Garden Neighborhoods of San Francisco

TUESDAY, June 13th at 6:30 PM
SFHS Museum, 608 Commercial Street
Live Broadcast & In-Person, Tickets Required (Free)

Presented by Richard Brandi

Between 1905 and 1924, at least 36 residence parks such as St. Francis Wood and Seacliff were planned with picturesque streets, lush landscaping, detached houses, and setbacks to convey the feeling of living in a park. Most were built in the Richmond, Sunset, and around West Portal, but they were also envisioned for Twin Peaks, the Marina, the Outer Mission, Lake Merced, and even Visitation Valley. Despite the disruptions caused by WWI, a recession, inflation of the early 1920s, and the Depression of 1930s many distinctive neighborhoods were built containing about 7,500 houses.

Richard Brandi is a historic preservation consultant, president of the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, and was a board member of the Western Neighborhoods Project for 20 years. Richard Brandi’s book Garden Neighborhoods of San Francisco, the Development of Residence Parks 1905-1924 was published by McFarland Publishing.

Register at:

Date: Tuesday, June 13th
Time: 6:30PM
On-Site Location: 608 Commercial St., San Francisco, CA 94111

Doors open at 5:45 PM for socializing and snacks.
Presentations begin at 6:30PM

90 Year-Old Time Capsule Viewing and Reception, The Mt. Davidson Cross Armenian Council

Thursday, June 15th at 6:30 PM – 8:30PM
SFHS Museum, 608 Commercial Street
$100 Tickets for In-Person Guests Required (Free to SF History Society Members with Promo Code)

Register at:

SF Historical Society’s Free “Art and Architecture of the Victorian” Summer Art Workshop/Camp (Age 11 – 14)

The workshops will take place on the dates listed below. The workshops occur between 10:00 am and 1:30 pm on each day.

• June 19-23 (Monday through Friday)

• July 10-14 (Monday through Friday)

• July 24-28 (Monday through Friday)

Enroll Your Child Today at

In-Person Walking Tours

Our three revamped Barbary Coast Trail Walking Tours begin at the SFHS Museum, 608 Commercial Street. These walks explore “ground zero” of early San Francisco. Barbary Coast Trail tours are free for members, $20 for non-members (under 13 is free), but you must register in advance. Limited to 15 people or less. Rain cancels.

historical SF harbor


*** Current SFHS Members please RESERVE your spot for any tour: CLICK HERE! ***

*** Non-members please PURCHASE your tickets for any tour: CLICK HERE! ***
$20 per person (under 13 free)
* In case of rain, tours will be rescheduled. Tours approximately 90 minutes. More info:

* see Unspeakable Vice Tour info below for special tour tickets and prices

1906 Earthquake and Fire: Chinatown’s Devastation and Renewal

Before dawn on April 18, 1906, the San Andreas Fault ruptured, sending shock waves racing across San Francisco. The city

SF Earthquake 1906 was abruptly wakened to witness a firestorm that would last three days and destroy almost everything within sight. Vibrant and densely populated Chinatown was swiftly engulfed by a raging fire on Day One, its inhabitants dispersed like embers in the wind. With Chinatown destroyed, city politicians and power brokers decided that this was an opportune time to relocate the Chinese community. Powered by an irrepressible resilience, the Chinese community reimagined Chinatown and built it back better.

  • Saturday, April 22 at 11AM
  • Saturday, May 20 at 11AM
  • Saturday, June 24 at 11AA

(tours led by Jack Grippi)

Secrets and Stories of San Francisco’s “Wall Street of the West”

Secrets and Stories of San Francisco Wall Street of the West

Travel back in time to discover the stories and significance of the companies and people whose names adorn Financial District buildings. In addition to Silver Kings, the Big Four, and renowned bankers, this tour will introduce you to many others who “mined the miners” to create wealth beyond any normal imagination.

Tour Dates, Times, and Guides:

  • Friday, April 7 @ 11AM
  • Friday, May 5th @ 11AM
  • Friday, June 2nd @ 11AM

(All tours led by Thom Jackson)

Maximum attendees: 15

Walking-tour-san-francisco-historical-society-barbary-coast-gold rush sunken shipsGold Rush and Sunken Ships

Experience how San Francisco went from a trading village to a metropolis. You’ll learn about the hidden remains of sunken ships and artifacts from the Gold Rush.

Tour Dates, Times, and Guides:

  • Saturday, April 8 at 11am
  • Saturday, May 6 at 11am
  • Saturday, June 3 at 11am

(led by Thom Jackson)

Maximum attendees: 15

Barbary Coast and Jackson Square: Pleasure Seekers and Merry MakersBarbary Coast and Jackson Square Pleasure Seekers and Merry Makers

Explore the beginnings of the “anything goes” city through its culture, food, and vice. Is it so different today? Discover how the City by the Bay reflects its glorious past and continues as a trend-setting urban playground.

  • Saturday, May 6 at 11am
  • Saturday, June 3 at 11am

(led by Carolyn Moniz)

Maximum attendees: 15

(led by Carolyn Moniz)

Unspeakable Viceunspeakable-vice-san-francisco-historical-society-walking-tour

Starting at the San Francisco Historical Society, we’ll zig zag our way by more than a dozen lost queer bars, concluding with a round of drinks at the site an infamous lesbian hook-up spot on Grant. Hear how the “unspeakable vice” of the Victorians found its place and, through the process, gained a voice. Starts at 608 Commercial St. and ends at Maggy McGary’s pub at 1353 Grant Ave in North Beach. This exciting new tour includes a free drink at Maggy McGary’s, included in the tour price.

Notes: 21+, Limit 1 free drink per guest, Maggy McGary’s end 1353 Grant Ave

Tour Dates and Times:

Visit Our Museum Exhibit!

SF Lost Landscapes SFHS exhibit

San Francisco’s Lost Landscapes

This special exhibit showcases an extensive assemblage of rare maps, lithographs, photographs, and paintings of early San Francisco from three private collections.

SF Lost Landscapes SFHS exhibit sponsors

Gold Rush Walks for KidsWalking-tour-san-francisco-historical-society-barbary-coast Gold Rush Walks for Kids

Our trained guides offer free walking tours for elementary school focused on the Gold Rush. This walk directly addresses grade 4 social studies standards, but students in grades 3–6 are welcome to attend. Please call 415-537-1105, Ext. 6, for more details.

Self-Guided Walking Tours

Tours of ‘Old Town’ SF
Not up for an in-person event yet? Give our self-guided walking tours a try. These walks also begin at 608 Commercial Street. You can download them for free on the App Store or Google Play. Search for “City Explorer San Francisco” and look for the walks with the SFHS logo. Or, scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet.

SFHS Virtual Walking Tours

Self-Guided Tours Led by SF High School Students

Walking Tours of Golden Gate Park!
Walking tours of Golden Gate Park led by San Francisco high school students, the winners of the 2020 Fracchia Prize, are now available as mobile apps. Download the walks for free and start exploring “Everyone’s Park,” with freshly minted historians as your guide. Choose from:

  • “Botany and Horticulture: Symbols of Flourishing Against the Odds” by Winnie Quock, George Washington High School (1st Place Winner)
  • “Horticultural History: Learning About San Francisco’s Past Through the Garden Gems of the City’s Favorite Park” by Indigo Mudbhary, Lick-Wilmerding High School (2nd Place Winner)

* COMING SOON * “It’s a Ringer! One Perfect Day in Golden Gate Park” by 3rd Place Winner Luke Zeponni, Abraham Lincoln High School

SFHS Virtual Walking Tour - Golden Gate Park

* Special thanks to SFHS Volunteer Gloria Lenhart for creating our mobile history apps. *