Those of us long enough in the tooth will remember the days 10 to 15 years ago when Walton Square was lush with trees, vegetation, park benches, and the evening resting spot for the Parrots of Telegraph Hill. The parrots departed to Ferry Park when gardeners cut down their poplar trees, which had become diseased. And much of the verdant beauty was diminished when, one by one, sick trees were felled and not replaced.
Still lovely, Walton Square contains a remarkable collection of outdoor art and is worth an admiring walk-through during this warm spring weather. To view and print out the large-scale, detailed tour, you'll need to click here: The Walton Square Art Tour. We've provided the print version of the two-page document in PDF format. In order to view it, you'll need Acrobat Reader—a free program. If you're unable to open the PDF file, you can find Adobe Acrobat Reader and download it here on their website.
THE WAY WE WERE
You’re looking at the old Produce Market, which was removed to make way for Walton Square. These days you can see the only remnant from the market—an ivy-covered, brick arch at the western entrance to the park.
In this early photo, Walton Square had just been planted. Notice cars parked where Golden Gateway Commons now stands.
WALTON SQUARE'S FAMOUS DESIGNER
Peter Walker, one of the most well known and respected landscape architects in the world, designed Walton Square. In the early 1960s, when he was chosen to design Walton Square, Peter Walker was a managing partner of Sasaki Walker (later to become SWA—a renowned SF-Sausalito landscape firm with a worldwide business and reputation). After designing our park, Peter became Dean of Landscape Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and is currently creating New York’s 9-11 Memorial Park in joint venture with a competition-winning architect. In the opinion of Bob Geering, architect of Golden Gateway Commons, “Sidney Walton Park was an early, classic work of Peter Walker’s and should be maintained in its original form.” Privately Geering believes the poplar trees, as originally designed, should be replanted in their mystic, Zen-like formation. The weeping willows and pine trees that were removed should also be replaced.