An Upscale SF Neighborhood Hides the Metropolis’s Gregangelo Museum

In line with all the sensible logic of recent San Francisco, the Gregangelo Museum mustn’t exist.

As you drive by means of the upscale residential neighborhood of Saint Francis Wooden in the direction of the 42-year-old ‘museum’, the pure response is to assume Google Maps have to be confused. However go the multimillion-dollar Spanish-roofed homes and you may finally come to 225 San Leandro Means, a mirage of a home that appears like a cross between a circus and a Burning Man camp.

It is an unlikely place for what might be one of many final havens for artists within the metropolis, a bustling hive of costumers, inside designers, writers, musicians, visible artists and all kinds of misfit theater youngsters. . Collectively, they work across the clock to create an immersive guided expertise that instills guests with a way of playful marvel. And perhaps a bit extra introspection than what they signed up for.

The exterior of the Outer Sunset house which also serves as the Gregangelo Museum, pictured in San Francisco, Friday, June 3, 2022.

The outside of the Outer Sundown home which additionally serves because the Gregangelo Museum, pictured in San Francisco, Friday, June 3, 2022.


Charles Russo/SFGATE

A detail from the artistic and often complex interior of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.

A element from the creative and sometimes advanced inside of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.


Charles Russo/SFGATE

A detail from the artistic and often complex interior of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.

A element from the creative and sometimes advanced inside of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.


Charles Russo/SFGATE

A detail from the artistic and often complex interior of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.

A element from the creative and sometimes advanced inside of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.


Charles Russo/SFGATE


The personal residence at 225 San Leandro Means in San Francisco, high left, additionally serves because the Gregangelo Museum and has an intricate creative inside. (Charles Russo/SFGATE)

The inside of the Gregangelo Museum resembles the trendy art installation Meow Wolf, besides old-school SF hippies as a substitute of new-school Santa Fe hipsters. The home is a maze of winding hallways and secret rooms with each sq. inch of wall house coated in colourful mosaics, a haven for collectors of trinkets and curious furnishings starting from baroque to sci-fi. The phrase “preserved” is usually used for areas like this, however the Gregangelo Museum is the other – the entire place exists in a subject of actuality distortion from the primary thought, from the vitality of the perfect thought. .

The supply of this distortion is Gregangelo Herrera, an effervescent level guard who makes rollerblading his fundamental technique of transportation. He serves because the Pied Piper for a bunch of artists who work within the sprawling home across the clock, engaged on new components of the museum in addition to installations commissioned by Herrera’s occasion manufacturing firm, Velocity. Arts and Leisure. His story with the huge home started in 1980.

Local artist Gregangelo Herrera, owner of the eponymous Gregangelo Museum in San Francisco's Outer Sunset neighborhood.

Native artist Gregangelo Herrera, proprietor of the eponymous Gregangelo Museum in San Francisco’s Outer Sundown neighborhood.

Charles Russo/SFGATE

Whereas most of his artist friends settled in additional inexpensive areas of town, Herrera did the other.

“I got here to a rich white neighborhood shopping for a dump of a property, I had no concept what neighborhood I used to be in, I used to be sort of renting it out, , then I began fixing it” , stated Herrera, who began giving occasional excursions within the 90s and privately within the 2000s.

In contrast to Meow Wolf, this isn’t a choose-your-own journey, however fairly guided excursions for small teams (max 6 individuals, $75 per ticket). Every room in the home has its personal story. A comfortable den-like room options dozens of pairs of sneakers masking the partitions, and friends are requested which pair resonates most with them and which sneakers they’d most prefer to stroll in. These kind of prompts are meant as a catalyst for dialog. , self-examination and private progress.

Gregangelo Museum tour guide Nick Brentley leads guests through a tour of the gardens, Friday, June 3, 2022.

Gregangelo Museum tour information Nick Brentley leads friends by means of a tour of the gardens, Friday, June 3, 2022.

Charles Russo/SFGATE

“I name it a connectatorium,” Herrera says. “It is not a museum in any respect, the identify nonetheless makes me cringe, however that is the one factor we are able to do to make it an attraction individuals can attend.”

Like all leisure venues, the pandemic — or “pandemonium,” as Gregangelo calls it — has compelled the museum to adapt. They reworked their yard, public easement and driveway right into a makeshift artist’s studio for 30 highschool and faculty college students. Common museum visits have developed into out of doors experiences, with as much as 22 reveals per night time for small teams of friends. The unrest prompted a number of complaints from native residents, however the protests fell on deaf ears.

“Our neighborhood affiliation instantly stated, ‘Oh no no, you don’t have anything to complain about right here. They obtained a work-from-home order identical to you they usually’re artists, so that is what they do,” Herrera recounted, saying neighbors have come to like the quirky presence of the museum.

A detail from the artistic and often complex interior of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.

A element from the creative and sometimes advanced inside of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.


Charles Russo/SFGATE

Marcelo Defreitas, creative director of the Gregangelo Museum, in San Francisco.

Marcelo Defreitas, inventive director of the Gregangelo Museum, in San Francisco.


Charles Russo/SFGATE

Gregangelo Museum staff members pose for a group photo near the entrance to the building, Friday, June 3, 2022.

Gregangelo Museum workers members pose for a bunch photograph close to the doorway to the constructing, Friday, June 3, 2022.


Charles Russo/SFGATE

A detail from the artistic and often complex interior of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.

A element from the creative and sometimes advanced inside of the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco.


Charles Russo/SFGATE


Views of the Gregangelo Museum in San Francisco, with workers members, backside left, together with inventive director Marcelo Defreitas, high proper. (Charles Russo/SFGATE)

Though many of the leisure business was again to enterprise as traditional at this level, the Gregangelo Museum leaned into their pivot. They nonetheless provide inside excursions, however the focus has been on remodeling the outside of the home into a brand new expertise primarily based across the riddle of the Sphinx. Three backyard areas signify youth and innocence, maturity and sensuality, and knowledge and demise. The narrative is guided by a collection of environment-based puzzles, which basically operate very like an escape room – clear up the puzzle, transfer on to the subsequent stage.

These challenges naturally evolve into dialog prompts, which get friends to get to know one another (and one another) a bit higher. You can be requested to share an expertise that appeared small at first however had a bigger butterfly impact, a time while you misjudged somebody primarily based on their appears and even greater questions in regards to the that means of humanity.

A view of the colorful gardens outside the Gregangelo Museum.

A view of the colourful gardens outdoors the Gregangelo Museum.

Charles Russo/SFGATE

It creates a weak expertise that, in immediately’s cynical panorama, feels stubbornly classic – like an artists’ collective thriving in a stately suburb of one of many world’s most costly cities. However for Herrera and the remainder of his motley crew of creatives, their total mission is not nearly their very own artwork, however about unleashing a way of self-expression of their friends.


“Actually, your story emerges because the tour goes on,” Herrera says. “Artwork is mostly a catalyst so that you can inform the story.”

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