Jackson Square Historic District
Bounded by Pacific, Sansome Street, Washington Street, and Columbus Avenue
Designated in 1972
The following description of the Jackson Square Historic District is paraphrased from the
San Francisco Planning Code: Article 10, Appendix B.
Jackson Square Historic District contains almost all of the surviving commercial buildings from the 1850's and 1860's.
Jackson Square, along with nearby Portsmouth Plaza, was the central business district of early San Francisco.
The original waterline came to about Montgomery and Jackson Streets, and the present district is partly on filled ground, some of the fill consisting of the
hulls of ships abandoned in the rush to the gold fields. The waterfront location led to Jackson Square's use for mercantile and financial purposes, consulates and offices.
Many distinguished men had businesses or property in the area, including General William Tecumseh Sherman, Colonel Jonathan Stevenson, James King of William,
Mayors Charles Brenham and Ephraim Burr, Domingo Ghirardelli and Anson Hotaling, Paxon Dean Atherton, William Lent, Alexander Grogan and James de Fremery.
More than any other existing part of San Francisco, Jackson Square recalls the Gold and Silver era and the days of the Vigilante movement.
The Barbary Coast, north of Jackson Street, had a somewhat different but noteworthy history. Although the present buildings do not date
from the 19th century, many of them were rebuilt immediately after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire and embody the spirit and appearance of the earlier City.
In fact, this area to the south of Telegraph Hill had an international reputation from the 1850's on.