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

A Memorable Muse

 
 
A Memorable Muse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 1, 2019
1. A Memorable Muse Marker
Inscription.  
From 1914 to 1972, this area was occupied by the popular amusement center known as Playland-at-the-Beach. Imagine how it must have looked and felt when as many as 65,000 people frolicked here on weekends while taking in sea air mingled with the aroma of popcorn and cotton candy.

Playland was four square blocks of classic amusement park entertainment and included the Big Dipper roller coaster, Dodge 'Em bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, and the Fun House.

This very site was the home of Laff in the Dark, a hair-raising haunt that guided passengers in almost complete darkness through spiderwebs and past opening coffins on a small-gauge railroad train. In the 1960s, the attraction was replaced by Fun Tier Town, where visitors were greeted by a brightly colored roof-riding cowboy before embarking on a bumpy "Mad Mine" ride.

The Fun House, one of Playland's last attractions before its demolition in 1972, coaxed visitors through the entrance with a rolling "fun barrel," staggering staircase, and surprising blasts of air from the floorboards. Once inside, fun-seekers cavorted amidst "the world's longest
Upper right image image. Click for full size.
By ?
2. Upper right image
Aerial close-up of Playland from Golden Gate Park to base of Sutro Heights.
indoor wooden slide," a "fun wheel," a dizzying mirror maze, wooden rocking horses, and wobbly moving bridges.

All Playland visitors were greeted by famous Fun House hostess Laughing Sal. A mechanical woman created by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, Sal cackled incessantly at guests from a Fun House window. Known for frightening children with her loud laugh, missing front tooth, and enormous bobbing figure, Sal left an indelible impression on all who encountered her.

"I viewed Playland almost as a world unto itself... It was a huge theatre set where you became a character within its setting."
Steve Matysik
 
Erected 1996.
 
Location. 37° 46.404′ N, 122° 30.596′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is at the intersection of La Playa Street and Cabrillo Street, on the right when traveling north on La Playa Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94121, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The City at Play (here, next to this marker); Hints of History (here, next to this marker); Turning Sand to Gold (a few steps from this marker); Ticket to Ride (a few steps from this marker); Historical Site
Lower right image image. Click for full size.
By ?
3. Lower right image
B-Line terminal located next to Laff in the Dark
(within shouting distance of this marker); Roald Amundsen (approx. ¼ mile away); The New Cliff House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Schooner Parallel “Blown to Atoms” 1887 (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
Also see . . .
1. Playland at the Beach. (Submitted on April 9, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
2. Laffing Sal. (Submitted on April 9, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
 
Categories. Entertainment
 
Sign below the A Memorable Muse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 1, 2019
4. Sign below the A Memorable Muse Marker
Ray Beldner
Born 1961, San Francisco

Playland Revised, 1996

Each stainless steel sculpture relates to the history of
this site, carrying historical information and personal
remembrances. These translucent icons are the ghosts of
Playland. Released from collective memory,
they reclaim their former site.

Collection of the City and County of San Francisco
Commissioned by the Art Commission ... San Francisco
Municipal Railway Bus Terminal
A Memorable Muse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 2, 2019
5. A Memorable Muse Marker
Playland-at-the-Beach markers image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, April 1, 2019
6. Playland-at-the-Beach markers
This marker is the one on the corner (closest to the camera).
 
More. Search the internet for A Memorable Muse.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 9, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 9, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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