From the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department:
Golden Gate Park’s Skatin’ Place Reopens Featuring New ‘Psychedelic’ Mural
Design by longtime skater honors park’s roller-skating history
A vibrant new ground mural at the legendary Skatin’ Place in Golden Gate Park made its debut today when the iconic outdoor roller skating spot reopened following repaving of the area and installation of the artwork, San Francisco Recreation and Park officials announced.
The 28-foot by 93-foot oval mural, painted over asphalt and located between Sixth Avenue and John F. Kennedy Drive, was created by Bay Area artist and longtime Golden Gate Park skater Aimee (Bruckner) Stevland. Utilizing a vibrant color palette of yellow, orange, red, teal and purple asphalt acrylic paint, the innovative design – titled “Psychedelic Golden Gate Skate” – pays tribute to the park’s roller skating history, referencing the Golden Gate Bridge and featuring a roller skate in the center circle.
The minimalist design also serves a purpose: providing spatial orientation for skaters to maintain their balance as they circle around and over it. The durable coating surface is expected to give the mural longevity to ward off peeling and fading, even with heavy traffic. The weather resistant coating will also allow for easy maintenance and retouching.
To celebrate the new mural, a community event will be held at Skatin’ Place on Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to noon.
The mural got off the ground after the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission approved its final design in mid-December, followed by final approval from the San Francisco Arts Commission in early February. Painting on the mural then began in early May.
“People come from all over to enjoy the vibrant experience of roller skating in Golden Gate Park,” said Mayor London Breed. “With the completion of this new mural, we are not only honoring the history of skating in the park and the community members who came before, but we are ensuring that Skatin’ Place continues to be an inviting place for residents and visitors of all ages.”
The mural is a collaboration between Rec. and Park and David Miles Jr., longtime skating advocate, Skatin’ Place steward and founder of the famous Church of 8 Wheels. Last year, Rec. and Park officials and the Church of 8 Wheels hosted two joint community meetings to gather feedback from the public on the project and its design.
“This well-deserved makeover at the one of the park’s most popular places will bring the skating community even closer and will draw new generations of skaters to this historic, inclusive community. The colorful design also serves as a reminder of what Skatin’ Place represents: freedom, creativity, and resilience,” San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg said.
“After 43 years of being involved in the skate movement, this mural is a significant moment because it recognizes the joy that roller skating brings to the park. It lets us know that roller skating is a permanent part of the culture here in San Francisco. It’s an example of what every city should be doing – investing in fun and joy,” said Miles.
“Years ago, roller skating provided an important creative outlet for me at a time in my life when a neuromuscular disorder nearly ended my design career. So, I’m very grateful for this opportunity to celebrate San Francisco roller skaters’ past, present and future through art, so that their vibrant colors and lively spirits remain even after they all go home each night,” Stevland said.
The history of roller skating in Golden Gate Park began when John McLaren, the park’s designer and first superintendent, built a roller rink at the Children’s Playground in 1891. More than a century later, the City’s skating community continues to revel in the joy and adrenaline Skatin’ Place brings. The area has since become a symbol of self-expression, movement, acceptance, and diversity, building a strong community of skaters and ardent supporters.
Categories: Golden Gate Park