UPDATE: Delay on Bill Walsh Way has cleared. The IB 29 resuming regular service. https://t.co/f19vLFawk2 (More: 19 in last 48 hours)
Routes with a View

Improving the View with Public Art

Friday, October 2, 2015

We're closing out Art Week on Moving SF! We’ve transformed 50 Muni buses into galleries on wheels, showcasing the work of local artists throughout the city. So, we celebrated by dedicating blog posts this week to art and artists (with a transportation twist).

Today, we have a special edition of our Routes with a View feature, where we share some of our favorite destinations in the city and the Muni routes and lines that will take you there.

Market Street Railway mural street shot
The Market Street Railway Mural at 300 Church Street shows a 180-degree view of Market Street through time. 

Market Street Railway Mural close-up
The first, sepia-toned section of the mural depicts Market Street in the mid 1920s during the transit period nicknamed "The Roar of the Four," named for its four sets of tracks that carried a constant stream of streetcars.

As the SF Mural Arts website points out, San Francisco is a virtual outdoor art gallery where city walls are transformed into an artist’s canvas and unremarkable sites become public works of art. As we celebrate Art Week, we thought we’d show you one of our favorite murals, The Market Street Railway Mural, located at 300 Church Street. Created by artist Mona Caron, this sprawling homage pays tribute to the city’s historical past and to the wide range of uses that a vibrant urban public space can and should accommodate.

Did you know?

  • The Market Street Railway Mural shows a 180-degree bird’s eye view of Market Street through time.
  • The mural is 38’ x 12’ and was completed in 2004.
  • The mural is a tribute to the urban center “as a place uniquely conducive to individual and collective expression, a place where history is made, and politics becomes visible,” according to the artist.
  • The mural is divided into sections corresponding to different historical periods (the 1920s, 1940s and the early 2000s)
  • The last section of the mural is a fantasy of what Market Street might look like in the future.
  • At the right end of the mural, a little streetcar breaks out of the picture, riding on into infinity.
  • The mural is dedicated to David L. Pharr, a streetcar mechanic and preservationist with the Market Street Railway, who played a key role in the restoration and operation of the vintage streetcars that run on San Francisco's Market Street. Pharr passed away in 2003.
  • For a complete list of Mona Caron’s murals around the Bay Area and throughout the world click here.

How to get there

Muni Lines

Take Muni Metro L Taraval, M Ocean View, and KT Ingleside/T Third lines and offboard at Church Street Station; take the N Judah Line and offboard at Duboce Avenue and Church Street.

Jazz and the City mural at SF JAZZ
"Jazz and the City," one of three murals located inside SF JAZZ at 201 Fillmore Street.

The new SFJAZZ Center at 201 Franklin Street is another location that features multiple murals -- three of them -- created by Los Angeles-based artist Sandow Birk and Oakland native Elyse Pignolet. Two of the murals are in public view in the upstairs lobby including the mural below, Jazz and the City, featuring iconic locations of early jazz venues in San Francisco.

How to get there

Muni Lines

Once again, your best bet is to take any Muni Metro Line to Van Ness Station; from there it's a five-minute walk to 201 Franklin Street.