Overview

Iconic structures like the Bank of America plaza, the Transamerica Pyramid and the Salesforce tower are surrounded by handsome Renaissance Baroque buildings filled with sculpture, art, murals and historic plaques. Celebrated architect Willis Polk filled the financial district with a dozen notable buildings, working with Julia Morgan on the magnificent Merchant Exchange with ballroom. Venture capitalist Billy Ralston, a beloved legend, established the first government regulated, Bank of California and the first world class hotel,The Palace, with the opulent Garden Court filled with crystal chandeliers. Visit the Wells Fargo and the old Treasury museums, a Redwood tree park and the Statute of the first black entrepreneur Alexander Leidesdorff. Learn about the beautiful “Rose of Sharon” and her tragic battle with Senator William Sharon. Purchase some Ghiradelli chocolates at the end of the tour at Market street. 


Places We Love To Visit

Bank of America Plaza

A San Francisco icon since 1979. It began as Bank of Italy in 1904 and became the largest bank in the world. Location of movies, Dirty Harry and Towering Inferno.

Merchant Exchange Building

Built in 1903 and restored in 1907 by Julia Morgan and Willis Polk. Most expensive building in the city at that time. Columbia marble, gold leaf ceiling and dentiles.

Pony Express Plaque

First express horse and rider arrived here on April 14, 1860. A party was thrown for the horse.

Transamerica’s Redwood Park

Natural redwood forest with sculpture by Glenna Goodacre entitled “The Puddle Jumpers.” Guests enjoy ambience and photo opportunity.

Alexander Leidesdorff  Statue

He was the first important Black city leader serving as Vice Counsel and City Treasurer.

San Francisco Curb Mining Exchange

Circa 1923. Modified temple front with terra cotta triangle tympanium with Greek/Roman figures.

Hunter Dulin Building

Hand-painted ceiling circa 1926. Romanesque and french chateau ornamentation. Location of famous fictional Detective Sam Spade’s office.

Flower Stands on Montgomery Street

Colorful flower stands dot the Financial District sidewalks.

Hobart Building

Circa 1914. Architect Willis Polk ignored city building codes to complete this structure in only 11 months. Original architecture plans displayed in the Art Deco lobby.

Halliday Building

Circa 1917. Architect Willis Polk built this glass curtain building for the Regents of University of California, Berkeley and to honor Andrew Halliday, inventor of the cable car.

Native Sons Statue

Circa 1897. Commerating Californa becoming a state.

Palace Hotel Garden Court

Circa 1876. “The most elegant room in the city” with 700 lbs crystal chandeliers and skylight created with 25,000 panes of glass all surrounded by Roman Corinthian columns. An earthquake survivor. Tour guest enjoying ambience and a glass of wine.

*All tour locations are subject to change based on weather, availability and interest