About HMPC

Harvey Milk Photo Center

Serving the San Francisco community since 1940, the Harvey Milk Photo Center is the oldest and largest community wet darkroom in the United States, and is associated with the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department. We also offer a full digital lab at our facility to our members. The Harvey Milk Photo Center is located at 50 Scott Street, within Duboce Park, in the lower level of the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts building. We have been in our current location since 1954.

Facility History

San Francisco’s first camera room facility was located at the Hayes Valley Recreation Center. The facility was created in 1949 by Clifford Nelson, who at the time managed the Department’s Visual Recreation division.  Its popularity grew so quickly that the Department partnered with the Northern California Council of Camera Club to organize a Photography Day; by 1950, the event drew 6,000 photographers.

In the following years, the Photo Center moved to various locations before settling into the lower level of the Recreation Arts Center at 50 Scott Street in 1954.  In December 1978, SF Rec and Park Commission approved a measure to rename the Recreation Arts Center after Supervisor Harvey Milk, who was slain on November 27th of that year. Supervisor Milk had owned and operated the Castro Camera Shop in the nearby Castro District from 1972 until the time of his death.




50 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

Transit Info: The nearest Muni lines include the N-Judah (closest stop is at Noe Street/Sunset Tunnel East Portal), 24-Divisadero, and 22-Fillmore, along with the 6 and 71 lines, the F-Market, and all of the Muni Metro lines via Church Street Station. 

Parking Street parking in the area is limited. There is a pay lot nearby at the CMPC Davies Campus—the entrance is located at 45 Castro Street. 

Exhibit Hours Since the Photo Center is a multi-use space with limited staffing, please call ahead at (415) 554-9522 to see if the exhibit space is open for viewing. 

Hours of Operation

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 3pm-8:30pm
Wednesday: 3pm-8:30pm
Thursday: 3pm-8:30pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 11am-4:30pm
Sunday: Closed

Lab operations end at closing time.