Facility InformationSee below for contact information and operation hours
Harvey Milk Photo Center
Celebrating 75 years, the Harvey Milk Photo Center is the oldest and largest community darkroom west of the Mississippi, and is part of the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department. Harvey Milk Photo Center is located at 50 Scott Street, in Duboce Park, in the lower level of the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts building. We also offer a Digital Lab at our facility to our members. We have been in our current location since 1954. All exhibits, lectures, special events, memberships, are offered to the public. Our wide selection of classes and workshops are taught by working professionals within the industry, in both fine arts and commercial photography. And we offer scholarship programs for anyone interested in taking classes and workshops. – Dave Christensen, Director
San Francisco’s Premier Darkroom Space
SF Rec and Park Department’s Historian-in-Residence, Christopher Pollock, San Francisco’s first camera room facility was located at Hayes Valley Recreation Center and was created by Clifford Nelson who managed the Department’s Visual Recreation division. And the popularity grew with many local amateur shutterbugs that finally, in 1949, the Department partnered with the Northern California Council of Camera Club to hold a Photography Day on October 2, and by 1950, the event drew an attendance of 6000.
Throughout the years, the Photo Center moved to various locations, but in 1954, the City dedicated the three-story building located at 50 Scott Street to be the Recreation Arts Center that included the separate photo center of 7,800 square-feet with a huge public darkroom, the largest in the West Coast.
Then in December, 1978, SF Rec and Park Commission approved to rename the Recreation Arts Center after Supervisor Harvey Milk who was slain on November 27th and in honor the Supervisor who also owned and operated the Castro Camera Shop between 1972 until his death in 1978.
Operational HoursMonday: Closed Tuesday: 3pm-10pm Wednesday: 3pm-10pm Thursday: 3pm-10pm Friday: Closed Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: 11am-6pm *Darkroom, Film Processing, Digital Lab operations end 30 minutes before close
Gallery HoursMonday: Closed Tuesday: 3pm-9:30pm Wednesday: 3pm-9:30pm Thursday: 3pm-9:30pm Friday: Closed Saturday: 10am-5:30pm Sunday: 11am-5:30pm
*Lab operations end 30 minutes before close