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San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Park Diorama

A miniature view of the park, caught in time. 

Inside the classic Art Deco lobby of the Beach Chalet, surrounded by Lucien Labuadt WPA era frescos, sits a detailed bird’s eye view of Golden Gate Park, executed in exacting miniature.

The miniature park was created by a the local museum display company Academy Studios in 1996 for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and the Friends of Recreation and Parks, now known as the San Francisco Parks Alliance. The same firm has created a miniature diorama of the Bohemian Grove for the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, as well as other miniatures for other museums and exhibits around the world, but this is their only piece on public display in San Francisco.

Although some park features have changed since the diorama’s creation in 1996, it still offers a unique sense of the sweeping scale of the project that transformed this land through planting and building into the park we know today.