Sydney G. Walton Square (SWA 4)

Designers: SWA Group | City: San Francisco, CA | Project Type: urban plaza, sculpture garden, fountain
Date Visited: 11.03.12

Locations: Jackson St & Front St San Francisco, CA 94111
Size: 2 acres
Official Opening Date: 1968

Conceived as part of the Golden Gateway Center, a 1960s urban renewal project that created a large mixed-use community, the Sydney G. Walton Square was created as a respite from the urban environment and as a display space for the sculptures (totaling over $1 million) commissioned through the city’s one-percent arts program.

SWA Group created the complete design and development services for this award-winning park and abstracted the design from an alpine meadow–the park represents a meadow surrounded by the “mountain”-like skyscrapers. The park is also home to the Colombo Market Arch, the last remaining structural piece from the old San Francisco produce market; Francois Stahly’s famous ‘Four Seasons’ sculpture fountain that feature four cast-bronze vertical water features, each representing the four seasons of the year; and many other modernist sculptural pieces.

While the park design has stayed most intact, some years after its initial design, many of the trees–pines, willows, and poplars–became diseased and had to be removed from site, changing the appearance and lush feel of the park, particularly in areas where the trees were used to reinforce the shape of an “outdoor room.”

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