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Streets of San Francisco, an A to Z list of famous residents

Google honors historic site of its new building
Google honors historic site of its new building Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Most San Franciscans don't know who many of the local streets commemorate. For tourists, it's even more obscure. Here's your big chance to be the know-it-all when it comes to the streets of San Francisco. Below is listed every street in San Francisco which has been so named, and the full name of the person it recognizes. Namesakes, if known, and locations are given for streets which are not all listed in Louis Lowenstein's Streets of San Francisco. The names given here are those used in map data published by the San Francisco Department of Public Works.

Adolph Sutro Court. Named for the twenty-first mayor of San Francisco. Near the top of Mt. Sutro, off Johnstone Drive.
Alice B. Toklas Place. Named for the companion of Gertrude Stein. Formerly Myrtle Street. Immediately south of Geary between Van Ness and Larkin.
Ambrose Bierce Street, for the novelist
Annie Larsen Lane
Arelious Walker Drive. Named for the pastor and community activist. Just north of Candlestick Park.
Bernice Rodgers Way. Connects John F. Kennedy Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive west of Chain of Lakes Drive.
Bertie Minor Lane2
Bill Walsh Way. Named for the Giants coach. Formerly Giants Drive. Separates Candlestick Park from Gilman Playground.
Bob Kaufman Alley1
Bret Harte Terrace, for the author
Cesar Chavez Street, for the farm-workers activist
Charles J. Brenham Place
Cleo Rand Avenue. Named for the 1970's activist, a founder of the Chocolate City youth program. Just outside the Hunters Point Naval Reservation.
Colin P. Kelly Jr. Street. See main article.
Cyril Magnin Street, for the founder of I. Magnin stores
Daniel Burnham Court. Named for the Chicago architect and author of the famous, although largely unimplemented, Burnham Plan for San Francisco. Between Van Ness, Post, Franklin and Sutter.
Dashiell Hammett Street, for the author of the Maltese Falcon
Dirk Dirksen Place. Named for the punk rock promoter and Mabuhay Gardens emcee. Formerly Rowland Street. South of Broadway between Kearny and Montgomery.
Don Chee Way. Named for the man who oversaw the building of the F Market streetcar line. The southeastern border of Justin Herman Plaza.
Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. Named for the physician, publisher of the Sun-Reporter, and civil rights activist. The section of Polk Street which adjoins City Hall.
Frank Norris Street1. See main article.
Gene Friend Way. Named for a prominent San Francisco businessman and philanthropist, not for the biotechnology which is the focus of the UCSF Mission Bay campus where the street is located.
Henry Adams Street, for the founder of the Galeria and SF's design centers
Herb Caen Way... Named, of course, for San Francisco's beloved columnist. The Bay-side sidewalk of the Embarcadero. This is the only street in San Francisco whose name, unabbreviated, doesn't end in a letter.3
Isadora Duncan Lane, for the dancer who died tragically
Jack Kerouac Alley, for the beat author
Jack London Alley, for the famed writer who was born in Oakland
Jack Micheline Alley. Named for the Beat-generation (but not, he said, Beat) poet. West of Grant between Filbert and Greenwich. Formerly Pardee Alley.
Joe Mazzola Place. Named for the business manager of Plumbers and Pipefitters' Union Local 38. The area in front of 1621 Market Street, the Local 38 offices. 3
John F. Kennedy Drive, for the 34th president
John F. Shelley Drive
John Maher Street. Named for the founder of the Delancey Street halfway house. Between Front, Green, Battery and Union.
John Muir Drive, for the naturalist who made Yosemite a national treasure
José Sarria Court. Named for the drag queen and activist. The stretch of 16th Street between Prosper and Pond Streets, near Market Street. 3
Juan Bautista Circle, for the hispanic priest
Junipero Serra Boulevard, for the fighting monk who established Mission Dolores
Kenneth Rexroth Place
Lech Walesa Street, for the Polish freedom fighter
Lottie Bennett Lane
Mark Twain Lane, for the author
Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, for the civil rights hero
Nelson Rising Lane. Named for the then-CEO of Catellus Development Corporation. Another small street in UCSF Mission Bay east of 3rd Street.
Milton I. Ross Street. In the north Bayview parallel to Toland Street.
Peter Sammon Way. Named for the 32-year pastor of St. Teresa's Church. The stretch of 19th St. in front of his church, between Connecticut and Missouri. 3
Peter Yorke Way
Reverend Cecil Williams Way. Named on August 18, 2013 for the pastor of Glide Memorial Church. Ellis Street, between Taylor and Jones.
Richard Henry Dana Place, for the author
Robert Kirk Lane
Rosa Parks Lane. Named for the civil rights activist who would not sit in the back of the bus in Birmingham, 1962. . Valencia Gardens, at Valencia, 14th and 15th Streets.
Rosie Lee Lane
Sgt. John V. Young Lane
Terry A. Francois Boulevard
Thomas Mellon Drive and Circle
Thomas More Way
Turk Murphy Lane. Named for the trad-jazz trombonist. Between Broadway, Powell, Vallejo and Stockton.
Vernon Alley
Walter U. Lum Place
Whitney Young Circle
William Saroyan Place, for the author
Willie B. Kennedy Drive. Ms. Kennedy was a city supervisor from 1981 to 1996. South of Hudson Avenue on Hunter's Point Ridge.
Willie Mays Plaza. Named for the Giants' superstar player. The stretch of King Street in front of AT&T Park.

Time to take a walk, see if you can find every street on this list!

Levi's Plaza, named after the founder of Levi's jeans
Levi's Plaza, named after the founder of Levi's jeans M. Holman

Levi's Plaza, named after the founder of Levi's jeans

Levi's Plaza, named after the founder of Levi's jeans, is just off the Embarcadero.  It's peaceful and pleasantly deserted.  If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Fisherman's Wharf area or Pier 39 this is just the place. 


Waterfront SF Cannery
Waterfront SF Cannery M. Holman

Waterfront SF Cannery

Find historic Ghirardelli Square, named after the chocolate maker.  The Ghirardelli family were one of the Italian families that made San Francisco and North Beach the iconic, romantic, and unique places that they are today.  The Italian influence lingers here in the bakeries, confectionaries, and churches of this great area. 




Fr. Junipero Serra
Fr. Junipero Serra M. Holman

Fr. Junipero Serra

Inside Mission Dolores, find the statue of Junipero Serra, the fighting monk.  His name graces many historic places in California.  Fr. Serra was created holding a sword in one hand and a cross in the other, emblematic of his dual role to conquer and convert the indigenous peoples of the region. 

Tea Garden
Tea Garden M. Holman

Tea Garden

Find the Hashigawa Tea House inside Golden Gate Park.  The Hashigawa family from Japan invented the 'Chinese" fortune cookie.  The Hashigawa Tea Garden is the favorite spot of tea-lovers, particularly in spring when the gorgeous displays of rhododendron and azalea blooms carpet the walkways.  

Kerouac Alley
Kerouac Alley Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Kerouac Alley

Google has taken up residence in a building located near where Jack Kerouac, the famed beat writer of "On the Road" is commemorated in an alley named after him.  Google decided to have some fun with this coincidence, and made murals in honor of Kerouac.