Women's Building Mural, San Francisco

#317 of 684 in Things to do in San Francisco
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Women's Building is a women-led non-profit arts and education community center located in San Francisco, California, United States, which advocates self-determination, gender equality and social justice. The building has served as an event and meeting space since 1979, when it was purchased by the San Francisco Women's Center. The building is shielded from rising real estate costs in the Mission district because that group has owned the building since 1995. The four-story building rents to multiple tenants and serves over 20,000 women a year.
The structure was built in 1910 and was originally known as Turn Hall because it was part of the Turnverein exercise movement.
The San Francisco Women's Center began in 1973. By 1974, it hired its first full-time employee and had moved into a small storefront office. In 1976, its difficulty in locating a venue for the national conference on Violence Against Women it was organizing with other women's groups led it to search for a permanent space. Through 1978 and 1979, it raised funds to put down an initial $10,000 deposit, and then a $115,000 first payment towards the $535,000 purchase price of the building at 3543 18th Street.
Tracy Gary, one of the organizers of the Violence Against Women conference, and co-founder of the Women's Building, along with co-founder Marya Grambs and Women's Building staff member Carmen Vázquez, were interviewed in 1982 by Julia Randall for KPFA for the building's 3rd birthday. The women discuss the difficulties of the early years and how the building was being used in 1982. Roma Guy and her partner Diane were also two of the Women's Building's co-founders.
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  • The Mission District is famous for murals and this is one of the best with suitable themes for the Women's Building, which is also an institution in the city. Stop by and enjoy the street art.  more »
  • We were in the Mission District of San Francisco. There are many wonderful murals in this area. Women did the amazing murals on the Women's Building in the area.  more »
  • Don't know what I would do without this community space! I love attending events here and it's a big part of my life in San Francisco. Beautiful murals painted on the building. Supports all kinds of local interest groups and their events. Film series, advocacy, etc. etc. I only know about a small portion of all the great stuff that goes on here. Stray observation - this place seems to be a tour stop for walking tours through the Mission.
  • Fabulous building wherein all are welcome. Many programs to assist with health, wellness, legal issues and more. Truly a beautiful atmosphere plus the mural is profoundly powerful. What a gem for those who live in that community.

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