Hidden Treasures

  • Ferry Building
  • Ferry Building - Opening in 1898, the Ferry Building became the transportation focal point. From the Gold Rush until the 1930s, arrival by ferryboat became the only way travelers and commuters—except those coming from the Peninsula—could reach the city.

  • Path of Gold Lamps
  • Path of Gold Lamps - Ferry Building to Castro Street
    Known as the Path of Gold lamps due to their golden hue which emanates from yellow sodium vapor lamps the 321 lampposts along Market Street were designated historic landmarks in 1991.

    Sculptor Arthur Putnam shaped the historical figures that decorate the pillars. Mountain lions, Indians on horseback and ox-drawn covered wagons are pictured alongside a pioneer and dog. Their 33-foot height inspired the invention of the first "cherry picker", so their burned-out bulbs could be changed.

  • F-Line
  • F-Line - 2nd Street to Castro Street
    On Labor Day, 1995, the F-line opened on Market Street with a big parade of streetcars led by Mayor Frank Jordan. The President’s Conference Committee (PCC) streetcars were glistening in different paint schemes representing some of the two dozen North American cities that this type of streetcar once served. Learn more about these historic cars. Go to www.streetcar.org. You will also find useful information on routes, maps and fares.

  • Robert Frost Plaza
  • Robert Frost Plaza - Market, California and Drumm Streets
    Robert Frost was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. He lived in seven different houses in the city. After his father’s death in 1885 his mother took him and his sister to Massachusetts. Frost was awarded four Pulitzer prizes for poetry and was awarded the Congressional medal from President Kennedy. He died in 1963.

  • Mechanics Monument
  • Mechanics Monument - Market, Bush and Battery Streets
    Artist Douglas Tilden was inspired to create this monument as he watched a man operate a large level punch. The monument shows five men working together: two holding a sheet of metal, three working the lever press’ arm. The anvil, propeller and locomotive wheel that rest at the base of the monument are symbols of Peter Donahue’s blacksmith shop on First Street which became Union Iron Works. It was at Union Iron Works where California’s first iron casting was made and where the first printing press was manufactured.

  • Shoreline of San Francisco Plaque
  • Shoreline of San Francisco Plaque - NE Corner of Market and Battery Streets
    This brass plaque marks the early San Francisco shoreline. The plaque was placed at this location by the Historical Landmarks Committee of the Native Sons of the Golden West in 1921.

  • Liberty Bell Slot Machine Monument
  • Liberty Bell Slot Machine Monument - NW Corner of Market and Battery Streets
    Charles August Fey began inventing and manufacturing slot machines in 1894. Fey pioneered many innovations of coin operated gaming devices in his San Francisco workshop at 406 Market Street including the original three-reel bell slot machine in 1898.

  • Gardens at 555 Market
  • Gardens at 555 Market - 555 Market Street
    An urban oasis situated between 555 and 575 Market Street. An unusual scene tucked between two looming skyscrapers. Waterfalls, colorful flower beds, lush green groundcover, and still pools make this truly one of Market Street’s hidden treasures. Flora is changed to reflect the changing seasons. Coins can be seen in the pools as wishes were made and hopefully granted.

  • Admission Day Monument
  • Admission Day Monument - Market, Post and Montgomery
    Once again Douglas Tidlen’s hand is seen on Market Street. Commissioned by Mayor James D. Phelan and unveiled on September 5, 1897. The monument commemorates the admission of California in the Union. The angel atop the statue is said to have been modeled after the artist’s wife. The angel carries an open book, inscribed “September 9, 1850” the date California joined the sisterhood of states. The monument stood for 51 years at the intersection of Mason, Turk and Market streets. It was moved to Golden Gate Park in 1948 and returned to Market, Post and Montgomery streets in 1977 after lobbying by the Native Sons.

  • Palace Hotel
  • Palace Hotel - 645 Market Street
    Step back into time and behold the intricate beauty and craftsmanship in the Garden Court dinning room. Steeped in history the Palace Hotel is truly one of San Francisco’s finest. Rumor has it that President Warren G. Harding, who died at the Palace Hotel on August 2, 1923, was actually murdered there.

  • Monadanock Mural and Courtyard
  • Monadanock Mural and Courtyard - 685 Market Street
    Historical figures grace the lobby of this 1907 Market Street building. The theme of this mural by Mark Evans and Charlie Brown is “San Francisco Renaissance”. Test your knowledge of San Francisco history by seeing how many of the figures you can identify. After absorbing the beauty of this mural stroll to the back of the building and sit quietly in the unique sculpture garden.

  • Keys on Stevenson Street - between 3rd and 4th Streets
  • Keys on Stevenson Street - between 3rd and 4th Streets - Walk down this hidden alleyway to the Four Seasons Hotel. Along the way pause and look at each brass key lining both sides of the alley. They are intricate and unusual. It creates an “Alice in Wonderland” feeling. Next you will be looking for white rabbits and dancing cards.

  • Lotta's Fountain
  • Lotta's Fountain - Market, Kearny & Geary Streets
    View another great work of artist Douglas Tilden. The fountain was donated to the City of San Francisco by the famous vaudeville and stage entertainer, Lotta Crabtree in 1875. On Christmas Eve in 1910 opera singer Madame Luisa Tetrazzi sang to a crowd estimated at 250,000 of adorning fans from this site. Yearly it is the location of memorial services held by the City to remember the April 18, 1906 earthquake

  • Monument and Plaza dedicated to Andrew S. Hallidie
  • Monument and Plaza dedicated to Andrew S. Hallidie - Cable cars have to be San Francisco’s ultimate icon. But did you ever wonder who invented them? The answer is Andrew S. Halllidie. The sub-surface plaza at Powell and Market Streets is dedicated to Mr. Hallidie and there is a “monument” dedicated to him at the top of the escalator at the top of Powell Street. The monument shows a cable car braking grip and is inscribed with a dedication to Mr. Hallide and his beloved cable cars.

  • Samuel’s Clock
  • Samuel’s Clock - 870 Market
    Purchased by Albert Samuels in 1915 the Samuel’s clock was originally in front of Samuels Jewelry Store at 5th & Market Streets. Samuels moved his store to 865 Market Street in 1943 and took the clock with him. Even though the Samuels Jewelry Store is gone the clock remains reminding all of us that time can stand still. Mystery writer Dashiell Hammett once worked for Samuels Jewelers writing advertising copy. Hammett used the clock in Samuels ads and referred to it in at least one of his mystery stories.

  • Warfield Building
  • Warfield Building - 982-998 Market Street
    Built in 1921 as a theater and office building. It was originally known as Loew's Warfield, named in honor of the great American actor, David Warfield. Warfield was one of Marcus Loew's best friends, as well as one of the first investors in the corporate empire that became Loew's-MGM. The Warfield Theater housed within the building is one of the premier venues for live performances.

  • Angel on Market Street
  • Angel on Market Street - There’s an angel watching over Market Street. Can you find it?

  • Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • Mohandas K. Gandhi - October 2, 1869 - January 30, 1948
    This statue graces the plaza behind the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street. It was presented to the City of San Francisco and the citizens of the United States by the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation. It was dedicated on October 3, 1988. Mayor Art Agnos presided. Inscribed on the brass plaque below the statue is a tribute to Gandhi. It reads, "Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth." Albert Einstein