"The Gold Rush Trail - An Outdoor Museum of San Francisco History"
Portsmouth District
Commercial and Kearny to North Beach

40. Just above Kearny is Portsmouth Square, the parade grounds of the pueblo, former site of the Hall of Justice. The site of the Richardson House (1835) is at 843 Grant.

41. The first cable car (Andrew Hallidie) ran up Clay Street, and a plaque on the Clay Street side of the Square tells this story. See also The Mechanics' Institute.

42.Robert Louis Stevenson's fine memorial is a prominent fixture of Portsmouth Square.

43. The Bella Union Theater on Washington, opposite the square, and the California Theater on Bush were central to the City's social life in the late 1800s.

44. St. Mary's Square honors Sun Yat Sen with a Bufano statue, and has other tributes to the Chinese presence in the City.

45. Old St. Mary's on California at Grant is made of bricks that came from China in 1850.

46. The Chinese Historical Society of America at 965 Clay Street (between Stockton and Powell) consolidates important 1800's history in the historic building designed by Julia Morgan. Chinese temples at the north end of Waverly Place and the First Chinese Baptist Church on the other bookend this treasure trove of the past.

47. Constitutional history was made in the Yick Wo Laundry case of the 1880s, when the Supreme Court ruled the intent of a law could not be separated from the letter of that law. A plaque on Kearny Street near Washington memorializes this case.

48. St. Francis of Assisi (1866, restored 1907), Vallejo at Columbus, now a shrine, is the first Catholic church site in the City (1849). On upper Grant are small shops and restaurants that retain the feel of the original settlements of Irish and Italians on Telegraph Hill.

49. In Washington Square are monuments to the Briones Adobe of 1836, Volunteer Firemen, and Benjamin Franklin. Nearby is the Maybeck Building (1908) on Filbert. Coit Tower (Arthur Brown, 1934) is not a difficult walk up Filbert or Greenwich. North Beach Museum in the bank building at 1435 Stockton is a valuable archive of Italian-American history. Further south near Broadway is the site of the First School of African-Americans on the Pacific Coast (1864).

Copyright © 2012 Gold Rush Trail Foundation

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