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[photo] Mission Dolores
Photo by Rustin Quaide

Mission Dolores, the oldest intact building in San Francisco, was constructed from 1782-1791 with Native American labor. It has been used continuously for religious purposes since that time. The Mission was founded in 1776 by Father Francisco Palou under the direction of Father Junipero Serra. The chapel is an excellent example of vernacular colonial Spanish architecture. The walls are constructed of adobe brick four feet thick and the roof beams are of redwood. Traditional Indian designs have been reproduced on the ceiling with vegetable dyes. The adjacent cemetery includes many significant burials, including that of Don Luis Antonio Arguello, the first Governor of California under Mexican rule. Don Jose Joaquin Moraga, the first commandante of the Presidio of San Francisco, is buried under the altar of the church. The Mission was restored in 1920 by architect Willis Polk.

Mission Dolores, located at 320 Dolores St. in San Francisco, is open daily from 9:00am to 4:00pm. For more information call 415-621-8203. The mission receives no public funds; a donation is suggested to help maintain this site and its buildings.


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