About Us

City Guides Mission Statement

City Guides volunteers are serious about sharing the fun of discovering San Francisco and its neighborhoods. Our purpose is to preserve and perpetuate the history and folklore of San Francisco and to celebrate its rich history of cultural diversity. In the spirit of our primary sponsor, the San Francisco Public Library, we provide this service free of charge.

History

In 1976, San Francisco librarian Gladys Hansen, was contacted by officials seeking someone to give tours of City Hall.  She began training volunteers, and two years later in 1978, San Francisco City Guides was officially established. As the group grew, it became a program of the San Francisco Public Library.  Tours moved beyond City Hall, and the organization was recognized as the official docent of San Francisco. 

Over forty years later, we proudly continue our work as “volunteer ambassadors”, conducting free walking tours of the City’s richly diverse neighborhoods.  We help to expand visitors’ and residents’ understanding of local history, art and culture through our tours and publications, and by creating a “sense of place”. We have grown to over 300 volunteer guides, and over 80 different tours.  We have a formal training program, continuing education and evaluation. Our two paid staff are busy! We remain a program of the San Francisco Public library, and we partner with the San Francisco Parks Alliance for fiscal sponsorship and non-profit status.

2019 SFCG Management Board and Staff

Board:
Rory O’Connor, Chair
Phil Bailey, Vice Chair
Robin Seeley, Secretary 
Harry Rabin, Treasurer 
Jack Grippi
Joyce Kurtz 
Robert Mills 
David Reed
Tam Tran

Staff:
Demetri Rizos, Executive Director
Jef Friedel, Program Manager