Once a trash-covered hillside, the Tompkins Stairway Garden reopened in June of 2019 as a safe and inviting street park. The stairway is now landscaped with flowering perennials, succulents, and other drought-tolerant plants and features a colorful, zigzag-design tiled stairway.
While encouraging foot traffic to and from nearby schools, transit lines, and the Alemany Farmers’ Market, the garden also rewards visitors with a respite of natural beauty and vibrant public art. The project grew out of a longstanding effort, led by neighbors, to care for a small plot of open land and transform it from an eyesore into an inviting and inspiring community greenspace.
Local firm Arterra Landscape Architects donated the garden design, and Andre Rothblatt’s tile design was inspired by the “Steps to Peace” painted by youth in a war-torn Syrian town. Project partners include Community Challenge Grants, SF Environment, SFPUC, District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, and SF Public Works, all under the fiscal sponsorship of the San Francisco Parks Alliance.