SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s South Park remains one of the city’s oldest, but lesser known parks. Created in 1852, South Park is smaller than other parks like Dolores Park and Golden Gate Park. The small, oval-shaped unveiled its latest makeover after close to 2 years of construction.

The park was originally built in 1852 as the centerpiece of a prestigious neighborhood. It was originally modeled after a square in London and once featured a windmill in the center of the park, which pumped water to nearby homes.

Bounded by Second, Third, Bryant, and Brannan Streets, South Park has the distinction of not only being the city’s oldest park, but being used in Hollywood movies. Fake snow was sprinkled down on South Park when it served as the New York City’s East Village for the musical “Rent.” The park also set the stage in the finale of the Woody Allen film “Blue Jasmine.” 

After shutting down in June 2016, the park underwent a $3.8 million renovation, funded by park bonds, and the city’s Eastern Neighborhoods Impact Fees. Comprehensive infrastructural as well as cosmetic upgrades were made. South Park’s new look was led by award-winning design firm Fletcher Studio and was re-opened to the public on Tuesday, March 21.

New grass, benches, tables, and cement walkways were added. The old wooden jungle gym and 1970s-era swings were all removed. A new stage area will be used for performances and even drought-resistant trees and plants were added. The design firm also created a custom and geometrically unique universal play area. Tech and design companies call South Park home, with new restaurants and cafes in the neighborhood.