Difference between revisions of "Al's Park"

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''Photos: Chris Carlsson''
 
''Photos: Chris Carlsson''
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[[Image:Rainbow-mural-on-upper-Market 20170624 183606.jpg]]
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'''Rainbow mural along upper Market just east of the [[Father of Southwest San Francisco Behrend Joost (1845-1917)|Miller-Joost house]].'''
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''Photo: Chris Carlsson''
  
 
[[Image:Als-on-corbett 0827.jpg]]
 
[[Image:Als-on-corbett 0827.jpg]]

Latest revision as of 17:15, 1 July 2020

Unfinished History

Al's Park thrived for several decades in the right of way that was supposed to be 19th Street between Market and Corbett Streets. As of 2020, the remarkably whimsical natural oasis has been greatly diminished by the purchase and development of a large lot along the southern edge along Market Street. The photos below are from a visit in 2009. First, here's a shot of the property long before upper Market Street was built, and the large retaining wall with a rainbow mural became a part of the landscape.

View west toward intersection of Falcon (now Market) and Moss Alley (now 19th). Miller & Joost home (now 3224 Market) at the left. 18th and Park line streetcar, Twin Peaks and Tank Hill in the background wnp15.1723.jpg

1905 view west toward intersection of Falcon (now Market) and Moss Alley (now 19th). Miller-Joost home at the left, Twin Peaks and Tank Hill in upper background.

Photo: OpenSFHistory.org wnp15.1723

Al’s Park is, or was, a curious ribbon of whimsy and nature rising from the mural on upper Market Street (next to the historic Joost House) and emerging on Corbett. The 1995 Thomas Bros. map has it labeled as 19th Street (multiple ghostly incarnations for 19th!) but Google’s Satellite map doesn’t show there as being any public right of way there. Enter Al’s Park from Corbett and enjoy a strange, almost 19th century-feeling slice of eccentric San Francisco land use.

Als-park-redlined.jpg

That's it, between the arrows.

Als wall-on-Market 0872.jpg

Looking down at the mural more familiarly seen while driving by on upper Market Street.

Photos: Chris Carlsson

Rainbow-mural-on-upper-Market 20170624 183606.jpg

Rainbow mural along upper Market just east of the Miller-Joost house.

Photo: Chris Carlsson

Als-on-corbett 0827.jpg

Al's Park entryway on Corbett Street.

Als-front 0826.jpg

Al's Park when the entry was at its most lush and hidden, 2009.

Als-park-sign 0875.jpg

Nothing professional about this park!

Als-plastic-pumpkin 0830.jpg

Als-lush 0847.jpg

Als-lush-green 0840.jpg

Als-bird-house-and-flowers 0844.jpg

Als-faucets 0849.jpg

Als-bluejay-birdhouse 0878.jpg

Als-hay-bale 0850.jpg

Als-fence 0851.jpg

Als-view-back-up 0856.jpg

Als-path 0852.jpg

Als-watering-can-art 0880.jpg

Als-big-tree 0864.jpg

Als-view 0861.jpg

This quirky, eccentric, remarkable oasis that welcomed all, and was maintained by neighbor Al for decades and into his 90s, has been mostly destroyed. A remnant of the space is still open to the public, but the lush foliage, views, and weird art largely disappeared during the construction of the new luxury home at the foot of the property. Another sad micro-story of the disappearance of the soul of San Francisco.