Urban Forest Erupts In San Francisco’s Edgy Tenderloin Neighborhood

Dandelion Salad

Updated: Oct. 31, 2012

Tenderloin National Forest

Image by Benjamin Pender via Flickr

Oct 28, 2012 by

The “Tenderloin National Forest” is likely the one of the world’s smallest “forests”- it’s just 23 feet wide by 136 feet deep-, but it is a refuge in one of the most densely-packed neighborhoods in the heart of San Francisco.

When artists Darryl Smith and Laurie Lazer first moved into a space on Cohen Alley in 1989, it was “a place emblazed in a health-hazardous cesspool of bodily fluids and other dumped items, non-supervised open-air chemical experiments and illicit — criminal activities”.

In 1990, Smith planted a 12 foot redwood that “didn’t look like it was going to make it, actually, it felt like we’d committed a crime against nature”. Later, they brought in more trees, built a wood-burning oven (that the fire department later deemed safe for their community cookouts), added murals to the walls, hand-crafted stone floors and a tiny, wattle-and-daub shed.

Today, Smith’s Luggage Store Gallery pays $1 per year to lease the property from the city, provided they keep it open to the public 20 hours per month. Anyone can come garden here (there are tools in the earthen hut) and a few times a month they bake things like pizzas, breads and yams in the traditional “horno”.

More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/urban-forest-erupts-in-san-franciscos-ed…

Urban forest erupts in San Francisco’s edgy Tenderloin



Oct 31, 2012 by

The tiny wattle-and-daub hut on Ellis Street is likely the only earth-built shelter in downtown San Francisco. Even more impressive, the materials were scavenged from the city itself.

“The alley had no access to earth since it was all paved,” explains the shed’s builder Julie Glanville, “so we looked on craigslist and got earth coming from renovations in people’s houses… and by chance the Senator Hotel was being remodeled and I heard about a hole through the basement so I was about to get a couple buckets of local, Tenderloin, very sandy soil”.

The vertical part of the wattle- the woven part of the walls- was made from bamboo harvested from Golden Gate Park “with the permission of a park gardener”. The horizontal weave was made from tule reeds harvested from Lake Merced “with the permission of a natural areas gardener”.

The timbers are all reclaimed wood. Even the red clay used for aesthetic purposes was donated from a local clay studio. Of course, the plants on the living roof are all natives.

Currently, the shed is serving partly to store tools for the Tenderloin National Forest (the tiny urban park where the hut is located) and partly as an art gallery for local artists.

More info on original video: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/tiny-shed-built-from-local-dirt-in-downt…

Tiny wattle-and-daub shed from local dirt in downtown San Francisco


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2 thoughts on “Urban Forest Erupts In San Francisco’s Edgy Tenderloin Neighborhood

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