Embarcadero – History of Street Names

 Posted by on November 11, 2011
Nov 112011
The Embarcadero
When this is the view from the Embarcadero it is hard to look down at your feet.  If you do however, you will find some fascinating little historical tidbits.  I searched everywhere to see what organization is responsible for the following and I found nothing.  But welcome to a bit of San Francisco history.The Embarcadero runs along the waterfront.  The streets that we will be looking at run down to the Embarcadero.  These signs are all on the city side of the Embarcadero where the streets end.
It reads: In February of 1853 the United States Topographical Engineers published their first detailed survey of the city, showing new streets, many named for army and naval officers.  Fremont and Folsom were prominent officers; Harrison, Bryant and King held important city and port positions; Spear and Brannon had been pioneers in Yerba Buena before San Francisco had its name.

At every street there were these arrows.  They pointed you to the street that you were reading about.

As this one is a tad worn, in case you can not read it – here is what it says.  Businessman, City Councilman and mayoral candidate, Talbot H. Green, while at the high point of his career, was attending a charity ball, when confronted by a young woman before his friends and supporters. She denounced him as being Paul Geddes, the defaulting bank clerk who had absconded from Pennsylvania deserting his wife and two children.  The charge proved true; but Geddes, protesting his innocence, left for Panama to return East to clear his name.  Green Street had already been named for this prominent pioneer citizen and San Franciscans kept his name, perhaps as a reminder that in this city of new arrivals, not every man came wearing his true identity.
Here is the view looking up Green Street.  Another reason why it is so hard to look down.