|Dutch Windmill, the best it has looked in about 100 years|
When I was a kid in the 1970s, the windmills standing at the edge of Golden Gate Park were in total disrepair. They jutted up from the trees, grey & derelict. I could never tell which one windmill was which; they looked nearly identical. The only difference was that one still had its arms & one didn't.
The southern most windmill is the Murphy Windmill (named after a banker called Samuel Murphy, whose generous financial contribution enabled the windmill to have been built) and the other one I grew up calling the Queen Wilhelmina Windmill. It's also just referred to as the Dutch Windmill.
|Dutch Windmill postcard from yesteryear|
The Dutch Windmill, completed in 1903, was built to irrigate the western end of Golden Gate Park, transforming the area from sand dunes to lush park. The Murphy Windmill, completed a few years later, was also used for irrigation purposes. By 1913, electric pumps took over the job of pumping water and it has been written that the windmills then began their decline. In the 1940s, much of the interior bits of both windmills were stripped to be used for the war effort and by the middle of the 20th century, the windmills had become largely decorative.
I think renovations on both windmills began in 1980s and 1990s. As of today, the Murphy Windmill is fully functional. Funds ran a bit dry when it came to completely repairing its Dutch counterpart. The arms don't turn and there is some sort of insect infestation that isn't readily obvious, fortunately. I think that compared to when I was a kid, the Dutch Windmill looks lovely, if however, not entirely up to snuff.