Flights of Fancy San Francisco

Image by Kathleen Messmer

Flights of Fancy – Artful stairs

Exploring the city more often than not turns up completely unexpected surprises.  During a trip down Innes Avenue, I happened upon a flight of stairs that is so handsomely and colorfully decorated, I had to not only photograph them, but find out the origins of the art itself.

Their actual name is the “Arelious Walker Drive Stairs”, named after the community pastor and activist Arelious Walker, of the True Hope Church of God in Christ. The artists were inspired by patterns drawn from various world cultures — namely cloth from Ghana, Native American painted pottery, Central American textiles, Japanese and Indonesian fabrics, Middle Eastern tile patterns and paisley designs from India.

The City of San Francisco Arts Commission actually commissioned the work by Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher for the San Francisco Department of Public Works. There are other staircases in the city that have been created by these two extremely talented women. In particular, there is the 16th Avenue that are 163 separate mosaic panels, one for each riser. Amazing.

🌍 Looking for a map? Get our iPhone / Android app!

Details about this spot



859 Innes Avenue, San Francisco

Opening Times

24 hours daily
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)