In 1872, on this site, at the corner of California and Taylor, railroad attorney, General David D. Colton, built one of the most elaborate residences ever seen in San Francisco. The classic white wooden mansion featured an entry flight of marble steps leading to a great portico of Corinthian columns. General Colton, his wife and their two daughters entertained in the mansion with style and splendor. General Colton died in 1878 and shortly thereafter his widow, Ellen, closed the house and moved to Washington D.C.
In 1892, Central Pacific railroad baron, Collis P. Huntington, purchased the house where he lived with his wife, Arabella, until the time of his death in 1900. Mrs. Huntington occupied the home until its destruction in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. Mrs. Huntington donated the land to the City of San Francisco to remain in perpetuity as a park for all the people of the City to enjoy.
Beginning in the late 1970s, the park became a continuing restoration and preservation project of the Nob Hill Association in cooperation with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.
Fountain of the Tortoises at night
The Flood Fountain, donated by Mr. and Mrs. James Flood