The Secret Mosaic Staircase, San Francisco

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The Secret Mosaic Staircase, San Francisco

If you’ve ever wanted to find a hidden art gem in San Francisco, head to 16th and Moraga to discover The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps. Not only will you be able to see some amazing views of the city, you’ll get to appreciate a beautiful mosaic running up 163 steps. Inspired by the world-famous steps in Rio de Janeiro, Irish ceramist Aileen Barr and mosaic artist Colette Crutcher joined forces, working with over 300 community volunteers for over a two and a half year period until they unveiled the project in August 2005.

The names of over 220 sponsors were actually woven into the sweeping sea-to-sky design and, amazingly, over 2,000 handmade tiles and 75,000 fragments of tile, mirror and stained glass went into the finished piece. There were a total of 163 separate mosaic panels created, one for each step riser.