Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is San Francisco's largest park, comprising 1,013 acres. It is a narrow parallelogram approximately 3 miles long by 1/2-mile wide, extending from the east at Stanyan Street to its western boundary at the Great Highway. Its northern boundary is Fulton Street, extending south to Lincoln Way.

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Spreckels Temple of Music, Golden Gate Park Music Concourse, 1900

At the prompting of his son, Park Commissioner Adolph Spreckles, sugar tycoon Claus Spreckles donated $60,000 to the City to transform the Grand Court of the 1884 Mid-Winter Fair into the Temple of Music. Dedicated in 1900, the band-shell has continued to provide a stage for open-air concerts. .



Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park c1885

Widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in the City, the conservatory is a replica of London's Kew Gardens conservatory. It was originally discovered in crates as part of the effects of San Jose businessman James Lick, and was erected between 1877-1879.

Source: OPL


Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park, c. 1900

Initially developed as the Japanese Village at the 1894 California Midwinter Fair, the Garden was constructed by wealthy Japanese landscape designer Makoto Hagiwara. The Garden, covering five acres and including pavilions and a tea house, is is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.



Stanyan Street Entrance, Golden Gate Park, c. 1900

A tobacco stand and ticket office stand at this entrance gate to the Park, by the terminus of the Haight Street Cable Car line. Many activities were available in the Park, from walking, horseback riding, canoeing and admiring the exotic and diverse gardens.


M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, Golden Gate Park, opened March 25, 1895

The Museum was built with $75,000 profits from the Mid-Winter Fair of 1894, led by the efforts of Michael de Young. It housed thousands of objects from the Fair, his own collection, and items donated by San Francisco families wishing to preserve artifacts of the Gold Rush era. The building was badly damaged by the 1906 Earthquake.

The M.H. de Young Museum opened in 1919 and is San Francisco’s oldest museum.


Sunset district view over the Golden Gate Park East of 19th ave, circa 1930

View from Cliff house in 1865


View from the Cliff House towards the sand dunes that will become the site of the Golden Gate Park and the Sunset district

View of the Future Site of Golden Gate Park, c. 1865

Golden Gate Park, mostly sand dunes and covering 1,013 acres, was originally designed in 1870 by William Hall, who used innovative sand reclamation techniques. John McLaren, his successor, was a landscape gardener from Scotland who devoted the next 50 years to the Park.

photographer: HC Hecht


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