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18 Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park
We're here in Washington Square Park, where we always find a nice mix of people on a lovely sunny day like today. But back in 1844 in the early days of San Francisco, there was a little farm here, owned by a lady called Juana Briones. And she was actually the first settler in this North Beach neighborhood. Juana would sell her vegetables and dairy products to the sailors that would come off the ships docked at the nearby waterfront. And even when she sold up her farm here, it continued to be a bit of a green oasis, and then in 1847, became one of the city's first official parks. The statue of Benjamin Franklin here is the oldest monument in all of San Francisco, and it dates back to 1879 when it was erected a little bit further up Columbus Avenue outside the Sentinel Building or Columbus Tower. And it was moved to this location back in 1904. If you take a look to the back of the statue, you'll see the name, Henry D. Cogswell. He was the fellow that funded its construction. Cogswell was a bit of an eccentric dentist who'd made a fortune and was also a supporter of the Temperance Movement. The Temperance Movement was an organization basically against the consumption of alcohol. And to show his support, what Cogswell did was construct a series of statues like this one all over the country, which also doubled up as water fountains, with the idea to promote water rather than whiskey. So at the base of the statue here, there used to be running water inside these little receptacles. Sadly today, old Benjamin Franklin's run dry. The beach that North Beach is named after doesn't exist today, but it used to run more or less along the lines of where we find Bay Street today. About four or five blocks in that direction, before they pushed the shoreline further out to the bay. Back in those days, the park here also used to be a bit bigger, but then they laid in Columbus Avenue here to connect the waterfront to the downtown. And then they had to cut off this top corner of the park creating this little separate triangle of land over there, which today is known as Marini Plaza.
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Saints Peter & Paul Church

18 Saints Peter & Paul Church

Saints Peter & Paul Church

Molinari Delicatessen

Molinari Delicatessen

Molinari Delicatessen

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