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Golden Gate Park is celebrating its 150th birthday this year, and Western Neighborhoods Project is honoring this milestone in a variety of ways as an official Community Partner of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.

Before we began sheltering in place in early March, we were preparing to unveil our newest exhibition, "Monumental Golden Gate Park," at our Home for History at 1617 Balboa Street. Co-curated by the park's Historian in Residence, Christopher Pollock, this exhibition will feature incredible relics from the past not seen by the public in decades; one special piece has been hidden from view for over 60 years! It will also include gorgeous watercolors and illustrations by Richmond District resident Patrick Mahar.

Make no mistake about it: this park is absolutely monumental. Carved out of sand dunes in the Outside Lands, legislation officially created Golden Gate Park on April 4, 1870. Since that time it has been an inspiration to and also a reflection of San Francisco. Statues, structures, recreation areas, and memorial spaces show us what was important to people of the past. They speak to the simultaneous devotion of immigrant communities to their birth countries and their adopted home; to times of peril like wars and health crises; to great men and women such as presidents, generals, and civic-minded San Franciscans; and to an appreciation of natural resources, art, science, and culture.

We'll get that exhibition up and running soon, but, in the meantime, you can explore that theme remotely from the comfort of your own home. Here you'll find articles, videos, podcasts, and historic photographs that will keep you entertained for hours.

Please enjoy this selection, explore the rest of our site, and consider making a tax-deductible donation to support the work (if you can).

- Nicole Meldahl, Executive Director, Western Neighborhoods Project

Golden Gate Park 150 Years

Western Neighborhoods Project is a proud partner with San Francisco Recreation and Parks and San Francisco Parks Alliance in the Golden Gate Park 150th Anniversary Celebration throughout 2020.

Random Articles (see all articles)

 

Random Podcasts (see all podcasts)

  • Podcast # 273: May Day

    The big May Day celebrations that used to be held in Golden Gate Park, the Parkside District, and across the city. How many maypoles there used to be...so many... (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Apr 28, 2018)
  • Podcast # 1: Kezar Stadium

    (Listen to Episode #224 instead!) Woody and David discuss the old Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 4, 2013)
  • Podcast # 227: Grove of Memory

    Golden Gate Park's redwood grove, with Doughboy statue, commemorating Native Sons who died in 20th Century wars. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jun 3, 2017)
  • Podcast # 35: The Gjoa

    The story of the Gjoa, a fishing sloop that traversed the Northwest Passage and ended up in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park from 1909 to 1972. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Sep 6, 2013)
  • Podcast # 365: Powell Street Railroad Station

    Did a railroad really run from Golden Gate Park down to Powell Street? There's a stand out remnant of the 1890-era Station on Fulton at 7th Ave. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Feb 15, 2020)
  • Podcast # 52: The 1894 Midwinter Fair

    The 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park remade not only the park, but the Richmond and Sunset districts. Midway monkeys are discussed. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 4, 2014)
  • Podcast # 53: Thomas Sweeny and his Observatory

    Thomas Underhill Sweeny, Sunset District pioneer, "demented hermit," and benefactor of a now-vanished observatory on Strawberry Hill, in Stow Lake, in Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco... (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 10, 2014)
  • Podcast # 260: Childrens Playground

    The landmark Golden Gate Park playground, plus live recording listener questions and trivia. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 20, 2018)
  • Podcast # 314: Women Artists at the Midwinter Fair

    The Fine Arts Building of the 1894 California Midwinter International Fair in Golden Gate Park and the many female artists featured. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Feb 16, 2019)
  • Podcast # 48: Golden Gate Park Windmills

    Giant windmills on the western edge of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park at Ocean Beach. What's up with that? Plus, we finally answer our fan mail. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Dec 7, 2013)
  • Podcast # 78: Top Five Statues of Golden Gate Park

    David and Woody offer their top five favorite statues of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park: a president, a novelist, a mother, a poet, and a gardener. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jul 5, 2014)
  • Podcast # 330: Golden Gate Park Bands

    From 1882 to the 1894 Midwinter Fair to Sundays today, the history of bands in the park. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jun 7, 2019)
 

All Video

  • Golden Gate Park's Oak Woodlands

    In the built environment of Golden Gate Park, there is at least one historically natural place. (SF West History Minute Feb 18, 2014)
  • Seventh Avenue Station

    Lindsey Fryar tells us what that odd shed is at 7th Avenue and Fulton Street. (SF West History Minute Oct 4, 2010)
  • Kezar Stadium

    For over 90 years, People have gathered at the Southeast corner of Golden Gate Park (SF West History Minute Apr 15, 2017)
  • Hydrant Seek

    Jamie O'Keefe discusses the ebbs and flows of San Francisco's differing fire hydrants (SF West History Minute May 15, 2013)
  • Elk Glen Lake

    Golden Gate Park's Elk Glen Lake is elkless now. (SF West History Minute Jan 10, 2013)
  • Jimmy's Old Car Picnic

    Jimmy's Old Car Picnic is an annual tradition in Golden Gate Park (SF West History Minute Oct 11, 2009)
  • Grove of Memory

    A Golden Gate Park memorial to those who died serving in war. (SF West History Minute May 27, 2010)
  • Prayerbook Cross

    Golden Gate Park's Prayerbook Cross commemorates Sir Francis Drake (SF West History Minute Feb 14, 2013)
  • The Breon Gate

    Why is there a huge gate at 19th and Lincoln? (SF West History Minute Sep 1, 2009)
  • Speedway Meadow

    How did Speedway Meadow get its name? Ask the people at Jimmy's Old Car Picnic. (SF West History Minute Dec 12, 2011)