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San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

In Memory of Adolph Sutro

 
 
In Memory of Adolph Sutro Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 26, 2009
1. In Memory of Adolph Sutro Marker
Inscription. Mining Engineer — Philanthropist — Pioneer Builder in San Francisco. Born April 29, 1830, in Prussia. Came to the United States 1850. Settled in San Francisco 1854. Built Sutro Heights which he presented to San Francisco as a public park. Also gave to this city the site of the University of California hospital. As an engineer designed Sutro drainage and ventilating tunnel for the Comstock Lode, Virginia City, Nevada. Died in San Francisco July 8, 1898.

This commemorative plaque placed by the Native Sons of the Golden West
April 29, 1940
 
Erected 1940 by Native Sons of the Golden West.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 37° 46.78′ N, 122° 30.592′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on Point Lobos Avenue west of 48th Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94121, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Peoples of the Coast - Why did they live here? (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Heavy Cruiser USS San Francisco (CA38)
Sutro Heights Park Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 26, 2009
2. Sutro Heights Park Entrance
The marker is visible on the right lion's pedestal, at the entrance of Sutro Heights Park.
(approx. ¼ mile away); This Memorial to Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan (approx. ¼ mile away); The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (approx. ¼ mile away); The New Cliff House (approx. ¼ mile away); FDR's Salute (approx. ¼ mile away); Schooner Parallel “Blown to Atoms” 1887 (approx. ¼ mile away); Sutro’s Steam Train (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. The marker is mounted on the western (right) lion's pedestal at the Point Lobos Avenue entrance of Sutro Heights Park.
 
Regarding In Memory of Adolph Sutro.

• Adolf Sutro made his fortune not as miner, nor as a mine owner, but as a mining engineer. He incorporated the Sutro Tunnel Company in 1869 and subsequently designed and constructed the Sutro Tunnel, a drainage and ventilation system for the Comstock Lode silver mines. Sutro was able to charge mine owners large sums for access to the drainage, thus allowing for a greater extension of the mines, and also improving their safety.

•
Dedication Ceremony image. Click for full size.
3. Dedication Ceremony
NSGW Grand President Jesse Miller and Rosa Sutro Morbio (Adolph Sutro's daughter)
Photo courtesy of OpenSFHistory.org
Sutro was the 24th Mayor of San Francisco, serving from 1894-1896.

•The NPS interpretive sign, visible behind the lions in the photo above, provides a short history of Sutro Heights, reading in part: The two lions rest here still, but the gothic gate is long gone. This was the estate of Adolf Sutro - millionaire, mining engineer, and Mayor of San Francisco. In the 1880's he transformed windswept sand dunes into a Victorian estate with formal gardens, groves of exotic trees, and hundreds of European statues. He opened the grounds to the public in 1885....After Sutro's death in 1898, the grounds slowly declined. Trees began to die, and statues were toppled or vandalized. The buildings were finally demolished in 1939.
 
Also see . . .
1. Sutro District. The NPS web page providing a history of Sutro Heights. Includes a number of historic photos, as well as information on Sutro Baths and the Cliff House, as well. (Submitted on August 1, 2009.) 

2. Adolf Sutro. The NPS biography of Adolf Sutro, includes pictures and links to histories of sites linked to Sutro, such as Sutro Baths and the Cliff House. (Submitted on August 1, 2009.) 

3. The Significance and History of the Adolf Sutro Historic District. Excerpts from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form prepared in 2000, providing a more in depth history of the area. (Submitted on August 1, 2009.) 
Entrance Gate to Sutro Heights, with Lions, 1886 image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, 1886
4. Entrance Gate to Sutro Heights, with Lions, 1886
From the National Park Service website: It appears that by around 1883 prominent gates marked both the main and private entrances. The main gate was a highly decorative wood structure more than 25 feet tall and flanked by two statues of reclining lions. This truss-like structure consisted of a central carriage entrance arch and half arches on each side for pedestrian passage, supported by decorative wood columns.

 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Sutro Heights Gardens image. Click for full size.
Unknown, provided courtesy of the National Park Service
5. Sutro Heights Gardens
From the NPS website:Numerous statues, planters, and fountains were located on the grounds at Sutro Heights. During his 1883 tour of Europe, Sutro arranged for the casting of more than 200 pieces of sculpture in Belgium, which were shipped from Antwerp to San Francisco in 1884.... Sutro's intent was for the statuary to provide accessible examples of European culture to the visitors in the park.
Adolph Sutro, with his Sutro Heights Residence in Background image. Click for full size.
Unknown, Provided Courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey, circa 1885
6. Adolph Sutro, with his Sutro Heights Residence in Background
The large tower visible in the background was a water tower, which also doubled as an observatory. The structures were razed and removed in 1939.
Land's End Area from the Air image. Click for full size.
US Army Signal Corps, Provided Courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey, 1928
7. Land's End Area from the Air
The above photo, taken in 1928, depicts a number of sites associated with Adolf Sutro, with the sites identified by red letters. The spot marked A is the approximate location of the marker, where the lions and gate were located. Point B is the grounds of Sutro Heights, with the residence still visible. Point C is the Cliff House. The structure visible in the picture is actually the 3rd Cliff House (built in 1909), its predecessors having burned down in 1894 and 1907, respectively. Point D is the Sutro Baths, a massive pool and entertainment complex, that opened in 1896. Also visible is Golden Gate Park, the dark strip running from the top middle of the picture to the right.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 19, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 31, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,501 times since then and 98 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week October 18, 2015. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 31, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   3. submitted on June 18, 2017, by James King of San Miguel, California.   4, 5. submitted on July 31, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   6, 7. submitted on August 1, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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