San franciscos playland at the beach the golden years. SAN FRANCISCO’S PLAYLAND AT THE BEACH: The Golden Years 2019-02-16

San franciscos playland at the beach the golden years Rating: 4,1/10 1822 reviews

San Francisco Playland

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

Spook rides became a staple of 1940s-50s carny America. Smith is a frequent lecturer and discussion leader at universities, historical societies, libraries and bookstores. The Camera Obscura was placed next to the Cliff House in 1946, and has remained in continuous operation to this day. This ride originated at the 1939-40 Golden Gate Exposition on Treasure Island. And Playland's crude commercialism seemed out of step with the values and lifestyles of the sixties counterculture.

Next

San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: the Early Years.

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

Where the Diving Bell once stood is now a crusty Safeway. Along with popular forms of entertainment, Woodward had formal gardens and informative zoological and natural history exhibits. A dearly loved part of old San Francisco, the park incorporated rides, dining, sight-seeing, socialization, and its pioneering attractions inspired the designers of the amusement parks that followed. The land that Playland occupied became a sandpit, owned by millionaire developers to make way for the condominiums that remain there today. Along with his brother Leo, George started to see a bright future for the seaside location, and when the opportunity arose they decided to go in as partners in hopes of owning it all.

Next

“San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach: The Golden Years” completes James R. Smith’s epic history of the legendary amusement park

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

The Camera Obscura- Photo by William Duke The arcade games from the midway, as well as an original Laffing Sal there are several can be found at Musee Mecanique, which lies at the foot of Taylor Street at Pier 45. The parish continually grew to meet the demands of its members, despite the hardships brought on by events like the Great Depression and both world wars. Observing the area directly across from Ocean Beach that surrounds the rusty old Safeway and soulless condominiums, one gets the impression that there must be more of a history to this curious segment of the city. By then the park had taken on the name of its top attraction, billed as Chutes at the Beach. San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: the Early Years. The yummy ice cream cookie sandwich was created by George Whitney, and was first served at Playland.

Next

San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: The Early Years.

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

Playland took up three city blocks and, in 1934, the Midway had 14 rides, 25 concessions, and 4 restaurants besides. The cost of keeping the park open was high, and the magic was gone. The Camera Obscura is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings, in this case the Pacific Ocean, onto a large, flat surface using only sunlight. Many show the construction of rides and buildings, but there are also images of the people who visited and worked at the park. Ocean Beach was first served by a steam train and then electric trolleys, but the book particularly documents the growing influence of the automobile.

Next

San Francisco s Playland at the Beach: The Golden Years [PDF]

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

His classroom experiment in Fascism, The Wave has been made into a feature film. Journey back in time to revisit Sutro Baths when it was in full operation. San Francisco historian James R. Today, the site of Sutro Baths still attracts visitors who come explore its concrete ruins and mysterious tunnels. Whitney stopped operating Playland in 1968. Photo from I recommend learning a little more about Playland, then head on up to the top of Sutro Heights Park, preferably at night, and look out over the plot of land that Playland once occupied. This was an expansion of the existing Hippodrome, which was a building that contained a carousel that was built by Looff and his family.

Next

HistorySmith

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

Patrons sitting on the balcony level could slide from their coops down to the dance floor if they wanted to dance. In 1884, a steam railroad was constructed to make Ocean Beach easily accessible as a recreation spot. A well-respected authority on California history, he has spent years chronicling the stories of San Francisco and the California Gold Country. We can only accept returned products that are in good condition. The famous funhouse mirror sequence at the end of 's 1948 was filmed in Hollywood, but in the last moments of the movie, the exterior shot of Welles walking past the Funhouse was filmed at Playland. Not to be missed are photos of the park's great rides like Shoot the Chutes, the Big Dipper and the Diving Bell. Christina Moretta, photo curator of the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, handpicked photos of Playland-at-the-Beach between 1945 and 1966 exclusively for The Huffington Post.

Next

San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: The Golden Years by James R. Smith

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

The Great Depression came at the right time for the Whitneys. The accident may have precipitated the transfer of the park from John Friedle to the Whitney Brothers. Together, the two volumes make a complete history of Playland and San Francisco recreation and leisure, as well as an amazing collection of beautiful and historic photographs — a wonderful companion set for any lover of old San Francisco. True to her name, she guffawed incessantly at visitors as they entered. Despite this expansion, the post-war years saw the tearing down of the Shoot the Chutes in 1950 and the Big Dipper in 1955, and after George Whitney died in 1958, Playland was never quite the same.

Next

San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: The Golden Years by James R. Smith

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

Smith brings history alive in this wonderful book. While the book includes a brief chronological text, it mainly tells its story through historic photographs. In 1937, George Whitney, Sr. The had a funhouse with an identical interior but not exterior until it was remodeled in 1983. As the area became my home, I discovered it was just another face of San Francisco, with its own compelling history and fascinating places to examine. Once the world's largest swimming pool establishment, the building burnt down in 1966.

Next

San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: The Golden Years by James R. Smith

san franciscos playland at the beach the golden years

For a while after George Whitney's death, Playland was operated by his son, George K. Kudos to Smith for unearthing the photos, conducting the research, and providing the refuge. That meager start grew to ten major attractions and countless arcades by 1921, including the Shoot-the-Chutes water ride. The Laughing Sal from the fun house is now located in the in San Francisco. Under the name Family Dog, Helms organized dances and light shows with live entertainment from the happening bands of the day. If you want to get a feel of Playland, or just talk with some friendly, qualified folks who can answer all your Playland-related questions, check out Playland-Not-at-the-Beach in El Cerrito. Smith is an authority on the history of San Francisco and the Gold Country.

Next