clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Geary Boulevard Once Cut Past Cemeteries and Sand Dunes

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] On Wednesday's look at the origin of San Francisco street names, we touched on the combo of roads known as Lincoln Highway. This commemorative route begins in NYC and was the first to cross the country, but ends at San Francisco's Lincoln Park. Named for the president in 1909, it was previously the site of Russian, Chinese, and Italian cemeteries. The neighborhood surrounding the cemeteries was scarcely developed, but is now a thriving part of the Richmond.

What is now Geary Boulevard was once known as Point Lobos Road (and still is once west of 40th Ave). By the late 1880s, most visitors to the Outer Richmond were train travelers on their way to the Sutro Baths or the Cliff House. Sutro's old Cliff House Railway ran through the area, and the line's car barn was located at 32nd and Clement, right on the southeast corner of what is now Lincoln Park.

Point Lobos toll road and cemetery, 1865 [Photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY]

Lincoln Park served as a Potter's Field cemetery, with Italians buried near the present 18th fairway, present 1st and 13th fairway was the Chinese section of the cemetery, and the 15th fairway and 13th tee was a Serbian burial area. By 1902, golf enthusiasts laid out a three-hole course on the land. The Board of Supervisors turned the land over to the city's Parks Commission in 1909, relocating the cemeteries to Colma, the golf course expanded to its full 18 holes by 1917. Portions of the original tract were given to the Federal Government as part of Fort Miley.

Golfers at Lincoln Park Golf Course, 1926 [Photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY]

· History of Lincoln Park Golf Course [Lincoln Park Golf Course]
· Lincoln Park/ California Palace of the Legion of Honor [Park Scan]

Lands End

El Camino Del Mar, San Francisco, CA 94121