“People’s Park” of San Francisco

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golden-gate-parkBetween 1900 and 1950, tremendous urban growth was recorded in the Richmond, Sunset, and Parkside districts.

At the turn of the 20th century, San Francisco had a population of about 300,000: by 1950, this figure had increased to 776,000; by 1960, withdrawal to suburbs by many as well as other caused brought the figure down to 763,000. In 2010 the population of San Francisco City and County was at 805,235.

As available land within city limits became more scarce, the area closest to Golden Gate Park claimed the highest prices. The unsurpassed recreational facilities of the “People’s Park” brought about this appreciation of land values.

In 1970, the centennial of the founding of Golden Gate Park was duly observed. Parades, musical concerts, and other events marked the ten month’s long commemoration. All concerned felt legitimate and continuing pride in the park which was so much a part of San Francisco.

In 1888, Frederic Law Olmstead, world famous landscape architect, wrote in a letter to Park Commissioner R.P. Hammond:

“… Let me counsel you to remember that our Park is not for today but for all times: so long as you have a city. Its development is an interesting problem, no longer obscure, to be sure, but to be studied in a careful and sustained manner. You have your present population to satisfy and please … but it is expected that future population will be more intelligent and more appreciative.”

While present generations who visit and make maximum use of Golden Gate Park may or may not be “more intelligent,” the record is obvious that they much enjoy and claim as their own tier “People’s Park.”

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Category: Fog City - City of Fog, History

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