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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 # 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 # 264: Lakes of Golden Gate Park

    The bodies of water both natural and human-made. How many can you name? (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Feb 24, 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 # 394: AIDS Memorial Grove

    Golden Gate Park is home to the National AIDS Memorial Grove. Formerly de Laveaga Dell, the Grove provides a serene location to commemorate loved ones lost to the AIDS pandemic. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Aug 29, 2020)
  • Podcast # 302: Transpacific Cable

    In December 1902, a communications connection to Asia was launched from San Francisco's Ocean Beach. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Nov 24, 2018)
  • Podcast # 317: Quigley Family

    An historic Inner Sunset family who lived in, and made, Golden Gate Park. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Mar 9, 2019)
  • Podcast # 20: Beach Chalet

    Talking about the old and new Beach Chalet on the western edge of Golden Gate Park at Ocean Beach. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast May 24, 2013)
  • Podcast # 105: The Casino

    A casino in Golden Gate Park? Of a sort, before the 1880s libations parlor was moved to Fulton Street to become a well-known roadhouse. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 17, 2015)
  • 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 # 277: Heroes Grove

    Memorial Day 99 years ago a grove of redwoods was dedicated to those who died in World War I. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast May 26, 2018)
  • Podcast # 21: Park Bums

    Golden Gate Park's pickup baseball legends, the Park Bums, and other pickup ball-playing stories and locales. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast May 30, 2013)
 

All Video

  • The Breon Gate

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

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

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

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