“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Planning Golden Gate Park

Planning Golden Gate Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 22, 2017
1. Planning Golden Gate Park Marker
Inscription.  In the 1860's, San Francisco was a booming city fueled by the Gold Rush and the first transcontinental railroad. Civic leaders envisioned a large park and arboretum similar to those in European cities and the eastern United States. Skeptics argued that the proposed location in the western part of the city consisted mainly of windswept, shifting sand dunes and was therefore an unwise choice.

(Photograph captions across the top)
1870 to 1879 William Hammond Hall made a strong beginning. The job of making a detailed site survey went to Hall, a twenty-four-old, Army-trained engineer. He completed the survey and a preliminary design for the Park in only six months.

Leveling the Dunes Hall was promptly appointed Engineer of the Park. Over the next five years, he leveled and stabilized the sand dunes and established a nursery to supply the first 60,000 trees. Curved roads and tree plantings were designed to temper the ocean winds and provide a natural, rustic, and informal appearance. Golden Gate Park rapidly became a great success with the public.

1887 to 1943 John McLaren was superintendent
Planning Golden Gate Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 22, 2017
2. Planning Golden Gate Park Marker
and developed a world-class park. John McLaren was trained as a landscape gardener in Scotland. Early in his 56-year career in the Park, he built up a worldwide network for acquiring promising plants for trial. An increasingly variety of shrubs and trees became skillfully arranged in naturalistic landscapes. McLaren dedicated his life to the Park. Above all, he was determined to make at the Park relaxing and enjoyable of the public, and the public showed its appreciation. When he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 1916, pressure from voters resulted in a city statue giving him life-tenure. He died on the job at the age of 96.

(Timeline across the bottom)
Planting San Francisco Botanical Garden

1889 Anticipating an arboretum, John McLaren, superintendent of Golden Gate Park, selected the present location for a future arboretum.

1926 Helene Strybing provided the necessary funds in her bequest to the city to establish an arboretum and botanical garden in Golden Gate Park. The funds gradually became available in the 1930s.

1935-37 Eric Walther, the Garden's first director, was appointed by McLaren and remained in this position for 20 productive years until his retirement. Walther experimented with a variety of plants from many parts of the world.

1940 The Garden opened officials as an arboretum and botanical garden.

1959 Landscape architect Robert Tetlow prepared a master plan, including features such as the great meadow, the fountain, and the basic layout of the present gardens. Plants were placed in naturalistic arrangements and were more distinctly grouped according to the parts of the world where they originated.

1972 The Library of Horticulture opened and soon becomes Northern California's largest horticultural library. You are invited to use this excellent facility to learn more about the history and plants of Botanical Garden and Golden Gate Park.
Location. 37° 46.028′ N, 122° 28.015′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near Lincoln Way, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 310 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, San Francisco CA 94122, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Migration of the Monastery Stones (within shouting distance of this marker); Golden Gate Park: A Brief History (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Music Concourse (approx. ¼ mile away); The California Midwinter International Exposition (approx. ¼ mile away); Japanese Tea Garden (approx. ¼ mile away); The de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park (approx. ¼ mile away); Japanese Tea Garden Gates (approx. ¼ mile away); The California Academy of Sciences (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
More about this marker. This marker is located in the San Francisco Botanical Garden near the San Francisco Botanical Garden Bookstore.
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryMan-Made FeaturesNatural Resources
More. Search the internet for Planning Golden Gate Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 6, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 85 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 6, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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