GOLDEN GATE PARK, San Francisco
Prolific local artistic talent Douglas Tilden was commissioned to create a statue of Father Serra by Mayor Phelan, in the same year as the Great Earthquake and Fire. It was dedicated in November of 1907 with 3,000 people in attendance Senator Belshaw read the dedication letter written by Phelan who could not be present for the ceremonies. The larger than life size statue shows Father Serra in action as the heroic founder of civilization in California. The statue is located at the entrance to the museum drive at the east end of the Music Concourse. It is surrounded by thick flowers in springtime as my photo shows. This is but one of many dozens of Father Serra statues in California but maybe be one of the largest and most inspiring.
while strolling around the Golden Gate Park on a Lazy saturday morning, I chanced upon a wedding in the Dutch Windmill in the edge of Golden Gate Park and I realized that the Golden Gate Park is also popular as settings for weddings and Pictorials since it is easily one of the more famous areas of the Huge Golden Gate Park due to the windmill and the beautiful tulips that suuround the garden around the Dutch Windmill. and is very accesible and you can park for free at the Great Highway in Ocean Beach which is just right across from the dutch windmill here at the edge of the Golden gate Park. Hence I have to take pictures hehehe and include this to my off the beaten paths tip!
Bronze statue "The Apple Cider Press" created by American artist Thomas Shields-Clarke in 1892, was exhibited at the Midwinter International Exposition in 1894. Before it was packed up, M.H. De Young purchased it for display in front of the museum, where it remains even today. Interestingly, this statue resembles somewhat a larger newer statue located on a knoll off Hwy 12 near Napa, appropriately called "The Wine Press", as it memorializes the industry there, except that wine press figure wears a brimmed western style hat. The Apple Cider Bronze also bears some resemblance to the much more revered Mechanics Monument located at the three way of Battery, Bush, and Market streets in that it bears tribute to the value of hard work. However, this purchase and contribution by DeYoung was apparently inspired by art rather than memorial, since the only cider industry of note in the San Francisco Bay Area is Martinelli's (1868) located in relatively remote Watsonville. This bronze remains located on a base overlooking the Music Concourse, and so photography of it proves difficult on bright sunny days.
The German-Americans living in the San Francisco Bay Area contributed the striking slightly larger than lifesize dual figure statue of Goethe and Schiller, which is located on the far east end of the Music Concourse Area in Golden Gate Park. Presented in 1901, the bronze and granite statue was recently removed from its location near the old Morrison Planetarium during reconstruction of that facility, and after careful restoration, was returned to a different spot at the entrance to a popular footpath/jogging route leading east. The two 18th century German writers were indeed friends, as this somewhat lively, somewhat visionary statue suggests, but their gazes don't match. The legendary German writere Goethe being already famous at the time he met young playwright and poet Schiller. This statue is a copy, one of four (the others are located in Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Shanghai), obtained from the original Ernst Rietschel that was unveiled on Sept. 4, 1857 in front of the German National Theater in Weimar, Germany. I have not visited the original, but from my research, it is regarded as one of the most photographed monuments in front of the National Theater. Sorry if these quick iPhone images don't do the SF copy justice.
This statue is a copy of the monument found in New York's Central Park, and so is probably created by German-American sculptor Henry Baerer. There are of course many such statues in Europe and the USA, and not so cheap library busts are widely available on the internet, such is the fame of this composer. This 15 foot tall bronze and granite Beethoven Statue has been consistently located in front of the Academy of Sciences, and during the reconstruction, was more or less relocated to the same general area, just north of the main entrance, and in view of the Music Concourse Band Stand. The statue was donated and presented to an audience of 1,000 in August 1915 by the Beethoven Maennerchor of New York City and the San Francisco German-American Auxillary. My iPhone takes some pretty poor images when the lense is dirty, but you'll get the idea and won't just walk by without a pause in respect for this most famous of world musicians.
The DeYoung Museum is oldest museum in San Francisco, making it possibly the oldest museum on the west coast. The original museum building was actually built for the International Californian Exposition, held in Golden Gate Park in 1894. The Egyptian revival building was replaced in 1921, and two sphinxes continued to remain at the front entrance until the recent reconstruction of the entire DeYoung building and complex. I recall climbing on them as a child. Actually, these painted reinforced concrete sculptures were duplicates created by Arthur Putman in 1905 to replace the original circa 1894 sculputures made by CC McDougal. This summer King Tut returns to the DeYoung after a 30 year absence. I recall going to the exhibit many years ago, although, of course, I have also seen King Tut and other Egyptian artifacts at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Bay Area landscape architect, Walter Hood, sought to preserve iconic elements of the old museum, and so in addition to the Sphinxes, is the nearby Pool of Enchantment and the historic 100 year old palm trees. I'm still trying to track down the origins of the fabulous gigantic bronze urn that has small humans climbing all over it....Can anyone help me?
In 1885, wealthy San Francisco benefactor James Lick, commissioned artisit William Story to create the enormous 51 foot tall travertine and bronze monument that now sits on the east end of the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. Interestingly, although there are several bridges, boats, and other civic projects named in honor of the national anthem songwriter, this monument is the most significant monument of its kind in the USA. The monument includes a bronze figure of a seated Francis Scott Key, and above him, over an arch, a figure of America with an unfolded flag. The words to the Star Spangled Banner are chiseled into the base. The monument was recently renovated by the city due to risk of further environmental degradation. This monument is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it also listed as San Francisco Landmark #96.
The great civil war general and failed 18th US president is honored by a bronze bust mounted on a granite base at the northeast corner of the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park, on the south side of Museum Drive. This often forgotten statue, even as tour buses drive past every few minutes, was created by Rupert Schmid and dedicated in 1896, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On one of the highest points in Golden Gate Park, and yet almost forgotten, is the 1894 tribute to the first English language sermon and use of the Book of Common Prayer in California. The 57 foot tall cross (one of the tallest in the city), created by Ernest Coxhead, was originally planned to be placed in Marin county close to where Sir Francis Drake was supposed to have landed his vessel in 1579, before he waded ashore with the ships chaplain to claim California for the British Queen. At the time of it's dedication, it was a big ceremonial event in the city, such that the New York Times included an article about the memorial. On a somewhat dilapidated base, the venerable sandstone celtic style cross is now shrouded by park trees and not visible from the ocean as had been originally planned. Just below the cross, helping to locate the foot trail off JFK drive, is the artifical falls.
In 1916, Jerome Connor cast four bronzes statues of the martyred Irish patriot Robert Emmet, and one of these was donated to San Francisco by James D. Phelan in 1916. From the photos in the link below, it appears that the statue has been moved from its original location directly in front of the old Academy of Sciences Building. During construction of the new Academy building, it appears to have been move further north a few hundred feet, to within the Music Concourse grounds proper. However, there has been no rededication of the memorial, indicating that renovation of Connor's work has not been necessary. This pitiful image taken by my iPhone camera doesn't do justice to the simple and dignified pose of the young martyr created by Connor. Emmet was a patriotic orator who, in 1803, was the last to be publically "hung, drawn, and quartered" according to English justice.
Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest Japanese public garden in US and a true gem of the Golden Gate Park. And what can be a better way to explore that gem, than to go on a tour run by an knowledgeable guide.
I took many tours in my life and have realized that the best are run by volunteers and cost nothing. Volunteers are the people who are truly interested in their subject, because there is no monetary compensation for the work, just a spiritual one.. of sharing the knowledge and experience with others.. :)
The entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden is not free, it costs $4 for an adult, but once inside the Garden free tours are offered every Wednesday and Sunday at 1PM. Meeting point is inside the main gate.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE GARDEN:
BUSES FROM DOWNTOWN: #5 from Market Str (get off at Fulton/12th Str) or #21 from Market Str (get off at Fulton/8th Str).
HOURS: March-October 9 AM to 6 PM daily. November-February 9AM to 4:45PM daily.
$4 for adults. $1.50-children (5 and under). $1.50 for seniors (65 and up). No cost for SF Park Trust Members.
FOOD: Hot tea and snacks are served in the tea house.
The Sutro Baths are a one-of-a-kind ruins not found in other American cities. Sitting along the Pacific Ocean, the baths are scenic and peaceful, especially on a clear, sunny day. You can enjoy a few hours strolling around the crumbling walls, the pools of standing water now favored by birds, and the cliffs and caves.
Sutro Baths officially opened in 1896 and could hold some 8,000 people in its massive pools and viewing areas. The baths burned in 1966 leaving the ruins you see today. The National Park Service bought the bath ruins in 1980 and they became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The baths are located in Golden Gate Park next to Ocean Beach and Lincoln Park. From downtown or Hwy 101 take Geary Ave (which becomes Point Lobos Ave) to the park entrance.
Golden Gate Park was pretty diverse. We entered from near Haight/Ashbury and we were so surprised at the homeless and musicians that seemed to abound....we went under a bridge and the park changed to children playing soccer and tennis along with their parents. We went to the Japanese Tea Garden which was just lovely and worth $3.50 entrance for the opportunity to walk around in. Lots of photo opportunities there. I would be watchful in Golden Gate Park though....the one side was a little different!
Go see the buffalo (or American Bison, as they are officially called) in the Buffalo Paddock in Golden Gate Park.
They can be found on John F. Kennedy Drive in the north/west corner of the park- basically between 41st Ave and Sunset Blvd/36th Ave.
Outside the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park is the most amazing garden full of more beautiful Peonies than can even be imagined. The best time to see these flowers is in the Summer. These flowers are worth the trip.