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Great Explorations: Hyde/Vallejo Mini-Park

Photos: Laura Thompson/Hoodline
By Laura Thompson - Published on March 19, 2016.

Strolling down the west side of Hyde Street between Green and Vallejo, observant walkers will notice the curious “Mini Park” sign along the curb. Take note: this nondescript brown sign indicates the presence of something special.

Tucked between two residential buildings in the middle of the block, the Hyde/Vallejo Mini-Park is an unexpected discovery. The view from the street is enticing, and worth a closer look.

The pathway gradually stair-steps several feet down from street level along a row of trees and well-tended landscaping. When you reach the bottom you’ll find yourself in a hushed enclave.

This small park is creatively designed. Benches are built into the perimeter wall, and there is even a raised space for impromptu performances. After a rainstorm, blossoms cover the cement in a fragrant and colorful carpet.

The Board of Supervisors authorized the purchase of this 25x125-foot lot in 1971 from a private owner to create one of the city's early mini-parks. There used to be a tepee on the property for kids to play in, but we’re not sure where it went.

Fortunately, the pink cement pig is still here:

Treat yourself to ice cream from Swensen’s down the street, and delight in this hidden sanctuary.

Getting There: Catch the Powell-Hyde Cable Car to Hyde and Vallejo, or the 19 bus to Polk and Vallejo. Parking is onstreet. This park is not wheelchair accessible.

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