Murphy Windmill will soon spin again

Taking walks along Ocean Beach and through Golden Gate Park is one of my favorite parts of living in the city (NYC’s Central Park can’t compare). Each time I saw the Murphy Windmill, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my childhood and the random Swedish influences that were sprinkled throughout. Knowing that they were taking the time to restore such a landmark was heart-warming. More news came out today via The Examiner that the windmill will not only be restored to operational, it will be used as an alternative energy source.

According to the article, it will cost nearly $4 million to make this happen. I’m all for alternative energy, especially in such a good location, but DAMN that is a lot! How much does a new-age wind farm cost? How much electricity do they reckon Murphy will be able to generate?

6 Comments so far

  1. tyler82 (unregistered) on December 18th, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

    That is so awesome! SF really is a playground for the rich…


  2. Victoria E (unregistered) on December 18th, 2006 @ 8:56 pm

    Feel free to elaborate:)


  3. tyler82 (unregistered) on December 18th, 2006 @ 11:37 pm

    I was just referring to this parable of a huge, toy like structure sitting in the park, and it’s going to take $4 million as you quote just to get it spinning again just so we can watch it spin, as I’m not sure how much energy one very old windmill would actually bring to the city, probably just enough to power itself :-)


  4. Benjamin (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 12:29 am

    I wrote a paper about the new projects in Golden Gate Park, along with the new Academey of Sciences Building which you should write about. Anyway, one of the windmills (they are restoring both) will power a fountian, the higher the wind, the higher the fountain. It will also have a sustainability information building for field trips for children and what not…

    http://www.sfenvironment.com/aboutus/victories/greenbldg.htm

    There are more good links to this, but I don’t have time now sorry!


  5. cd (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 9:13 am

    According to this older SF Chron article (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/06/26/BA143893.DTL&type=travelbayarea) the restoration project was/is funded through a combination of city funds and private donations.

    The article also notes that when both windmills were functioning, they powered irrigation for the park. I’m not even as tree-hugging as the average SF resident and even I think that’s useful.

    Also: “San Francisco is providing $1 million from state funds and the California Coastal Conservancy offered a $100,000 grant, but private donors have raised $1.9 million and are campaigning for more.”

    So, while SF can at times be criticized for being elite and richy in some respects, I think going after this project makes a bad example.


  6. accidental haircut (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 11:53 pm

    As mentioned above, the windmills originally powered the water features (streams, waterfalls, etc) of the park, some of which are now being slowly dug out of the weeds and restored.

    If the cost of restoration seems high, maybe we shouldn’t have allowed this precious legacy to go to hell in the first place. Decades of neglect and deferred maintenance -are- expensive.

    I wish we could learn this lesson, I really do.



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