The year was 1860. Abraham Lincoln was in the White House and the Pony Express was carrying mail overland from Missouri to California. And construction was completed on one of San Francisco’s oldest water reservoirs – Lombard Reservoir.
It has been providing clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to San Francisco residents in lower Russian Hill and areas of North Beach and Chinatown for almost 160 years. Located between Lombard and Greenwich and Larkin and Hyde; it is an integral part of the SFPUC’s water distribution infrastructure.
From 2003 to 2005, Lombard Reservoir went through a complete rebuild to help it meet new structural and seismic requirements. The reservoir’s capacity was increased from 3.5 to 6 million gallons and the reservoir roof was raised three feet as part of the expansion.
George Sterling Park is located adjacent to Lombard Reservoir. In the park is a bronze tablet commemorating George Sterling (1869-1926), a poet and leading light of the Russian Hill literary community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – a friend of Joaquin Miller, Ambrose Bierce, and Jack London. Sterling is best remembered for his poem describing San Francisco as the “cool gray city of love.” He gave away most of his poems, rather than selling them.
She is fairer than others are
Whom they sing the beauty of.
Her heart is a song and a star –
My cool, gray city of love.
From “The Cool Grey City of Love” By George Sterling