Created by Armand Vaillancourt in the 1970's, Québec libre! is a fountain of crisscrossing, overlapping square tubes that is both revered and despised in San Francisco. For city inhabitants who remember SF before 1989, the now charming Embarcadero was once dominated by a double-decker freeway and, laid at its heels in Justin Herman Plaza, was Québec Libre. The brutalist structure fit-in with the aesthetic of the place and times however, after the great 1989 earthquake tragically collapsed the freeway, the waterfront revival began and this piece stands strong as a final remnant of the waterfront's derelict days.
Vaillancourt called it "Québec libre!" to show his support for the Quebec sovereignty movement and more largely, his support for the freedom of all people.