Idora Park

Oakland, California, USA

Demolished 1929

The Disappointed Tourist: Idora Park, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Idora Park was an amusement park constructed by The Realty Syndicate in 1904 in Ayala Park and leased by the Ingersoll Pleasure and Amusement Park Co. In addition to several roller coasters, the park also had a zoo, an ostrich farm, animal shows, a dance hall, a racetrack, an outdoor amphitheater, a Japanese garden, a bear grotto, a Penny Arcade, a photo gallery, a shooting gallery, an outdoor light display, a roller skating rink and an opera house. After the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake, over 2,500 displaced people sheltered in the park where the Syndicate provided food and supplies. Idora was a so-called “trolley” park, intended to promote trolley use on the weekends. With the advent of the automobile, its popularity declined, and it was demolished in 1929. This painting is based on an uncredited photograph on 1910 on Wikipedia.

My grandparents always talked about this theme park and going there as children. Chrissy H.