Student Experience; Urban Hike

Urban Hike Route : Fort Mason to Crissy Field

Written by: Daniel Correia

On a beautiful spring morning, the AAU Student Chapter of the ASLA took its first steps- literally. The start of a series of urban hikes took the AAU Chapter of the  ASLA around the Marina district of San Francisco.

Fort Mason was bustling with activity as San Franciscans were taking full advantage of the weather. We started the hike by trekking through the Fort Mason green, pausing to contemplate the deceptive scale of the Phillip Burton statue while toddlers on tricycles raced around it. Heading over to the community gardens, we admired the ad hoc arrangement of vegetable beds whose natural development over time is nigh impossible to recreate.

Fort Mason Green

Community Gardens

We then moseyed along the water’s edge, pausing now and then to talk about seating, parking, and other areas of interest. At the eastern edge of Crissy Field, we talked about the simplicity of a small gathering area that conceded to the view of the oceans and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Travelling along the tiny peninsula, we headed towards the hidden gem of the Marina- the Wave Organ.  Created by artist Peter Richards in 1986 using washed up pieces of granite well actually, the architecturally cut and detailed pieces of granite comes from the destruction from the 1906 earthquake as well as from a local cemetery, the Wave Organ is a cleverly designed acoustic experience. We stopped for a snack soaking in the sights of  a regatta taking place, listening to echoing sounds of the ocean being piped up from underneath the sculpture, and noting how the Wave Organ is a great place to study human scale and site identity in a design.

Water Organ


For our final stop, we looked at the bosque of cypress trees in front of the Crissy Field Center, extolling the underrated ability of trees to frame views. We then parted ways shortly after 1PM, relieving the Marina of the scrutiny we had put it under until another day.

Crissy Field Bosque


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