San Francisco Heritage is committed to the health and safety of our visitors, supporters, staff, and volunteers. To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we will postpone or cancel all public tours and in-person programs until further notice:

  • The Haas-Lilienthal House is closed for public tours until further notice
  • Excelsior Heritage Night, previously scheduled for March 25, is postponed until later this year, date to be announced
  • 2020 Lecture Series will be all-virtual (see below)

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events!

Heritage’s Lecture Series explores the breadth of San Francisco’s cultural inheritance, usually held in historic settings throughout the city. Due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 crisis, we will host an all-virtual 2020 season, made free and open to the public online. 

The theme of this year’s series is Women in Preservation, and each program will spotlight and celebrate women both past and present who have worked to preserve San Francisco’s unique cultural and architectural heritage. Our virtual programs will incorporate historic photos, maps, audio, and video, and be recorded for subsequent sharing and archiving.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors the Hobart Preservation Foundation, our Series Sponsors CAW Architects, and Programming Partners 640 Heritage Preservation Foundation.  

October 22nd, 2020  Intersections of Racism, Gender, and Historic Preservation in San Francisco’s Asian American Communities
Registrations are now open!

Interior of Babies Aid Clinic in Chinese Hospital with Dr. Rose Goong Wong on far left and patients. Sept. 30, 1933. Courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library (AAB-6861).

An impressive list of speakers will explore the intersections of racism, gender, and historic preservation at important sites in San Francisco’s Asian American community. In collaboration with Michelle Magalong, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP). More details to come.

Our speakers:

Grant Din, Board Member, APIAHiP

Erika Gee, Senior Planner, Community Planning Department, Chinatown Community Development Center; Board Member, APIAHiP

Karen Kai, Vice Chair, APIAHiP

Edward Tepporn, Executive Director, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

Register button

November 19th, 2020 Alice Ross Carey Memorial Lecture – Preservationists on Preservationists
Stay tuned for registration information.

Preservationist Enid Sales, photo by John McE. Atkisson.

We finish our 2020 lecture series on Women in Preservation by highlighting the stories of well known and lesser-known advocates of historic preservation and their work to preserve architecturally or historically significant places for future generations.

On November 19 our final presentation, “Preservationists on Preservationists,” will feature women architects and preservationists sharing photos and anecdotes about their favorite women preservationists and their contributions to the field, both past and present.

We hope you will join us for a fun and interactive program highlighting some of the important milestones and lasting legacies created by women working in preservation! Speakers to be announced soon.

Our evening also honors Alice Ross Carey. In July 2013, the City of San Francisco lost an important preservation advocate. Alice was a champion in the preservation community and worked to preserve countless historic buildings, including the New Mission Theater and the Fairmont Hotel Tonga Room in San Francisco. She received a California Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards posthumously in 2013 for her dedication and work in the field of historic preservation.

Past Events

September 17, 6:00 PM  – Sydney Stein: Golden Gate Park’s First Woman Gardener

Thank you to all who attended! Find the recording below:

2020 marks the 150th anniversary of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and our lecture explored one of the park’s beloved unsung heroes: Sydney Stein, who in 1929 became the first woman hired as a gardener by the City of San Francisco. Nicole Meldahl, Executive Director of the Western Neighborhoods Project, recounted some of the specific initiatives she accomplished, such as saving cyclamen from Europe immediately before World War II, and Stein’s ascendance to chief nurseryman (or should we say, nurseryWOman?) and eventually manager of the Conservatory of Flowers. 

August 20, 6:00 PM  – San Francisco Neighborhood Heroines: The San Francisco Bay View’s Mary Ratclif

LisaRuth Elliott, project manager of the Neighborhood Newspapers of San Francisco collection of over 2,300 digitized local papers, moderated a conversation with Mary Ratcliff, longtime editor and co-owner of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. While the country’s mainstream press is slowly catching up to the issues and concerns of the Black community, the Bay View has long given a voice to Black San Franciscans since its inception in 1976. Anchored in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point, it was first neighborhood newspaper to join the Legacy Business Registry [in 2017]. Ratcliff discussed the paper’s legacy of social justice work through community journalism, its continued outreach during the COVID-19 crisis, and her thoughts on carrying the legacy of the paper into the future.

We also heard from Griffin Jones, journalist and copyeditor, archivist for the San Francisco Bay View about the work of the Bay View Archives.

July 16, 2020 5:00 PM PST  – Rooted in Resilience: Legacy Restaurants and Bars in San Francisco

Denise Clifton, author of Tables from the Rubble: How the Restaurants that Arose After the Great Quake of 1906 Still Feed San Francisco Today, will host a conversation with the women behind two of San Francisco’s most beloved legacy businesses: Julie Ho of Sam Wo Restaurant, and Maralisa Simmons-Cook of Specs’ Twelve Adler Museum CaféTaking historic context from Denise’s book, which highlights stories of food businesses that emerged in the recovery years after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, this panel will explore how legacy businesses are now struggling – and adapting through a new, very different disaster. 

If you have any thoughts, ideas, and questions about these programs, please reach out to Kerri Young at or call 415-441-3000 x22