© Hamilton + Aitken Architects
© Hamilton + Aitken Architects
© Hamilton + Aitken Architects

Stern Grove

San Francisco, California

Stern Grove, a gift by Rosalie Meyer Stern to the City of San Francisco, held its first admission free concert in 1932. The non-profit Stern Grove Festival Association was founded in 1938, stipulating that all concerts were to be free to the public and designed for everyone’s enjoyment. The site is a natural amphitheater surrounded by giant eucalyptus, redwood, and fir trees.

Originally built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Stern Grove underwent a complete redesign and renovation in 2005 spearheaded by the late Larry Halprin. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre consulting for performance systems and permanent structures. The new design features stone-banked terraces, with broad aisles and a stone bleacher section, expansion of the stage, new theatrical lighting and sound structure, new dressing and green rooms and improved accessibility.

Today, the venue is in its seventh decade of hosting an annual, outdoor, city-sponsored performing arts event series and remains a world class park and performance attraction.

Landscape Architect: Lawrence Halprin
Cost: $15,000,000
Completion: 2005