Renovation of the San Francisco Lawn Bowling Greens

San Francisco , California

Design Disciplines Needed
Landscape Architecture

Desired Services
Capital Campaign Materials

Project Description

The San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club was founded in 1901 and is the oldest public lawn bowling club in the United States. It's early development directly involved John McLaren as both an advocate and charter member. The club facilities were afforded city landmark status #181 in...

Today the club represents a living connection to the park and it's rich historical origins. The game of bowls is played as it was in 1901. White clad bowlers fell the greens on most summer weekends and provide a view into the past for visitors and local passers by. The club house is much as it was when first constructed and remains open to public access providing an opportunity for San Franciscans and visitors to experience first hand a bit of our city's rich history. along with the cable cars SFLBC is an icon of turn of the century San Francisco.
The club and the greens have fallen into disrepair and are in need of a significant refurbishing.


The SFLBC consists of three bowling greens, a men's and woman's club house, storage buildings and surrounding grounds. The greens themselves are much like golf putting greens 120 SF and they are surrounded by ditches and plinths. Traditionally these ditch elements are constructed of treated wood and have a usable life expectancy of 15 years. They are critical to the game of lawn bowls because they are the edge to which the entire green is leveled. In 2005 the ditches, plinths and an adjacent retaining wall for green #3 were replaced at a cost of $48,000. The ditches and plinths for greens #2 and #1 are currently in total disrepair and render portions of the greens unplayable.

It is the intent of this project to:

1) Replace the plinths on greens #1 and #2 and to investigate the use of longer lasting green recycled materials in their construction.

2) Replacement the dysfunctional irrigation systems for the grounds and greens with an updated and operational automated system that will reduce water consumption and the labor currently needed for hand watering.

3) Replace the rotten and hazardous retaining wall between greens #2 and #3

4)Repave hazardous and uneven walkways around all greens and where required provide ADA access

5) Make code upgrades to club house to improve water and energy consumption. Refurbish storage shed and add 24 new or refurbished benches.

The grant application for the community opportunity grant is due March 2011. Presentation and cost information must be completed by that time.