A Project of the San Francisco Parks Alliance & the Department of Public Works "Street Parks" Program

Some backstories - Flight I (bottom flight)

"Just the names of the members in our family My wife and I and our 2 daughters. We live in the neighborhood and wanted to help with this improvement and community project."







"The name on the tile "The Leonoudakis Family" represents our family, three generations of San Francisco natives including my mother and father, four siblings, and two children, and their families. We had already fallen in love with the Inner Sunset’s Tiled Steps project connecting 15th and 16th Avenues on Moraga Street, when we heard about the Hidden Garden mosaic steps project, so we were delighted to contribute to it. My wife and I live in Cole Valley and one of our sons and his wife live in the Inner Sunset, and thus we enjoy regular visits to the steps, especially when hosting visitors to the City."       (I128)



"This is a memorial to my parents, Sydney and Marian Krasno 1918-2000, who were born and died within a year of each other. We wanted a memorial that was somewhere public as they were very outgoing, and chose a memorial bench on Kennedy Drive in GGP in about 2001. While the Hidden Garden Steps project was underway, the bench was heavily damaged and removed. Grass was planted obliterating any trace of this "permanent!" memorial. Time was running out to purchase a tile so we bought this tile to be sure we would have a memorial. Of course, soon after the purchase the bench in GGP was rebuilt complete with the Plaque commemorating my parents, and now we have two memorials."   (I131)


"As I was approached for the donation of the tiles a few years back, I did not know what to put on the tiles at first. However, one thought came to my mind which was that:
"The hidden garden steps can lead people to a high ground.
But the most high ground can be reached with only one way which describes in the Bible, John 14:6."
I just hope that whoever come across these titles will be inspired and will start searching for the true way of life. Thanks for your hard work of putting the background stories together! The titles sure will make better sense now."       (I132)



"I live in the Inner Sunset and was a volunteer on the project. I loved the idea of working on a project that not only improved my neighborhood but added a beautiful piece of art for all to enjoy for many years. I also loved the idea of being able to leave a message to my Grand daughter Eva that would remain for many years. I made a suggestion on changes to the lower section that was incorporated into the final design. I continue to volunteer as part of the monthly cleanup crew for the stairs and the garden areas. I love talking to people visiting the stairs and always tell young people, they too can have a dream and make positive changes to the world they live in. First you dream it.
My tile is a tribute to my "little" family - myself, my son and my daughter in law and my granddaughter. My son climbed the stairs and hills in the Sunset many times in his youth, having grown up in the Inner Sunset. He loves Turtle Hill."   (I133)


"This tile is a message to my granddaughter, for today, tomorrow and always. (Lala is the name she calls me)."    (I136)

Editor's Note: The previous tile, this one, and the following one were given by the same person, who wrote a piece (see above) that pertains to all three tiles.




"This tile is a tribute to my very large family. I wanted to create a memorial in the city I live for the many members of my family, the Campos and King families including members no longer living. A way to say I love you and I remember you and the many ways you have touched my life..."   (I137)










Editor's Note: The Planning Committee and the artists are eternally grateful to "No More Dirt, Inc." for storing the risers before they were installed. Cori Holland, a member of the Planning Committee who works for "No More Dirt" said "of course" but did not plan on a flood which almost did in the risers - almost, but not quite!   (I134)



Editor's Note: Tom Hall worked tirelessly for the Global Health Education Consortium for several years, then manouvered GHEC to be a part of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. Many members of the Board of GHEC combined resources to purchase a tile for Tom on the Hidden Garden Steps.   (I134)




"The reason I contributed to this amazing art collection of personal tiles is fairly simple. San Francisco seems to me more itinerant than when I first arrived in the early 1980's (people leaving, mostly). I wanted to have a tile in remembrance of my family-- they are special to me-- so that when they revisit the City, they can climb your lovely steps, find their names and remember that once upon a time they lived in this beautiful City, and hopefully it will be pleasing to see a little part of them is still here." (I135)



"First, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all the work you have done with the tiles!! I do appreciate it.

There is a Navajo prayer:
In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
Beautifully will I possess again.
Beautifully birds.
Beautifully joyful birds.

With beauty may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.

That is the prayer I have for my family, the Mows. That is the wish I have for all those who walk and for all those who cannot but wish that they can walk. Thank you."     (I138)


"Professor Gabriele Rico was my dear wife of almost 16 years. She was vibrant, playful, beautiful, smart and was my model for many of my photographs. She died March 15, 2013 and she is missed more than ever."






"We know Elizabeth McLoughlin since summer 1995, when we first met her and Tom Hall cycling the Pacific Coast. After our retirement we decided to do this wonderful bicycle trip once more and so we had the opportunity to stay some days with Liz and Tom in summer 2013.
On this occasion we got to know about the HGS project. We were very impressed and decided to support it. Now we are lucky to have left our names in San Francisco."


Editor's Note: These are the cyclists from Germany! They have cycled all over the world.


"As you know I was a member of the HGS organizing committee. Evelyn and Dick Clair were very dear friends from Noe Valley. We met them attending classes OLLI at SFSU, and later spent many evenings with them. We donated the tile to celebrate Evelyn's 80th birthday. We wanted a tile on one of the lower steps because Evelyn had trouble climbing stairs. Dick died this summer, so like the tile for Renee and Bert (below), the tile is now a memorial."    (I141)



"Sara has taken on many roles during our 20+ year relationship. She is not particularly fond of squirrels, quite the opposite in fact, but it's fun to see her interact with something that basically scares her. I guess it's how I am around her."






"The names on the tile are my name and my wife's name. I was born and raised in San Francisco. I lived on Kirkham St. between 14th and 15th Avenues from the age of 4 until I left at the age of 21. I remember the steps and the surrounding area when it looked much different. I spent much more time on the 15th Avenue stairs but they don't have tiles - yet. I walk through the neighborhood occasionally for nostalgia and it was during one of these walks I found out about the stair project and wanted to be a part of it.          (I143)



"As you know I was a member of the HGS organizing committee. Renee and Bert Koel were very dear friends who live in San Francisco. Renee was active in starting up Democratic Women in Action, led a group for young women in the schools, and contributed to the city in many ways. Bert's involvement was quieter, but he has been equally active. We donated the tile to celebrate Renee's 80th birthday. Renee died two years later, but a photo collage of their tile and the steps is prominently displayed on a bookcase in their front hall. We wanted one of the lower tiles because we wanted Renee to enjoy it, and she had trouble climbing stairs." (I144)



Greetings from the great past. I was born in 1951 and raised in SF. a Sunset girl - went to Lincoln High school. I lived most of my life on the top Hill /Quintara st. of Golden Gate Heights. first as a child and then after I inherited the home. When the first steps - ( my favorite!) the ones on 15th-16th facing the Ocean were created, I had 5 family tiles placed there - for my deceased Mom who died in her forties, father , brother, son and I. I developed a passion for Mosaics about 15 years ago. When the next set of stairs on Kirkham st ( Hidden Garden) were in progress - I worked on a few of the risers. I had another tile for me incorporated in it. (Yogi has been my nickname since grammar school - Francis Scott Key in the Sunset district.) I retired and moved from San Francisco to Sunny San Diego in 2014. I love it here! but Of Course! my Heart and tiles will always remain in San Francisco. (I145)


Editor's Note: This is the community tile, paid for by all who donated sums below the $150 "basement" for a tile on the steps. We thank them all!







"The name on our tile is the name of each family member – Walter – my husband/dad, Jake – son, Kari – daughter and Kim – Mom/wife. I have been running from my house on 38th and Kirkham to these stairs where I run up and down them several times. I have been doing my run for 10 years starting in 2006. I love the stairs even more now that they are so beautiful."





Editor's Note: The artists were having a very bad day, and so they did what artists do, they made something! What they made was a groundhog, which they stuck on the steps near the bottom. So now we have a stand-in for good days and bad!   (I146)




"This is our family. We are Inner Sunset residents since February 2000,
our children having lived here their whole lives (so far).
This is our neighborhood and we are very proud of it. We are also lovers
of public art and wanted to help bring a public art project here. Since
the Hidden Garden Steps have opened, we visit them regularly. And we
describe a perfect Sunday for out-of-town visitors: start at the Farmers
Market, picnic and strolling in the park, head the Hidden Garden Steps
late afternoon, claim them, and walk toward the Moraga tiled steps --
timing it to get there as the sun is getting low in the sky and the
mirrored tiles sparkle, climb those stairs, the climb the stairs to
Grandview and watch the sun set. Then head back down to 9th & Irving and have dinner. (I147)


"We (Joel and Josh) have been a couple for over 26 years.   When we first met, we moved into a cottage on the Vulcan Stairway.   After four years, we were evicted because the house was being sold, and we posted a flyer begging for someone to rent a place to us in the neighborhood.  We ended up renting and subsequently buying our condo on the Saturn Steps that was literally 2 lots over from our place on Vulcan.  We've lived on the Saturn Steps now for 22 years and counting.  Our affinity for San Francisco's stairways continues..."




"Our second tile reads "Have a great day, Ann!" It is wonderfully one of the first messages that you can read when beginning the ascent from Kirkham. I had ordered one that said "Have a great day, Ann!" as a gift to our awesome neighbor who took walks up there everyday. She saw the tile, and was speechless and all smiles and I said "We love you, Ann!" Sadly, in early January she died suddenly at age 60 of a heart-attack. Our 12th Avenue community was so shocked. I took my 3 year old and 5 year old boys (of "Liam and Oliver" step fame - Flight H Riser 117) and hung out on Ann's step when I heard the news. It is an incredible comfort to have a place to go, and you all made that possible."   (I147)


Editor's Note: Catharine is Liz McLoughlin's neice. When she was in law school in Boston, she came out to SF to do an internship. She worked on the steps prior to the risers being installed. In fact, we barely missed killing an old woman who was going down the steps when I dropped a stone which, instead of staying in the bushes, did a bounce and took off down the steps and barely missed the woman. Catharine subsequently married Bruce Harvey who had a daughter Olivia. She is on the McLoughlin element (Flight F Riser 63) but I thought that she deserved her own tile with the Harvey name on it.   (I147)



Editor's Note: Yipping at the worm/artists' tail is a joke! When arbitors of morals forbade the use of "God Damn" on TV, a comedian used to say "Godfrey Daniels" instead. When the tile broke in the kiln, the artists were delighted, and decided to put it on the steps, and they choose a spot next to them. See why they were fun to work with!   (I148)






Editor's Note: We all are eternally indebted to Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher who designed the steps, made 600 tiles, and corrected six after the steps were installed. All-around, they were wonderful to work with. The Planning Committee and all the donors thank them emormously.   (I148)