Golden Gate Park offers a multitude of options for passing into the park – some more elaborate than others, such as the four decorative entryways known as: Clarke Gate, Brayton Gate, Brown Gate, and Breon Gate. These imposing structures serve as an ornamental reminder that you’re leaving the rush of traffic behind and getting closer to the pleasantness of Mother Nature.
Installed in 1915, the sandstone pillars of Clarke Gate decorate the Arguello Boulevard entrance to the park from Fulton Street. Named in memory of an early Presidio area settler named Crawford Clarke, the gate is a gift from his wife. Decorative urns adorn the sides of each pillar. An inscription can be found on the column of the gate that reads: “Gift of Philomen Clarke to Golden Gate Park – in memory of Crawford W. Clarke – MCMXV.”
The entrance to Golden Gate Park at 6th Avenue is framed by the curved benches that were installed in 1952. This entryway is the closest one to take for reaching the designated Skate Area. Vehicles cannot enter the park from this location. The inscription to Brayton Gate reads: “A gift of Louise C. Brayton, in memory of her father Albert P. Brayton – a California pioneer.”
The Brown Gate entrance to Golden Gate Park is found on 8th Avenue, and offers the sight of bronze sculptured animals that greet visitors. The bronze cougar is positioned on the west granite pillar of Brown Gate, while a bronze bear looks down from the east pillar. The bronze animals were installed in 1908. An inscription on Brown Gate reads: “Erected in memory of her parents, Thomas Gibbons Taylor and Sarah Casebolt Taylor, by Mary Taylor Beardslee – 1949.”
Located at 19th Avenue and Lincoln Way, Breon Gate sees the most vehicle traffic of Golden Gate Park visitors than any other entryway into the park. The pillars were gifted to the park by a wealthy family. An inscription is found on the column that reads: “This gateway dedicated by Christine Breon – to all who enter the park – 1924.”