The nine-block area bounded by Montgomery Street, Washington Street, Stockton Street, and Broadway became known as the Barbary Coast during the Gold Rush era of San Francisco, when the neighborhood was decidedly less civilized than it is today. Destroyed by the 1906 earthquake, the area was totally rebuilt and re-envisioned through the years and is now one of the most polished neighborhoods in the city. The Financial District, as it’s now known, is a bustling commercial center filled with historic banks, upscale apartments, and condominiums, and some of the tallest buildings in the city—including the skyline-defining Transamerica Pyramid.
The neighborhood also serves as corporate headquarters for such companies as Visa, Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, and Gap. Those who live here enjoy some of the best restaurants the city has to offer, including the delicious ethnic eateries within the blocks of nearby Chinatown and North Beach (the city’s Little Italy). Day-to-day needs may be found at nearby Embarcadero Center, at the Ferry Building Marketplace, and in the many department stores, malls, and shopping blocks throughout Union Square. For rest and relaxation, several public green spaces such as Jackson Square Park and Transamerica Redwood Park provide respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown living. And when residents need to get to other parts of the city or Bay Area, the Embarcadero station is just steps away. ©2016 Maryann LoRusso