Press Release

R.J. Waters: Golden Gate Park


CONTACT: Charles Schuler  
Director of Marketing & Communications
San Francisco International Airport 
(650) 821-5031

R.J. Waters: Golden Gate Park
New exhibition features historical photographs of Golden Gate Park from the late-1800s by San Francisco photographer R.J. Waters.

SAN FRANCISCO— This year marks the 150th anniversary of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, and the San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco International Airport is proud to present an exhibition of historical photographs by photographer R.J. Waters (1856–1937) that date to the early days of Golden Gate Park.

Waters documented daily life in Golden Gate Park between the years 1896 and 1902, producing a small portfolio of silver gelatin prints that is now held in the collection of the San Francisco Public Library. These photographs, many of which are now over 120 years old, feature early scenes of many locations that remain recognizable to today’s visitors to the park—Stow Lake, the Polo Fields, the Japanese Tea Garden, and the Conservatory of Flowers, among others. Some of the images reveal the changes to the landscape and its surroundings over the years, while others attest to the timeless nature of the park’s winding paths and exquisite landscaping. Reflected in all of R.J. Waters’ carefully crafted photographs is an enduring sense of appreciation and gratitude for Golden Gate Park that has been felt by visitors throughout the years.

This exhibition is part of the citywide celebration of the 150th anniversary of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. For more information about the celebration and events occurring throughout this calendar year, please visit

Golden Gate Park rose from the windswept dunes 150 years ago and its history has been fascinating ever since. It served as a refuge after the 1906 earthquake and ground zero during the Summer of Love. Golden Gate Park has never been as beautiful and beloved as it is today, and we are so excited to share our celebration with travelers through these incredible images.

—Phil Ginsburg, General Manager,
San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department


R.J. Waters: Golden Gate Park is located near Gate F5 in Terminal 3, Boarding Area F from June 25, 2020 to November 19, 2020. The exhibition is located post-security and is only accessible to passengers ticketed for travel through Terminal 3 and International Boarding Area G via a post-security connector. There is no charge to view the exhibition.

Visit for more information.

@SFOMuseum @SFParksAlliance @RecParkSF
#RJWaters #SFPL #GGP150 

About SFO Museum

Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum’s mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2019, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features thirty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit Follow us on,, or

About San Francisco International Airport

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About the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department

The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department administers more than 220 parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, including two outside the city limits—Camp Mather in Yosemite Valley and Sharp Park in Pacifica, California. The park system includes 25 recreation centers, nine swimming pools, five golf courses and numerous tennis courts, ball diamonds, soccer fields and other sports venues. Included in the department’s responsibilities are the Marina Yacht Harbor, the San Francisco Zoo, and Lake Merced. In 2017, San Francisco became the first U.S. city in which every resident lives within a 10-minute walk to a park.