Combining my spiritual discipline of photography and my long-time love of San Francisco, here is the next installment in my series “My San Francisco.” There is a little more info here, but suffice it to say that I am not trying to provide a comprehensive look into any gathering or neighborhood, but rather to provide a small glimpse into the complex San Francisco landscape. If you know of any events, gatherings or neighborhoods that I should try to get to, please let me know. [Past MySF Posts]
Today, let me introduce you to a little known garden and event site called, The Sunnyside Conservatory. Located just off of the I280 Monterey Boulevard Exit in the southern part of San Francisco and remodeled in 2009, the conservatory is maintained by the Friends of the Sunnyside Conservatory.
San Francisco’s Sunnyside Conservatory (236 Monterey Boulevard) is an extraordinary gathering space and botanic jewel, set off by a hundred-year old palm grove and the dramatic foliage of its surrounding gardens. English inventor and stargazer William Augustus Merralls originally built the Conservatory c. 1898 on his estate, then a remote part of the City. Over its hundred-year life, the Conservatory passed from private to public hands, and despite its city landmark status (and efforts of an earlier generation of activists), ended up in need of stewardship and bereft of its windows, east wing, and accompanying observatory. The Friends of Sunnyside Conservatory began, in 1999, with a few neighborhood residents, each discovering the Conservatory and having that Alice-in-Wonderland feeling of entering another world. After ten years of advocacy, fundraising, and design, the Friends’ dream was realized: the $4.2 million renovation of Sunnyside Conservatory and grounds (in conjunction with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Department of Public Works) opened to great fanfare on December 5, 2009. [Read more]
Located not far from where we live, my family and I have visited there to just hang out as well as attend events. If you are expected flower in bloom all year and a bustling clientele, this is not the place for you. But . . . if you just want a place to read, walk around and/or hold a small event in the observatory, this just might be the place for you. You can see what others are saying on Yelp but let’s get to a the pictures. Here are just a few of my favorites, but you can also see the entire album on my Facebook Page.