The San Francisco Maritime National Historical park consists of several areas of interest, including Hyde Street Pier, the Visitor’s Center, the National Maritime Museum and the Library of the Naval Museum. This park is sometimes called the San Francisco Maritime Museum. It was free to visit the Museum at first, but after 1988 it was changed to a ticketing system. Today the park is one of the most attractive places in San Francisco.
Hyde Street Pier
Hyde Street Pier is located in the port area to the north east of the city, which is called “Fisherman’s Wharf”. This is one of the major tourist attractions of San Francisco. At Hyde Street Pier there are a number of ships moored. Some of these historical ships include the 1886 sailing ship Balclutha, the 1895 CA Thayer, the ferry “Eureka” that dates back to 1890, Scow Schooner Alma, the steam tug Hercules and the tug with paddle wheels Eppleton Hall. Visitors can visit these ships, explore their cabins, engine rooms, Captain’s wheelhouses and listen to the stories of guides on the naval history of these ships. In addition, there are a lot of small vessels of the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. Within walking distance of the pier is the museum. The museum tells the history of navigation, the devices of sailing ships, steamers, modern sea liners and other ships. It also demonstrates the technical device lighthouses. There are also various temporary exhibitions that depict things such as the history of the radio or television.
The Visitor’s Center is located in a 4 story brick structure on the corner of Hyde Street and Jefferson Street. This building was built in 1909 as a warehouse on the waterfront, and in 1975 it was included in the National Register of Historic Places. Inside it houses the remains of vessels that were shipwrecked, as well as other artifacts, such as a Fresnel lens for lighthouses.
The Research Library includes documents from 1520 to the present, including many historical records of shipbuilders and ship owners. There are also over 120,000 architectural drawings regarding the construction of ships. There are about 5,000 charts and maps.
The Maritime Museum is on Beach Street and Polk Street. The architecture is reminiscent of an Art Deco ship and it is filled with nautical memorabilia. It was reopened in 2010 after extensive renovations. The visitor center offers a fun, interactive look at the maritime heritage of the city. Housed in the historic building of Haslett Warehouse, the center tells the history of travels, discoveries and cultural diversity.