Scandalous Murals of Rincon Center

Neighborhood: Downtown/ Embarcadero


In the midst of anti-Communist hysteria after World War II, it was pretty bold to paint 27 murals that challenged the traditional, patriotic view of America. It was even bolder to do so while being Russian. But the Moscow-born Anton Refregier had a vision: to depict the history of San Francisco, with all its triumphs, blunders, and hardship illustrated in rich color. Hysterical legislators across the country in DC tried desperately to have the work removed. Luckily for us, they failed.

Thirty years later, the murals faced demolition again. Protesting even louder, fans succeeded in preserving this example of Social Realism depicting San Francisco’s history. Explore a collection of art that shocked, challenged and enthralled 1950s America. It’s an exclusive walk through a hidden gem, featuring the egregious details of the panic these murals once incited. Join us and examine a truly one-of-a-kind retelling of the city’s history.


Next Tours

  • Saturday, April 11 at 2:00 pm (No Tour Today)
  • Tuesday, April 14 at 10:00 am (No Tour Today)
  • Saturday, April 25 at 1:00 pm (No Tour Today)
  • Saturday, May 9 at 2:00 pm given by Bernard Coulie
View Calendar


This tour is indoors.

Tour Length: Approximately 1 hour


Meet in Rincon Center historic lobby, east end, near Mission & Steuart Sts. Public transit: MUNI lines F, 2, 14, 21. BART/MUNI Metro: Embarcadero station.

Click the map to view full version on Google Maps
View Transit Directions on Google Maps >>

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