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Landmark 192
Site of the Jenny Lind Theatre and San Francisco City Hall
750 Kearny Street at Merchant
Financial District
1850s
California Landmark 192: Site of the Jenny Lind Theatre and San Francisco City Hall
26 July 2010
A Hilton Hotel stands on the site of the Jenny Lind Theatre.
The plaque is mounted on the hotel.
(Click Photo to Zoom)

Site of the Jenny Lind Theatre and San Francisco City Hall

The third Jenny Lind Theatre was opened by Tom Maguire on October 4, 1851, on the same site as the two preceding it, which were destroyed in the fires of 1851. In 1852 the City of San Francisco purchased this theatre for use as the city hall.

State Registered Landmark No. 192

Tablet placed by the California Centennials Commission with the cooperation of the Society of California Pioneers

Dedicated November 15, 1949

ON MONDAY, A CONCERT WILL BE GIVEN
at the
COURT HOUSE, PORTSMOUTH SQUARE
BY MR. STEPHEN C. MASSETT
Composer of "When the Moon on the Lake is Beaming" and other Popular Ballads
The earliest recorded theatrical performance in San Francisco was a one-man show by Stephen Massett, author of the autobiographical Drifting About; Or, What "Jeems Pipes of Pipesville" Saw-and-Did.

Stephen C. Massett, "a red-faced little Englishman," had sailed from England to Buffalo in 1839. Not finding his calling in Buffalo, he traveled to New York City, Boston, Charleston, Malta, Constantinople, and back to New York City, supporting himself as song and dance artist, composer, essayist, lawyer, auctioneer, notary public, clerk, bookkeeper, salesman, and wandering minstrel.

In January, 1849, he set sail for the gold fields of California, by schooner to Panama, then by mule across the isthmus. On the Pacific coast, Massett boarded a second ship which soon was becalmed and took ninety-eight days to reach California.

 
Portsmouth Plaza on Admission Day, 29 October 1850
First Jenny Lind Theatre on 29 October 1850
Parade in Portsmouth Plaza to celebrate California's admission into Union.
Lithograph by J. Prendergast from the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
(Click Image to Zoom)
 
Third Jenny Lind Theatre on Portsmouth Plaza
Third Jenny Lind Theatre (c.1851)
Lithograph by Quirot & Company from the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
(Click Image to Zoom)
 
Third Jenny Lind Theatre on Portsmouth Plaza
Third Jenny Lind Theatre on 23 February 1852
Lithograph by Pollard & Britton from the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
(Click Image to Zoom)
 
 
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Map of California Historical Landmarks in San Francisco