SAN FRANCISCO - Say goodbye to the crinkled eyes of a San Francisco comedian who lit the world on fire with his humor and wit.
The mural of the late Robin Williams on Market Street between Sixth and Seventh streets is poised to be demolished this week, along with a 1907-era building that once housed a theater, billiards parlor and strip club.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Olympic Residential Group and Tidewater Capital broke ground on a long-awaited rental building at 1028 Market Street, which means the mural will soon disappear.
Construction crew members on-site said the mural will likely be gone by the end of this week. It depicts Williams playing the lead role in the 1998 semi-biographical comedy drama, Patch Adams, a character who struggles with depression and then becomes a doctor.
The two-story housing complex is part of San Francisco’s effort to revitalize the mid-market neighborhood. The site has been vacant since October 2017, when Tidewater Capital closed its temporary food market that operated in the building for two years, the Chronicle reported.
The image of Williams, a San Francisco resident who committed suicide in 2014, was inspired by a 2011 photograph by Peter Hapak. The mural’s painter is a street artist from Argentina named Nino de Cobre, (aka Andres Iglesias) who told the Chronicle he’d like to find a new spot to paint a similar mural in San Francisco in the future.
The image of Williams, a San Francisco resident who committed suicide in 2014, was inspired by a 2011 photograph by Peter Hapak. The mural’s painter is a street artist from Argentina named Nino de Cobre, (aka Andres Iglesias) who told the Chronicle h
Cobre was especially proud of the eyes in the mural. “I think his eyes were particularly tricky. He is smiling, but at the same time he is sad. I spent the most time making that work.” He told the San Francisco Examiner. “His eyes are 99 percent of the story.”
It’s not as if the Bay Area has no Williams tributes. In 2015, the state of California renamed the rainbow-arched “Waldo” tunnel connecting the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin, the “Robin Williams Tunnel.” Two years ago, San Francisco renamed a meadow in Golden Gate Park, a place near where he performed early in his career, after the actor.