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Project Progress- almost finished!!!


First Quarter - 2003: Neighborhood residents Jessie Audette and Alice Xavier start the Project as a grassroots effort to connect neighbors in a community project to beautify Golden Gate Heights. 


Second Quarter 2003: The Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association, and over forty neighbors join the Project…and more people join every day.  The support of Assembly member Leland Yee, Supervisor Tony Hall, and Supervisor Fiona Ma assures broad-based community and government support. The Project gains momentum.

Second Quarter 2003:  The Project selects artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher based on their artistic knowledge and experience working with other community groups, and ability to ensure the Project’s successful completion.

Second Quarter 2003: Friends of Recreation and Parks becomes the Project’s fiscal sponsor, bringing its extensive experience with successful project funding, management, permitting and installation. In addition to its high-profile sponsorship of the restoration of the West End Golden Gate Park and the Conservatory of Flowers, Friends of Recreation and Parks has supported a number of successful private fundraising efforts such as the Nob Hill Association’s restoration of Huntington Park, the creation of Michelangelo Playground in North Beach, and the construction of the Julius Kahn Playground recreation center. The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project is proud to have Friends of Recreation and Parks as our fiscal sponsor.

 Third Quarter 2003: The Project starts its fundraising drive. The $80,000 being raised for the Project provides businesses, foundations, and individuals with the unique opportunity to be permanently acknowledged with a tile or plaque on the steps that will been seen and appreciated by San Franciscans and visitors for generations.

Fourth Quarter 2003: The Project is selected as a semifinalist for a grant from the San Francisco-based Creative Work Fund, and continues to seek additional sponsors.  

 First Quarter 2004: We are applying for permits. The steps are City property and were built in 1926. The Project proposal will be submitted to the Department of Public Works, with referrals to the Planning Department, the Arts Commission, and the Department of Parking and Traffic. We plan to make the Project a gift to the City of San Francisco, further enhancing the City’s unique architectural heritage and contributing to the beauty of the Golden Gate Heights/Sunset district.

Second Quarter 2004:  The project has collected most of the materials for the mosaic panels donated to us from Bay Area businesses to reduce the overall budget.

 Third Quarter 2004:  Permitting process continues to push on to the next level.  Strong show of neighborhood support turned out for the public hearing at City Hall.  Fundraising continues and additional grant applications to be submitted this month.  (Unfortunately, the Creative Work Fund did not select our project, but we continue  in our efforts)

August 11: 2004  Project presented to the full Board of Supervisors for approval and was accepted by all Board members!  The project now goes to the Mayor for his signature.   Job well done by the Project team with the support and assistance of Supervisor Fiona Ma and the support of District 7's new Supervisor Sean Elsbernd. 

City Permits obtained!!!  Fundraising continues.

Sept 20, 2004  Great News!  San Francisco Beautiful will contribute $5,000 to the Project! 

 Mosaic Workshops were held in August and September and were a huge success!   Many more tiles were sponsored.  Three quarters of the mosaic panels are completed by now.  We expect to finish work on the panels early next year. 

Our application to Mayor's Beautification Fund is resubmitted.  The Fund is up and running once again.  We hope to obtain funding but continue in our efforts to find new tile sponsors to complete the project.

We have a proposed Sister City arrangement with the Scala Steps of Caltagirone, Italy.  One of their ceramists has created an inscribed tile to be placed on our steps.  The Scala Steps has ceremonies three times a year where candles and flowers are arranged and lit. Wouldn't it be exciting to do this for our opening ceremony!  (see web page "Other Steps".

The Holiday Party on Saturday, Dec. 11th was a huge success. The free family event featured completed mosaic panels (see above), live music with Jeff Chan and Carey Huang of "Intrigue", silent auction and food and drinks. Participants sponsored tiles and bid on items which bought in over $7,500.   Supervisor Sean Elsbernd and Assemblymember Leland Yee came out to lend their support and promised much needed  funding for  the project.

February 2005:  Big push from Assemblymember Leland Yee, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd and Supervisor Fiona Ma  to seek financial help and help from the trades for the installation of the project.  We hope to begin installation in May, after the rains. 

We continue to wait for the much needed funding  promised to this project by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Elsbernd.

Feb. 2005  We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Ada Bakalinsky who lost her husband, Max, after 60 years of marriage.  Ada is a friend and tremendous supporter of our Project and an inspiration to us. 

March 2005   The Tiled Steps Project is now joined by Larry Nibbi of Nibbi Brothers Construction, acting as general contractor.  Also on board are John Wagner of the Tile & Stone Council of Northern California. Mohammed Nuru and Scott Shaw lend support from DPW as well.  Architect, Ned Fennie of Fennie & Mehl has been with the Project from the start and we are grateful for his ongoing dedication in bringing this project forward.  Nick Elsner, of DPW, must be credited as he has supported the project since inception.  We have pulled together a great team!

May 2005:  The Mayor's Beautification Fund has awarded the Project $30,000!   

June 2005:  KZ Tile has now joined the team as our tile setter, doing the tilework at a very generous cost and becoming our largest donor. EuroWest will provide the anti skid tread tiles below cost.  Schluter Systems will donate the anti fracture/waterproofing system to be installed!  Many businesses are joining to help install this wonderful walking wall of art!  We are hoping to begin construction next month. 

Union Bank has stepped forward to provide $5,000 towards installation costs! This grant ensures adequate funding.  THANK YOU Union Bank!!!

July 13, 2005: Construction begins!

 The ribbon cutting ceremony on August 27, 2005 was a magical day for those of us that have worked so hard to complete the project!   The Mayor's office proclaimed this day "16th Avenue Tiled Steps Day".  The mood was one of a proud community!   Come out during different times of the day-it's quite a magical experience

April 14, 2006  We're almost finished!  SF Beautiful   has  awarded grant money for the purchase of plants and irrigation supplies to landscape the north end of the stairway.  SF Department of Public Works will be installing the irrigation system.  We need your help for hillside prep work that needs to be performed.  To volunteer, contact Alice Yee Xavier at acxavier@aol.com a

November, 2009  Volunteers from national organization, One Brick, once again came out to help weed and maintain the hillside gardens surrounding the Tiled Steps.  Thank you One Brick!col.c

December, 2009  The project has received plant donations from the generous members of SF Succulent & Cactus Society!  

August 21, 2010   Senator Leland Yee joined us at the Tiled Steps for the 5 year celebration.  The Project received Senate recognition for the beautification of San Francisco. 

Alice Yee Xavier  presented presented awards of recognition to One Brick Volunteers, the SF Succulent Society, Yvonne Lee, and Margaret Mori, FSLA  for their on going beautification efforts.  The SF Dept of Public Works was recognized for their on going support.

Adah Bakalinsky, author of Stairway Walks of San Francisco, donated a private walk with her  as a silent auction item to raise money for the Steps maintenance fund.

Food was generously donated by Gold Mirror Restaurant,

Noah's Bagel on West Portal, Safeway Stores, Arizmendi Bakery and Starbucks.  on 19th Ave. 

Music was provided by Jesse Mitchell and Ed Koran.    The children played games and were all awarded prizes.  Adults had the opportunity to win a book donated by author, Colette Crutcher.  Other prizes were Tiled Steps tee shirts and Tiled Steps note cards.    A fun time was enjoyed by all!

April 9, 2011  One Brick Volunteers and USF Tri Beta volunteers helped clear the weeds on the hillsides surrounding the Tiled Steps.   Thank you one and all!

March 5, 2013  A dear supporter, Els Boesten, passed away last week. Els was quite a gal and will be missed by all. She's a hero to many of her peers.


Volunteers needed for weeding and pruning the hillsides surrounding the Tiled Steps!!!

Date: Sat April 27 from 10:30AM to 12:30.

Refreshments will be served. Wear sturdy shoes.
Meet at the base of the mosaic steps @ 16th Ave & Moraga St, SF
Cancel in the event of rain.



***Tax Deductible Donations Needed for Maintenance Fund. 

Send to: Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association

PO Box 27608, San Francisco, CA 94127





“I think it is wonderful … we are all very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the city, and these tiled steps will only contribute to that beauty!”

 - Neighbor Dave Mariottini