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16th Avenue: Where Mosaic Magic Kissed San Francisco!

San Francisco city is one of the most liberal and artistic cities of the United States. Visiting this lively cultural center of Northern California, you find yourself wandering amongst eclectic Victorian architecture and landmarks like the infamous Golden Gate Bridge & Alamo Square.

This city is literally a mosaic, comprised of colourful yet different neighbourhoods, mimicking little tiles on an artisan’s mosaic canvas – each exhibiting its own intricate artistic detail. The “16th Avenue Tiled Steps” project is surely one of the most beautiful art gems of San Francisco city that has been manufactured by the hands of local art enthusiasts, volunteers and of course, by the two ambitious artists: Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher. Combining their artistic envision and skills with the passion of the community, mosaic staircase project was initiated in January 2003 and was successfully completed a year later in August of 2004.

Artistic expression constitutes an integral element of a healthy culture. This is what the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps project radiates: a neighbourhood effort which promotes a special bond between the people of the community who magnified the significance of art within urban realms.
The mosaic staircase project boasts 163 steps being covered with mosaic patterns by approximately 300 local helpers and also 220 people that added their artistic inspirations, depicting animal illustrations & also name tiles that were included within the mosaic.

mosaic staircase turtle  - a step

The mosaic staircase project boasts 163 steps being covered with mosaic patterns by approximately 300 local helpers and also 220 people that added their artistic inspirations, depicting animal illustrations & also name tiles that were included within the mosaic.

The outcome of this unified effort is truly outstanding. This project is undeniably a mosaic gem that always captures the eye; whether you’re rushing on your way to work on a Monday morning or strolling by 16th Avenue on a Friday night – the experience is unique.  Only by observing the artwork you can feel the positivity, energy & the joy of creation, whilst admiring the precise coordination of the locals to create something mutual and beautiful.

The steps in San Francisco however, have a long history behind them the structure itself was initially built in 1926…

mosaic staircase waves

The installation of the 163 separate mosaic panels exhibits has a high standard of quality and professionalism on behalf of everyone who participated..

mosaic staircase fish

The setting of the mosaic panels was coordinated by a major San Franciscan tile setting company named KZ Tile, covering up the surface of the steps with nonslip tile (abiding with health and safety regulations) and completing the entire placement process.

mosaic staircase sun

For the preservation of this extraordinary mosaic project a meticulous plan has been methodically designed by experts in order to maintain its brilliance and vividness throughout the year. 

mosaic staircase moon sun   navštivte tuto stránku

The contributing role of public art in a community is without a doubt, a very important form of expression that promotes a positive mentality within any community. It is an essential facet of a community’s development; creating healthy communities enriched with creative spirit, productivity and activism.

This particular project is not true decorative gem for the city but also reveals the spiritual and physical form of the community adding a unique value to it. 

mosaic staircase blue moon

Got inspired?

Share your thoughts with us about this mosaic project and let us know if you have visited cities enriched with decorative architecture and mosaic artworks…

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Sofia Guda

Sofia Guda