San Francisco's Top 10 : San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (part 2) - Yerba Buena Gardens’ Features

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Yerba Buena Gardens’ Features

Map of Yerba Buena Gardens
  1. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Gallery

    Changing exhibitions here explore issues of race, class, gender, history, technology, and art itself. There are temporary exhibitions.

    • 701 Mission St

    • Open noon–8pm Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun

    • Dis. access

    • Adm


  2. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

    Multiculturalism is again the keynote in this 750-seat indoor theater. Performances may range from world-music festivals to Victorian operetta.

    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
  3. Moscone Center

    Completed in 1981, this was the building that began the renovation of the SoMa district. It was the site of the Democratic Party’s convention in 1984. Most of it is underground; above ground the impression is of glass, girders, and gardens.

    • Howard St

    Moscone Center
  4. Esplanade

    The Esplanade comprises garden-lined walkways, an inviting lawn, rolling hills, trees, and interesting sculptures. Free weekly concert during the summer festival (

    Aerial view, the Esplanade
  5. Rooftop Children’s Center and Carousel

    Located atop the west wing of the Moscone Center, this complex is all about children. The carousel dates from 1906. There’s also an ice-skating rink, a bowling center, a learning garden, and an amphitheater.

    • 750 Folsom St

  6. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

    Featuring words of peace in several languages, this multifaceted monument incorporates sculpture, a waterfall, and quotations from the Civil Rights leader’s speeches and writings.

  7. Zeum

    This place aims to inspire creative impulses in children – Toyz is a discovery program for new technological applications; the Production Lab gives you the opportunity to produce your own film.

    • 221 4th St

    • Open 1pm–5pm Wed–Fri, 11am–5pm Sat & Sun (Tue–Sun in summer)

    • Dis. access

    • Adm


  8. California Historical Society Museum

    The state’s official historical research organization holds vast collections of photos, books, manuscripts, maps, and fine and decorative arts. Some of the artifacts date as far back as the 1600s.

    • 678 Mission Street

    • Open noon–4.30pm Wed–Sat

    • Adm

  9. Mexican Museum and Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM)

    Both of these museums, which chronicle the place of their respective cultures in the weave of life are set to move to new, permanent homes in the Yerba Buena complex. The Mexican Museum opens in 2007 and the CJM in 2008. Check their websites for the most up-to-date information.

  10. Metreon

    Sony has created an alternative high-tech fun-zone for the city’s youth. Its main attraction is a state-of-the-art cineplex, where you can take in the very latest movies’ special effects in all their glory. Elsewhere, kids sit in vast darkened rooms and play the latest multimedia games. On the upper deck is a pleasant terrace with a café.

    • 101 4th St

The Rise of South of Market

Formerly a doggedly industrial area full of warehouses and factories, this flat stretch attracted few residents. For nearly 100 years, it was considered unattractive, if not downright dangerous. All that began to change in the 1970s, when slums were cleared away and the Moscone Center was built. Upscale interior designer showrooms soon followed, ensuing decades brought premier nightclubs, and, more recently, the digital boom added more than virtual life to the place. Public structures have sprung up lately, and the whole district is now seen as a desirable neighborhood – at least for creative types.

Esplanade, South of Market Top 10 New Constructions South of Market
  1. AT&T Park


  3. Moscone Center

  4. Yerba Buena Center

  5. Rincon Center

  6. Metreon

  7. South Park

  8. The Galleria

  9. Ed Hardy San Francisco

  10. The Four Seasons and the Marriott hotels

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