As a kid I went to Catholic School and I went to church. Sacred Heart Church at the top of a hill on Fillmore at Fell had a steeple bell that didn’t ring too loud but could be seen across many neighbourhoods. The church is part of a complex of buildings completed in 1888 including the Rectory next door, the Convent around the corner and School down the block. All of the buildings could be easily accessed through the playground in the middle of the complex.
In the ’60s and ’70s, this church was a meeting place for San Francisco State University student activists against the war in Vietnam. The parish complex was the site of the local Black Panther Party Breakfast Program. The United Farmworkers Union started the 1970 lettuce boycott here. It’s no wonder that the nuns I remember in school were so badass. This place nurtured revolutions.
Seismic retrofitting was too costly after the 1989 earthquake and the church was closed in 2004. The buildings were eventually sold and the Church of 8 Wheels, founded by David G Miles Jr, debuted in 2013. He’s been known as the Godfather of Skating since he moved to SF in 1979. Anything roller skating related around the city, including the fun in Golden Gate Park over the last 40 years, is thanks to him.
Skating lessons are available an hour before the doors open. All ages in the first few hours. Sundays and evenings are adults only. Check the schedule for details. Costumes are optional but encouraged.