Aquatic Park Historic District

Coordinates: 37°48′23″N 122°25′26″W / 37.8063°N 122.424°W / 37.8063; -122.424
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Aquatic Park Historic District
San Francisco Maritime Museum
LocationSan Francisco, California
Coordinates37°48′23″N 122°25′26″W / 37.8063°N 122.424°W / 37.8063; -122.424
ArchitectWorks Progress Administration
Architectural style(s)Moderne
Governing bodyNational Park Service
DesignatedJanuary 26, 1984[1]
Reference no.84001183
DesignatedMay 28, 1987[2]
Official nameEntrance of the San Carlos into San Francisco Bay[3]
Reference no.236
Aquatic Park Historic District is located in San Francisco County
Aquatic Park Historic District
Location of Aquatic Park Historic District in San Francisco County

Aquatic Park Historic District is a National Historic Landmark and building complex on the San Francisco Bay waterfront within San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

The district includes a beach, bathhouse, municipal pier, restrooms, concessions stand, stadia, and two speaker towers.[4]


The District's San Francisco Maritime Museum building was built as a bathhouse in 1936 by the WPA; in streamline moderne style, its interior is decorated with fantastic, colorful murals. The Steamship Room illustrates the evolution of maritime technology from wind to steam, and there are displays of lithographic stones, scrimshaw, and whaling guns and photo-murals of San Francisco's early waterfront. A visitors gallery hosts such exhibitions as Sparks (2005), which showcased shipboard radio, radiotelephone, and radio-teletype equipment from over the years.

In front of the Maritime Museum is a man-made lagoon on the site of the former Black Point Cove. To the west is the horseshoe-shaped Municipal Pier.[5] The lagoon is fronted by a sandy beach and a stepped concrete seawall. To the south is a grassy area known as Victorian Park, which contains the Hyde Street cable car turnaround. Hyde Street Pier, though part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, is not part of Aquatic Park Historic District.

The Historic District was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987,[2][4][6] and added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 26, 1984.[1]

The park is at the foot of Polk Street and a minute's walk from the visitor center and Hyde Street Pier. Its beach is one of the cleanest in the state.[7]

In the park near the corner of Beach and Larkin streets is California Historical Landmark marker No. 236, honoring the Spanish packet ship San Carlos, which on August 5, 1775, was the first known European ship to enter San Francisco Bay.[3][8]

Black Point Cove was named for Black Point, which juts into the bay between North Beach and the Marina District.[9] Originally named Punta Medanos by the Spanish settlers, it was renamed Black Point after 1849.[10] The shoreline of Black Point is the last remaining section of original coastline in San Francisco east of the Golden Gate Bridge.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Aquatic Park Historic District". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved October 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Entrance of the San Carlos into San Francisco Bay". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  4. ^ a b ""Architecture in the Parks: A National Historic Landmark Theme Study: Aquatic Park Historic District", by Laura Soullière Harrison". National Historic Landmark Theme Study. National Park Service. Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
  5. ^ McLean, Tessa (November 23, 2022). "Popular SF tourist destination closed indefinitely". SFGATE. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  6. ^ James P. Delgado (February 1, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Aquatic Park Historic District" (pdf). National Park Service. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 19 photos, exterior and interior, undated. (1.28 MiB)
  7. ^ Carolyn Jones (May 27, 2010). "Bay Area beaches grade well for safe swimming". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 22, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  8. ^ "STORY OF THE SHIP SAN CARLOS. THE ARGOS OF THE GOLDEN GATE". San Francisco Call. November 22, 1896. Volume 80, Number 175
  9. ^ Bevk, Alex (April 9, 2013). "Before Fort Mason and Aquatic Park, There was Black Point". Curbed. Vox Media.
  10. ^ "Aquatic Park San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park" (PDF). Cultural Landscapes Inventory. National Park Service. 2001. Retrieved June 9, 2017.