The Port owns and manages 7.5 miles of San Francisco’s waterfront. Most of the Port’s waterfront facilities were constructed between 1878 and 1945 and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places in one of three of the Port’s historic districts. The resources are significant in the areas of engineering, transportation, maritime commerce, labor, planning and development, as well as industry for steel ship fabrication and repair. Recently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Embarcadero Historic District one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
» Information on the location and significance of the Port’s historic resources:
- Northeast Waterfront Historic District - designated April 8, 1983
- Fish Alley Architectural Character District (PDF)
- Embarcadero Historic District - designated May 12, 2006
- Union Iron Works Historic District (PDF) - designated April 17, 2014
» Learn more about the Port's Historic Resources
Because the majority of these resources are no-longer needed for maritime purposes the Port and its private development partners have begun adapting them to support new uses. More notable examples of this include the Ferry Building and the Exploratorium at Piers 15-17. To help guide this transformation process the Port has adopted historic preservation and urban design policies that are used in the review of Port and tenant projects along the waterfront to ensure that these properties are properly managed and impacts on historic resources minimized or avoided.
» Learn more about the Port's Preservation & Design Policies
Based on the adopted plans and policies Port staff reviews all projects and permits involving historic resources for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and consistency with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (Secretary’s Standards). Port staff has experience working on a variety of large and small projects and has developed best practices for the treatment of pier and bulkhead facilities and whenever possible conducts preliminary review for most projects while they are at a conceptual level of design.
» Learn more about the Port's Project Review Process