200 Brannan is located in the heart of San Francisco’s South Beach district in an area rich with history.  With the lobby entrance on Delancey Street, 200 Brannan is situated within one block of the Embarcadero waterfront and sits in the core of what was a bustling steamboat and shipping area in the 16th and 17th century.  It is within a few block radius of this highly regarded community that the first settler discovery of San Francisco began.


For over two centuries, from the time of the first navigation along the California coast, the San Francisco bay lay undiscovered. Throughout the second half of the 16th century, the Spanish English, and Portuguese navigators sailed along the California coast in search of safe harbor yet repeatedly failed to sight the entrance to the bay as geography and fog, hid it from view. It was not until 1769 that the Europeans discovered the bay during a land expedition dispatched by Spain.

Once the explorers discovered the bay, development quickly began, and by 1851 there were hundreds of vessels of all sizes and types operating in and out of San Francisco’s South Beach neighborhood.

The piers and wharves surrounding the 200 Brannan area, made South Beach a hub for incoming immigrants, explorers, tradesmen and most importantly famous businessmen who were having their boats built, repaired or serviced in the San Francisco bay. The ships were the carriers of all the city’s trade. At one location called Steamboat Point, ships were repaired and built as major capital investments by the city’s most prominent citizens. Important men—commission merchants, brokers, traders and sea captains—stopped in to oversee the building and repair of their ships.

As the financial inflow grew, many saw opportunity in the bay and became residents of San Francisco. One British immigrant, George Gordon, arrived in San Francisco and became a lumber dealer who began to build wharves. He established one of San Francisco’s first iron foundries and built California’s first successful sugar refinery. As part of his great successes, Gordon designed the South Park area that still stands today.

He designed the park in four sections according to the English crescent formation. The area was intended exclusively for private dwellingsand, along with Rincon Hill, was one of San Francisco’s first elite areas.


This neighborhood, however, was eventually surrounded by industrial buildings and lost its upper-class character as it lost the view blocked by industrial warehouses and commercial buildings.  By the 1870s, the well-to-do had abandoned South Park and moved to Nob Hill, where access was limited and the views are spectacular. As the wealthy and middle classes left South Park, working-class people began to move in, to live closer to the shipping docks and warehouses where they worked.  The South Park area, however, was still a well regarded and desired area and many who came to San Francisco to find work during World War II made their home there. Enduring many transitions since that time, South Park has since become, once again, a chic neighborhood for San Franciscans appreciative of this highly desired, near waterfront location.

For more history on South Beach and other areas of San Francisco, visit

A major source of the information above, Found SF is a great resource for historical data, photographs, and more on San Francisco areas.