Map of the avenue leading to Golden Gate Park showing the proposed plan of improvement, together with that of the entrance to the park

Golden Gate Park takes shape: 1872 map of the Panhandle by William Hammond Hall.

Date: 1872
Place: San Francisco
Dimensions: 48 x 25.5 cm (18.7 x 10.2 in)
Condition Rating: VG

Out of stock

SKU: NL-00683 Category: Tag:


This is an 1872 map of the Panhandle and eastern entrance to Golden Gate Park, original published in a San Francisco city municipal report.

William Hammond Hall’s long-term plan to create a vast recreational park in San Francisco was first implemented in The Panhandle in 1870, which became part of Hall’s experimental laboratory for finding suitable vegetation for reclaiming the dunes. After much trial and error, Hall found that by first planting barley – followed months later by sea bent grass mixed with yellow lupin – the sand dunes could be stabilized enough to dump manure and top-soil without risk of wind-erosion. On top of this layer, Monterey Pines, Monterey Cypresses and Eucalyptus—all known for quick growth and shallow root structures—could take root.


Britton & Rey

Joseph Britton (1825 – July 18, 1901) was a lithographer, the co-founder of prominent San Francisco lithography studio Britton and Rey, and a civic leader in San Francisco, serving as a member of the Board of Supervisors and helping to draft a new city charter.

In 1852 he became active in lithography and publishing, first under the name Pollard and Britton, and then Britton and Rey, a printing company founded with his friend and eventual brother-in-law Jacques Joseph Rey. Britton and Rey became known as the premier lithographic and engraving studio of the Gold Rush era, producing letter sheets, maps, and artistic prints.

William Hammond Hall

William Hammond Hall (1846 in Hagerstown, Maryland, United States of America – 1934) was a civil engineer who was the first State Engineer of California, and designed Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA.

After serving with the U.S. army engineers in the Civil War, Hall was assigned in the latter part of the 1860s to surveying the Western regions of the United States and preparing topographical maps.

During this same time, the citizens of San Francisco were considering building a grand park for their new and growing city. The city designated a tract of 1,013 acres (4.10 km2) stretching out to the ocean that was known as the “outside land.” In 1870 the Park Commission solicited bids for a topographical survey which was awarded to Hall. After the successful completion of that task, he was appointed Golden Gate Park’s first superintendent in 1871.

Hall devised a plan to improve the Park. The design included a Panhandle along with two main drives. Additionally, the outside land was covered with sand dunes which needed to be reclaimed and replaced by forest trees. 60,000 trees had been planted by 1875 (Blue Gum Eucalyptus, Monterey pine and Monterey cypress). Plantings continued and there were 155,000 trees planted by 1879.

In 1876, Hall was elected a member of the California Academy of Sciences, and was appointed California’s first State Engineer. Despite his new responsibilities, he retained the position of consulting engineer to Golden Gate Park until he resigned in 1890, and was replaced by his assistant John McLaren.

Condition Description

Wear along left edge and throughout along original folds.