Embarcadero Historic District

In 2006 the Port nominated the Embarcadero Historic district, a three-mile stretch of San Francisco’s Northeastern waterfront that contains historic piers, a seawall, bulkhead wharf and waterfront buildings that date from 1848 to 1946, to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).  The nomination was supported by extensive research and documentation on the history and significance of the waterfront that responds to National Register criteria that must be met for a resource(s) to be eligible for inclusion in the NRHP.  This nomination was approved by the California Historical Resources Commission and the National Park Service and listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). 

 The National Trust for Historic Preservation added the Embarcadero Historic District to its 2016 list  of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the United States due to the combined threat of seismic vulnerability and sea level rise. 

National Register Nomination

The NRHP registration form is four pages long and includes eleven sections. Sections 1 through 6 are presented in full on the registration forms in the preceding pages. Sections 7 through 11, which require more space, begin on the form and continue on continuation sheets in the following pages. Section numbers and Page numbers are identified in the header for each page. Each section starts with Page 1 and continues to the end of that section, with the subsequent section starting with its own Page 1.

The organization of the entire nomination, including the registration form, continuation sheets, and additional documentation, is presented below. The first-time reader will understand the Historic District more readily by starting with Section 8, which provides a comprehensive overview of the Embarcadero Historic District. For information on the specific resources within the District, go directly to Section 7.

Introductory Materials (PDF):

  • National Register Listing

  • Port Commission Approval Resolution

  • Summary of Nomination

  • Embarcadero Historic District - Historic Preservation Review Guidelines for Pier and Bulkhead Wharf Substructures

Section 1-6:National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) Form and Guide to Users (PDF) - 47 pages

Section 7: Description (PDF)- 210 pages

  • Description of The District, and the individual contributing, and non-contributing resources

Section 8: Statement of Significance (PDF)- 226 pages

  • Origin and development of the Embarcadero waterfront, and historical contexts and evaluations under Criteria A (Government, Commerce, Transportation and Labor), B (Labor) and C(Engineering, and related areas of Architecture, and Community Planning and Development)

Section 9: Major Bibliographical References (PDF) - 28 pages

Section 10: Geographical Data (PDF) - 1 page

  • District size, location, and boundaries

Section 11: Form Prepared by Authors (PDF) - 1 page

Additional Documentation (PDF)

  • Geographic map and sketch maps of district boundaries and bulkhead wharf section map.

Figures (PDF) 

  • Illustrations of seawall and bulkhead wharf and aerial photograph of the waterfront

Photographs (PDF)