Postcards from San Francisco : Golden Gate Park

Postcards: Golden Gate Park

See also Historic Images of Golden Gate Park.

Children's Playground

Built in 1887, it was a popular space for visitors in earliest days of the park. The carousel presently on the site was originally manufactured in 1912, and is the third carousel to operate at the playground. It was restored and re-opened in 1984. The playground area is currently known as the Koret Children's Quarter, due to restoration support from the Koret Foundation.

Conservatory of Flowers

Originally opened in 1879, the building has undergone a series of restorations due to damage from explosions, fires and windstorms (although it survived the 1906 earthquake intact). A complete restoration was undertaken from 1999 to 2003, when the Conservatory re-opened in its present incarnation.

Stow Lake & Strawberry Hill

The largest of Golden Gate Park's man-made lakes, Stow Lake was completed in 1894, along with the rustic bridge, Strawberry Hill, and the waterfall from the reservoir at the hilltop. The lake was named after William W. Stow, President of the Park Commission at the time

Japanese Tea Garden

Originally developed in 1894 as a feature in the California Midwinter International Exposition, the garden was expanded and added permanently to Golden Gate Park by the Hagiwara family, who lived in the Garden until they were sent to internment camps in 1942. Until 1952, the garden was renamed the "Oriental" Tea Garden, and some original Japanese features and items were removed. Wikipedia states that the fortune cookie was not invented here, but was first served in the United States here.

Portals of the Past

This portico was part of the entryway to the mansion of A.N. Towne, located at Calfornia Street and Taylor in Nob Hill. The house was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, leaving only the entryway standing. The structure was donated to Golden Gate Park in 1909, and has stood on the shore of Lloyd Lake since that time.

Dutch Windmill

Built in 1902, to pump fresh water from shoreline wells into the park (watering the entire park in its early days was an expensive problem). Water was pumped into the reservoir on Strawberry Hill, and into Spreckles Lake. It worked well enough that a second windmill (Murphy Windmill) was built in 1905, a short distance south. The advent of electric pumps and neglect left the windmills to gradually deteriorate. A restoration of the Dutch Windmill's exterior was completed in 1981.