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Land Your Plane and Get Your Mail at Marina Green

Public spaces change fast here in San Francisco, and for better or worse, it can be pretty crazy when you see what the City used to look like. Every week, we'll bring you Then & Now, a comparison of historic photos of the Bay Area with current views from the same perspective. Have a suggestion for a photo comparison that looks totally different (or shockingly the same)? Drop us a tip in the Curbed Inbox or leave a comment after the jump.

Quick note: See that vertical green bar in the middle of the then and now photos? You can move it horizontally to see the photos side by side.

[Then photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY/ Now photo: Google Maps] Marina Green, the ever popular place to walk your dog, take your Boot Camp class, and generally be seen looking beautiful, was once nothing more than a tidal marsh, until the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition transformed it. Before it was used for watching fireworks and flying kites, it was an airfield and the terminus of the transcontinental air mail route.

After the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, rubble from the damage was dumped here. The site was filled in for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and since it was situated in front of the fair's Transportation Palace, the "North Gardens" as it was called was used as an airfield for flight shows. By 1920 city the city used it as an aviation field & Air Mail terminal, launching transcontinental postal airplanes, and referring to it as Marina Field. By 1924 the Postal Service had moved on to another field, and the city considered establishing the area's airport on the site. But eventually the leased land south of the city (where the current airport is) and Marina Field was retired by 1930. The park is now operated by the Rec & Park Department, but a plaque commemorating the air mail service is on a pole along the jogging path.
· Montgomery Field / Marina Airfield [airfields-freeman]