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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 # 371: Bison of Golden Gate Park (Classic Episode)

    In March 2020, Golden Gate Park welcomed five new, year-old bison to the Paddock. In this classic episode, we revisit the Bison's arrival in the 1890s and their long history in the park. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Mar 28, 2020)
  • Podcast # 185: Abbey Stones of Golden Gate Park

    The story of a medieval Spanish monastery's journey in pieces to San Francisco. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Aug 13, 2016)
  • 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 # 40: Speedway Meadow and Polo Fields

    The story of Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadow, the Speed Road, and the Polo Fields. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Oct 12, 2013)
  • Podcast # 305: Francis Scott Key Monument

    The story of a peripatetic statue, that looks like a wedding cake top, in Golden Gate Park's Music Concourse. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Dec 15, 2018)
  • Podcast # 378: Goethe-Schiller Monument

    Why are two German writers memorialized in Golden Gate Park? As part of our series of podcasts commemorating the Park's 150th Anniversary, we uncover the statue's origins as a cultural landmark. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast May 9, 2020)
  • 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 # 310: Bonet's Electric Tower

    The centerpiece of the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 19, 2019)
  • Podcast # 206: Geary Park and Ocean Railroad

    When cable cars and steam trains ran on Geary Street to the Richmond District. Plus, a listener mail question! (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 7, 2017)
  • Podcast # 207: The Human Be-In

    Nicole Meldahl and Arnold Woods come to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Polo Fields' happening. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 14, 2017)
  • Podcast # 101: Conservatory of Flowers

    City, State, and National Historic landmark, the Conservatory of Flowers has been one of Golden Gate Park's most popular attractions since the 1870s. Plus, Woody makes a confession. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Dec 11, 2014)
  • Podcast # 66: Stow Lake

    The biggest lake in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and William W. Stow, the guy it's named after. Pass us a brick of pink popcorn! (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Apr 11, 2014)
 

All Video

  • 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)
  • The Breon Gate

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

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

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

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