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Mechanics Monument Plaza

DSFP received a $40,000 economic recovery grant from OEWD to transform this unremarkable public plaza into a central gathering space. DSFP partners with community groups such as the Mechanics' Institute to activate the Mechanics Plaza with regular programming.

Mechanics Monument Restoration

Mechanics Monument was created by sculptor Douglas Tilden. The surrounding city plaza is the perfect place to recharge. The Mechanics Monument is a group of bronze sculptures sitting in a serene pool of water located at the confluence of Market, Bush and Battery streets in downtown San Francisco. Designed by artist Douglas Tilden, this homage in bronze was commissioned as part of a streets beautification program in the early 20th century, and serves to memorialize industry and commerce, depicting five nude figures (representing the “five ages of man”) operating a punching machine atop a boilerplate. The bronze figures were installed on granite base in 1901 and have served as a visual locus and focus point for the downtown community ever since.

Mechanics Monument Plaza

Project Elements and Impact

  • Outdoor Furniture
    • Colorful bistro tables and lounge chairs signify the area as a place for pedestrians to meet, sit, and enjoy the surroundings.
  • Planter Maintenance
    • The installation and ongoing maintenance of new plantings, and the installations of colorful planters to match the outdoor furniture.
  • Programming
    • Current programming includes a partnership with the Mechanics' Institute to provide chess tutorials and tournaments.

Overall Impact

DSFP leveraged site improvement plans and partnered with the City's Arts Commission on a full restoration of the historic monument.