John McLaren, together with Park Commissioners Adolph B. Spreckles and Reuben Lloyd, convinced the Recreation and Park Commission to build a windmill 300 yards from the ocean. This windmill could take advantage of the prevailing winds to pump water for the park”s irrigation system.
The Dutch (North) Windmill was completed at a cost of $25,000. Alpheus Bull Jr., a prominent San Franciscan, designed the North Windmill. The Fulton Engineering Company received the bid for the ironwork, and Pope and Talbot Lumber Company donated sails (“spars”) of Oregon pine.
There is another windmill to the south but it is currently dismantled for renovation.