Every time I go to explore San Francisco, I discover the city is full of unique things in the most unusual places. And Sydney G. Walton Square is just that — unique in an unusual place.
This square, named after San Francisco businessman Sydney G. Walton, is located only a few blocks away from The Embarcadero and downtown. It is surrounded by Front Street on the west, Jackson Street on the south and Davis Street on the east and Pacific Avenue at the north end.
What makes this 2-acre square so special are the numerous pieces of art displayed there. The little park houses several sculptures, including “Penguins” by Beniamino Bufano, who also has his sculpture “Saint Francis of the Guns” at City College’s Ocean campus at the base of the stairs leading up to Science Hall from Phelan Avenue. Other sculptures include the “Fountain of Four Seasons” by Francois Stahly near the center of the square and the beautiful heart-shaped bronze sculpture “Big Heart on the Rock” by Jim Dine.
If you’re an art lover, like I am, you can take a free self-guided walking tour of the park. The guide briefly explains each creation, gives you information about the artist, when the piece was completed, and talks about the significance of it.
The square is also the home of the Colombo Market Arch, which was originally a part of the old Colombo Market that thrived here in the early 1900’s. It was popular among Italian workers, farmers and immigrants, who went there to buy produce and common goods.
During lunch time, Sydney G. Walton Square becomes a popular lunch spot for people who work in the financial district. But during the morning and late afternoon hours, the park is perfect for laying the sun, studying or catching some z’s. It’s quiet and peaceful..
Whether you’re walking in the financial district and need a place to rest, want to relax or have a picnic, Sydney Walton Square is a perfect choice.