Restoring Black Point Historic Gardens

San Francisco's Black Point Historic Gardens is welcoming visitors to its terraces and stunning bay views for the first time in 50 years. You can help with the restoration!

At the northeast corner of San Francisco’s Fort Mason is an area called “Black Point”—so named for the native black oaks that once lived among the sand dunes which formerly carpeted this storied tranche of land.

Flowers spilling over garden wall and steep landscape at Black Point Historic Gardens
The terraces of Black Point Historic Gardens bloom again. Photo courtesy of the Parks Conservancy

It was first utilized seasonally by the indigenous Ohlone people, then appropriated consecutively by the Spanish, Mexicans, and finally the United States. The just over one-acre property had been abandoned, littered with trash, and fenced off for 50 years.

Black Point Historic Gardens Restoration

Garden worker on garden terrace planted with bright poppies and other flowers
The gardens' beauty is being restored by the Parks Conservancy and Golden Gate National Parks Service, along with volunteer gardeners. Photo courtesy of the Parks Conservancy

But today, thanks to the Parks Conservancy and Golden Gate National Parks Service, and aided by the tireless dedication of volunteer gardeners led by Shelagh Fritz and Natalie Korengold, Black Point Historic Gardens is welcoming visitors for the first time in 50 years. These garden-goers will be treated to jaunty, colorful wildflowers and native grasses dancing in the wind along pathways through terraced gardens and a spectacular view of the Bay Bridge, downtown, and ferries gliding across the Bay to Alcatraz with its lush gardens—often referred to as the sister garden of Black Point Gardens. Both children were parented by the National Parks Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. And to bring this full circle, the Garden Conservancy partnered with these two groups to restore the Gardens of Alcatraz.

A Benefit for the Gardens

The Garden Conservancy is delighted to be a cultural partner of  The San Francisco Fall Show, the most revered art, design, and antiques fair on the West Coast. Join them at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for the Arts & Culture on Friday, October 14 at noon for a benefit luncheon at the Show honoring speakers Michael Boodro and Suzanne Rheinstein, who will  participate in a panel discussion following the luncheon titled Inside Outside – The Art of Folly in Gardens, Interiors  & Architecture.

Michael Boodro and Suzanne Rheinstein
Honorees Michael Boodro and Suzanne Rheinstein. Photos courtesy of the Garden Consvervancy

Proceeds from the event will support the Garden Conservancy’s national preservation work – specifically, in part, a grant to aid the restoration of Black Point Historic Gardens at Fort Mason, often referred to as the “sister garden” of Alcatraz.

Purchase individual or group tickets to the event here or by calling Sarah Parker at 845.424.6500 ext. 214.

By Margot Shaw