Detail of mosaic on
      Commodore Hotel facade

More Mosaic Sites in San Francisco

By Dave Schweisguth (email: dave at schweisguth dot org)

Lillian Sizemore's Guide to Mosaic Sites: San Francisco lists and explains dozens of publicly accessible murals, buildings and other mosaic sites throughout the City. It's a terrific publication; you should go buy a copy right now. But even by the Guide's high standards, there are many more mosaics around San Francisco that are worth a visit. Not only have San Francisco's mosaic artists kept up their output since 2004, when the first edition of the Guide was printed, there are even a few significant works that were missed at the time. We hope this little bare-bones catalog will inspire Lillian to revise and expand her Guide sometime soon.

Huxley Beagle and I found many of the mosaics listed here while walking from our home in the southwest Mission District to two different workplaces South of Market several times a week in 2006. We joined Jeanne Halpern on her mosaic hikes for the Sierra Club. A few mosaic works were even installed practically within view of our home. We continued the hunt all over San Francisco. Huxley was succeeded by Wallace Beagle and Halley Beagle. Here's what we found.

I update this article whenever we find something new. (Just search the page to find the new entries. I did say it was a bare-bones catalog.)

North of Market

There is a broken-tile mosaic around the ticket windows in the lobby of the Golden Gate Theater, on Golden Gate at Taylor.

The Phoenix Hotel, in the Tenderloin at Eddy and Larkin, has at least two mosaics: a sun-like design on their facade, and decorative motifs at the bottom of their swimming pool.

A Great Seal of the State of California, designed by Major Robert Seldon Garnett, executed by Giovanni Braida in 1898 and restored by Page and Turnbull in 2003, is the centerpiece of the restored marble mosaic floor on the second level of the Ferry Building. Small mosaics of California food products by Mauricio Arias (also 2003) decorate the walls on the first level.

212 Sutter (just west of Kearny) has an interesting mosaic-tiled entryway.

In the apse of Notre Dame des Victoires, on Bush between Stockton and Grant, is a mosaic of the Virgin Mary.

The floor of the Bush Street entrance to the WorldMark by Wyndham, formerly the Hotel Juliana, at 590 Bush (at Stockton) is covered with mosaic.

The patio behind the International Building (601 California, at Kearny) has a tantalizing group of what appear to be mosaic fountains and tables. Although the building is unfortunately not open to the public, the patio can be seen from orbit, from which point of view it appears that some of the mosaic pieces have been removed.

Precita Eyes, better known for their painted murals, contributed a mosaic mural to the 2010 restoration of the Chinatown YMCA, on Sacramento between Grant and Stockton. The mural is in the swimming pool area.

The front entrance to Gordon J. Lau Elementary, on Clay between Powell and Stockton, is flanked by mosaic trees, and "A Bug's Eye View", by Kim Payne, Jane Schafgans and students, is at a side entrance.

Not only are the upper floors of the Clayton Hotel (657 Clay, between Kearny and Montgomery) decorated with an interesting mosaic border, a former tenant on the ground floor installed several kinds of decorative tile.

An exquisite mosaic mural of Dragon Boats Chasing the Twilight is near the south end of Wentworth Place, at Washington Street.

A mosaic of one of the magnificent espresso makers that are Thomas E. Cara's stock in trade adorns that business's entryway at 517 Pacific (near Montgomery).

The facade of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe), at 906 Broadway between Mason and Taylor, is decorated with a mosaic of the church's patron saint.

A framed, glass-enclosed mosaic of a flowering plant is on the wall of 54-56 Glover (an alley between Broadway, Jones, Vallejo and Leavenworth). Unfortunately the frame traps moisture and the piece is disappearing under algae.

The column in front of the entrance to the Pasta Pomodoro at 655 Union Street, between Columbus and Powell across from Washington Square, is mosaiced with a striking sun-and-moon design by Bryan Mose.

A water fountain on the south side of Washington Square (on the north side of Union between Columbus and Stockton) is encrusted with mosaic decoration.

A mosaic of three doves graces the entry to 350 Union Street (between Kearny and Montgomery).

The doorway of 1536-1538 Grant is mosaiced with swimming carp.

A sewer hatch on the Greenwich Steps is covered with a floral design in broken tile.

Joe DiMaggio Playground sports a large mosaic-skinned fish, designed by Miracle Playsystems.

The facade of 733 Chestnut Street (between Jones and Taylor) was once tiled with the stylized Chinese character shou (longevity) and, over the doorway, a fu (good fortune). As of December 13th, 2008, this building was being redone and the mosaic was gone.

On the second floor facade of Villa de Martini, 298 Chestnut Street (at Grant) is a mosaic of a human figure, possibly by Elio Benvenuto.

At the south end of the wall between Leavenworth and Francisco Streets is a nice little mosaic map of the Bay Area.

In the entryway of the Bay Stockton West apartments at 2133 Stockton (at Bay) is a column holding mailboxes and covered on all four sides with bright abstract mosaic decoration. The legend "Built by Angelo Sangiacomo" refers to the developer of the property; the artist is unknown.

Just inside the front door of the Union Square Hotel, on the east side of Powell Street just above Ellis, are a pair of floor-to-ceiling mosaics by none other than Helen Bruton. One depicts a man with a basket of grapes, the other a woman with a basket of flowers. The latter is signed and dated 1937.

The Owl Tree, at Post and Taylor, has lost the owl bric-a-brac with which it was once stuffed but gained a striking mosaic facade.

Mosaic waves roll along the lower part of the facade of the former Commodore Hotel at 867 Sutter Street.

There is a large broken-tile mosaic in the lobby of the Golden Gate Theater, at Golden Gate, Taylor and Market.

Not yet investigated: Laurel True's mosaics in the Tenderloin, for St. Boniface Church on Golden Gate Avenue and in the dining room of Marlton Manor, 240 Jones at Eddy.

A mosaic of a double-headed eagle and the motto "Spes mea in Deo est" guard the door to the former Scottish Rite Masonic temple at 1290 Sutter Street, at Van Ness.

1-3 Leroy Street is decorated with a mosaic of a shell and fish.

High on the outside wall of the fish receiving station of Scoma's Restaurant on Pier 47 is a mosaic of San Francisco landmarks by John O'Shanna.

The Ghirardelli eagle logo is set into the floor inside the entrance of the Ghirardelli Chocolaterie and Cafe, at North Point and Larkin.

The Aquatic Park Bathhouse (until recently more often known as the Maritime Museum) has several interesting mosaics (as well as murals and other integrated art): the twin fountains at the front entrance, a tile mosaic the length of the veranda, and another fountain on the rear lawn.

Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, Alamo Square, Western Addition, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina

Laurel True's "Lily Pod" sculpture is in the recently renovated Hayes Valley Playground at Hayes and Buchanan Streets. It either includes or is accompanied by mosaic borders around play areas.

The Scott Street Labyrinth, at the west end of Duboce Park, includes mosaic and tile elements.

On the retaining wall along Fell Street, on the south side of Ida B. Wells High School, are the first three entries in the Fell Street Mural Project: at the corner at Pierce, at the east end, towards Steiner and to the left of #2.

Not yet investigated: Two mosaic police badges are in the lobby of the Northern Police Station at 1125 Fillmore, near Golden Gate.

Three mosaic sculptures by Kid Serve stand outside the Creative Arts Charter School, at 1601 Turk (at Pierce). Behind the school, a fragmentary tile mosaic of a butterfly (seen in 2008) visible from Elm Street off of Pierce might be the start of another piece.

Kid Serve's "A Sign of Hope" and "Urban Portrait Project" are at the Gateway Charter High School on Geary between Scott & Steiner.

The entryway of 2910 California, between Broderick and Baker, is decorated with a square-tile mosaic landscape.

Not yet investigated: Beniamino Bufano's "Mother of the World" is in the lobby or the Prenatal Waiting Area of the California Pacific Medical Center at 3700 California (at Maple). There may be another piece in that hospital, or the two photos might be of the same piece.

The stairway to 2813 Buchanan Street, between Green and Vallejo, is by Colette Crutcher.

Anthony Stellon's former studio, 1830 Union, on the north side between Octavia and Laguna, has a mosaic-tile facade which is unfortunately mostly painted over. However, a mosaic survives in the doorway.

The side door of the old Vedanta Society temple, on Filbert at Webster, is outlined in mosaic including a Sanskrit inscription.

Low walls in the Alta Plaza playground are decorated with mosaic.

Corona Heights, Buena Vista, Cole Valley, Haight-Ashbury, North of the Panhandle, Anza Vista, Jordan Park

A framed, multi-panel mosaic work hangs on the Peixotto Playground clubhouse at 15th & Beaver Streets.

1349 Masonic, on the west side between Frederick and Waller, is reached by mosaic-faced steps.

Not visited yet: three Kid Serve murals at the Grattan School, at 165 Grattan in Cole Valley, one at the entrance and two in the garden.

Braindrops, at 1324 Haight between Central and Masonic, has a mosaic logo in their doorway.

Not visited yet: Kid Serve's "Lemon Tree", on the Whole Foods supermarket at Haight & Stanyan.

The "Cultural Collaboration Mural", a striking mosaic and tile mural by Sharon Virtue, covers the wall to the left and right of the door to the Boys and Girls Club at 1950-1970 Page (between Stanyan & Shrader).

There's an even more impressive mosaic logo in the doorway of the former location of Braindrops Tattoo & Body Piercing, at 1871 Hayes (between Ashbury & Masonic).

The Starbucks at Masonic and Fulton features an enormous mosaic flower mural by Kid Serve.

A mosaic lunette
crowns the front door of St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church at Turk & Baker Streets.

A mosaic of the Madonna and Child is above an entrance to St. Gregory's Armenian Church, at 51 Commonwealth (between Euclid and California).

Richmond District, Presidio

Sarah Dorrance and Luis Hernandez' 2007 mosaic bench, "In Memory of Julia", is in the Rossi Playground at Arguello and Anza.

A large mosaic in the courtyard of the Kaiser French campus, between 5th, Geary, 6th and Anza, commemorates the French Hospital and Dorothy Hager Rogers.

422 9th Avenue, just south of Geary, has a large mosaic of a stalk of wheat in its lobby. It is signed with the Chinese character for "city".

The fence around Argonne Elementary, on Cabrillo between 17th and 18th Avenues, is decorated with many small mosaics of sea life organized by Jane Schafgans. Here are views of the west and east ends of the fence.

To the left and right of the entrance to the Alamo School (on 23rd Avenue between California and Clement) are mosaic scenes of butterflies.

At the center of the Rochambeau Playground, on 24th Avenue between California and Lake, is Johanna Poethig's "Play Ball!".

Monumental mosaic images of saints adorn the facade of the Russian Orthodox Holy Virgin Cathedral, on Geary Boulevard between 26th and 27th Avenues.

California Street ends, just to the west of 32nd Avenue, at the Lincoln Park Steps, with a floral mosaic by Aileen Barr.

Two-sided mosaic panels by Colette Crutcher at 34th Avenue (east side, west side) and 39th Avenue (east side, west side) mark the ends of the outer Balboa Street commercial district.

The sign for the Presidio Native Plant Nursery, in a maze of streets all named Appleton southeast of Fort Winfield Scott, may be the only mosaic in the Presidio.

South of Market

In the entryway of the Apostleship of the Sea building at Harrison and Fremont was a hard-used mosaic of Mary and Jesus by an unknown artist. Appropriate to the setting, Mary held a sailing ship and stood on an island amidst waves. As predicted in an article in the S.F. Chronicle, the building was demolished in late 2007.

A mosaic ILWU logo hangs over the south door of Local 34 at 4 Berry Street (on the east side of AT&T Park).

Atlas holds up the globe in the lobby of the Atlas building (604 Mission Street, at 2nd) in a work by an owner of the building.

"Painted Ladies We Love", one of the 2009 Hearts in SF, by Alan Roth and Nick Berg, was in the upper level of Yerba Buena Gardens for the summer.

Johanna Poethig's "Life Mosaics", which despite its title relies as much on decorated tiles as on mosaic, is a four-paneled work on TODCO's Woolf House, at the south corner of 4th and Howard.

Johanna Poethig and Ursula McGuire's "Sun Mosaic" can be seen through the front door of the Creatice Polite Apartments, 321 Clementina between 4th and 5th Streets.

"Arrow", an Artspan work led by Johanna Poethig, wraps around the entrance to SoMa Artists' Studios at 689 Bryant, between 4th and 5th Streets.

"I Dream as I Walk Through the Moon", another Artspan/Poethig work on Mission Street between 5th and 6th, is entirely decorated tile, not mosaic, but fits in nicely here with the artist's other works anyway.

Martha Heavenston's "A World View" is on the back of the Eugene Friend Rec Center, on 6th Street at Folsom.

The James R. Browning Courthouse at 7th & Mission Streets, home of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, holds a wealth of little-known mosaic works. It was built in 1905 and beautifully restored after the 1989 earthquake. Mosaics such as one of an American eagle decorate the arched ceiling of the first-floor hallway, and mosaic touches adorn floors and walls throughout the building. Even the wall around the courtyard has a decorative pattern in mosaic tile. Courtroom One has a series of three mosaics, allegories of "Science, Literature and the Arts", "Columbia" (flanked by representations of the Phillipines and Hawaii and an infant Puerto Rico) and "California" with her mainstays Agriculture and Mining. Courtroom Three has another series, showing "The Freedom of the Law", "The Majesty of the Law" and "The Wisdom of the Law" (including a depiction of the Ten Commandments over which the Court itself was sued in 2005). The free public tour, offered on two Tuesdays each month, is a must for mosaic hunters.

"Respect and Responsibility", another Kid Serve mural, is inside the gate of the Bessie Carmichael School at 7th & Harrison.

San Francisco's largest mosaic may be the tile decoration on the Channel Pump Station at the head of Mission Creek.

The Kid Serve mural on the Children's Village Child Development Center, on 10th between Howard and Folsom, has no title but an especially charming caption.

Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Mission Bay

Two seating walls at Tunnel Top Park, at the corner of 26th & Pennsylvania, are decorated with a sponsored-tile mosaic by Aileen Barr.

Starr King Elementary, high on Potrero Hill at the south end of Carolina Street, is a mosaic hunter's jackpot. Not only are there two Kid Serve works, a panel depicting California civil rights heroes near the entrance on Carolina St. and a monumental mural of neighborhood oral histories around the block along Wisconsin St., but a woodland scene by Helen Bruton, dated 1955, also lies in wait by the Carolina St. entrance. There is also an unsigned pebble mosaic on a platform in front of the Carolina Street entrance. Well worth the trek!

Hidden behind the tennis courts at Potrero Hill Recreation Center, near 22nd & Arkansas, enjoying a superb view of downtown and the East Bay, is a bench by Laurel True and Sharon Virtue. The mandalas and donor wall in the children's playground are also by Sharon Virtue.

Sharon Virtue's mosaic bench in memory of Enola Maxwell, community activist and mother of former District 10 supervisor Sophie Maxwell, is back at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, of which Enola Maxwell was formerly a director, on Southern Heights Boulevard at De Haro. From 2011 to about 2014 it was next to 1559-1561 Jerrold Avenue, just east of Third Street, across the street from former supervisor Maxwell's home. From 2003 to 2011 it stood in the garden across De Haro from the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House.

Stamped-tile and broken-tile leaves form a mosaic of mosaics at the Friends of Potrero Hill Preschool at 1060 Tennessee Street, between 22nd & 24th.

Not visited yet: Kid Serve's "You've Got A Right To The Tree Of Life", on the Daniel Webster School at 20th & Missouri.

A pebble mosaic decorates "The Benches", a micro-park at San Bruno and 18th Street.

In early 2007 the small mosaic on the Mariposa Street side of St. Gregory's Episcopal Church (on De Haro), which depicted the church, had been removed.

"California Oral Histories" is the labor-themed Kid Serve mural on Enola Maxwell Middle School, on De Haro between 18th & 19th.

A low wall in Jackson Playground's children's playground is covered with an unusual combination of mosaics, handmade tiles and decorative tile in Joshua Sarantitis' "Big Snail Fish".

A large mosaic by Paul Kos of small square titles which spell out its name, "every thing matters", is in the lobby of UCSF Mission Bay's Diller Cancer Research Building, off Nelson Rising Lane between 3rd & 4th Streets.

On 4th Street between 16th & Mariposa, next to the UCSF Mission Bay Hospital, is an amphitheater adorned with Clare Rojas' mosaic "Hummingbirds".

Precita Eye's "The Bay", on the northeast side of the Chase Center, at Terry A. Francois Blvd. & Warriors' Way., shows basketball players and a two-bridge view.

Judy West and Vanessa Workman's mural of marine life adorns the public boat launch at Pier 52.

Bayview District

A woodland scene, possibly by Kid Serve, adorns the side of Big City Montessori School, on Industrial Street at Loomis.

At one side of Hilltop Park is a long crescent bench surfaced with mosaic by Rachel Rodi.

The stairs on Innes at Arelious Walker Drive now host Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher's tile work "Flights of Fancy", inspired by decorative patterns from around the world.

Mission District

Casa Adelante, a city housing project on Shotwell between Cesar Chavez and 26th, is decorated by a broken-tile mosaic titled "Cycle of Life".

Just down the block in our own local park, Juri Commons (between San Jose, Guerrero, 25th and 26th Streets), is artist Jennifer Alexander's temporary mosaic "Sol Flor". Dave and many other Juri Commoners helped execute and install the work. We're hoping to get its stay extended, but no guarantees, so see it while you can!

The renovated entrance hall of the Monteagle Medical Center at St. Luke's Hospital, on Valencia Street near Duncan, features Julia DiBiasi's mosaic mural "Diversity and Chaos".

At the corner of 25th & Valencia are "Map of the World" and "Where Space Meets Earth", done by Synergy School students under the supervision of Sarah Dorrance. (Photos of constructing and installing the works are here and here.) Through the fence behind them can be seen the mosaic columns supervised by Colette Crutcher, which border the courtyard, and, at the back of the courtyard, another mosaic mural.

"Beautiful View", one of the many Kid Serve murals supervised by Josef Norris, is on Buena Vista Elementary School at 25th & Utah.

A year after "Tribute to Dolores Huerta" (Guide p. 35), a second Kid Serve mural, "Native American Creation Stories" joined the fun on Leonard R. Flynn Elementary, on Cesar Chavez Blvd. between Folsom & Harrison.

The mosaic decoration still remains around the entrance of the former Gallery Luscombe at 3040 24th St. (near Treat).

The centerpiece of the 24th and York Mini Park, reopened in late 2006, is a mosaic sculpture of the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, by Mark Roller, Colette Crutcher and Aileen Barr. There is also a mosaic mural of a jungle.

The recently established SF Tikes Academy, on South Van Ness between 23rd and 24th, is adorned with a nicely done broken-tile-and-mirror mosaic of insects and flowers by Jne Schafgans.

Rigo's "Mission 23", at Mission and 23rd, is a sidewalk mosaic of green and white tiles enhanced by painted tiles.

On the side of a small structure in a roof garden on the third floor of the S.F. General Hospital's main building, opposite the eastern bank of elevators, are no less than three major mosaic murals by Mission District muralists Manuel Villamor, Michael Rios and Carlos Loarca. The murals are connected by bands probably done by one or more of the mural artists. A fourth work, by Jerry Concha, is on the roof of the small structure and visible only from above.

At the northeast corner of Potrero and 22nd, next to S.F. General's building 80, is Beniamino Bufano's "Madonna". (Until recently it was tucked away next to the Volunteer Center just off 22nd St.) The anatomical theme fits its setting perfectly.

Hilda Shum's "Fish Tale" breaches a mosaic sea next to the parking lot of the Dept. of Public Health Mental Rehabilitation Facility, at 887 Potrero Street next to S.F. General.

Mosaics cover the interior columns at Boogaloo's, on Valencia at 22nd Street.

A broken-tile bench by Sarah Dorrance is in front of 2956 22nd Street near Treat.

"Healthy Happy Heart" is a Kid Serve mural by second graders at George Moscone Elementary, on the school on Harrison St. between 21st and 22nd.

Nearby at the Boys and Girls Club, at 901 Alabama St. at 21st, a long mural depicts the club's activities.

The entrance to Bethany Senior Center, on Capp Street at 21st Street, boasts "Growth", an unsigned mosaic mural by none other than the well-known San Francisco artist Ruth Asawa.

Judy Hiramoto's "Animal Hopscotch" is a mosaic in the courtyard playground of the Mission Recreation Center, on Harrison Street between 20th and 21st.

The entrance to Dog-Eared Books, on Valencia Street at 20th, is decorated with mosaic. Be sure to look both up and down. And the doorway of their old location, on the east side of Valencia between 22nd and 23rd, now Scarlet Sage, still bears their name.

On the east side of Valencia near 19th Street is Vertical Clearance, a hair salon. On its window sill is a charming little bit of mosaic by Emily Kiesel which makes remarkably effective use of a very few chips of broken tile.

Laurel True and Lillian Sizemore's "Bounte Bouday War" (Mysterious Door), a curvilinear stage backdrop, is inside the Bollywood Cafe, on 19th Street just east of Mission.

There is an untitled broken-tile mosaic under the ramp at Fallen Bridge Park, on Utah at 18th.

The owner of the newest branch of Frjtz, on Valencia between 16th and 17th, has hung some of his mosaic skateboards and other artworks in his new establishment, and installed a mosaic in the doorway.

Small round mosaics of saints and historical figures encircle the nave of the Mission Dolores basilica, on Dolores at 16th, and a couple of niches are lined with mosaic patterns.

El Pollo Supremo, 3036 16th Street, on the north side near Mission, has been replaced by Taqueria Los Coyotes, but the mosaic facade (Guide p. 11) remains.

"Our Children", another Kid Serve mural, overlooks Kid Power Park, on Hoff St. near 16th.

Kid Serve's most impressive work, the 6-story-tall "Beyond the Trees", is in the courtyard of 170 Otis, between McCoppin & Duboce.

"The Flower Inside Us Grows" (page 16 of the Guide) was destroyed during renovation of 150 Otis, between McCoppin & Duboce.

A mosaic work which is extra special to Huxley and I is Anthony Stellon's "Brotherhood of Man", which we found under potted plants in a Rec & Parks work area in the northeast corner of Franklin Square Park while walking to work in early April 2006. "Brotherhood of Man" was originally installed at the Martin Luther King Jr. pool at Third and Carroll Streets in the Bayview. It was taken down when renovation of the pool began in 1996 and moved to Franklin Square for safe keeping. Thanks to a nudge from Huxley and I and actual work by Lillian Sizemore and the Friends of Franklin Square it was reinstalled in Franklin Square's new playground and unveiled on November 23, 2013.

Bernal Heights, Holly Park

Peter Almeida's 1988 "Colloidal Pool" is in the Coleridge Street Mini-Park at the bottom of the Esmeralda steps.

The street number of 120 Lundys Lane is a snazzy glass mosaic of a redwood forest.

This mysterious mosaic is below the edge of the topmost large landing of the Esmeralda steps (above Elsie), across from the live oak and plaque which honor Margaret Randolph for her contributions to the community.

Colette Crutcher's Peringer/Rodriguez entry graces 183 Ellsworth Street, near Eugenia.

A mosaic mural of marine life is in progress at the corner of Jarboe and Nevada.

The Junipero Serra Child Learning Annex on Appleton Street west of Holly Hill boasts an impressive constellation of mosaic pieces on several buildings and along the wall facing the sidewalk. At least one of them, "Bernal's Farm", was supervised by Kid Serve.

East of "Wise and Furry" (page 35 of the Guide), on the opposite side of Highland Street, a mosaic mural is in progress on a low concrete wall.

The south end of Moultrie Street, south of Crescent, is unexpectedly brightened by a low mosaic-covered wall. A small mosaic of a tree is embedded in the sidewalk nearby at #814.

Portola District, Visitacion Valley, Little Hollywood, Excelsior District, Mission Terrace, Outer Mission

At the south end of bridge the over Interstate 280, spaces in the masonry on the west and east sides of the street are filled in by "The Excelsior: A Journey from Dawn to Dusk", by the Excelsior Boys and Girls Club and the SFAI City Studio.

On the facade of Hillcrest Elementary School at 810 Silver Avenue are a c. 2005 mosaic of a tree full of butterflies (not, apparently, a Kid Serve work) and a 2010 Kid Serve piece. Another mosaic decorates the door from the schoolyard. Drescher's San Francisco Bay Area Murals lists a seven-paneled work (#430) in the school's library; if still present, it isn't visible from the outside.

A row of bollards at an entrance to McLaren Park on Burrows St. at Gambier is in the process of being covered with mosaic.

A circular planter at McNab Lake in McLaren Park was decorated with a mosaic of sea life "sponsored by First Five". A nearby retaining wall was mosaiced in 2015 by community participants and artist Rachel Rodi.

The southernmost entrance to the Visitacion Valley Greenway features three tiled columns topped with mosaiced shapes. There are more similar works along the greenway, and broken-tile trim around each gate and along Leland Avenue.

The garden behind Visitacion Valley Elementary has an amphitheatre filled with mosaics by local artists, including a spectacular lizard bench. Though not accessible to the public, they can be seen from the path between the school and the adjacent public playground.

Colette Crutcher's "Mother and Child Arch" is one of the showpieces of the amazing sculpture garden inside the San Francisco dump, on Tunnel Avenue in Little Hollywood. The monthly tour of the dump, which includes a presentation on recycling in SF, a visit with the artists in residence and tours of the waste transfer facility and the sculpture garden, is about the coolest thing you've probably never done. No dogs allowed, though.

Outside the dump office at 501 Tunnel Avenue is a mosaic quilt of bottlecaps and other found objects.

Monroe Elementary now boasts not just the single mosaic listed in the Guide (p. 33), but an astonishing collection of works in several different styles (for example these, these, these, this and this) all around its exterior, as well as a map of the world visible in a second-floor window.

A low wall in the children's playground at Crocker-Amazon Playground is covered with mosaic.

A wall behind 701 Excelsior Avenue, along Vienna Street, displays a series of broken-tile mosaics.

Over the front doors of Church of the Epiphany, on Vienna at Amazon, are mosaic scenes of the annunciation, death and resurrection of Christ.

As well as "Suncatchers" (Guide p. 33), Denman Middle School (on Oneida between Otsego and Delano) is home to another Kid Serve mural, "A Living Library", as well as a painted-tile walkway.

The stairs in Kenny Alley (between Mission, London, France & Italy) are decorated with a mosaic of flowing water.

A file of tall, narrow mosaic panels
separates the gas station at the northwest corner of Mission & Geneva from the sidewalk.

A Byzantine Mosaic Company facade survives on the Bank of America branch at 5150 Mission Street, just south of Geneva Avenue.

There are several more Kid Serve murals in the Bayview, Visitacion Valley and other places in southern San Francisco.

Dolores Heights, Castro District, Upper Market

A mosaic of stone tesserae, depicting spirals within spirals, is in the doorway of 219 Cumberland, between Church and Sanchez.

A rainbow of glass tiles greets visitors to the apartment building at 4030 19th Street between Noe and Hartford.

There is a colorful glass tile mosaic next to the front door of 50 Eagle Street.

Noe Valley

Not investigated yet: A photograph in the San Francisco public library's historical photograph collection shows a mosaic mural that is or was at the Edison Elementary School.

Cradle of the Sun, a stained glass studio on 24th at Vicksburg, has a beautiful new glass mosaic in its entryway.

James Lick Middle School, on Noe St. between 25th & Clipper, has a growing collection of mosaic works: Broken-tile mosaics of a global streetscape decorate the left and right facade of the former Global Exchange location on 24th between Noe and Castro.

In addition to the 2000 work by Paul Lanier listed in the Guide (p. 44), there is a second mosaic mural at Alvarado Elementary School (at Alvarado and Douglass Streets). It was supervised by Nancy Thompson in 1972, and, according to the Noe Valley Voice, Paul Lanier worked on it as a student. The mural is in the southwest corner of the schoolyard on the south wall and is hard to see from outside. Try looking down the driveway along the south side of the school from Douglass Street.

A pebble mosaic of a whale's tail is the first of three mysterious symbols in the driveway to 70 Grandview. (The driveway is around the corner on Romain.)

In front of 1913 Castro, hidden in the Duncan-Castro Natural Area, is a bright mosaic planter box.

The wall in front of 21 Fountain St.
was covered with an impressive combination of tiles and broken-tile mosaic. Unfortunately the house and wall were demolished in 2009 or 2010.

Glen Park

136 Mateo Street has a mosaic mermaid street number.

A mosaic mural of the forest by Kid Serve frames the doorway to Glen Park Montessori, 647-649 Chenery, near Carrie.

Next door, the Bird and Beckett bookstore at 653 Chenery has a mosaic sign by Colette Crutcher and Mark Roller.

Next to the entrance to St. John's Elementary School at 925 Chenery is a semi-abstract mosaic inscribed with a quotation from St. John the Evangelist. Above the entrance around the corner at Burnside and Paradise is another inscribed with a quotation from John F. Kennedy.

The wall outside Glen Park School, on Lippard at Bosworth, has a broken-tile mosaic of local flora and fauna, sponsored by the Create Peace Project.

City College (Sunnyside), Ingleside

Bufano's "St. Francis of the Guns", cast from melted firearms, stands in front of City College's Science Building.

"Organic and Inorganic Science", (also called "Education"), two monumental marble mosaics by Herman Volz, fill the north and south porticos of City College's Science Building.

Red and blue mosaic patches decorate Jacques Overhoff's "Sculpture Deck" and "Bicentennial Wings", next to City College's Batmale Hall.

Two utility boxes in the garden at the end of Tara at Geneva are decorated with mosaic fish, birds and flowers.

Laurel True's great orange "Sun Spheres", finally installed in 2008 (see Guide p. 33) surround the intersection of Ocean and Granada Avenues.

Twin Peaks, West of Twin Peaks

The Dragon's Tale steps are on the south side of Miraloma Elementary, on Bella Vista Way between Dorcas Way and Avoca Alley. They were supervised by Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher.

Rooftop School has no less than eight mosaic works:
Not visited yet: The new Laguna Honda Hospital lobby has a series of mosaic murals by Owen Smith showing the building of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Hospice Garden between the south wings of Laguna Honda Hospital is home to many artworks done by the residents, including a mosaic featuring a butterfly, set into the ground. [Not visited since Laguna Honda was rebuilt.]

The sign for Clarendon Elementary, on Clarendon Avenue at Panorama, is done in mosaic.

Sunset District, Parkside, Lakeshore

Hidden inside the Garden for the Environment at 7th & Lawton is a broken-tile mosaic of a tree's roots.

A mosaic jester by Delaine Hackey advertises Pasquale's Pizzeria on Irving at 8th.

A mosaic of undersea life is in progress at 2253 9th Avenue (between 12th & Mesa Avenues) in Forest Hill.

The home of Betty Mosias (not generally open to the public) at 2375 12th Avenue (at Magellan) features two bathrooms with mosaic and art tile work as well as a mosaic birdbath and other pieces by Ms. Mosais, and rooms full of fascinating objects collected over a lifetime.

A mosaic in the courtyard of Alice Fong Yu Elementary, on Funston at Lurline, features the Golden Gate Bridge and the Great Wall of China.

Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher turned the steps on 16th between Kirkham & Lawton into the magnificent Hidden Garden Steps.

Students from Jefferson Elementary made the impossible-to-miss Kid Serve mural on 19th Avenue at Irving and another work in the courtyard of the school, between Irving, Judah, 18th & 19th.

Rachel Rodi's "Flight", on the Larsen Park restroom building, off of Vicente near 19th Avenue, remembers the actual airplane that once stood in the park.

In the courtyard of Congregation Ner Tamid, visible from Ortega between 21st & 22nd, is a wall mosaic, "Tree of Life Amid the Garden".

A mosaic mural made by Margaret Baker Sarris from beach pebbles gathered by congregants hangs over the altar of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church at Ulloa & 33rd.

"Abundance", a sculpture consisting of two giant mosaic fish, by Wowhaus, guards the entrance to the Ortega Branch Library, on Ortega between 39th & 40th.

Sunset Elementary, at 41st & Ortega, has a Kid Serve work, "Protectors of the Amazing Redwood Forests".

The Sunset Neighborhood Forest is actually a broken-tile mural by Rachel Rodi, on the Ulloa School on Vicente between 41st & 42nd.

Weathered mosaic doorways, "Ocean Door" by Laurel True and a second, temporarily unidentified work from 2003, flank stairway 16 at Ocean Beach.

Giant, mosaic-encrusted concrete sails by Colette Crutcher are the first of two planned gateways to the west-end-of Taraval neighborhood, at Great Highway and Taraval.

Two mosaic murals by the Bruton sisters, of children and of St. Francis with animals, flank the entrance to the San Francisco Zoo's Mother's Building.

The eyes of the animals in Mary Fuller's "Earth, Air, Sea", which guards the entrance to Sloat Boulevard from the Great Highway, are mosaic sunbursts.

Bufano's "Peace" stands on Brotherhood Way between Lake Merced and Junipero Serra Boulevards.

A mosaic emblem crowns the sign at the entrance to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at 999 Brotherhood Way. (There are mosaics inside as well, not yet investigated.)

Several more Kid Serve murals and many mosaic playground decorations are located throughout western San Francisco.

Treasure Island

The Delancey Street Foundation's Life Learning Academy, at 8th & H Streets on Treasure Island, features an inspirational mural with the words "Stop. Think. Decide."

San Francisco International Airport

Huxley always greets guests at the airport, though he hasn't been past security since moving to the Bay Area in 2005.

Rigo '99's monumental "Thinking of Balmy Alley" towers over gate G98 in the International Terminal's Boarding Area G. This work repeats the subject of Rigo's 1993 Balmy Alley spraycan mural, "Colors".

Amy Ellingson's "Untitled (Large Variation)"
, which is very large indeed, is in Terminal 3 between Boarding Areas E and F.

Joyce Kozloff's very decorative three-part work, "Bay Area Deco/Bay Area Victorian/Bay Area Funk" is in the hallway between the International Terminal and domestic Terminal 1.

"Waiting", an unusual photorealistic mosaic by Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan, is at gate A7 in International Terminal Boarding Area A.


Though outside the City and County of San Francisco, Colma occupies a special place in the lives of San Franciscans -- that is, the ends of their lives -- and deserves a mention here. Among the sculpture and stained glass that dominate cemetery art are several notable mosaics.

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