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You don’t need to be a historian to know the park also underwent an extensive, $20.5 million renovation in the last couple of years.
What they used to be: Golden Gate Cemetery (aka City Cemetery)Whereas the “Big Four” cemeteries around Lone Mountain were generally reserved for San Francisco’s well-off citizens, Golden Gate Cemetery opened in 1868 and generally served the city’s working-class, immigrant, indigent population.The Columbarium, with its copper dome and stained glass windows, opened in 1898, and there still isn’t a place in San Francisco that looks like it.The public are allowed to visit, though you’ll need an appointment to go above the first floor.The Civic Center site of the current Asian Art Museum is like a Jenga game of San Francisco history.For starters, this wasn’t always where the Asian Art Museum called home – it originally opened as a wing of the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.And we haven’t even gotten to the point where there used to be dead people here.
One of San Francisco’s oldest cemeteries was built to accommodate the Gold Rush in 1850, and it lasted until 1871 with up to 9,000 bodies.
After the order to start disinterring, bodies were moved to Colma, Odd Fellows Cemetery, and elsewhere.
(This photo of Mission Dolores was taken in 1906 after the Great Earthquake).
more There’s still a cemetery at this landmark, established in 1776 and housing San Francisco’s oldest building, back when SF was still called Yerba Buena. The oldest marked grave belongs to Don Luis Antonio Arguello, the first Mexican governor of Alta California (he died in 1830), but also buried underneath the church is William Leidesdorff, a founding father of San Francisco credited with being the first African-American millionaire.
Also buried in a mass grave are about 5,000 Ohlone Native Americans, dedicated with a statue of Kateri Tekawitha, a Mohwok maiden and the first native to be beatified.
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