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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 # 381: Thomas Starr King Monument

    Reverend Thomas Starr King was a pivotal figure in San Francisco and California history. We resume our celebration of Golden Gate Park's 150th year and examine the Starr King monument and the man. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast May 30, 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 # 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 # 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)
  • Podcast # 322: Conservatory of Flowers Myths

    Guest Chelsea Sellin shares some legends about the Golden Gate Park landmark on its 140th birthday. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Apr 13, 2019)
  • 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 # 334: Closing the Midwinter Fair

    The last official days of the California Midwinter International Exposition. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jul 6, 2019)
  • 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)
  • Podcast # 191: San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club

    Since 1901, players in white have trod the bowling greens in Golden Gate Park. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Sep 24, 2016)
  • 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 # 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 # 298: West Side Equestrianism

    Horse-riding on the west side, the Golden Gate Park stables, and David's fear of the saddle. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Oct 27, 2018)
 

All Video

  • The Breon Gate

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

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

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

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

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