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San Francisco, California

Seward Street Slides

Bring your own cardboard to the slippery slopes of concrete hidden in a neighborhood park 

Signs reading “No adults unless accompanied by a child” accompany two lanes of slippery downhill slides tucked away in a residential neighborhood park.

Built in the 1960s and designed by a local teenager, the slides are actually a triumph of neighborhood activism. In 1963, the land that the Corwin Community Garden and Seward Mini-Park sits on was a vacant lot slated for development. Local residents and growing families from nearby streets organized and protested the disappearance of open space, and fought development for a decade, including staging a desperate bulldozer-defying sit-in in 1966.

In the end, the locals triumphed and turned the lot into a park which opened in 1973. Their efforts also contributed to changing city legislation now requiring a minimum amount of open space in new development projects.

The slides are surrounded by a small park and California native plant garden and are open every day from 9 am to 5 pm.

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