The Golden Mile Project, the latest project from Illuminate — the nonprofit that put up the Bay Lights and did that rainbow laser installation up Market Street during Pride — has brought a series of public art pieces to JFK Drive.
Launched two weeks ago, the Golden Mile Project features an array of murals painted on the street along JFK Drive; three restored, seven-foot-tall dog heads from SF's iconic (but defunct) Doggie Diner; public pianos for people to play inspired by the Flower Piano event that just ended its 2022 iteration in the Botanical Garden; and 100 colorful Adirondack chairs for lounging.
The three cartoon dachshunds from the long-gone Doggie Diner, which closed its last SF location in 1986, have been lovingly restored at the hands of owner John Law. (Law explains to the Chronicle, somewhat grandly, "I don’t consider myself the owner of them, I consider myself the steward.")
The dog heads used to loom over the casual hot-dog-and-hamburger stand locations in and around SF during the company's near-40-year run, from 1948 to 1986, and longtime locals still have a soft spot for them.
Law bought his first dog head in 1988, as he tells the Chronicle, and most recently he used some Kickstarter money to restore them, so they're now in much shinier shape than when we first heard about Law's project in 2014.
But there are also murals to see from local artists, painted along the car-free promenade.
And there are activities planned for the coming months as well as new food trucks, and a possible beer garden on the way — which is a first for Rec and Parks, as far as we can tell.
"The cultural reemergence of San Francisco doesn’t start in any one place; it starts everywhere all at once,” says Illuminate Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Ben Davis, in a release. “The cultural fabric that our region's creative community is weaving along JFK Promenade is designed to reveal the promise and potential of the newly minted walkway as a place of safety, joy, diversity, and delight for San Francisco residents and visitors alike.”
Go check it out on your way to or from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this weekend. And all this stuff is supposed to remain installed for "several months," per Rec & Parks.