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South Park's History

South Park was originally the creation of an Englishman by the name of George Gordon. In 1852, Gordon began purchasing lots between Bryant and Brannan and Second and Third Streets, the area in which the fashionably upscale South Park neighborhood was to be built. The construction of homes and the oval garden at the center of South Park, which was accessible to residents only, began in earnest in 1854. The original design was that of a picturesque strolling park reminiscent of those found in and around London. By years end, the park was home to some 1000 trees and shrubs. It wasn’t until 1897 that the garden around which South Park was built, was acquired by San Francisco as a public park.


The utter destruction of South Park in the 1906 earthquake forever changed the dynamics of the neighborhood and the park. What arose from the rubble was a working class neighborhood that lasted for nearly 70 years. Along the way, South Park fell on hard times, and it wasn’t until the late 1970s and early 1980s that an influx of entrepreneurial thinking began the decades-long transformation of South Park.

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