Press Release

Press Release: Western Neighborhoods Project to Open Pop-Up Museum in Former Cliff House Gift Shop


CLIFF HOUSE GIFT SHOP with ACT Art Conservation and The Great Highway gallery

Collaborative community effort to return beloved history to The Cliff October 2021.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, September 27, 2021.

Western Neighborhoods Project (WNP), a community history nonprofit, will open a temporary museum in the former Cliff House Gift Shop in partnership with ACT Art Conservation and The Great Highway gallery with support from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Park Archives and Records Center (PARC) and the Global Museum at SF State.

This pop-up exhibition, “The Museum at The Cliff,” will showcase a selection of art and artifacts WNP recently saved from an auction that liquidated historical holdings of the Hountalas family–longtime proprietors of the iconic Cliff House restaurant, which closed in December 2020–and will support an exhibition currently on display at the WNP Office

+ Gallery at 1617 Balboa Street in the Richmond District. Both are free to the public and majority staffed by volunteers.

The Museum opens to the general public on Saturday, October 23, 2021 and will welcome visitors to the western edge of San Francisco until mid-April 2022. Historic photographs of the area, bathing suits from the Sutro Baths, charming vintage Cliff House souvenirs and more from WNP will be displayed alongside archaeological remnants of Sutro Heights statuary, a taxidermied monkey from the Sutro Baths Museum, and other pieces rarely seen from the PARC collection.

Selections from the Egyptian collection amassed by Adolph Sutro, stewarded by the Global Museum, will also be on display in addition to works from local artists. Rounding out the exhibition will be kid-friendly interactives and programs that uncover the historical significance of the area.

Soft opening for The Museum at The Cliff will be the weekend of October 16-17, 2021, with a special Press Preview on Saturday between 11:00am and 4:00pm and a Friends

+ Family Preview on Sunday between 11:00am and 4:00pm. An invitation-only party to celebrate this historic achievement will take place the evening of Friday, October 22, 2021 with generous support from Grants for the Arts, the office of District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan, the Fort Point Beer Company, SUTRO Wine Co., Artifact, and many more.

Western Neighborhoods Project has preserved, interpreted and shared the diverse history and culture of San Francisco’s west side since 1999. In support of this work, the organization launched the OpenSFHistory program in 2014 to rehouse, digitize, and make available to the public thousands of historical images of San Francisco in the west side and beyond. You can see these historical images, find upcoming events, listen to the latest podcast, and more by visiting their websites– and–and following them on Instagram/Twitter (@outsidelandz / @opensfhistory) and Facebook (@Western Neighborhoods Project).

ACT Art Conservation LLC is a Fine Art studio owned and founded by Alexandra Mitchell, a 4th-generation native San Franciscan and Fine Art Conservator working to protect history and heritage for over 15 years. Learn more by visiting her website and keep in touch by following her on Instagram (@actartconservationsf).

The Great Highway is a fine art gallery located in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district and founded in 2011 by John Lindsey. Learn more by visiting the gallery’s website, stop by in-person at 3659 Lawton Street, and keep in touch by following him on Instagram (@thegreathighway).

And don’t forget to follow our collective journey as we continue to Save the Cliff House Collection on Instagram (@savethecliffhouseart) and on our Program Website.

The Park Archives and Records Center managed by the National Park Service houses, preserves, and provides public access to more than five million documents, historic images, artifacts, objects, and other records associated with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The contents of this archival collection span from the time of

Spanish exploration and colonization of San Francisco to the present day, including a large collection of Presidio Army Records. Visit PARC’s website to learn more about visiting.

The Global Museum at SF State is a university museum that serves as a teaching lab for the Museum Studies program, an academic resource for the university, and a public space for the greater Bay Area community to appreciate the power of diverse communities in a globally connected world. Visit their virtual resources while they prepare Spring programs and keep in touch on Instagram/Facebook (@GlobalMuseumSFSU) and Twitter (@GlobalSFSU).

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