Built in 1896, the McLaren Lodge was once the home of John McLaren, the Park Superintendent and caretaker of Golden Gate Park from 1887 to 1943. With a whole-hearted dedication to the park, McLaren lived at the Lodge for 47 years. The sandstone structure displays a Moorish-Gothic style of architecture with exterior walls comprised of 18-inch thick ashlar basalt masonry. Today, the Lodge is the administrative headquarters of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.
Situated in front of the Lodge is a Monterey cypress nicknamed ‘Uncle John’s Tree’. During the holiday season in December, an annual tree lighting ceremony has taken place for more than 80 years at McLaren Lodge. The tree lighting ceremony is a real extravaganza with free activities and goodies for the entire family, including carnival rides, refreshments, and a visit from Santa.
Address: 501 Stanyan Street (and Fell)
Phone Number: (415) 831-2700
Hours: Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekdays.