SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Haight Ashbury neighbors and Golden Gate Park lovers are celebrating the completion of a $5.5 million project transforming the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park into a vibrant, pedestrian friendly area, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today.
The 15-month project included a series of major improvements to make the area where Stanyan Street meets Golden Gate Park safer, lusher, and more enticing to visitors. Like a dollop of whipped cream on a mocha, the final flourish came this week, when Flywheel Coffee Roasters began selling its fare from a newly renovated kiosk in the park near Page and Stanyan. The kiosk, once a small 1930s building once used for gardening storage, also includes a public restroom. It is surrounded by a new plaza patio, where visitors can enjoy their drinks and baked goods or and rent equipment to play bocce on two new courts.
The Stanyan Street Edge Improvement Project prioritized pedestrian safety by adding a new sidewalk between Haight Street and John F. Kennedy Drive and renovating entry plazas at Stanyan and Page streets to provide a more generous transition from the street into the park. The Oak Woodland area south of Alvord Lake includes new lighting and pathways for walking, along with landscape and irrigation improvements.
“Public spaces are critical to our city and they are even more important now during the pandemic. San Franciscans deserve a safe and beautiful environment as they transition into our parks and the updates will help improve pedestrian safety,” said District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston.
“Beautiful parks and engaging public spaces are vital to our physical health and mental wellbeing. It was important not just to spruce up the eastern end of Golden Gate Park, but to promote a sense of community, provide opportunities for play, and entice visitors of all ages,” said Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Flywheel is a beloved family business with longstanding ties to the neighborhood—a perfect fit for this exciting project.”
Flywheel operates a café across the Stanyan Street from the kiosk. Founder and roaster Aquiles Guerrero was born on a coffee farm in Nicaragua and later moved to San Francisco, where he began working in his family’s coffee shop in the late 1980s.
Seven temporary exhibits from the Exploratorium will surround the Alvord Lake pathway once health restrictions allow for their installation. The exhibits are interactive, educational and ADA accessible.
In addition to the Exploratorium, Rec and Park also partnered with the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. The Bay Area Ridge Trail runs through the Oak Woodlands, connecting to Mount Sutro and Twin Peaks.
Rec and Park and Public Works conducted extensive community outreach on the plan and were assisted by Friends of Alvord Lake, Friends of the Oak Woodlands, and the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association. Neighbors prioritized a safe, welcoming space that inspired community while preserving the natural beauty of the park.