The Beach Chalet is a historic restaurant with visitors center on the
Great Highway near Golden Gate Park, by Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
Its fresco murals, downstairs in the Main Hall, are nine feet high and
contain familiar scenes of San Francisco life, including Fishermans
Wharf, industry, birds, and San Francisco Bay. They were created in
1936-37 as a project of the Works Progress Administrations Federal
Art Project, a Depression-era government funded work program.
The restaurant, the final structure designed by Willis Polk,
was built by the city at a cost of $60,000. It opened in June 1925,
seated 200 diners and was at first run by the City of San Francisco.During
World War II, the building became a coastal defense headquarters for
the U.S. Army. Later, while managed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars,
the chalet declined into a biker bar with a bad reputation. After a
two million dollar investment in 1996 from the San Francisco Recreation
and Park Department, it was restored to its previous glory, with a restaurant
and brew pub upstairs and visitors center downstairs where the frescoes
are located. (Address: 1000 Great Highway at Golden Gate Park.)
Lucien Labaudt | Ralph
Editing and photography by Harry.