Restoration of park windmill within reach

A San Francisco landmark may soon get a long needed face-lift.

The Murphy Windmill in Golden Gate Park, located near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Lincoln Way, has been slowly deteriorating because of the rough ocean air and years of neglect.

Last week, however, a Recreation and Park subcommittee approved a $1.8 million construction contract that would restore the building to its previous glory. The project would rebuild the tower of the 100-year-old windmill, the world’s largest, which is named after the banker who donated $20,000 to San Francisco to build it.

For six years, The City, along with the help of a citizens group called the Campaign to Save the Golden Gate Windmills, has been raising money to rebuild the Murphy Windmill in three phases.

The first phase dismantled the windmill’s three-story wooden tower and shipped its original machinery, gears, brake wheel and fan tails to a Dutch windmill company famed for restoring the relics.

The second phase, which was approved last week, would rebuild the tower and bring the 50-foot blades back from the Netherlands, which would be rebuilt in working condition in the third phase of the project.

“We’re ready to fly over there and bring it back ourselves,” Yomi Agunbiade, the general manager of the Recreation and Parks Department, said about the building’s old sails.

The plan is to get the windmill working like it used to before it became outdated with the advent of electrical pumps.

The City hopes to use the restored windmill for educational tours.

The majority of the $1.8 million needed for the project has come from a long list of donors and sources, according to the Recreation and Parks Department.

And before the reconstruction can begin as scheduled in September, another $178,000 has to be secured by Aug. 17.

Phase two of the reconstruction project is scheduled to take about a year to complete.

Today, the windmill, which was the second windmill built in Golden Gate Park in 1906 to help irrigate the areas sand dunes and transform it into park land, is a stump of its old self.

It sits just 300 yards from Ocean Beach with boarded-up windows and a chain-link fence protecting its decaying shell from vandalism.

In its glory days, the Murphy Windmill had the ability to pump more 40,000 gallons of water a day.

sfarooq@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)
SF to open three large sites for COVID-19 vaccinations

Breed: ‘We need more doses. We are asking for more doses’

Tongo Eisen-Martin, a Bernal Heights resident, named San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tongo Eisen-Martin becomes San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate

Bernal Heights resident Tongo Eisen-Martin has become San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate.… Continue reading

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (a mural by artist Jamie Treacy is pictued) has a lineup of free online programming including activities for youngsters scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18. (Courtesy Demetri Broxton/Museum of the African Diaspora)
Stanford, Museum of the African Diaspora host MLK Day activities

Online offerings include films, music, discussion

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides the US House of Representatives vote on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump at the US Capitol, January 13, 2021, in Washington, DC. - The Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives on January 13 opened debate on a historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump over his supporters' attack of the Capitol that left five dead. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
House votes 232-197 to impeach Trump a second time

Focus shifts to Senate, where McConnell has signaled he may not stand by president

Most Read