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The Kenny Alley Beautification Project was a multi-phased effort to revitalize and beautify the Kenny Alley stairs, a small, passage located between a car lot and an apartment building on Mission Street in San Francisco’s Excelsior District that connects London Street to Mission Street. Friends of Kenny Alley made significant improvements to the Kenny Alley stairs since the project began, including neighborhood and community activation, public pathway improvements, working with local artists and students, and beautifying and greening a blighted and neglected public walkway. Kenny Alley was awarded the San Francisco Beautiful Neighborhood Beautification Award in 2017.
The Kenny Alley Story
Since its establishment in the late 1800's, the hilly terrain that made up the Excelsior Homestead had to solve the challenge of connecting its streets as the dairy farms became blocks of homes. Along with the steep climbs of roadways another solution was to line well-traversed hills with stairways to help the residents reach the vibrant shops along Mission Street and Geneva Avenues and make the steep hills more accessible.
About Kenny Alley
Kenny Alley is a narrow path and stairway in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood located at 4949 Mission Street, directly across the street from the Safeway Market. This unique conduit between the local commercial corridor and surrounding residential areas, blighted and unsafe Kenny Alley was identified by neighbors as functional when necessary but otherwise avoided.
The concept for the Kenny Alley Stairs Project first arose during the 2014 Excelsior Action Group Vibrancy Committee meeting. Reviewing the data from the City's 311 Service Request Calls from April 1, 2007-September 1, 2015 EAG volunteers decided something needed to be done to improve the safety and appearance of this access stairway.
A dedicated Project Team was organized to bring this project to life. Naming it The Kenny Alley Beautification Project EAG sought to revitalize this unassuming site into an artistic oasis, installing lighting, greening and landscaping, repair or replace fencing, and install a beautiful tile mosaic art centerpiece on the stair facings.
The project was initially funded by a Community Challenge Grant and an Excelsior Collaborative Grant. Donor tiles were sold to raise additional funds and involve the community. Beginning with Public Works, major vegetation removal, fence, sidewalk and step repairs were completed so the Friends could begin with a clean slate.
On December 10, 2016 an official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place re-introducing residents and visitors to the new addition to the stairways of San Francisco. If you haven’t visited Kenny Alley lately, you’ll be blown away by the improvements that have been made this year, including a new “Mountain” mural, security lighting, landscaping, tree planting, a vertical cactus garden, stair resurfacing, an all-new banister, and of course the centerpiece of the work: a beautiful mosaic tile installation on the face of the 47 steps at Kenny Alley.
For up-to-date information about Kenny Alley Stairs visit:
Preserve the project!
Ongoing clean-up days at the stairs take place each month. January 2020's 1st of the year clean-up day is scheduled for Saturday January 25th from 10am-1pm.
To volunteer contact Mel Flores at firstname.lastname@example.org.