San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Established in 1988, San Francisco Maritime Park encompasses 34 acres, and contains the most National Historic Landmarks of any unit in the National Park Service. In addition to the fleet of historic ships at Hyde Street Pier, the park includes the Aquatic Park Historic District (Maritime Museum, beach, lawn area and bocce ball courts), a Visitor Center and a research library (in Fort Mason Center).
Outstanding is the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building, with its beautiful Streamline Moderne features, located on Beach Street at the foot of Polk Street. Originally built by the WPA in 1939 to look like an ocean liner, it was meant to be 'a palace for the public' with a restaurant, showers, dressing rooms, food stands and even an emergency hospital, then transformed into the Maritime Museum in 1951. The 5,000 square-foot bright, fantastical murals on the lobby walls, created by Hilaire Hiler, depict the mystical continents of Mu and Atlantis. On the veranda you will find fanciful granite and marble sculptures of seals and frogs by artist Beniamino Bufano. African American artist Sargent Johnson sculpted the stone facade of the entrance and the large-scale fish themed tile mosaic on the veranda.
The Hyde Street Pier was originally the automobile ferry terminal for Highway 1 that connected San Francisco to Marin County until the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in May 1937. One of the restored ferries has a full complement of the antique vehicles that used the 'short cut' ferry ride across the Bay to the north. Today you can see a huge steam donkey engine, watch boats being mended and restored at the small-boat shop, listen to sea-faring music and take in fabulous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and San Francisco's working fishing fleet.
During your stay at our San Francisco bed and breakfast, enjoy the Maritime Park and the endless other activities to explore in the city.