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Alvord Lake

Alvord Lake

San Francisco, CA

The Exploratorium’s Studio for Public Spaces partnered with San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks department to create inquiry-based experiences around Alvord Lake in Golden Gate Park. The installation aims to reveal, enhance, and celebrate the park’s ever-changing natural and social landscapes.

Open in April 2020, eight original interactive exhibits animate Alvord Lake’s fascinating natural, built, and social environment. Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to share moments of connection while exploring this dynamic spot at the eastern end of the park.

Alvord Lake is a vibrant example of how culture, nature, and the built environment evolve over time. Once an expanse of sand dunes, Alvord Lake is now an almost entirely constructed landscape. During the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 70s, Alvord Lake and the surrounding park served as a kind of incubator for the era’s emerging social sensibilities.

During this two-year installation, visitors can high-five each other along the Hello Highway, investigate how wind shapes the shifting sands of Hidden Dunes, experiment with the magnetic Black Sand found at Ocean Beach, explore the algae that thrives in the lake, and more.

San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department



Person looking at Alvord Lake