Golden Gate - Not Just a Park

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In the 1860s, San Franciscans began to feel the need for a spacious... News PhotoCalifornia,Central Park - Manhattan,Comparison,Dependency,Golden Gate Park,Horizontal,Human Interest,Lifestyles,New York City,Offbeat,San Francisco - California,Shape,Travel,USAPhotographer Collection: LightRocket © 2013 John S LanderSAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES - 2013/04/02: In the 1860s, San Franciscans began to feel the need for a spacious public park similar to Central Park, which was then taking shape in New York City. Golden Gate Park was carved out of unpromising sand and sand dunes that were known as the Outside Lands, in an area west of San Francisco’s then current borders. Conceived for recreation, the other purpose of the park was housing development and westward expansion of the city. The plan and planting were developed by John McLaren, who had apprenticed in Scotland, home of many of the 19th-century’s best professional gardeners. Many naturalistically landscaped lakes are placed throughout the park: several are linked together into chains, with pumped water creating flowing creeks. There is a short trail lined with large tree ferns adjacent to a small lake near the Conservatory of Flowers. Statues of historical figures are located throughout the park, including Robert Burns, Johann Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, Beethoven, and Giuseppe Verdi. The bronze statue of Don Quixote and his companion, Sancho Panza kneeling to honor their creator, Cervantes, combines historical and fictitious characters. The 'Janis Joplin Tree' is a favorite site for many tourists and locals. Located on the edge of Hippie Hill, a small hill at the eastern end of Golden Gate Park that has been a popular spot for marijuana smokers since hippies often gathered for that purpose during the Summer of Love, it is said to have just enough room in its branches for a girl and her guitar. An ornate carousel displaying a fantastic bestiary is housed in a circular building near the children's playground.. (Photo by John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images)