The Chutes

Between 1895 and 1902 a San Francisco amusement park called The Chutes occupied the area bordered by Haight, Cole and Clayton Streets, a spot just a few blocks from Golden Gate Park -- an escape from SF's crowded northeast quadrant and accessible by a handful of independently run cable car lines.

look at that: almost nothing on haight street
c. 1895. Top of The Chutes, looking northeast onto Haight Street.

The surrounding middle-class neighborhood was just taking shape. The attraction was billed as a family-friendly locale and the sale of alcohol was prohibited.

splashThe ride was 70 feet high and 300 feet long. The flat-bottom boats would hit the artificial lake going over 50 miles-an-hour.

The site eventually included an elevated railroad, a merry-go-round, an alligator house, a live theater and an exhibition hall. Within seven years, The Chutes outgrew its Haight Street location and moved to the Richmond (1902-1909) and then the Fillmore (1909-1911).

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Friends of 1800 provides an architecturally focused history of the neighborhood. For more on The Chutes' amusements, visit Historysmith.


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