'Street Whale' – San Francisco, California - Atlas Obscura

'Street Whale'

Part mural and part sculpture, this work of art sits in the middle of the Promenade, as if swimming in a river of asphalt towards the ocean. 


On the promenade of JFK in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park swims a whale born of yesterday’s treasures. The whale came to be, not as an incarnation of an animated tale by Hayao Miyazaki nor from divine discipline for flying too high with hubris; it was by the mind and passion of local artist Reuben Rude that this 49-foot humpback whale came to swim down the center of the John F Kennedy Promenade, as if heading towards Ocean beach in a river of asphalt. 

Constructed entirely of reclaimed wood and up-cycled materials, even the paint, the magical street whale is part of the Golden Mile project in Golden Gate Park. It consists of a ground mural, a humped head, and an 11-foot tail that rises above the street, which since 2020, has been a pedestrian and bicycle path. 

 The former street known as John F Kennedy Drive begins where Fell Street meets Kezar Drive and continues all the way to Crossover Drive. The street whale can be found between the Rose Garden and Pioneer Meadow in the middle of the walkway. In the area, visitors can find randomly placed yellow Adirondack chairs and a piano, also in the middle of the walkway.

Know Before You Go

The street is closed to vehicle traffic and thus there is no parking. The easiest way to access the area is by Fulton Street at Park Presidio Blvd and walking through the Rose Gardens. The park is public and is open 24 hours. The exact GPS location is: 37°46'14.9"N 122°28'21.3"W.

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October 24, 2023

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