Washington Square, San Francisco

4.2
#23 of 73 in Parks in San Francisco
Washington Square is a park in the North Beach district of San Francisco, California, and is one of the city’s first parks, established in 1847. It is bordered by sidewalk cafes and restaurants such as Mama's (restaurant) and the Liguria Bakery as well as the Sts. Peter and Paul Church. The Square is a natural community gathering place with a long history. Festivals, free movie nights and other special events are hosted there throughout the year.
Jasper O’FarrellWashington Square Park, now the heart of North Beach, has been many things over the years. Juana Briones grew potatoes and raised cattle here, before Jasper O’Farrell laid out San Francisco’s street grid in 1847, and designated this block a city square. Later, neglected by the city, it was used as an unofficial dump bordering a cemetery. Improvements came slowly, but by the 1860s, it was used for Fourth of July celebrations, and later the square hosted Columbus Day celebrations and Italian festivals.
Originally, it was a complete rectangle, all the way to Powell Street. But in 1873-1875, the City built Columbus Avenue, then known as Montgomery, cutting through the Square. The avenue was built, evidently, because business and banking interests in the Financial District wanted greater interaction with North Beach, which was isolated, geographically, by the hills, the Barbary Coast, and Chinatown.
Ben FranklinThe Base of the statue is a Temperance fountain donated in 1879 by Temperance crusader Henry D. Cogswell
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Washington Square Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
133 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This is a great location close to North Beach and the park is alot of fun and very relaxing to people watch!  more »
  • We were visiting North Beach and decided to eat outside since it was such a beautiful day. We got food from a local place and walked to Washington Square. Nice park and lots of benches for sitting.  more »
Google
  • Its beautiful and awesome....until the homeless guy like today has his pants around his waist and zombie walks and stares at you while you eat. Great views, good place to chill and eat a slice, and lots of older chill people. Just too many crazies and people peeing on themselves walking around for random interactions....I know cause I live 5 blocks away for 20 years. It's been this way since I've lived here.
  • Our lives in Las Vegas aren't anything like San Francisco, especially when the citizens of San Francisco have Washington Square. My son and I wake up early when we travel so that we can experience Washington Square before returning to the airport. The churches are peaceful. The bakeries, cafes with warm soup, and cable cars all add a special dimension to experience through the eyes of the visitor traveling to California to get out of the gaming community surrounded by a dry deserted sea of sand.

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