There's a new place for guests to kick back and unwind at the San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hostel: an indoor parklet located in the lobby. The recently completed redwood parklet provides the perfect nook for road-weary travelers to relax on colorfully pillowed benches near a diverse array of plants.
Parklets were born in 2010, when San Francisco came up with the Pavement to Parks program; an initiative which transforms street parking spots into open spaces, often with amenities and greenery for public enjoyment. Nearly 40 parklets have popped up in San Francisco -- learn more about them here -- and cities across the U.S. and Canada are creating their own parklet programs.
Though the hostel's new addition isn't a parklet in the "parking-space-turned-mini-park" sense, it was christened as such to capture the spirit of this repurposed, public, and plant-filled space. The hostel has always had a wealth of north-facing seating facing the magical view of the Golden Gate -- famous bridge included! -- but the parklet is the first indoor area to provide views onto the large green lawn to the south, and the City beyond. More importantly, the parklet is now the nearest spot for guests to recline upon entering the hostel's front doors.
When the hostel decided to move forward with the project, they didn’t have to look far for a designer and builder. The hostel's own Maintenance Technician, Nicolaus (Nic) Chaffin, drafted the blueprints and custom-built every aspect of the parklet. An accomplished artist, Nic is no stranger to creativity or woodwork, and his personal touches -- like donating plants from his own garden -- are what make the parklet unique.
The parklet is a work in progress, and even as the plants are still taking root in their skillfully handcrafted redwood boxes, Nic is envisioning future possibilities. He is planning to incorporate an orchid planter, and a curated selection of guidebooks may soon be housed on the redwood shelving unit he built.
From an innovative and disguised planter drainage system to carefully selecting plants that thrive in minimal sunlight, Nic has already put a great deal of thought and care into the parklet. Whatever incarnations the parklet may take in the future, they are sure to be just as carefully considered.
We welcome you to visit the Fisherman's Wharf Hostel, indulge in a homemade treat from the hostel's own Cafe Franco, and discover the joys of relaxing in the little parklet for yourself!
Stay at the San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hostel, in a quiet park setting just steps away from the buzz of the city.