Located on Russian Hill, this small public park was a private residence until 1998. The park surrounds the 1912 home built by brothers Luke Fay and John Fay, Jr., on property owned by the family since 1869. Luke’s daughter Mary lived there with her husband Paul Berrigan from 1953 until her passing in 1988. It was Mary’s wish to dedicate the property to the City of San Francisco for a public park, and upon the death of her husband in 1998 it became known as Fay Park.
Mary and Paul Berrigan hired Thomas Church to design the garden in 1957, which he featured in his 1969 publication Your Private World: A Study of Intimate Gardens as “Twin Gazebos in a Formal Garden.” Enclosed by a white painted wooden fence along Leavenworth Street, the garden is accessed through a simple wooden gate. Stairs and ramps connect different levels within the garden, with stacked stone retaining walls used to define planting beds filled with roses, ornamental shrubs and flowers, fruit trees, and neatly trimmed boxwood hedges. Within the symmetrical scheme the latticed gazebos act as focal points on the main terrace, with a central lawn panel and a white balustrade and benches overlooking the level below. The garden light fixture was once a street lamp in Copenhagen. Renovations were undertaken in 2005 to improve public access and restore elements of Church’s garden design.