The History of San Francisco’s Park & Plazas will be a series of articles exploring the history of San Francisco’s parks, plazas, and public squares.
Why San Francisco?
As a Bay Area resident from 2000-2008 I became very interested in the city of San Francisco as a historical subject. One of my research interests includes how changes in the built environment affect the role and use of public space in urban and rural settings. San Francisco has experienced dramatic changes in its built environment over the years making it a particularly interesting and fascinating historical subject. This series will explore the historical antecedents of the city’s parks and other public spaces, how they’ve been reimagined over the years, and how the city has repurposed land once considered “unusable,” such as cemeteries and watershed sloughs, into new areas for parks and public squares. The parks and public spaces that have been completely lost to history will also be addressed.
Research Methodology & Framework
The series will look critically at the history of the city’s parks, plazas, and public squares as told through historical maps, while also incorporating other scholarly Californiana resources such as books, historical newspapers, journal articles, and ephemera. I am also interested in applying this research framework to other urban and rural areas in California, including Humboldt County.