The neighborhood of the Gateway is truly the historic heart of San Francisco, where the past is still visible today. Located at the city’s original 1850s waterfront, the streets around the Gateway were once piers and wharves, home to clipper ships that brought goldseekers from around the world. Over time, the water between the piers was filled in to create the expansive, level neighborhood we see today.
Many buildings, especially along Jackson and Pacific Streets, vividly capture the experience of the Barbary Coast era. What are now fashionable galleries and design studios were once the haunts of sailors, miners, bandits, and other bohemians from San Francisco’s most colorful period. Construction crews at the Gateway site found many artifacts from this time that are available for viewing at our conference center.
In the last century, the area became the center for the city’s produce market, a tightly packed group of warehouses and alleys that brought fruits and vegetables from around the Bay to restaurants and grocers in the city. The concrete arch in the park is the lone survivor of this period.
In 1959, the City of San Francisco commissioned several architects to come up with a plan to transform the old produce market into a premier symbol of modern architecture. The goal of the city planners was to bring people back from the suburbs by developing desirable residential housing within the traditional urban center.
The winning proposal, submitted by Perini & Associates in collaboration with a group of leading American architects, captured the spirit of San Francisco with its unique mixture of sophisticated high-rise apartments and inviting townhomes nestled above street level.
This dramatic modern neighborhood has reunited with its colorful past thanks to a recent surge in waterfront development that has brought entertainment, dining, shopping, and even the produce farmers back to a place that has once more become the gateway to the best of San Francisco.