who designed Golden Gate Park, and when?

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Who designed Golden Gate Park, and when?

-- Katie Morris (develop@ecosfcc.org), November 05, 1997


Shortly before 1866, a clamor for a large public park began, and city authorities moved to obtain the land. A compromise settlement between the city, the squatters, and other so-called land owners was approved by the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors January 14, 1868, and ratified by the State Legislature March 27, 1868.

The first Park commissioners appointed William Hammond Hall to survey and prepare maps of the park area, and he was appointed the first Park Superintendent August 14, 1871. From: http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist2/ggpark.html

-- rp (zpub@sirius.com), November 05, 1997.

The prominent Golden Gate Park historian, Raymond H. Clary, wrote a book called "The Making of Golden Gate Park : The Early Years, 1865- 1906". This book has all the information about the park's early history. Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but should be in any San Francisco Public library.

-- P. Marcopulos (cheeks4@worldnet.att.net), September 25, 1998.

"Designed" is an interesting word, when it comes to the long-term implementation of something so elaborate as Golden Gate Park, but yes, William Hammond Hall laid out the basic pattern of the park, including its street patterns and it's rough outlines. John McLaren, a later superintendent who today is oft referred to as the Father of Golden Gate Park ---however unfair this may be to Hall--- oversaw the park's design into its mature state. It is interesting to note that Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect of Central Park in New York, was first called in to evalutate the prospect of creating a park in the western sand-dune-strewn regions of San Francisco, and considered it an impossible task. He later sent a nice letter to Hall acknolweding his having proven him wrong so marvellously.

-- Chris Dichtel (cyberiad@earthlink.net), February 01, 1999.

McLAREN designed the park. He was helped by a Dutch gardener, ALVORD, for whom an artificial lake, ALVORD LAKE, was named. This lake was located inside the Haight Street entrance to the park. The last time that I saw the lake, it was filled with garbage and other debris.

NOTE: I would like some information re: the gardener, ALVORD, and the current existence of ALVORD LAKE. Thank you.

-- Myron Burt ALVORD (mbalvord@aol.com), March 23, 2003.

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