Portals of the Past

Larger than Central Park in New York City, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has much to offer in natural beauty, recreational venues, cultural attractions and events. It also provides a glimpse into the city’s history at Portals of the Past on the edge of Lloyd Lake. This marble-columned entranceway is all that was left of the mansion of railroad tycoon, Alban Nelson Towne, after the 1906 earthquake and fire that destroyed most of the homes in the wealthy Nob Hill area.

"Portals of the Past at Lloyd Lake"

Portals of the Past at Lloyd Lake

The columns were donated by Towne’s wife in memory of her husband and moved to Golden Gate Park in 1909. Along with being a reminder of days gone by, Portals of the Past is a symbol of San Francisco’s optimism following such a devastating event.

"Portals of the Past at Lloyd Lake"

Portals of the Past

You might also enjoy this post: Friday in the Park

For more information: Golden Gate Park


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23 thoughts on “Portals of the Past

  1. AJ

    Wow, what sturdy columns they must be! And what classic beauty that mansion must have been. I’ve been to this park as a kid, but didn’t know it’s bigger than Central Park!

  2. Jim

    That is quite poignant Cathy… the columns as a reminder of the past also being encouragement for the future. Very much where we are with my hometown Christchurch’s decisions on whether to rebuild Christchurch Cathedral or not. Earthquake or not, it has to be rebuilt as a symbol of resurgence of the city’s spirit.

    1. Cathy Post author

      I agree, Laurel. I think it’s very important to remember the past and appreciate monuments like this that symbolize remembrance and optimism.

  3. Reiza

    There is something about portals that brings feelings of nostalgia. Probably it’s the history that comes with them. Great shots, Cathy. And I’ve never seen portals near the water before. I love the way it reflects in the water.

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