veterans of the San Francisco comedy scene.
“Robin was one of San Francisco’s cherished sons, whose selfless acts of philanthropy benefitted communities across our city. We will forever remember him fondly and the Robin Williams Meadow will be a lasting testament to his legacy,” said Mayor Ed Lee in a statement.
Williams, who committed suicide in 2014, was a major benefactor and frequent performer at Comedy Day since its founding in 1981. The free comedy showcase has been held at the Meadow since 1996 after moving from the Park’s Polo Field and, prior to that, the Music Concourse.
“San Francisco was so much of Robin’s life,” said Debi Durst in an interview with KQED. “He loved San Francisco and he loved Comedy Day. Since Comedy Day was in the Meadow for such a long time and since he was such a big part of it, I thought, let’s name it for him.”
Sharon Meadow, Durst noted, was never an official moniker for the meadow that overlooks the Sharon Building in Golden Gate Park. Nevertheless, much of the signage and branding still refers to the meadow with its unofficial title.
Though the name change is official, the Dursts are uncertain whether the city of San Francisco can defray the cost — around $50,000 — of renovating the signage and physical materials to reflect the new name for the meadow.
This dedication follows the successful campaign to rename the tunnel that bridges the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County after Williams.
Comedy Day will take place Sept. 17 at the newly named Meadow, during which the official naming will be announced.