Note: Photos of the renovation can be found here.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Margaret Hayward Playground reopened today following a $28 million renovation that transformed the beloved 6-acre park in the heart of the Western Addition into a modern hub for recreation, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced.
The park’s transformation was funded largely by the San Francisco Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond approved by voters in 2012. Additional funding came from the Market and Octavia Community Improvement Fund, State Housing Related Parks Grant, Nearby Schools Initiative, and Open Space Funds.
The renovation includes a redesigned layout that improves access and creates a unified and vibrant neighborhood park. At the heart of the park sits an all-new children’s play area as well as a community clubhouse with a teaching kitchen and room for expanded programming for seniors and youth. A plaza designed for multigenerational use doubles as a stage for neighborhood performances.
At the east and west ends of the park are improved basketball courts, a new multi-use sports field to accommodate pick-up games, and two expanded baseball/softball fields converted to synthetic turf thanks to a $1.5 million donation from Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory.
The Margaret Hayward renovation also features the first all-gender restrooms on a new park site.
“Margaret Hayward was my childhood playground and it's amazing to see its transformation into a space that will be enjoyed by San Francisco kids and families for years to come,” said San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed. “I grew up loving and appreciating the park as a vital gathering space for the entire community. With these new top-to-bottom improvements, Margaret Hayward is truly a neighborhood jewel that will continue to shine for generations.”
“These renovations come at a crucial time for families in District 5,” said Supervisor Dean Preston. “Now more than ever, every child deserves to play in a safe, clean, and fun environment, and the updated playground will serve our families for years to come.”
Rec and Park conducted extensive community outreach on the renovation beginning in early 2016. As a result, neighbors shaped the project to their vision: an integrated, safe and connected park with more outdoor space for positive activities and a playground that will draw in Western Addition families.
“Margaret Hayward Playground has been a beloved part of the Western Addition for a century,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “We are thrilled to unveil a renovation that reflects the community’s love for this vibrant gathering space and honors the park’s rich history.”
The Buchanan YMCA will provide youth programming for out of the new clubhouse. Iconic American artist Emory Douglas was selected by the San Francisco Arts Commission to create a 10-foot wide by 8-foot tall graphic image on an interior wall of the building. The piece, “Respect Mother Earth,” encourages each of us to see ourselves as advocates for the environment. It draws upon Douglas’ iconic paperboy image he created in 1969 while serving as Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party.
Public Works provided architectural and landscape design services for the project, which broke ground in winter 2018.
Margaret Hayward was appointed to San Francisco’s newly created Playground Commission board in 1907. Upon her death in 1918, the south half of Jefferson Square was officially changed to “The Margaret S. Hayward Playground” in her honor.