San Francisco Landmarks

San Francisco Landmark 210: Millwright Cottage and Murphy Windmill in 2004 Base of dismantled Murphy Windmill and the millwright cottage
25 January 2004

Murphy Windmill Resoration Project 25 January 2004

San Francisco Landmark 210: Millwright Cottage and Murphy Windmill in 2023 Murphy Windmill and the millwright cottage
10 April 2023

Restored Murphy Windmill Dome in 2023 Restored Murphy Windmill Dome
10 April 2023

San Francisco Landmark 210: Murphy Windmill One of several informational placards.
10 April 2023

(Click Photos to Enlarge)

San Francisco Landmark #210
Millwright Cottage and Murphy Windmill
Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Golden Gate Park
Built 1905
37°45'53.9"N 122°30'31.3"W

The Murphy Windmill was built in Golden Gate Park between 1905 and 1907, a gift to the City by Samuel G. Murphy. It is the second of two windmills built in the Park, the first being the northern Dutch Windmill, which was constructed in 1902. The Murphy Windmill is commonly believed to be the largest windmill of its kind in the world.

The Murphy Windmill and Dutch Windmill were said to have pumped up to 1.5 million gallons of water every day, transforming the existing sand dunes into a green oasis. Prior to the construction of the windmills, the City of San Francisco hired sprinkling wagons to haul water through the park and irrigate the land. The windmills were no longer used after 1935 when modern irrigation systems were installed.

A 1947 restoration included minor repairs to the structure and replacement of the sail stocks.

In 2002, the Recreation and Parks Department began a three-phase construction project that involved cataloging every piece of the mill, dismantling of the wood and iron elements, salvaging pieces that could be reused, and restoration of the cap structure. The cap elements were transported to Holland by ship and reconditioned by the Dutch millwright Lucas Verbij. The copper dome and fantail were restored to match the original design and details.

The second phase involved rehabilitating the concrete base and the slate-clad tower, as well as installing the cap, sails, and gears. On September 12, 2011, the restored 64-ton cap was placed back onto the tower structure.

The third and final phase will include a water pumping system and landscape improvements.

Source: Informational placards at the Murphy Windmill site.

San Francisco Landmarks in Golden Gate Park: Beach Chalet, Conservatory of Flowers, Dutch Windmill, Francis Scott Key Monument, Lawn Bowling Clubhouse and Greens, McLaren Lodge, Murphy Windmill, Music Concourse, Park Emergency Hospital, Sharon Building

California Landmarks in Golden Gate Park: Conservatory of Flowers

National Register Listings in Golden Gate Park: Golden Gate Park Historic District, Beach Chalet, Conservatory of Flowers

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