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Camera Obscura, San Francisco

Categories: Observatories, Landmarks, Museums, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 20 reviews on the web
The Camera Obscura is a large-scale camera obscura, in the Lands End area of the Outer Richmond District in western San Francisco, California.It is located near the Cliff House restaurant, perched on the headlands on the cliffs just north of Ocean Beach. The Camera and restaurant are currently owned by the National Park Service and are within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Camera Obscura was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, and is within the NPS Sutro Historic District. It is within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, since being acquired by the National Park Service in 1977.HistoryCameras obscura, devices which project an image of the surroundings onto a surface using only existing exterior light sources, usually sunlight, have a long history in San Francisco. The first recorded reference to one in the city is from the 1860s in an attraction called Woodward's Gardens. A previous incarnation of the Cliff House was noted to have had a camera obscura on its fourth floor in 1896. This camera obscura was destroyed when the restaurant burned down in 1907.When the third Cliff House reopened in 1937, the owner was approached by businessman Floyd Jennings with the idea of adding a camera obscura to the cliffs beside the restaurant. It was installed on the site in 1946 and has been in continuous operation since then.
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  • Novel option for looking at a great scenery. Not worth standing in line for, but a cool option if you are in the area and have the time 
  • The giant Camera Obscura, which appeared in the first half of the last century as an entertainment attraction. On the roof is set to mirror that through two lenses (human eye) projects the image on a parabolic table. Mirror rotates and on the table you can see the coast, the ocean and even their parked car. Worth a visit if you find yourself "at the edge of the Earth" (land's End).
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  • I grew up enjoying many of the fun places in the city, (SF) that sadly most have long sense have closed or just built over like the old playland by the sea just down the hill from this gem still stand...  read more »
  • The view is stunning, especially at the end of the day. The remains of the Sutro baths are fun to hike around. Love this place!
  • Fun place to discover when you're walking the beach. I wouldn't make a destination of it, but it certainly adds character to the coastline.
  • One of my favorite places to visit. Must go on a sunny day to really appreciate it.
  • Wonderful device, making for an amazing experience of the shimmering ocean.
  • The views from this spot are incredible!
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