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The Panhandle

Unfinished History

You can't tell the history of the Haight Ashbury without addressing the development of Golden Gate Park, especially of the Panhandle. The Panhandle is actually the oldest of the parks; at one time it was John McLaren's arboretum. Every bush, every tree, even the Eucalyptus (now politically incorrect non-native species) were first planted in the Panhandle to see how they survived. Thus the Panhandle has the oldest trees in Golden Gate Park and 21 varieties of Eucalyptus.

- Calvin Welch from a lecture at New College in Fall, 1994.

Panhandle-1882.jpg

The Panhandle in 1882. Baker and Oak Streets at front right corner of park, dunes still predominant in area.

Photo: Private collector, San Francisco, CA

BVPHN896.jpg

Just a little over a decade later, the Victorians are beginning to crowd around the Panhandle, gateway to Golden Gate Park.

Photo: Private collector, San Francisco, CA

FELL926.jpg

Fell Street at Cole, c. 1926.

Photo: Private collector, San Francisco, CA

OAKTR933.jpg

United Railroads trolley lumbers west on Oak Street, c. 1933.

Photo: Private collector, San Francisco, CA


Panhandle-w-car-1931.jpg

Cars drive up the Panhandle to enter Golden Gate Park, circa 1931.

Photo: Private collector, San Francisco, CA

Panhandle 4565.jpg

Former roadway through the Panhandle is now a series of grassy meadows approaching the park.

Photo: Chris Carlsson


Masonic-&Panhandle-1935.jpg

Masonic looking south through Panhandle, 1935.

Photo: Private collector, San Francisco, CA

Masonic-&Panhandle-1994.jpg

Masonic looking south through Panhandle, 1994.

Photo: David Green

Panhandle freeway sketch 4182299464 3687674da0 o.png

Plans for Panhandle Freeway, defeated by concerted citizen activism in the 1950s-1960s.

Image: courtesy Eric Fischer

Eric fischer Looking east toward Fillmore, between Fell and Oak, from the 1948 Transportation Plan for San Francisco 3890829846 8741707330 b.jpg

1948 vision of easterly view towards Fillmore between Fell and Oak.

Image: courtesy Eric Fischer

Eric fischer panhandle freeway 3890404604 4106262c2e o.jpg

Route of proposed Panhandle freeway.

Image: courtesy Eric Fischer


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