panhandle statue – the mckinley memorial
The Panhandle is a long thin park that projects out of Golden Gate park proper along the north edge of the Haight. It’s a popular hangout for local hipsters. There’s always stuff going on – someone DJing in the park, people practicing hoola hoops. Today was the Nude Bicycle Ride. It was a sunny day, so I hope nothing sensitive got over exposed.
There’s a statue at the extreme eastern end of the park, a solitary figure holding aloft a palm frond. Everyone calls it ‘Panhandle Statue’. It’s apparently a jumping off point for local events, as in “meet up at Panhandle Statue before the Zombie Flash Mob“. I was principally interested in the back lighting and the dark fan of trees behind the statue – so I’m just doing some research now….Apparently it’s depicting a certain William McKinley? (Oh wait, my Canadiana is showing). This is McKinley the 25th president of the United States, who was eventually assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. Or at least it’s a monument to Mr. McKinley – since the figure appears to be a neo-classical allegorical female. The appearance of an angelic figure holding a palm frond is apparently meant to signify Victory over Death.
Here’s a 1906 photograph of a earthquake refugee camp set up around the base of the Memorial. The displaced San Franciscans were slightly more victorious than McKinley in this case.