"The Gold Rush Trail - An Outdoor Museum of San Francisco History"
Yerba Buena District
Third & Mission to New Montgomery, across Market at Post

1. Yerba Buena Gardens between Fourth and Third, Mission and Howard. Sweeping vistas of south of Market, of Marriott Hotel at Fourth, downtown, and Embarcadero. Along Mission: at Fourth, the new Sony entertainment center, and the Old Mint at Fifth. St. Patrick's Church, the new Jewish Museum, and the site of the proposed Mexican Museum are across Mission. In the Gardens, the Center for the Arts. Across Third, the Museum of Modern Art. At Fourth and Folsom, the Museum of the Society of California Pioneers.

2. The California Historical Society, 678 Mission street, down the block from Yerba Buena Gardens, is an indispensable repository of the history of the West

3. The PacBell Building at 140 New Montgomery is an architectural landmark building (Pflueger, 1925) converted to condominiums.

4. The Palace Hotel, New Montgomery and Market, is so 'old San Francisco' that it is often mistaken for the 1875 original, burned to a shell in the 1906 disaster. This Trowbridge and Livingston version of 1909, with the world-famous Garden Court, preserves its fine lineage in several display cases at the Lobby level and in the Pied Piper Bar. Largest hotel in the world when first built, the Palace is home to the City's elite visitors.

Up Market toward Third is the Monadnock Building, with its free Gallery of Modern Art on the second floor and frescoes of famous San Franciscans in the lobby. Also here is the reference library of the San Francisco Bar Association. At the corner of Third next door is the historic bastion of a publishing empire, the Hearst Building, restored to pre-earthquake style. This is where William Randolph Hearst founded his San Francisco Examiner.

5. Lotta's Fountain is across Market from the Hearst Building, at Third and Kearny. A gift to the City in 1876 from Lotta Crabtree, the actress, it was in 1915 the venue of a dramatic New Year's Eve celebration. The citizenry crowded Market Street to hear Luisa Tetrazzini, darling of the City's opera, sing out the old year at the end of the Panama Pacific Exposition.

6. The Native Sons of the Golden West fountain at Market and Montgomery proclaims "The unity of our empire hangs on the decision of this day." ( W. H. Seward, on the admission of California into statehood in 1850).

7. The Mechanics' Institute at 57 Post Street dates to 1854, since 1869 at this site (Pissis, 1910). In the lobby is a large bas relief of James Lick, the pioneer San Franciscan who left such gifts as the Lick Observatory. The Mechanics' Institute is the largest membership library in the world, and its chess club is the oldest in continuous existence in the United States. The Institute is a major sponsor of the Trail. See also the Hallidie Building on Sutter, honoring Andrew Hallidie, President of the Institute from 1869 to 1900 and inventor of the cable car.


Copyright © 2012 Gold Rush Trail Foundation

Contact Us!

top of page