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

Huntington Park/Fountain of the Tortoises

 
 
Huntington Park/Fountain of the Tortoises Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 23, 2013
1. Huntington Park/Fountain of the Tortoises Marker
Inscription.
Huntington Park
On this site in 1872, General David D. Colton, a railroad attorney, built one of the most elaborate residences ever seen in San Francisco. The classic white wooden mansion featured an entry flight of marble steps leading to a portico of Corinthian columns. General Colton, his wife, and his two daughters entertained in the mansion with style and splendor. General Colton died in 1878 and shortly thereafter his widow, Ellen, closed the mansion and moved to Washington, D.C.

In 1892, railroad baron Collis P. Huntington purchased the house where he lived with his wife, Arabella, until the time of his death in 1900. Mrs. Huntington occupied the grand mansion until its destruction in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. In 1915, Mrs. Huntington donated the land to the City of San Francisco to remain as a park in perpetuity for all the people of the city to enjoy.

Beginning in the late 1970s, the park became a continuing restoration and preservation project of the Nob Hill Association, San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood organization, in cooperation with the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department.

"Fountain of the Tortoises"
The magnificent Roman "Fountain of the Tortoises" is the centerpiece of Huntington Park.

The
Huntington Park/Fountain of the Tortoises Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 23, 2013
2. Huntington Park/Fountain of the Tortoises Marker - Wide View
The marker is the leftmost of the two visible here, mounted to a utility shed on the west (Grace Cathedral) side of the park. The plaque to the immediate right of the historical marker is a donor plaque. The Mark Hopkins Hotel is in the background.
original Fontana della Tartarughe is still functioning in Piazza Mattei, Rome, Italy. In the early 1900s , a company in Rome offered exact replicas of the original fountain, and William H. and Ethel Crocker purchased one of the reproductions and had it installed at their estate in Hillsborough, California. The four Crocker Children donated the fountain to the City of San Francisco in 1954. It was placed in Huntington Park across the street from the site of the original Crocker Mansion, now occupied by Grace Cathedral.
 
Location. 37° 47.526′ N, 122° 24.741′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from Taylor Street north of California Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94108, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crocker Mansions (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mark Hopkins Hotel (about 500 feet away); Site of the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art (about 600 feet away); Unsung Heros (approx. 0.2 miles away); Metropolitan Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); Miles Archer (approx. 0.3 miles away); Robert Louis Stevenson (approx. 0.3 miles away); First Chinese Baptist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
Also see . . .
Fountain of the Tortoises in San Francisco image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 23, 2013
3. Fountain of the Tortoises in San Francisco
 Huntington Park. The Nob Hill Association provides a short history of Huntington Park, along with several photographs. (Submitted on February 27, 2013.) 
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicHorticulture & Forestry
 
Fountain of the Tortoises (<i>Fontane delle Tartarughe</i>), Rome image. Click for full size.
By Giovan Battista Falda, 1699
4. Fountain of the Tortoises (Fontane delle Tartarughe), Rome
The Flood, Huntington, and Crocker Mansions on Nob Hill (1902) image. Click for full size.
By F.W. Burnett, May 15, 1902
5. The Flood, Huntington, and Crocker Mansions on Nob Hill (1902)
Excerpted from a much larger panoramic picture, this image (courtesy of the Library of Congress) shows the California Street portion of the Nob Hill area prior to the 1906 earthquake and fire. In the foreground is the Flood Mansion (still extant), the Huntington Mansion (now site of Huntington Park), and further back is Crocker Mansion, now the site of Grace Cathedral. See the succeeding picture to see what the area looks like today.
Huntington Park, as seen from the Top of the Mark (Mark Hopkins Hotel) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 23, 2013
6. Huntington Park, as seen from the Top of the Mark (Mark Hopkins Hotel)
The fountain is barely visible here, mid-picture, in center of the park. The park is sandwiched between the Flood Mansion to the east (built 1885-86, said to be the oldest brownstone building west of the Mississippi), and Grace Cathedral (construction started 1928) to the west.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 25, 2013, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 530 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 25, 2013, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   3. submitted on February 27, 2013, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   4. submitted on February 26, 2013, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   5. submitted on February 26, 2013.   6. submitted on February 25, 2013, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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