Club Land – Architecture and Culture of San Francisco

Neighborhood: Nob Hill

Description

It was officially the Gilded Age, and those who had become extravagantly wealthy in the years before 1900 were looking for a place to mingle away from the commoners. Thus, Club Land was born: an area between Nob Hill, Union Square and the Financial District, where social clubs of all kinds popped up almost overnight. Exclusive men’s clubs, like the Pacific Union, were open only to tycoons and dignitaries, while women’s clubs were formed to help organize Progressive reform efforts. Their heyday ended around the time of the Great Depression — but that didn’t mean they were gone for good.

Today, the ornate clubhouses remain as mighty as ever, lining the streets as a time capsule from a different era. Learn about their influential role in the history of the city (and the nation). Explore the domineering buildings that attracted kingmakers and celebrities alike. Leave with a new understanding of the clubs of the rich and powerful — including the tabloid-worthy stories that played out inside them.

(On Saturdays, whenever possible, we will go inside one of the clubs — so please observe an informal, but appropriate, dress code.)

Next Tours

  • Friday, December 13 at 10:00 am given by James O’Donnell
  • Saturday, December 21 at 10:00 am given by Paul Fisher
  • Tuesday, January 7 at 10:00 am given by Paul Fisher
  • Friday, January 17 at 10:00 am given by James O’Donnell
View Calendar

Schedule

Check Calendar for schedule

Notes

On Saturdays, whenever possible, we will go inside one of the clubs — so please observe an informal, but appropriate, dress code.

Location

Meet at the northwest corner of California and Mason (near Pacific-Union Club).

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Please note: Private groups tours required for groups of 8 or more.