Golden Gate Park at 150

Last month was the anniversary of the day that Golden Gate Park opened on April 4th 1870. There was scheduled a major commemoration of the anniversary, but, of course, this was cut back due to the shelter-in-place still in effect. Restrictions have been lifted slightly, so last Sunday, Mother’s Day, I visited the park to take some pictures for this post. I’ve also included a few pictures of Golden Gate Park from previous posts that I’ve done. Rae Alexandra, a member of the PBS television station KQED, wrote an interesting article concerning movies that have been filmed in Golden Gate Park and was kind enough to include a few of my pictures in her story. I’ll include the link to her article at the end of this post.

GGPLodgeuseMcLaren Lodge in 1907: (eBay)

GGPKezaeuseLooking south across Kezar Stadium toward the old Polytechnic Gym Building on Frederick Street during a 49ers football game in 1957: Kezar Stadium was demolished in 1989, but the playing field is still there. (An SF Gate photo posted on Pinterest)

GGPRusticuseThe old Rustic Bridge at Stow Lake, erected in 1893:

LongagoStowLakeuseA vintage picture from the Shorpy Collection at Stow Lake with the old Rustic Bridge to Strawberry Hill in the background: Wow, that’s a really classy looking Nissan Versa!

GGPStowbridgeuseThe lesser photographed bridge that crosses Stow Lake over to Strawberry Hill from the north, seen here in 1955, (the Rustic Bridge crosses over to Strawberry Hill from the south). Boats aren’t available to rent at Stow Lake right now so this was the closest comparison I could get to the vintage picture. (

GGPBoathouseuseA postcard of the old Boathouse at Stow Lake in 1908 (eBay)

GGPTGardenuseThe Japanese Tea Garden was changed to the Oriental Tea Garden after Pearl Harbor. The name was changed back to the Japanese Tea Garden in 1952. Both pictures are looking toward where the old entrance to the Tea Garden used to be.

GGBPlaygrounduseThe Children’s Playground after the 1906 Earthquake: The roof of the Sharon Building had collapsed.  (SFMTA Photography)

GGPWhitneyuseThe fellow with the glasses may not look that imposing, but from the late 1920s through the end of the 1950s he owned The Cliff House, the Sutro Bathhouse and Playland-at-the-Beach. George Whitney poses with his family out the Portals of the Past on Lloyd Lake in Golden Gate Park. (

GGPWMilluseThe old Murphy Windmill at the southwest corner of Golden Gate Park in disrepair in the 1970s: The restored windmill was reopened in 2012.

GGPPhandleuseLooking past the children’s playground in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle toward the corner of Oak and Ashbury Streets in a San Francisco Chronicle photo from 1966: The playground is still there, but closed right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here’s the link to Rae Alexandra’s article about movies with Golden Gate Park locations. GGPKQEDuse









One thought on “Golden Gate Park at 150

  • All the trees are such a trip. It is odd to see some grow up where there was nothing before. It is also odd to see that some grew up, were cut down, and replaced by something that was planted later. The palm at McLaren Lodge is particularly interesting. I suspect that it is a common Canary Island date palm, which was one of the two trendiest palms at the time, but it looks like a (less common) common date palm in the first picture.

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