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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 # 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 # 332: Goddess of the Forest

    Dudley Carter's sculpture and its journey from the Golden Gate International Exposition to Golden Gate Park to City College. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jun 22, 2019)
  • Podcast # 215: Monarch the Grizzly Bear

    The story of a grizzly captured, and later kept in Golden Gate Park, who was the model for the state flag. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Mar 11, 2017)
  • Podcast # 179: Golden Gate Park Panhandle

    The history of and changes to the groomed strip leading into Golden Gate Park. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jul 2, 2016)
  • Podcast # 124: Golden Gate Park Carousel

    Inside a Roman temple in Golden Gate Park you can still ride a goat, a dragon, or a giraffe in circles. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast May 30, 2015)
  • Podcast # 372: Speedway Meadow and the Polo Fields (Classic Episode)

    If you've been to the Outside Lands Music Festival, then you know the Polo Fields and Speedway Meadow. These open spaces both have storied histories. This classic episode continues our celebration of the Park's 150th Anniversary. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Apr 3, 2020)
  • Podcast # 233: Anglers Lodge and Casting Pools

    An alpine cabin and concrete ponds hidden in a Golden Gate Park grove. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jul 15, 2017)
  • Podcast # 209: Golden Gate Park Music Stand

    The history of bandshells, music stands, and the Temple of Music. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 28, 2017)
  • 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 # 368: Morrison Planetarium Projector

    Today's Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences features the latest state-of-the-art digital technology. But when the Morrison Planetarium was built in 1952, it featured an optical star projector. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Mar 6, 2020)
  • Podcast # 193: Love Pageant Rally

    Nicole Meldahl tells the story of the Love Pageant Rally, which happened 50 years ago this week. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Oct 9, 2016)
  • Podcast # 385: Toppling Monuments

    In San Francisco, and the nation, several prominent statues have been toppled in reaction to the subjects' past history of racism, oppression, or enslavement. We examine the context during which the monuments were raised, the history of the subjects, and discuss their planned, and unplanned removal. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jun 27, 2020)
 

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)
  • 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)
  • The Breon Gate

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

    Golden Gate Park's Elk Glen Lake is elkless now. (SF West History Minute Jan 10, 2013)
  • 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)
  • Prayerbook Cross

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

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

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