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Trash Talk

Talking trash is our business! The Downtown SF Partnership works tirelessly to ensure the sidewalks and public spaces of downtown stay as clean and inviting as possible.

Installed throughout the area in summer of 2021, Big Belly trash cans and recycling stations are equipped with sensors that communicate real-time status to collection crews to enable efficiencies so the district stays clean and inviting at all times.

Emperor Norton

San Francisco’s outrageous “Emperor Norton” bequeathed himself two titles, brokered international relations and even issued his own currency!  Referring to himself as the “Protector of Mexico” or “Norton I, Emperor of the United States“, he made a successful living as a commodities trader and real estate speculator. But, he was financially ruined following a failed bid to corner the rice market during a shortage prompted by a famine in China.  Some considered him insane or eccentric, but citizens of San Francisco celebrated his imperial presence and his proclamations, such as his order that the United States Congress be dissolved by force and his numerous decrees calling for the construction of a bridge and tunnel crossing San Francisco Bay to connect San Francisco with Oakland. [Wikipedia]

Gold Rush Prospectors

In 1849 the Gold rush started, hence the name 49ers. The rush brought the largest peacetime migration in the U.S., growing the city from 300 inhabitants to over 25,000 in less than two years and ushered California into statehood. San Francisco Bay instantly became one of the world’s greatest seaports, dominating shipping and transportation in the American West until the last years of the 19th century. 

Market Street

Market Street is considered the Champs-Élysées of the city, boasting streetcars, subways, victory parades and even Gay Pride!  Market Street is a major transit artery for the city of San Francisco, and has carried in turn horse-drawn streetcarscable cars, electric streetcars, electric trolleybuses, and diesel buses.  When the street was constructed in 1847, there were about 50,000 people in the city. Now, there are more than 800,000.  Today, Market Street, a major artery of the area, is considered the lifeline of the City and is a gathering place for residents and visitors alike.  As of 2020, over two miles of Market Street is car free in a movement to put pedestrians first.

The Pony Express

Long before apps and smartphones, the Pony Express got messages from coast to coast in about ten days.  The Pony Express was San Francisco’s most direct means of communications with the East Coast and delivered messages, newspapers, and mail using relays of horse-mounted riders.  The Pony Express went bankrupt after only 18 months by a disruptive new technology, the telegraph, but it quickly became romanticized and eventually became part of the lore of the American West.

Buried Ships

Nearly fifty 19th century ships are buried below your feet!  Seriously!  As The City grew rapidly during the late 1800s with gold prospectors arriving to claim their fortunes, so too did the physical footprint of the area. What was once called Yerba Buena cove, a shallow cove of water that hundreds of ships docked in to unload gold seeking passengers, is now buried underneath the Financial District, ships and all. On arrival to the City, ship captains found no passengers looking for return journeys and docked their ships in the cove where they were left to deteriorate or sunk intentionally as laws at the time dictated that you could claim the land underneath a sunken ship.

Transamerica Pyramid

This evocative, four-sided edifice has been a fixture of the city’s skyline since 1972.  Forty-eight floors, 853 feet (260 m) tall and 100% San Francisco, the building is the second tallest in the city.  Designed by architect William Pereira and built by Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, when completed, it was the eighth-tallest building in the world.

The U.S. Mint

In its first year the San Francisco U.S. Mint turned $4 million dollars of gold bullion into coins!  There are currently four active coin-producing mints in operation in the U.S. including Philadelphia, Denver, West Point and San Francisco. The San Francisco branch opened in 1854 to serve the goldfields of the California Gold Rush and uses an S mint mark. It quickly outgrew its first building and moved into a new facility in 1874. This building, one of the few that survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906, served until 1937, when the present facility was opened. In 1968, it took over most proof-coinage production from Philadelphia, and since 1975, it has been used almost exclusively for proof coinage.  [Wikipedia]