Best Glimpse of San Francisco's Past, Present, and Future - 2005
Market Street Railway Mural
Part work of art, part history lesson, and part wishful thinking, Mona Caron's Church Street mural is one of the most treasured pieces of public art in the city. The 38-foot-long painting features a streetcar careening through 80-plus years of San Francisco history. The first panel is dedicated to a classic 1920s scene, followed by 1934's "Bloody Thursday" police riot. Next, a 1950s Labor Day parade flawlessly segues into a 1980s gay rights political demonstration and then into 2003's humongous anti-war rally. The kicker comes in the mural's last panel, which forecasts a bright, eco-friendly future of electric cars, street canals, and open-air playgrounds. Caron's mural is historically accurate (at least for the first two panels), lavishly detailed, and beautifully realized. It won 2004's San Francisco Beautification Award and received a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.