The Panhandle


Cars drive up the Panhandle to enter Golden Gate Park, circa 1931. photo: Gaar Collection, San Francisco, CA

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.


Former roadway through the Panhandle is now a series of grassy meadows approaching the park. photo: Chris Carlsson

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