Embarcadero Plaza

Plaza in Downtown, Civic Center & SoMa

The plaza across from the Ferry Building isn't much to look at – the Vaillancourt Fountain has run dry, the walkways sag and the pavers are cracked. But at least the place has a shiny new name!

The former name was Justin Herman Plaza, for the city bigwig who reshaped San Francisco by demolishing 1000 Western Addition homes and essentially wiping out the African American community. In 2017 the Recreations and Parks Commission adopted Embarcadero Plaza as a temporary name.

Whatever it ends up being called, the spot has long been popular with lunchtime concert-goers, Critical Mass protesters, pillow fighters, ice-skaters on the wintertime rink, and internet daters screening their dates from behind the fountain.


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