Project Description

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Meet the Burnside Mural+

Burnside Mural+ is a resident-led initiative to create a visual representation of the colorful history of Glen Park and Glen Canyon that includes both a large mural and a tiled stairway.  The wall and tiled stairway depict the plants and animals of the canyon and tell stories of the neighborhood, from the days when the canyon was home to a dynamite factory (it blew up!) and even had a popular zoo and amusement park with a bear pit, seal pond, and acrobatic aeronauts.

Had it not been for the political activism in the 1960s of a small group of local women, this area would have been turned into rubble to become a freeway.  Known as the “Gum Tree Girls,” the project recognizes these activists whose accomplishments are now enjoyed by thousands of picnickers, casual walkers, and serious hikers from San Francisco and beyond.

The project’s location connects both to the Glen Park Greenway and San Francisco’s Crosstown Trail.  It is where countless numbers of walkers, many of whom are heading to Glen Canyon, can take a moment to treat their eyes to the artists’ dazzling work while learning about the fascinating history of the area.

The idea of the mural and tile project was first presented in December 2020 to the Glen Park Association.  It received broad and enthusiastic support.  The mural was completed September 2022 and has already become a San Francisco destination point. Completion of the stairway is expected in October 2024.  The newest edition (10th) of the iconic book, “Stairway Walks in San Francisco” by Mary Burk and Adah Bakalinsky, features the Burnside mural and stairway in two walks as must visits when in Glen Park.

Come and see for yourself!