In the 1860's, San Francisco was a booming city fueled by the Gold Rush and the first transcontinental railroad. Civic leaders envisioned a large park and arboretum similar to those in European cities and the eastern United States. Skeptics argued that the proposed location in the western part of the city consisted mainly of windswept, shifting sand dunes and was therefore an unwise choice.But from 1870 to 1876, Army-trained engineer William Hammond Hall made a strong beginning, creating a detailed site survey and a preliminary design for the Park. Appointed Engineer of the Park, over the next five years, he leveled and stabilized the sand dunes and established a nursery to supply the first 60,000 trees. Curved roads and tree plantings were designed to temper the ocean winds and provide a natural, rustic, and informal appearance. Golden Gate Park rapidly became a great success with the public.Golden Gate Park has seen great changes since its origins in the 1870s. Similarly, San Francisco Botanical Garden has undergone steady development since its opening in 1940. Both Park and Garden have historically been and will continue to be works in progress. Each few years bring newly designed gardens and an ever-changing collection of plants to the Garden. Every season ushers in new sights and experiences.