The Golden Gate [Panorama from Marin Headlands]


Cartographer(s): Michael Lawton
Date: ca. 1980
Place: San Diego
Dimensions: 140 x 27 cm (55 x 10.5 in.)
Condition Rating: VG

In stock

The Ultimate Bay Area Panoramic Photograph.


A remarkable work of panoramic photography, this is Michael Lawton’s 320-degree view of San Francisco and the Bay, produced for San Diego Federal Bank around the year 1980.

The photograph is taken from the Marin Headlands, in the vicinity of Slacker (or Slacker’s) Hill in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. At left is the entrance to the Waldo Tunnel (also known as the Rainbow Tunnel and now as the Robin Williams Tunnel). Sausalito and much of Tiburon are obscured by hills, but the former structures of Fort Baker, now managed by the National Park Service, are evident in the foreground at left. Behind them sits Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, Yerba Buena and Treasure Island, the northern portion of the Bay, and the East Bay beyond.

Primacy of place is given to the Golden Gate Bridge, with the Presidio, Richmond and Sunset Districts, Marina, and other San Francisco neighborhoods easily identifiable in the background. At right, the western side of the Presidio, Baker Beach, and Land’s End face the viewer, while portions of the Marin Headlands can be seen in the foreground.

The photograph is undated, but San Diego Federal changed its name to Great American Federal Savings and Loan Association in 1982, so it must have been produced before that time.


Michael Lawton

Michael Lawton (1943-2021) was a photographer best known for his 360-degree panoramas, a genre which he helped to popularize (having designed and built cameras capable of taking such shots). His works took in subjects spanning the globe, from cities to archaeological sites and natural wonders. He worked for ten years as a photographer for National Geographic, during which time he focused on photographs of outer space. Later in his career, his work took on a stronger emphasis on environmental themes. A 1989 ‘L.A. Times’ article profiling him described Lawton as the ‘wide-angle wizard’ and the ‘prince of the panoramas.’

Condition Description

Slight wear along edge.