Friends of Kenny Alley

Founded in 2015 by neighbors Summer Koide, Grace D'Anca, Mel Flores and the Excelsior Action Group, the Friends of Kenny Alley aims to improve and beautify the Kenny Alley Steps.  

The Kenny Alley Beautification Project is a multi-phased effort to revitalize and beautify the Kenny Alley Stairs, a small, unaccepted passage located between a car lot and an apartment building on Mission Street in San Francisco’s Excelsior District. The stairs are located between 4941 Mission Street and 4945 Mission Street, and create a passage between London Street and Mission Street, providing access to Safeway, local businesses and public transportation. 

The Kenny Alley Stairs, opened in December 1921, receive no regular maintenance from the City and are graffiti magnets, littered, unsafe and in general disrepair.   The phases of the Kenny Alley Beautification Project aim to improve this community space with art, greening and community involvement.  


The Kenny Alley Beautification Project addresses challenges currently facing the Excelsior commercial corridor, specifically community complaints that the Kenny Alley Stairs are unsafe, dark, dirty and that there is lack of community stewardship and pride in the passage.  The project aims to achieve the following:

  • Complete physical improvements and repair to the steps
  • Engage residents, local schools and businesses in creating a clean, beautiful passage that they are proud of
  • Abate endemic signs of blight like graffiti and litter
  • Enhance the pedestrian experience by making it a safer, more attractive passage with lighting, art, and greening

The Mosaic art will be composed of glass tiles, mirror, river rock and donor tiles.  The mosaic design will incorporate the look of flowing water and complement the nearby mural which feature local rivers, animals, and native plants.  The final mosaic design will be selected in collaboration with neighboring property owners and local businesses.

Landscape and greening will be added in the form of recycled rain gutter planters along the south side of the Kenny Alley steps.  These planters will add greenery to the southern exposure of the stairs, create a natural deterrent to graffiti, and enable the redistribution of excess water.  The north side of the steps will have the existing shrubbery rehabilitated and / or replaced with hardy, green, and drought-tolerant plants.