Magazine article Sunset

Rediscovering the Heart of Golden Gate Park

Magazine article Sunset

Rediscovering the Heart of Golden Gate Park

Article excerpt

The heart of Golden Gate Park, the Music Concourse, is the site of the park's earliest buildings and now some of its latest changes.

The range of activities in this area is good reason to discover or revisit San Francisco's biggest city park. Here you can listen to a concert at the new bandstand (starting this month with a July Fourth rouser), take a free guided tour of the Japanese Tea Garden, or catch the new exhibition at the California Academy of Sciences. When last fall's big earthquake cracked the concourse's band shell, some feared the end of a 108-year-old tradition of free concert-band performances on the site. Fortunately, it continues on a temporary stage and acoustics, ironically, are better (experts say the old shell has some acoustic design flaws). Repair of the 90year-old pavilion awaits funding.

Hour-long concerts are held at I Pm. Thursdays, May through October; 2-hour Sunday concerts run year-round, also beginning at 1. Upcoming Sunday offerings range from Bastille Day with Basque dancing (July 15) to an AIDS walkathon concert (July 22). And at I Pm. on July 4, a patriotic program is planned. The Japanese Tea Garden offers free hour-long garden tours at 2 from May through October on the second, fourth, and fifth Sundays of the month Garden entry costs $2, $1 seniors and ages 6 through 12; hours are 9 to 6:30 daily.

Across the concourse, life before man The new Life Through Time exhibition at the Academy of Sciences takes you on a 3 1/2-billion-year journey, from early life in the sea to the dinosaur age and mammals' beginnings. …

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