Golden Gate Park lake emptied to make needed repairs to wall, walkway 

click to enlarge Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park has been drained while the Recreation and Park Department repairs a retaining wall and walkway. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park has been drained while the Recreation and Park Department repairs a retaining wall and walkway.

Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park, a site that usually includes water birds and model boats, will be a little less active for a time while the manmade body of water sits empty in order to make repairs.

The Recreation and Park Department needed to drain the 6-foot-deep lake at John F. Kennedy Drive and 36th Avenue to build a new retaining wall and shore up and replace a pathway.

The project will cost $150,000 and will be paid for out of the department's deferred maintenance schedule, according to Rec and Park spokeswoman Sarah Ballard.

The lake, when full, serves as a home to a model boat club, a backup water source for the Fire Department and an irrigation system in Golden Gate Park.

Spreckels Lake was drained last month and is expected to be refilled in mid-August, just in time for the San Francisco Model Yacht Club to host its National Championship Regatta from Aug. 23 through Aug. 25.

John H. Super, race director for the model yacht club, said he's hopeful the lake will be ready to use for their races.

"Rec and Park are being extra nice with us," Super said. "They will let us use Lake Merced if Spreckels isn't full. We've got guys coming from faraway places like New York to race, so having a guaranteed venue is really necessary."

Super said the area of the lake being repaired is in the southeast corner, and that it could use some work. Though the repairs come during the summer months and close to the regatta, the final product should benefit the yacht club as well as other visitors.

"It was crumbling," he said of the retaining wall and walkways. "People's boats would bump into it and they would not be happy. And people walking around the lake had some issues over there."

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