Wind energy systems are cool new technology solutions to power our 21st century world. But San Franciscans knew about wind power in 1901 and used it to help turn sand dunes into park land. The six-story Murphy Windmill, tallest of its kind in the world, is one of two windmills that pumped water through Golden Gate Park to grow lush vegetation at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Murphy Windmill stands in the southwest end of the park and is well on its way to a complete restoration, thanks to the Campaign to Save the Golden Gate Park Windmills, www.sfwindmills.org. This non-profit has been raising money from private foundations, state grants and city funds since 2000.
And thanks to a wonderful photographer, Ron Henggeler, you can see a series of photos documenting the restoration process. Go to www.ronhenggeler.com/photo_gallery.htm and click on the Murphy Windmill Restoration Folio 2. While you are on Ron’s site, enjoy his other photo collections.
The ultimate plan for the Murphy Windmill is to rebuild it so that it can once again pump water through the park.