Washington Square, San Francisco

Union & Powell, North Beach
San Francisco, CA

Submitted by: Michael Leo

A green oasis in the tight grid of one of the most densely populated parts of San Francisco.

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Why It Works

Washington Square is a green oasis in the tight grid of one of the most densely populated parts of SF, North Beach. Its location, at the mid point of Columbus street, makes it a natural gathering place for the community.

What Makes Washington Square, San Francisco a Great Place?

It is probably one of the most accessible parks in SF.

All the basic amenities are there, plus great Italian food within crawling distance in any direction. Sidewalk cafes ring the perimeter for a glass of wine or a cold beer, and it's a walkable downhill destination from most of the northeast part of town.

Besides its rich history, the park draws people in mainly because it is full of activity and has a "town square" feel. There are lots of benches along the pathways, and lots of grass on which to spread out, play frisbee, etc. It is also the location for many special events.

One of my favorite parts of a visit to Washington Square is overhearing conversations in Italian as one strolls past the benches of park users.

History & Background

Located in the center of the predominately Italian North Beach Neighborhood, Washington Square is a simple expanse of lawn surrounded by benches and trees. Set against the towers of Saints Peter and Paul church. The park was first laid out in 1955, the park now hosts a variety of commnuity events including early morning Tai Chi.

Contact Info:

San Francisco Recreation & Park Department

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