McLaren's contemplative jewel
The Philosopher's Way
Back in 2007 three established environmental artists met with community members to discuss plans for a public art project in McLaren Park.
Philosopher's Way is a joint project of the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in connection with the replacement of the La Grande Water Tank located above the park reservoir, popularly known as the Blue Tower. Some architectural enhancements for the new tank were suggested but not implemented, and funds that might have been used on the tower building were made available for public art in the park.
Click on image to download
a map of McLaren Park showing trails
for Philosopher's Way
and a history of the project
Two proposals were for stationary pieces. After community voting and approval by the Art Commission the Philosopher’s Way was the designated winner.
Designed by Susan Schwartzenberg and Peter Richards, who work as a team, the Way utilizes the existing trails throughout the park. Walkers will encounter “musing stations,” fourteen in all. At some there will be one or more plaques offering a quotation, a bit of park history or information about a plant or other park feature.
At this writing The Philosopher’s Way is very near completion and is already being enjoyed by scores of people. In the near future a web site with a virtual tour may be developed.