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Best Hike to Ruins of an Astronomical Observatory San Francisco 2013 - Summit of Strawberry Hill, Golden Gate Park

You won't find strawberries atop Strawberry Hill anymore. Nor will you find the Sweeny Observatory, a grand, castle-like structure erected in 1891. Sepia-toned photos reveal a wondrous, circular structure sprouting atop the hill and reflected in Stow Lake. In fact, the bridges on the north and south of the lake were constructed to provide access to the observatory. Those bridges appear to have fared better in the 1906 quake than the structure inspiring their creation; the observatory toppled like dominoes. But high atop the hill, you can still see its red brick, circular foundation. A massive evergreen now grows where 19th-century folk once stargazed.

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