Swedenborgian Church

The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Radical ideals in the form of distinctive buildings make beloved SF landmarks; this standout 1894 example is the collaborative effort of 19th-century Bay Area progressive thinkers, such as naturalist John Muir, California Arts and Crafts leader Bernard Maybeck and architect Arthur Page Brown. Inside, nature is everywhere – in hewn-maple chairs, in mighty madrone trees supporting the roof and in scenes of northern California that took muralist William Keith 40 years to complete.

Church founder Emanuel Swedenborg was an 18th-century Swedish theologian, scientist and occasional conversationalist with angels; he believed humans are spirits in a material world unified by nature, love and luminous intelligence – a lovely concept, embodied in an equally lovely building. Enter the church through a modest brick archway and pass into a garden sheltered by trees from around the world.