New Exhibit in Visitor Center Beckons You to Enter
How would you like to explore the salty old waterfront of the town sailors used to call "Frisco"? You can! San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park has just created a new visitor experience that invites you to walk through time as you see, hear, and touch San Francisco's historic working waterfront. (The Visitor Center is at 499 Jefferson Street in SF, cross street Hyde, and open seven days a week from 9:30am to 5pm, 415-447-5000.)
Make your way south to the watery inlet of Channel Street. Not actually a street, today it's called Mission Creek and it feeds McCovey's Cove at the AT&T ballpark. Here, you'll find hay scows or lumber schooners, unloading fresh lumber from Puget Sound just over your head, while the clamor of steel shipyards waits for you further south.
View two slide presentations that are part of the exhibit on wooden shipbuilding on San Francisco Bay and the coastal lumber trade.
This exhibit was a labor of love for park staff, who worked with Academy Studios to design a visitor experience that avoided the walls and cases of a typical museum. It would take a year of research and design plus three more years to complete. Over 360 artifacts from the Park's collection are carefully tucked into ship facades, store front windows, and even ship passengers' luggage.
Did You Know?
Loading ports are small, watertight doors in a ship's hull that lead directly into the hold. Lumber could be more easily loaded into the hold through these ports rather than through the smaller hatches on the deck. These ports had to be caulked shut before the ship put to sea. More...