Hidden Garden Steps Mural Completed
By T. Booth Haley
A new mosaic mural has opened in the Inner Sunset. Inspired by the beloved sun-moon-river mural on the Moraga Mosaic steps, which ascend the west side of Grandview Park, aka Turtle Hill, a community group has completed a second stairway mural called the Hidden Garden Steps.
Completed in December 2013, the staircase begins its climb from Kirkham Ave., where 16th Ave. dead-ends at the north edge of the same Turtle Hill. This fantastic promontory — from which one can survey the entire Sunset district, the Marin Headlands and the towers of downtown — is becoming one of the most nicely decorated hills in San Francisco.
The Hidden Garden steps depict a lush floral paradise — vines, ferns and creatures intertwined with petals and stamens — with names of donors inscribed on many of the tiles. Of the total 128 steps, the largest single feature is a salamander, which is 28 steps in length. In addition to the transformation of the stairs, the landscaping on both sides of the path has been redone. Looming overgrown bushes have been cut away and replaced with succulents, providing plenty of space for sunlight. What was once an unkempt, uninviting and littered stairway has been transformed into a beautiful public space, encouraging citizens to stroll and explore the hill above.
Formal partners of the project include the San Francisco Parks Alliance, the San Francisco Department of Public Works Street Parks program and artists Colette Crutcher and Aileen Barr, who also designed the Moraga Mosaic steps. The total cost of the project was $300,000, of which $215,000 was raised through donations from neighbors and, with the help of social media, from kind souls as far away as France, Germany, Belgium and England. To get one’s name on a tile the minimum donation was $150.
To learn more about the project see www.hiddengardensteps.org.
T. Booth Haley is a fourth-year dental student.