Helen Wills Park

Corner of Larkin & Broadway, San Francisco, CA
City, Park
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The Helen Wills Park was established in 1915 as the Spring Valley Playground. Helen Wills, born in Centerville (now part of Fremont) was 10 years old that year and practicing tennis with a passion. In 1922, the 17-year old UC Berkeley graduate (Phi Beta Kappa) had reached the finals of the U.S. championships. By 1929 she had garnered an Olympic gold medal in Paris for both singles and doubles, and had won the U.S. women's singles championship six times from 1923 through 1929. The city fathers decided that it was time to honor this native Californian and in September 1929, the four-acre site at Larkin and Broadway became Helen Wills Playground.