Western Neighborhoods Project is dedicated to the history of San Francisco's Richmond, Sunset, OMI and West of Twin Peaks districts.   read more ...

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 # 91: Bison Paddock

    San Francisco's bison herd (they are not buffalo) have been a fixture in Golden Gate Park since the 1890s. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Oct 4, 2014)
  • Podcast # 426: Earthquake Refugee Camps in Golden Gate Park

    Golden Gate Park was home to several refugee camps in the aftermath of the '06 Quake & Fire. Richmond District historian John Freeman joins the Pod to share his extensive research on the Park sites that sheltered thousands of San Franciscans. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Apr 17, 2021)
  • Podcast # 363: McLaren Lodge

    McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park is impressive inside and out. Take a virtual audio tour of John McLaren's residence where he lived for 47 years. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 31, 2020)
  • 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 # 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 # 202: Golden Gate Park Lifesaving Station

    The story of the surfmen who did service at Ocean Beach from 1878 to 1951. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Dec 10, 2016)
  • Podcast # 406: Intrigue at the Museum

    George Barron was the curator of the de Young Museum who at times, had flashes of P.T. Barnam. Special guest Judi Leff joins the pod to regale us with stories of the colorful curator. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Nov 21, 2020)
  • 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 # 408: Uncle John McLaren

    Incredulously, after 400+ podcasts, we are only now devoting one to John McLaren, the Superintendent of San Francisco parks - for life. The pod looks at McLaren's lasting legacy throughout the City and beyond. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Dec 5, 2020)
  • Podcast # 288: San Francisco Botanical Garden

    The 55 acres in Golden Gate Park we used to know as the Strybing Arboretum can take you around the world and even through time. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Aug 11, 2018)
  • 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 # 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)
 

All Video

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Hydrant Seek

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

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

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