San Francisco Walking Tour Script
1. Meet at Sunnyvale (121 W. Evelyn Ave.), Cal train Station. If you park in the
garage, be careful not to park in the “permit only” stalls but in the “Caltrain”
stalls. It is a $50 fine. Buy the $3 parking pass at the platform at the same
machine you buy the ticket. There is a parking option. Board train. Stay on until
it stops at 4th Street, in San Francisco.
2. Once you arrive at the 4th Street Station, get off and ask a CalTrain attendant
(works for the train) or a Muni attendant (works for the city buses) which bus to
take to Chinatown, specifically Portsmouth Square. Grab a CalTrain schedule
before you leave so can time your visit so you don’t have to wait too long for a
return train. Trains leave once an hour.
Directions: Begin at Portsmouth Square in Chinatown. Find the brass historical
plaque and the tall stand with the brass ship.
Background of Yerba Buena: First European settlers arrived in San Francisco in
1776 and established Mission Delores (3 miles to southwest) and Presidio (3
miles northwest). A small fishing village was erected to east in what was called
the cove called Yerba Buena. The name Yerba Buena, Spanish for “good herb,”
referred to a sweet mint plant that covered the surrounding 44 hills and sand
dunes. After Spain relinquished control to the area in 1821 to the Mexican
government, growth was slow. By the 1830’s there were only 30 families living
in Yerba Buena. However an English sailor, William Richardson, gained
approval from the Mexican government in 1830’s for a trading post near the
shores of Yerba Buena Cove, located where the tall TransAmerica building is
today. Eventually, Richardson build an adobe building to serve as the customs
house where the customs were collected from inbound ships. Historicans think
that is was located about where the elevators are today. In 1839, the mayor Don
Francisco directed city Swiss ship captain, Jean-Jacques Vioget to survey of the
first 7 streets of the town with a park in the middle…this is the park!
The park earned it’s name, Portsmouth Square, a few years later. On July 9,
1846, during the Mexican American War, U.S. Captain John B. Montgomery
sailed into the bay on the USS Portsmouth, claiming Yerba Buena for the United
States by flying the first American flag on a flagpole at the exact spot of current
flagpole to the complete surprise of the Californios. There was never a shot fired
as most of the Mexican troops had gone south to fight near Monterey. This plot
of land had the exact same dimensions as in 1846. About where the elevators are
was the adobe Custom House, the only governmental offices for the village and
port. The following year, the town, anticipating growth under American
auspices, initiated two long-lasting changes. They changed the name to San
Francisco (to match the bay’s name and easier to market) and hired the Irishman
Jasper O’Farrell to extend the survey of the city several more blocks in each
direction, including into the cover where water lots were sold for $50.
Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial (15 foot tall statue of a ship right across from
the elevators): Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson set out to San Francisco to
wait for his girlfriend’s divorce to finalize. In honor of his works, his monument
is located in Portsmouth Square on Kearny Street, San Francisco. This monument
was erected in 1897. On top is the bronze sculpture of the galleon Hispaniola
from Stevenson’s famous novel Treasure Island. Poor and unknown, he lived
here from 1879 to 1880. The inscription is carved in granite from his Christmas
Sermon. The island out in the bay that connects the “Bay Bridge” is named after
his famous book, Treasure Island.
Directions: Walk up Washington Street (next to the elevators) to the Bank of
Canton (on the left side halfway up the street of the street) at 743 Washington Street
Sam Brannan’s Home: This ornate building topped with a three-tiered pagoda is
the Bank of Canton of California. Look for a small brass plaque in the ground
just outside the door of the bank. Many historians note this spot as the place of
Brannan’s first home that he rented after arriving here. Sam Brannan was the
leader of the 238 Mormons who landed in 1846, a few months after Montgomery.
The Mormons doubled the size of Europeans in Yerba Buena and helped get the
city on its feet. They brought with them the first English-language printing press,
encyclopedias, etc. However, on this spot, the newspaper, The California Star
announced the discovery of gold in 1848. The Star gained notoriety for its April
1, 1848 account of discovery of gold in California in which 2,000 copies were
sent back by Brannan via Pony Express. This was the first news of the discovery
of gold and by the following year, gold seekers came by the thousands, referred to
as the “49ers.” Brannan gained notoriety too, as he had invested in the first store
in Sacramento later became one of CA’s first millionaires.
Chinatown: The Chinese came shortly after the Mormons during the Gold Rush.
Several of the local apartments, homes, and shops were abandoned as their tenants
went to the gold fields of the foothills and the Chinese moved in and claimed
squatters rights. As the city expanded and more desirable areas of the town
became accessible, most whites moved into these areas allowing the Chinese to
expand their neighborhood over the years. Now there is a population of about 15,
000 Chinese Americans who live in the Chinatown area. They play GO and
THIRTEEN CARD. Some people claim, since the surrounding apartments are so
small (note the clothes are dried on the line) that Portsmouth Square is their living
room. Chinatown density is so high if the rest of the city’s population density was
the same, the population would be 7 million instead of 750,000.
Directions: Walk up to Grant, turn left on Grant one block and then left (east) on
Clay walking back down the street to Portsmouth Square, near the public
Statue of 1st Public School is located on the south side of Portsmouth Square
about 20 feet from the sidewalk. This was the site of the first public school house
in San Francisco completed in December of 1847. Many of the materials in the
school were brought over by the Mormons on the Brooklyn such as books on
grammar, math, geography, history, astronomy and even Hebrew. Also included
on the Brooklyn and used by the school was a 179-volume set of Harper’s Family
1st Cable Car (Across the street a plaque to Hallidie—I’ve yet to find it, but if you
can let me know where it is!): Look back up Clay Street where you just came
from. Back up the hill was the first Cable Car line back in 1873 designed by
Andrew Hallidie. I’ve read that on the first run, the Gripman jumped off the
Cable Car because he thought the thing wouldn’t stop. Hallidie had to stop the
In the middle of the park is another statue called Goddess of Democracy (large
statue that looks like the Statue of Liberty in front of the playground). Further in
stands the Goddess of Democracy, a Chinese Statue of Liberty figure in bronze.
Installed by the local community after the Tiananmen Square uprising, it is
dedicated to those who cherish human rights and democracy.
Just a note about the CA Gold Rush. After the Mormons arrival, the next big
event in the town’s history was the discovery of Gold in January of 1848.
Obviously changing California and United States history. This park was really
ground zero of activity. The ships arrived in the bay, would have to sail into the
cove (TransAmerica Building), unload their passengers who would come up to
the square where they would check in at the Customs House. These Gold
prospectors would find a local hotel for a couple cents, buy gold supplies, and
take a ferry across the bay to travel into the Gold Country. If you look east down
Clay Street, the first two hotels in San Francisco were located on these two
corners. On the southwest corner of Clay and Kearny was the Viogot house,
which served as the town’s first restaurant and bar. Across the street, William
Leidesdorff built the first inn, City Hotel. Lansford Hastings stayed here before
he journeyed back across his cut-off in 1846. Leidesdorff was one of the earliest
African-Americans in San Francisco history.
Directions: Walk down Clay, cross Kearny. (Note the sign across the street, up
high against the brick wall. You should see the numbers and letters, “25-30-35-50
centers per night.” This is thought to be an advertisement for a hotel from the
Kearny Street: During the winter of 1849-50, one of SF’s wettest and unpaved
streets, Kearny, became an oozing quagmire. Early San Franciscans, attempting
to stabilize the hoof-sucking mess, filled it with a miscellaneous menagerie of
rusty stove tops, broken kegs, bales of cotton, and hatch covers from abandoned
ships. As the rains continued, the gallery of garbage sank into the ground, not to
been again for decades. The swamp-like street eventually became so muddy an
entire mule team fell into the mire and suffocated, prompting one witness to post
a sign at Kearny and Clay,
“This street is impassable
not even jackassable”
Directions: Continue walking down Clay, on the north side of the street are three
large brass plaques on the wall of the building on the corner.
Overland Stage Coach: As San Francisco grew to a bustling city, entrepreneurs
sought new and faster methods of communication and transportation. The
Butterfield Overland Stage began on September 15, 1858, delivering mail twice a
week. Soon, a Butterfield Overland Concord Stagecoach was started in San
Francisco. Each mail run was 2,812 miles and had to be completed in 25 days or
to receive a $600,000 government grant for their mail service. It was pricier on
the west; with $200 one-way trips, usually completed in 22 days. At one point,
they employed over 800 men, had 139 relay stations or frontier forts, 1800 head
of stock and 250 Concord Overland Stage Coaches in service. But in March of
1860, John Butterfield was forced out and Wells, Fargo and Company bought
them due to large debts that Butterfield owed Wells Fargo.
Pony Express: The Pony Express was established in April 1860 to deliver mail
and news between St. Joseph, Missouri, and San Francisco, California. A rider
could usually cover 75 – 100 miles a day, changing horses at relay station situated
10-15 miles apart. The Pony Express was a private enterprise, and it finally closed
down in October 1861, when the transcontinental telegraph line was completed.
This made the Pony Express obsolete, but it gained recognition around the
CA Seal is a woman. She is the Greek Goddess Minerva. Minerva was born
through her father’s eyebrow as a full grown virgin. CA became a state so
quickly, it seemed appropriate to use her on the state’s seal.
Directions: Walk toward Montgomery Street, turn the corner north (left) and see
the large historical plaque on the north side of a large pillar at the end of the block.
Transamerica Building (“the Dunce Cap”): 853 feet tall and 28 stories.
Construction began in 1969 and finished in 1972 when it was the tallest building
west of Mississippi for 2 years. The building is covered in crushed quartz, the
buildings foundation is 9 feet thick and took 24 hours of continuous pour, and it
has 3,678 windows. Transamerica Corporation was the holding company
controlled by A. P. Giannini (head of BofA). They have since sold those
companies and are now controlled by a British insurance company. As you look
up, the points on the side are the elevator shafts. Cool, heh?
Remember you are standing on the shores of the bay in the Gold Rush days!
There was a large cove here and you at the top of the cove. Across the street was
5 feet of water. In fact, when they built the TransAmerica building, they dug into
an old ship that was “scuttled” (blown up and sunk on purpose) when they were
excavating. It took 6 months to call in archeologists to dig it up.
Directions: Cross Montgomery Street as if going to the Transamerica Building. At
the corner, turn north and walk across Washington Street. You will see the law
offices of Mayor Allioto. Continue walking down Montgomery one block and stop.
Belli Building: At 722 Montgomery Street (under construction for the last year)
is a building built in 1851. The building became famous as the law offices of
Melvin Belli, the King of Torts. One of the first lawyers to use courtroom
exhibits. After a victory, he would fly the Jolly Roger over his office and fire
cannon on the roof. He was most notorious for representing Jack Ruby…for free.
He attempted to prove Ruby was insane and suffered from a history of mental
illness. However he was convicted of “murder with malice” and received the
death sentence. Soon the trial was overturned by an appeals court and a new trial
date set but Jack Ruby died of a “stroke” before it could take place….um… He
was divorced 5 times and fined $1000 for calling his first wife “el trampo.”
On the corner is the Golden Era Building (Dark green building with Gold trim).
The Golden Era was one of the earliest journals and most respected journals for a
long time. Several of California’s famous writers wrote for the journal, Mark
Twain, Bret Harte, Ina Coolbrith, Joaquin Miller, etc.
Note the first synagogue in San Francisco across the street.
Directions: At the corner of Jackson and Montgomery turn right.
At far corner (498 Jackson Street) is the Bank of Lucas, Turner, and Co. Building
constructed in 1853-4. When first opened they sent William Tecumseh Sherman
to be its first manager.
1906 Earthquake: The famous 1906 California earthquake occurred on the
morning of April 18. It is now ranked as one of the most significant earthquakes
in history, and its importance comes more from the wealth of scientific
knowledge derived from it than from its sheer size. At 5:12 am, a foreshock
occurred and 20-25 seconds later, the earthquake hit. Violent shocks could be felt
from the southern Los Angeles to the southern part of Oregon and also to the
central part of Nevada. This earthquake lasted for 50-60 seconds. This earthquake
is probably remembered well because of the fire that spawned in San Francisco,
which is only misleading appellation of the earthquake. Most of the fatalities
occurred in San Francisco. About 28,000 buildings were destroyed, 3,000 people
dead, and 225,000 people were left homeless.
472 and 470 Jackson (across the street) are pre-1906 earthquake buildings!
Notice the cast-iron shutters. These caused many deaths in the fire of 1906 as
they heated they expanded and people couldn’t push them out. 470 Jackson
Street, constructed in 1852 tenants of this building have included the French,
Spanish, and Chilean consulates.
On the right side of the Jackson (463-73, 451-55 and 445 Jackson Street) are
some of the finest examples of 1860’s Italianate commercial architecture this city
has to offer. Notice the alternating arched and triangular pediments over the
windows of number 451 as well as the cast iron shutters and pilasters at the street
level. During the Fire of 1906, Anson Parson ran a whiskey distillery (445
Jackson) and his place of business was saved by the firemen.
Directions: Turn right onto Hoteling Place toward the Transamerica Building
Notice a wavy design running along the middle of the pavement traces the
original shoreline of Yerba Buena Cove. The Gold Rush –era buildings on the
west (right) side were once waterfront properties, receiving cargo from newly
arrived ships. On your right, the cast iron pilaster on the back of the Golden Era
Building is dated 1857-added after the building was constructed in 1851. Further
in on your right is a faced made of granite cobble stones retrieved from nearby
streets? The marble lintel over the door is a beautiful bas-relief from Italy.
Directions: Walk back across Washington Street toward the Transamerica
Building and walk behind the building through the small park with the large
Around back is a Redwood grove with an interesting statue of six kids running
and a bronze plaque to two canines in the 1860’s, Bummer and Lazarus who were
known for their rat-killing ability (on the steps). It’s a nice spot for a funny
picture with the kids or jump onto one of the lily pads!
STARBUCKS ALERT!!!! (across the street from Transamerica)
Directions: Walk around the Transamerica Building back to Montgomery and Clay
Street. Cross Clay and then Montgomery for one block. Turn west (right) on
Commercial Street. You might notice a Starbucks across Clay Street for a snack.
Bank America: On the corner of Montgomery and Clay Street is an old bank that
is still used today. There is a historical plaque on the Montgomery side. Walk in
and check out the vault and old school tellers. This was the site of 2nd Bank of
America branch, started by Giannini. Giannini's parents were Italian, from
Liguria near Genoa, immigrants to the United States. He attended Heald College
in San Francisco, California. Giannini opened the Bank of Italy in a former San
Francisco saloon on 17 October 1904. 34 deposits on that first day totaled $8,780.
An early difficulty to overcome was the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
Giannini was forced to run his bank from a plank across two barrels in the street
for a time. Giannini made loans on a handshake to anyone who was interested in
rebuilding. Years later, he would recount with pride that every single loan was
repaid. His contributions include lending money to middle class, he helped foster
the wine industry, motion picture industry in CA (Loaned $ to Walt Disney for
Snow White), bought bonds that financed the Golden Gate Bridge during Great
Depression. The bank is well recognized throughout the United States, and its
most striking features are the “bay windows.” This gigantic building was
completed in 1969, after being designed by some of the most renowned architects.
Its 52 stories contain over 1.8 million square feet of office space. Atop of this
magnificent skyscraper is a restaurant, which affords beautiful views of San
Francisco and the Bay
Directions: Walk one block down Montgomery, away from Transamerica building,
cross the street and walk west up Commercial Street half a block.
Pacific Heritage Museum (608 Commercial Street): In 1855, the first U.S. Mint
on the West Coast was built here to accommodate the flow of gold from the Sierra
Nevada (note historic plaque on the building). When a larger mint was
constructed in 1874 on Mission Street, the US Mint on this site was replaced by a
four story structure and used as a Sub-Treasury handling transactions between the
government and private businesses. The fire of 1906 demolished the top-three
wooden stories, leaving the bottom brick story intact and $13 million in gold and
silver safe within its vaults. In 1915 the government sold the property to private
interests. In 1984, the Bank of Canton decided to build its world headquarters;
they built it around the mint.
Next to the Mint, is a mini-park which is the site of Emperor Norton’s “imperial
palace.” In 1859 bankrupt businessman Joshua Norton proclaimed himself
“Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.” For over 20 years San
Franciscans humored the make-believe monarch. His palace was a single 6 ft by
10 ft. room in the Eureka Boarding House which sat on this spot from which he
issued innumerable edicts and declarations. Local papers indulged the Emperor
and printed his declarations. He felt laws directed at Chinese were discriminatory
and commanded that the Chinese testimony be allowed in the courts. Three years
later CA courts did. He demanded the city build a bridge to connect to Oakland
and Marin County-they did during the 1930’s. He sent telegrams to heads of
state, once directing President Lincoln to marry Queen Victoria to patch up
differences between the two countries during the civil war. Lincoln’s secretary
cabled back saying that the president would consider the suggestion. Norton
declared Christmas a holiday for children and commanded that a lighted
Christmas tree be placed in Union Square for the occasion...you’ll have to wait to
see if the city obeyed! He issued a $25 fine for saying the word “Frisco!” In
January of 1880, while standing on Grant Avenue waving to riders on the CA
street cable car, Emperor Norton collapsed and died. His funeral was the largest
in the city’s history. He left no estate, living for almost a quarter century on the
generosity of his fellow San Franciscans.
Walking back, notice the historical plaque to the Hudson Bay Company across
from the entrance of the Mint. Looking the opposite direction, you can see the
Ferry Building at the end. In the 1850’s Commercial Street led to a pier that
extended 2,000 feet out into the cove. The Long Wharf, as it became known,
accommodated auction houses, stores, and saloons on its deck, and trading ships
along its edge. It included offices of the Hudson Bay Company and the West’
Coasts first mint. By the 1860’s, the cove was filled in and wharf transformed to
Directions: Walk back toward Montgomery Street and turn south (right) until you
come to the Wells Fargo Bank in one block.
Wells Fargo Bank: Henry Wells and William Fargo, founders of the American
Express Company and Wells Fargo Bank, opened their first banking offices in SF
on July 13, 1852. Wells Fargo Bank grew up with the Gold Rush era. The
museum contains more than 140 years of Wells Fargo and Western history in five
major exhibit areas. Artifacts from the Old West, including mining tools,
stagecoaches, Pony Express stamps, photographs and documents. Other important
exhibits include the century-old Wells Fargo, gold, treasure boxes, and original
papers from the Wells Fargo office of a century ago.
Directions: Walk south to California Street. Turn left for an interesting detour I
found by accident a couple years ago. At 400 California Street is the Union Bank.
Go inside and downstairs to the Money Museum of the American West.
Remember how, before the Civil War, monetary policy was pretty lax? Since the
federal government only issued silver and gold coins, it was up to the states and
private banks to print currency. This museum has many of these samples,
especially a large collection of money the Mormons printed as they migrated from
New York to Ohio to Missouri to Illinois and finally to Utah (the state of
Also, look at the gold nuggets. Do the math, gold today is worth about $1800 an
ounce. How much is in the display case? Be careful, there are cameras watching.
Walk out of the bank and look up California Street. You are looking at “Nob Hill.”
Your next stop will be ontop of that hill. You can walk or catch the Cable Car
running up the street and get off at the top of Nob Hill for $5. If you’ve never taken
the cable car, I’d recommend it!
Get off at the top of the Nob Hill.
This was the neighborhood of the four main investors of the 3rd significant event
in California’s history, the building of the Central Pacific Railroad. Look west
and you’ll see the Huntington Hotel. Collis Huntington was the initial investor
that Theodore Judah recruited. Huntington went out and got Stanford, Crocker,
and Hopkins. Huntington was the most successful businessman by 1869.
Relations between Huntington and his investors strained as he was not voted
Preisdent but Vice President. He moved part-time out to New York where is
primary job was securing iron contracts and work out shipping details. His
secondary responsibility was to lobby politicians in Washington, D.C. He was
caustious of the being as blatantly dishonest as the Union Pacific’s Credit
Mobilier but nonetheless paid off politicians and lobbyist and even tried to
sabatoge the Union Pacific to slow them down.
Next to the Huntionton Hotel is the Crocker Garage. This is the site of the
mansion of Charles Crocker, the construction supervisor on the Central Pacific
Railroad. Charles came to California to work the gold mines in 1850. It didn’t
work out so he opened a store in Sacramento and that worked out. In 1861, he
overcame the challenge of lack of railroad workers by hiring Chinese to build the
rugged tracks through the Sierra Nevadas. Surprisingly, he was a member of the
very racsist “Know Nothing” party in 1856! His backbreaking timetable pushed
the engineers to experiment with nitro-glycerin but gave up due to it’s
unpredictability. Crocker was the only investor able to sell his shares before the
panic of 1873. In the 1880’s, he suffered in a terrible carriage accident and died
two years later from injuries. He is buried in Oakland.
On the left, and across the street from the Crocker Garage, is the Mark Hopkins
hotel, site of the mansion built by Mark Hopkins. He was the treasurer of the
Central Pacific. Hopkins came west during the Gold Rush as an entrepreneur
who gained a reputation for being able to manage money well. It was said he
could squeeze 106 cents out of a dollar. He was the oldest of the four and died
first. He is buried in Sacramento.
On your left and down the street the way you just came up a bit, at 905 California
Street is the Stanford Court Hotel. This is the site of their mansion. In 1876
Leland and Jane Stanford built a brown-painted Italaliante mansion on this site.
They bore a single child, Leland, Jr. who died at the age of 15 while on a trip to
Europe. The grief stricken parents decided to build a great university in his
memory and gave 82,300 acres and $30 million to initiate and endow Stanford
University. All that is left of his mansion is the granite wall along Powell Street.
An interesting note is that Jane died of strychnine poisoning. She first was
poisoned while at the mansion in 1905 (Leland had already died) when someone
tampered with her water. While recovering, she went to Hawaii where she died a
horrible death in which she got “lockjaw”, her fists clinched, and her body
stiffened terribly. The university sent out a doctor who tried to down play the
poisoning but to this day it remains a mystery. Mr. Torrens thinks it was one of
the Big Four, Collins Huntington because they became bitter business rivals.
James Fair was NOT one of the “Big Four” but he was a successful businessman
who made money in the Comestock Lode in Neveda. He purchased this land to
build a grand mansion but died before construction could begin. His daughters
decided to build a hotel in his honor. This original hotel was almost complete in
1906 when the earthquake hit. The original Fairmont Hotel was destroyed in the
1906 fire that devastated all the structures on Nob Hill. However, Julia Morgan
was hired to rebuild and had this hotel up first, one year to the day they began
building. She built the Federated Church in Saratoga and several homes as well
as designed Hearst Castle! Walk inside, explore around the back toward the
elevators. Take the elevator to the top floor. Get out and try the staircase one
more floor to the top. The views are the best in the city. Keep an eye out for
security guards! The hotel’s Penthouse is $10,000 a night and on the south side of
the building, can see if you look down. There is a small outside patio. If you can
get into the Tonga Room, it’s very cool. It was built after the inside of a ship’s
haul. Also, in the Garden Room, is where the UN Charter was signed. Both need
to be accessed by hotel security.
If you can’t get to the top of the Fairmont, try across the street at the Mark
Hopkins Hotel. They allow public access to the top. It is the site of Mark
Hopkins mansion. It, like everything except Flood mansion, burned in 1906 fire
however the wall on the side of the hotel on the way down CA street is still left.
It’s gray with large stones.
Flood Mansion (across the street from Fairmont) was built in 1886 by Silver
baron and business partner of fellow Irishman James Fair, James C. Flood, a
survivor of the 1906 fire. The ornate bronze fence and side gates cost Flood
$30,000 or $600,000 in today’s money. He kept one employee busy polishing
and shining it every day.
Grace Cathedral (behind Flood Mansion). Charles Crocker built two mansions on
this site in 1877 and 1888. After the fire gutted it, he donated the land to the
If you are hungry and brought a few...a lot of money, a wonderful restaurant is Tadich
Grill at 240 California Street. Not only is it one of the oldest businesses in the city (read
the history on the menu) but the food is good. Their specialites include Filet Mignon
($26), Dungeness Crab and Prawns with rice Casserole ($21), Vegetarian Plate ($18),
and less expensive soups and chowders.
Directions: Walk back down CA street to Powell and follow the cable car lines
south (right) to Union Square
Westin St. Francis (335 Powell Street-opposite Union Square) Built in 1904 with
funds from the estate of Big Four magnate Charles Crocker. Destroyed in 1906
fire, the hotel was immediately rebuilt in the same extravagant style. Several
U.S. presidents and foreign monarchs have stayed here. President Ford narrowly
escaped an assassination attempt on the front steps in 1975 by Sara Jane Moore.
The Secret Service whisked Ford away right to the SF Airport…in a car with
Donald Rumsfield who was then Ford’s White House Chief of Staff. After all it
was the 2nd attempt on his life in CA within 2 weeks! The first by Charles
Manson follower, Lynette “Squeeky” Fromme as he walked across the capital
grounds in Sacramento.
According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle in December, 2006
“Peninsula author Geri Spieler, who has written a yet to be published biography
of Moore, has known her since 1976, and doubts Moore will ever be freed from
She said that Moore, who was married five times and who is the mother of
four, is still dangerous.
"She has personality disorders. She has no sense of the consequences of
"She's not totally a violent person unless you don't do what she wants you
to do ... She's narcissistic and self-righteous and she will flip the minute
you don't do what she wants,'' Spieler said.
In her long interviews with Spieler, Moore never expressed any remorse
for shooting at Ford.
"She calls herself a political prisoner. This is Sarah Jane's version of the
truth. She never looks back at the pain and suffering she has caused so
many people,'' Spieler added
Moore was released December of 2007. She had served 32 years of a life
While Union Square proper dates from the United States Civil War era, the park
has undergone many notable changes: the 1906 San Francisco earthquake leveled
most of the buildings that surrounded it, a large underground parking garage was
installed in the early 1940s and relocated the park's lawns, shrubs and landmark
statuary to the garage "roof," and in the 1990s, the square was remodeled again to
create more paved surfaces (for easier maintenance) with outdoor cafes. Union
Square today retains its role as the ceremonial "heart" of San Francisco, serving as
the site of many public concerts, impromptu protests, speeches by visiting
dignitaries, and the annual Christmas tree and Menorah. Two cable car lines pass
the Square on Powell Street, and public views of the park can be had from such
high places as the St. Francis Hotel tower, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Macy's top
floor, and the Grand Hyatt hotel.
Directions: From Union Square, walk down Powell Street to Market. Cross
Market, turn east (left) half a block to Fourth Street. Turn south (right) on Fourth
and walk 7 blocks to the Caltrans station. You might visit the Westfield Mall or
Yerba Buena Gardens on your way.
Yerba Buena Gardens is the name for two blocks of public parks located between
Third and Fourth, Mission and Folsom Streets in downtown San Francisco. The
first block bordered by Mission and Howard Streets was opened in 1993. The
second block, between Howard and Folsom Streets was opened in 1998. The
Yerba Buena Gardens are owned by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency
and were planned built as the centerpiece of the Yerba Buena Redevelopment
Public Art The original block opened in 1993 contains several public art
installations. The most spectacular is the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial which
is located behind the waterfall, which is the largest fountain on the west coast.
The memorial consists of excerpts of Dr. King's speeches etched in glass in the
different languages of San Francisco's sister cities. Yerba Buena is the original
name for San Francisco, which was the name later chosen by Spanish
missionaries. On the terrace level above the waterfall is the sister cities gardens,
where visitors can see an expertly manicured garden with plants representing each
of San Francisco's sister cities, as well as the best view of the downtown skyline
to be seen from downtown.
Other Attractions Located within two blocks of Yerba Buena Gardens are many
hotels, museums, and retail centers. The St. Regis, W Hotel, Marriott, and Four
Seasons are some of the largest Hotels in the area. The SFMOMA is located
across the street, the temporary home of the California Academy of Sciences is
less than a block away, and the Cartoon Art Museum is nearby as well. Located in
the Gardens proper is ZEUM, an award winning children's media and technology
museum. The new location of the Museum of Craft and Folk Art (MOCFA) is
less than one block towards market, as is the brand new Museum of the African
Diaspora. Currently being built across Mission St. are the Mexican Heritage
Museum and Contemporary Jewish Museum. Retail in the area include Sony
Metreon, Boxed Foods, Samovar Tea Lounge and Mo's Grill. The old Emporium
is one block away and is scheduled to re-open in Fall 2006 with new movie
theatres and San Francisco's first Bloomingdales. There are a Bowling and an Ice
Skating Rink located in Yerba Buena Gardens.