San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located in San Francisco, California, USA. The park includes a fleet of antique boats, a visitor centre, a maritime museum and a library/research center. The park used to be known as the San Francisco Maritime Museum, but the former name changed in 1951 when the National Park Service purchased the collections in 1978. The new San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park was authorized in 1988; the Maritime Museum is one of the many cultural resources in the park. The park also includes the Aquatic Park Historic District, bounded by Van Ness Lane, Polk Street and Hyde Street.

The Visitor Center is housed in the park's 1909 waterfront warehouse, at the intersection of Hyde and Jefferson avenues. The City of San Francisco designated the four-storey brick structure an architectural landmark in 1974, and the building was registered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Within, the exhibits (including the first order Fresnel lighthouse lens and a shipwrecked ship) tell the story of San Francisco's vibrant and diverse maritime heritage. The visitor center also features a theatre and a storage desk.

 

Until recently, the Maritime Museum was located in the Streamline Moderne (late Art Deco) building, the centerpiece of the Aquatic Park Historic District, the National Historic Landmark at the foot of Polk Street and a minute's walk from the visitor center and Hyde Street Pier. The building was originally designed (starting in 1936) by the WPA as a public bathhouse, and its interior is decorated with fantastic and vibrant murals, created primarily by the artist and theoretician Hilaire Hiler. The architects are William Mooser Jr. and William Mooser III.

The Maritime Research Center is the primary resource for maritime history in San Francisco and the Pacific Coast. The collections, which started in 1939, have become the largest maritime collection on the West Coast and the largest museum and research collection in the National Park Service.

 

Collections shall contain more than:

  • 35,000 published names of more than 74,000 articles

  • 500,000 pictures

  • 7,000 collections of archives and manuscripts

  • 150,000 sketches on naval architecture and marine engineering

  • 3,000 maps and graphs

  • 150,000 feet of film and video footage

  • 6,000 objects of historical archaeology

  • 2,500 pieces of folk and fine arts

  • 40,000 artifacts from history

  • 100 small vessels

  • 50,000 bits of ephemeral

  • 600 oral and audio recordings

 

The Visitor Center, Hyde Street Pier and Maritime Museum are all located at the foot of Hyde Street and at the western end of the Fisherman's Wharf area. The headquarters of the Park and the Maritime Research Center are located in Fort Mason, about 10 minutes' walk to the west of the other sites. The main site is adjacent to the Beach and Hyde Street terminals of the San Francisco cable car system, while the Jones Street terminal of the F Market historic streetcar line is a 5-minute walk to the east.

 

Open water swimming

Aquatic Park is a popular open water swimming venue, both for leisure and training. The South End Rowing Club and Dolphin Club are situated in the Aquatic Park area. There have recently been many cases of swimmers being attacked by sea lions.

This amazing kid-friendly park is just one of the many must-see sights you don’t want to miss in San Francisco, California:

  • Golden Gate Park

  • Alamo Square Park

  • Mission Dolores Park

  • USS San Francisco Memorial

  • Washington Square

  • Pioneer Park

  • Corona Heights Park

  • Lafayette Park  

All of these wonderful parks are located just a short distance from our location located at 100 Pine St #1250 in San Francisco! Stop by for a visit anytime!