Where Green Street in San Francisco meets the Embarcadero, there are plaques embedded in the pavement telling the history behind the street name. Similar plaques adorn Fremont, Francisco, Brannan, Townsend, and other streets of the City.
All cities should do this so we can learn some history as we hurry along the street.
One plaque is a portrait of Talbot H, Green, but it is almost certainly Samuel J. Hensley. The image is very much worn down by the countless shoes that have passed over it.
Another plaque has a description of Green’s career in California. It isn’t entirely accurate, but it comes close.
There is an image of a mask (very appropriate!) The mask reminds me of something drawn by Edward Gorey.
And, last but by no means least, there is a quote from Oscar Wilde. This is the perfect quote to match the story of Talbot Green.
I am indebted to the website Public Art and Architecture from Around the World for these images. Someday I’ll go look at them myself. They are just across the street from the new location of the Exploratorium at Pier 15.