We have had so much fun seeking out and climbing the staircases of San Francisco! We climbed the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps and the Grand View Park Steps in Golden Gate Heights first, after my mother-in-law told us about it. Later we climbed the Lyon Street Steps in Pacific Heights, and on our most recent trip to the city, we climbed even more hidden staircases.
We began the weekend climbing the Filbert Steps to Coit Tower and descending Telegraph Hill on the Greenwich Steps. Then after visiting the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and the Ferry Building, we hopped in the car to find three more secret staircases all covered in gorgeous mosaic tiles — the Hidden Garden Steps, Flights Of Fancy Steps, and Lincoln Park Steps.
Sitting at the edge of Lincoln Park, the Lincoln Park Steps at 32nd Avenue serve as an entry point to the Lincoln Park Golf Course and Lincoln Park Playground and a gateway to the Legion of Honor and Lands End. Dating back to the early 1900s, the stairs recently received a complete design and structural renovation, including a stunning mosaic tile treatment.
With only 52 steps, the Lincoln Park Steps aren’t as tall as the three other mosaic tile San Francisco staircases, but they’re very wide and colorful and fantastic. Tiles primarily in greens, yellows, reds, and oranges create gorgeous patterns inspired by historic photos of Sutro Baths and the buildings of the San Francisco World’s Fair.
Two wide concrete and mosaic tile benches flank the staircase and one long tile bench stretches the entire width of the staircase at top, providing amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s downtown skyline, and the East Bay hills.
About The Lincoln Park Steps
Back in 2007, the Lincoln Park Steps were falling apart. Decades of neglect had resulted in cracked steps, damaged concrete, and a wasted landscape that attracted nighttime loitering, graffiti, and trash.
Inspired by a brainstroming session with the Katherine Delmar Burke School, Friends of Lincoln Park founders, Anna Yatroussis and Meg Autry, kicked off a campaign to improve the site of Lincoln Park Steps. The school was looking for a way to give back to the community in celebration of its 100 year anniversary and Anna Yatroussis, an alumnae and parent of the school, had noticed that the steps located at the front entrance of the school, were an eyesore and a danger to anyone using them.
Many people were involved in the seven year beautification project to renovate the Lincoln Park Steps:
- The Friends of Lincoln Park partnered with San Francisco Parks Alliance as the fiscal sponsor for the Lincoln Steps project.
- Jim Westover of William Duff Architects and Gerry Agosta of BV Builders joined the effort, providing pro bono services.
- Renowned local artist Aileen Barr was hired to design and create the steps.
- The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department awarded the project key grants that made the structural repairs and improvements possible.
The goal of the project was to keep the existing structures and repair and enhance them with the installation of art tiles to create a beautiful beaux arts-inspired public art installation and destination for the community.
Phase one was completed in 2010 and included structural improvements and the installation of mosaic tiles on the top bench and retaining wall. Phase two was completed in 2015 and included the structural repair and mosaic tile installation for the stairs, pillars, and midway benches, and if you look closely at the tiles adorning the steps, you’ll see the names of the project’s donors and sponsors.
Know Before You Go
- The Lincoln Park Steps are located in the Inner Richmond district at the end of California Street where it meets the Lincoln Park Golf Course. The closest address for the steps is 32nd Avenue, San Francisco, California 94122.
- The project took seven years to complete and was done in two phases. It opened to the public in 2015 and is San Francisco’s newest tiled staircase.
- The Lincoln Park Steps have 52 wide stairs.