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San Francisco's Largest Urban Park

Posted by GrayLineofSanFrancisco on June 29, 2020

Aerial view of Golden Gate Park, showing this beautifully designed park. The photo allows the observer to see the “Pan Handle” park that proceeds the main body of Golden Gate Park. It is a narrow park that is ¾’s of a mile in length and one block in width.

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Golden Gate Park is over 3 miles in length and averages a half mile wide, consisting of 1017 acres of public grounds., A large urban park that is home to 1000’s of species of plant life, 9 lakes, and 100’s of trails. Golden Gate Park offers locals a place to escape. When in exploring the park, the sense of being in a city disappears and all that remains is the beauty and serenity of nature.

In the 1860s, San Francisco began to feel the need for a spacious public park like New York City’s Central Park. Architects William Hammond Hall, John McLaren, and Calvert Vaux took on this immense endeavor. Golden Gate Park was carved out of uncompromising sand and shore dunes that were known then as Outside Lands, in an unincorporated area west of San Francisco’s then border. The park opened on April 4, 1870.

The Dutch Windmill

One of two functioning windmills, the other being Murphy Windmill. The Dutch Windmill commissioned by Superintendent John McLaren to service the water needs for Golden Gate Park.

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The North Windmill was constructed first, standing 75-feet tall with 102-foot long sails. Designed by, Allphues Bull Jr., a prominent San Franciscan, it was completed in 1903. The North Windmill was constructed first, standing 75-feet tall with 102-foot long sails. Designed by, Allphues Bull Jr., a prominent San Franciscan, it was completed in 1903. The North Windmill was constructed first, standing 75-feet tall with 102-foot long sails. Designed by, Allphues Bull Jr., a prominent San Franciscan, it was completed in 1903. Electric water pumps replaced the need for the windmills in 1913, and the mill was decommissioned. Declared a San Francisco Historical Landmark in 1981.

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San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers

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It opened in 1879 and stands today as the oldest building in Golden Gate Park. One of the largest conservatories in the U.S., as well, the oldest remaining municipal wooden conservatory in the country. For these distinctions, and for its associated historical, architectural, and engineering merits, the Conservatory of Flowers is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, Californian Historic Landmark, San Francisco Registered Landmark.

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The Conservatory of Flowers is a greenhouse and botanical garden that houses a collection of rare and exotic flora. Built of traditional wood and glass panes, the Conservatory stands at 12,000 square-feet and houses 1,700 species of tropical, rare, and aquatic plants.

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The Japanese Tea Garden

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The oldest Japanese garden in the United States, this complex of many paths, ponds and a teahouse features plants and trees meticulously pruned in a Japanese style. The gardens 3 acres contain sculptures, structures influenced by Buddhist and Shinto beliefs, as well as many elements of water and rocks to create a tranquil, serene environment designed to slow people down.

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