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San Francisco Landmark #147: Dutch Windmill
12 June 2008
(Click Photo to Zoom)
San Francisco Landmark #147
Dutch Windmill
Golden Gate Park
Built 1902

The Dutch Windmill, conceived by John McLaren and Adolph Spreckels, was designed by San Franciscan Alpheus Bull Jr. and built in 1902 for $25,000. The windmill was situated near the Pacific Ocean to capture the prevailing westerly winds and use the energy to pump water for The Park's irrigation system. The following year, a caretaker and his wife moved into a newly constructed cottage. Along with caring for the windmill, he raised vegetables to feed the animals in the park menagerie. A small, Green Eden.

The success of the Dutch Windmill in the northwest corner of The Park led to the 1905 construction of the Murphy Windmill in the southwest corner.

In 1913, motorized pumps were installed to augment the wind. Over the years, as the irrigation system increasingly depended upon the motors, maintenance of the windmills was neglected to the point that they ceased to function. Fifty years later, Eleanor Crabtree Rossi, daughter of Mayor Angelo Rossi, started a campaign to restore the Dutch Windmill, but it was not until 1980 that the Dutch Windmill was cosmetically restored and landscaped with the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden.

San Francisco Landmarks in Golden Gate Park:

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