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Clarendon Trailhead Phase II

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Last month Sutro Stewards received delivery of long awaited material for the Clarendon Trailhead project. More than 50 large granite slabs were relocated by crane from Medical Center Way to the trailhead site.

Plucking a 1,200 lb. slab from the pile.

The granite was part of the original Affiliated Colleges buildings on Parnassus, the original medical school and precursor to UCSF. The stone slabs were salvaged from the ground floor of the buildings pictured below, during demolition in the 1960s, and will now be utilized for benches and retaining walls around the trailhead after sitting for many years unused.

Affiliated Colleges Buildings on Parnassus. Photo from

The Trailhead Project crew, under supervision of Craig Dawson and Dan Bernards, developed techniques for moving and rotating the granite. With some of the slabs weighing in at 1,500 pounds, the crew used some brute muscle and a little finesse to carefully turn the blocks, measure and grade the conditions of each slab.

Logging dimensions and grading each face on every slab.

During our Trail & Habitat Stewardship event on Saturday, May 5, the moving and measuring will continue until all pieces have been logged. The Trailhead crew will be assisted with some new equipment: a log arch, designed to manually lift and move objects weighing up to 1,800 pounds.

Craig Dawson demonstrates use of the Log Arch on a 600 pound log.

Once the granite has all been logged and the dimensions and grading cataloged the stone masonry work will begin. The crew will reface and shape pieces to fit into a precisely drawn plan for the site. The masonry work is expected to take several months and upon completion a crane will be brought back to the site to assist with the final placement of all the pieces.

Trailhead crew positions granite slab.

If you have a desire to participate in this very special project and leave your mark on a piece of the trailhead granite, please volunteer with the Trailhead crew during our upcoming Saturday events, May 5 & 19, and into summer.

Masons tools for trailhead stone work.

This project is made possible by grant funding from REI, support from UCSF, and many dedicated volunteers. Thank you for your support!

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