The Presidio of San Francisco is a beautifully forested portion of the Golden Gate Recreational Area and it includes Andy Goldsworthy’s work of art entitled Wood Line. Constructed in 2011 from eucalyptus tree trunks and branches taken from other park projects that required tree removal, Wood Line is essentially a 1,200-foot long sculpture winding sinuously along the ground through a large gap in one of the park’s eucalyptus groves. The eucalyptus trees form a canopy over Wood Line and they were designated as an historic forest in order to help protect the secluded and contemplative atmosphere for visitors. Each piece of wood for Wood Line was carefully selected to create the path. Children have fun by trying to balance themselves on top of Wood Line and nature lovers are often inspired to contemplate the complex relationship between nature and manmade constructions.
Born in 1956, Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist who won many awards including the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2000. Established in 2003, the FOR-SITE Foundation worked in partnership with the Presidio Trust to sponsor four works of art by Goldsworthy that can currently be seen at the Presidio including Spire (created in 2008), Wood Line (2011), Tree Fall (2013) and Earth Wall (2014). A 3-mile hiking loop shown in the Presidio’s printed brochure provides a convenient path for visitors to view Goldsworthy’s works of art, and the Presidio also offers guided art hikes.
Spire is more than 90 feet tall and it was made from the trunks of 37 Monterey cypress trees that were removed when the Presidio was landscaped. Combined with clay from nearby land, Tree Fall was made from a eucalyptus tree that had to be removed for the Presidio Parkway. Earth Wall was constructed using materials found on site. Art aficionados may also be interested to know that San Francisco's De Young Museum courtyard contains another Goldsworthy piece entitled Drawn Stone, which artistically expresses the city’s earthquakes and their effects.
Wood Line is located in the southeast corner of the Presidio. To find Wood Line, start at the park entrance gate located at Presidio Boulevard and Pacific Avenue and then stroll down Lover’s Lane, the oldest foot trail in the park, until you see Wood Line’s winding path. Restrooms and various food options are available at the Presidio Main Post located at the north end of Lover’s Lane.
Peter Cross is an accomplished arriter and creative writer who has produced hundreds of articles for many different clients since 2006 when he retired from his consulting business.