Esmeralda Slide Park

 Posted by on April 29, 2017
Apr 292017

Winfeld and Esmeralda
Bernal Heights
April 2017

esmeralda slide parkIn the 1970s a group of volunteers, with some help from the city, conceived and created Esmeralda Slide Park.  That volunteer organization later became the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

New York Times article published in 2010 noted that “At the park’s dedication party in 1979, a shrieking Mayor Dianne Feinstein slid down her chute, racing and defeating the district supervisor, Lee Dolson. Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. enjoyed the plunge at a rededication in 1998, wearing a three-piece suit and a fedora. Tom Ammiano, the District 13 assemblyman and a nearby resident, has also enjoyed gleeful descents.”

Esmeralda Street Stairs and Park

A $14,000 crowd funding project was formed by Joan Carson and graphic designer Nancy Windesheim for the tile installation called The Locator at the top of Esmeralda Slide Park.    The locator was completed in 2017.

The Locator Tile Installation

Designed by Windesheim the tile installation was done by Rachel Rodi. The design features a compass surrounded by “Esmeralda Slide Park” with arrows pointing in 4 directions: Cortland Avenue, Bernal Hill, Downtown, and Mission Street. The color blue signifies the sky, the greens represent open space and trees, and the textured grey rings suggest the surrounding urban landscape.

The view from the top of the slides

The view from the top of the slides

Originally schooled as a painter and ceramic sculptor, Rachel Rodi has been a practicing artist for over twenty five years. Rodi graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts from Regis University, Denver. She is presently the Senior Staff Instructor at Institute of Mosaic Art in Berkeley, California.

Nancy Windesheim holds a BA in Graphic Design from UCLA, where she focused on typography.

The Locator Tile installation