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Washington Square, San Francisco

(4/5 based on 90 reviews on the web)
Washington Square is a park in the North Beach district of San Francisco, California, and is one of the city’s first parks, established in 1847. A popular destination for visitors and locals alike, this lively urban oasis is bordered by sidewalk cafes and restaurants such as Mama's (restaurant) and the Liguria Bakery as well as the Sts. Peter and Paul Church. The Square is a natural community gathering place with a long and fascinating history, hosting festivals, free movie nights and other special events throughout the year.HistoryJasper O’FarrellWashington Square Park, now the heart of North Beach, has been many things over the years. Juana Briones grew potatoes and raised cattle here, before Jasper O’Farrell laid out San Francisco’s street grid in 1847, and designated this block a city square. Later, neglected by the city, it was used as an unofficial dump bordering a cemetery. Improvements came slowly, but by the 1860s, it was used for Fourth of July celebrations, and later the square hosted Columbus Day celebrations and Italian festivals.Originally, it was a complete rectangle, all the way to Powell Street. But in 1873-1875, the City built Columbus Avenue, then known as Montgomery, cutting through the Square. The avenue was built, evidently, because business and banking interests in the Financial District wanted greater interaction with North Beach, which was isolated, geographically, by the hills, the Barbary Coast, and Chinatown.Ben FranklinThe Base of the statue is a Temperance fountain donated in 1879 by Temperance crusader Henry D. Cogswell
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • its really a block park in north beach so there is a lot going on. across the street from st. peter and paul. a ton of restaurants and bars around. on one corner one of best breakfast places in city (...  more »
  • Not much going on here. Just a stop on ones way to Coit Tower maybe or the cathedral. Located in little Italy of course. 
  • Washington Square has a charming park and is a popular holiday destination for tourists as well as locals. The Park has playgrounds, sculptures, flowerbeds. There is always a lot of campers. Around the Park are good cafes and restaurants. On the square is the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. We visited the temple and played bells.
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