If it was once a well-known fact that roses could not be grown in San Francisco, how is there a flourishing rose garden in Golden Gate Park?
‘Looking Back’: Sue Bierman Grove
Despite America’s love affair with the automobile after World War II, no freeway directly connected the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge between Hayes Valley and the Presidio, so traffic relied on city streets.
‘Looking Back’: Spreckels Temple of Music
Claus Spreckels was a German immigrant to the United States. He made his fortune in sugar, including sugar from the Kingdom of Hawaii subject to favorable trade treaties. He paid $75,000 out of the $78,810 construction cost of the bandshell.
‘Looking Back’: Washington Elm
A marker by the base of an elm tree in Golden Gate Park has the inscription:
Under the parent of this tree,
Washington first took command of the American Army, July 3, 1775 Planted by San Francisco Chapter Sons of the American Revolution 1932
‘Looking Back’: Gladiator Statue
Is the naked bronze man with a cape and helmet in Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse Roman or Greek?
‘Looking Back’: GG Park Carousel
In a pavilion in Golden Gate Park is a charming carousel that has been entertaining children of all ages since the late 1800s.
‘Looking Back’: Doughboy Statue
America’s participation in World War I spurred the creation of memorials not just honoring a hometown’s fallen soldiers, but a memorial could be dedicated to deceased members of a connected organization.
‘Looking Back’: Turtle Sundial
Atop the column is a bronze turtle representing the slowness of the passage of time. Atop of the turtle’s back is a vertical bronze hemisphere, with a map of the Americas on the curved side. The flat side of the hemisphere has inscribed portraits of the three explorers above a sundial with the Latin inscription “horam sol nolente nego,” translated by the Colonial Dames as “if the sun is unwilling I don’t tell the time.”
‘Looking Back’: Pioneer Log Cabin
The Pioneer Log Cabin near Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park was dedicated in 1911. It is still in great shape because it is made of interlocking unpeeled redwood logs. Redwood is resistant to both insects and rot if water is not left to collect on it.
‘Looking Back’: Alvord Lake
Alvord Lake Bridge is a single arch, 64 feet wide with a 29-foot-long span. Built in 1889, it is the oldest known reinforced concrete bridge built in the United States. The bridge’s concrete was reinforced by Ransome with square steel bars twisted “cold,” at room temperature while the steel is solid, not molten.
Looking Back – Buddha Statue
How did a statue created 232 years ago in Japan make its way to Golden Gate Park in 1949?
‘Looking Back’: GG Park’s Train Stop
A once privately-owned steam train stop from an era before public transit still stands today at the edge of Golden Gate Park at Fulton Street and Seventh Avenue.
‘Looking Back’: St. Francis of Assisi
This Mother’s Day, why not visit a monument of our city’s namesake in Golden Gate Park made by a local mother?
‘Looking Back’: Disc Golf
At the 18-hole Golden Gate Park Disc Golf Course, the tees at the start of each hole’s play are flat concrete slabs.
‘Looking Back’: Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
Thomas (or “Tomáš”) Garrigue Masaryk (March 7, 1850 – Sept. 14, 1937) is honored with a monument in Golden Gate Park. Masaryk was an important leader in the establishment of Czechoslovakia and became its first president in 1918. He was re-elected president of Czechoslovakia three more times consecutively.