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Historic Landmarks

In Union Square, San Francisco

Union Square is full of rich history and home to some of the city’s most iconic buildings and historic landmarks. Take a walk around to explore these ten must-see historic sites!

Map of Top 10 Historic Landmarks in Union Square, San Francisco

 

Union Square

333 Post St.

John Geary, a Union Army general and the first mayor of San Francisco deeded the park to the City in 1850. It soon became the gathering site for pro-Union demonstrations prior to the Civil War. 

Dewey Monument

Union Square • 333 Post St.

This memorial statue was erected in 1901 to honor Admiral George Dewey for his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War. Atop of the monument is the statue of local celebrity, Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, who stands as a goddess of victory.

The Flood Building

870 Market St.

This beautiful 12-story building is a rare survivor of the 1906 earthquake and fire. Built in 1904, the Flood Building was the largest building of its time in San Francisco. It was home to the Baldwin Hotel and Theater; the world’s largest Woolworth’s department store; and also served as the headquarters of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Maiden Lane

Between Stockton & Kearny St.

Prior to the 1906 earthquake, Maiden Lane was the center of San Francisco’s red-light district and was named “Morton Street”. After the earthquake and fire turned the entire two-block brothel alley into rubble, the street was rebuilt as a charming street of shops.

Dragon's Gate

Bush St. & Grant Ave.

This iconic ceremonial archway was built in 1970 and is the gateway into America’s largest and oldest Chinatown. It features sculptures of fish, dragons and two lions, which are meant to ward off evil spirits. It is inscribed with the saying “Equity for All Under Heaven”.

The Curran

445 Geary St.

Named after its first owner, Homer Curran, the Curran Theater opened in 1922 and has held 8,000 performances since that time. After going through a two year renovation, the theater has been completely restored to its former glory.

Frank Lloyd Wright Building

140 Maiden Ln.

This stunning landmark is the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in San Francisco. It features an intricate Romanesque brick archway and a spiraling interior, all illuminated under its bubble dome skylight. The building was a physical prototype for the circular ramp at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 

Ruth Asawa’s Fountain

301–349 Stockton St.

Commissioned by the Grand Hyatt San Francisco Hotel in 1972, this bronze fountain was created by Ruth Asawa and her recruited family, friends, and more than 100 children. First sculpted in “baker’s clay”, the circular exterior of the basin features 41 individual panels that depict iconic San Francisco landmarks.

The Westin St. Francis Hotel

335 Powell St.

This iconic luxury hotel was built before the 1906 earthquake. It was the fashionable place for celebrities and presidents to stay, and it still operates the world’s only silver coin cleaning operation that was started in the 1930’s.

The Cable Car Turnaround

1 Powell St.

San Francisco is home to the world’s last manually operated cable car system. Out of the 23 lines that were established between 1873 and 1890, only 3 remain today. The Cable Car Turnaround located at Powell and Market is where you can watch cable car operators hand turn each and every cable car atop a wooden platform.

 

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