- Parks and Facilities
Alta Plaza Park
- Dog Play Area
- Outdoor Basketball Court
A broad, tiered staircase climbs the terraced southern slope of this steep hillside park; when you reach the top, you will find panoramic views of the city and Bay. Trees and benches crown the summit, while nearby are a children’s playground, a basketball court, and tennis courts. An off-leash dog-play area is in the park’s southeast corner.
Once the site of a quarry, Alta Plaza’s nearly 12 acres were purchased by the city in 1877. Although the park was established in 1888, nothing was done to improve the site for 20 years, when Park Superintendent John McLaren took on its landscaping. Like nearby Lafayette Park, Alta Plaza served as a campsite for refugees from the 1906 earthquake and fire. In 1971, during the filming of the Barbra Streisand-Ryan O’Neal movie “What’s Up, Doc?,” several cars were driven down the grand staircase, breaking off chunks of concrete.
Alta Plaza Park is bounded by Clay, Jackson, Scott, and Steiner streets; the grand staircase rises midway along its southern edge, from Pierce Street. Wheelchair access is from Scott and Jackson.