Today, Mayor London N. Breed, Supervisor Catherine Stefani, Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg, and the Francisco Park Conservatory celebrated the opening of Francisco Park. Located in Russian Hill, the 4.5-acre park consists of panoramic views, community gardens, and open space for residents and visitors.
Francisco Park is the largest public park to open in the City’s urban core since 1983. It is on the site of the former Francisco Reservoir, which has remained unused and fenced off since 1940. The Park’s transformation was primarily made possible by a partnership between the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and the nonprofit Francisco Park Conservancy. Neighborhood residents raised $27.5 million for the Park’s construction and maintenance after the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department purchased the land for $9.9 million from the Public Utilities Commission in 2014.
With the completion of the project, Francisco Park is now under Rec and Park jurisdiction.
“I am so excited to celebrate 4.5-acres of new open space in one of the densest areas of our city,” said Mayor Breed. “The pandemic showed us just how important access to green space is for the development of our communities, and as San Francisco continues to grow, we need to make sure that everyone has access to public parks. Francisco Park does exactly that—it offers a new opportunity for people to get outside and enjoy everything San Francisco has to offer. I want to thank Rec and Park and the Francisco Park Conservancy for their tireless work to ensure that this project reflected the community and beauty of our city.”
Bordered between Francisco, Larkin, Bay, and Hyde streets, views from the Park’s terraces include the Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Square, Alcatraz, and the Palace of Fine Arts. Native plants and trees support local wildlife, and an expansive central lawn offers gathering space for visitors. Additionally, there is a children’s playground and nature exploration area as well as a fenced-in dog run. The Park also includes accessible pathways, a community garden, and a sustainable rainwater catchment system to save nearly 900,000 gallons of water per year.
“Francisco Park is a testament to the power of public service. I have been working with the community and city departments to bring the Francisco Park project to life since 2008 when I was a legislative aide to Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, and I’m thrilled to see it completed," said Supervisor Catherine Stephani. “Francisco Park is a crucial public resource that will ensure San Francisco’s northern waterfront is open and accessible to everyone for generations to come.”
“Parks make cities livable by making people healthier and happier. We are thrilled to have another beautiful public space where people can connect, play, and find inspiration in nature and breathtaking views of San Francisco,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “This project was a labor of love for neighbors, who created something everyone can enjoy. Philanthropy has allowed us to create a true park paradise in San Francisco.”
“The Francisco Park Conservancy is pleased to grant the gift of the park improvements to the San Francisco Rec and Parks Department,” said Francisco Park Conservancy Board President Leslie Alspach “It has been a successful public/private partnership to build this park; a partnership that will continue to keep the park a great community asset to enhance the lives of all San Franciscans and visitors for decades to come.
About Francisco Reservoir
The Francisco Reservoir was constructed in 1859 to accommodate the population boom of the gold rush and subsequent Comstock lode silver discovery. The reservoir was shut down in 1940 after the Lombard Reservoir opened just a block away. A section of the historic reservoir wall and brick reservoir floor still remains near the Park’s Hyde Street entrance, and the resemblance of the reservoir’s outline is still visible on the Park’s pathway paving.