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Tours & Walks

July 5 (Saturday) 11:00 - 5:00 PM (Free) Redstone Building - 2940 16th St. at Capp St., SF
100th Anniversary of the San Francisco Labor Temple – Street Fair
The Redstone Labor Temple Association, dedicated to preserving labor history, is holding a street fair on Saturday, July 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Capp Street, between 15th and 16th Streets, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco Labor Temple at 2940-16th Street. Built by the San Francisco Labor Council in 1914, it housed the City’s main labor unions and was the site of meetings and planning for the 1934 General Strike. It was later renamed the Redstone Building when it was sold in 1969.
The street fair will have a stage with local musicians, artists, dancers, performers, poets, and puppeteers on themes that relate to the history of the San Francisco labor movement. While celebrating the history of the labor movement, the street fair will heighten public visibility of the current struggles of the Fight for the $15 minimum wage, the Fight for a Community Jobs Program, and the Fight against Displacement in our Neighborhoods.

July 5 (Saturday) 12:00 noon Meet at 518 Valencia St., SF
Labor Bike Tour with Chris Carlsson
($15-50 sliding scale donation requested to benefit Shaping San Francisco)
From the pre-urban history of Indian slavery to the earliest 8-hour day movement in the U.S., the ebb and flow of class war is traced. SF’s radical working class organizations were shaped in part by racist complicity in genocide and slavery. From the 1870s to the 1940s, there were dozens of epic battles between owners and workers, culminating in the 1934 General Strike and its aftermath. See an entirely different view, during four-hour bike tour, of San Francisco labor history. Tour ends at Spear and Market.

July 5 (Saturday) 2:00 PM (Free) Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza Tower - Embarcadero at Market St., SF
SF General Strike Walk
Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza - Front of Ferry Building, at the south side tower, San Francisco.
Join a walk with retired ILWU longshoreman Jack Heyman and others.
80 years ago at this location, a great battle took place between the workers and the residents of San Francisco against the police and national guard. We will look at the causes of the 1934 General Strike and why it was successful. How was the strike organized and why are the issues in that strike still relevant to working people today. We will also view some of the key historical sites in this important US labor struggle.

July 6 (Sunday) 9:45 AM (Free) Meet at Coit Tower entrance - 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, SF
Coit Tower Mural Walk
With Peter O’Driscoll, Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith.
In the past few years there has been a growing community effort to defend the Coit tower murals from leaking water and to stop the plans for privatization of the site. This led to the critical renovation of the murals on their 80th anniversary. They were being painted during the time of the 1934 general strike in San Francisco. LaborFest will hold its annual guide tour of the murals with Peter O’Driscoll, Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith. At the time of their installation, an organized effort was made to destroy them for their leftist themes and the artists and their supporters had to physically defend the site. They were successfully defended and we have them today as our heritage. The artists were working under the Civil Works Administration and Public Works Of Art program which was later extended to many buildings and sites throughout the US.

July 6 (Sunday) 11:00 AM (Free) Meet at 18th Street & Tennessee, SF
Dogpatch and Potrero Point walk
With Natalie Wisniewski - SF City Guides
Designated as a San Francisco Historic District, this colorful neighborhood has important ties to many of the city’s past commercial industries. From its historic working class cottages and industrial age relics to the current proliferation of ultra-modern lofts, we’ll explore the past and present of this surprising, eclectic neighborhood in transition. (Muni 22 or 3rd St. train)

July 6 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet in front of One Market Street, SF
Labor History and Market Street Walk
With Chuck Schwartz - SF City Guides
The guide will start with the streetcar strike of 1907, talk about the events that led up to Bloody Thursday, 1934; then, Bloody Thursday and the General Strike and funerals on Market Street; Thomas J Mooney and the So Called Bomb Trials; then walk up Market Street to the Mechanics Monument where the tour ends with stories about the monument.
This Mechanics Monument by sculptor Douglas Tilden became a favorite gathering place for labor because of the unusual way it depicts the nobility of labor rather than captains of industry or military heroes.

July 7 (Monday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Portsmouth Square -Washington Street side near the elevator
Chinatown Walk
By Mae Schoeing - City Guides
Learn about Chinese Labor History in California, discrimination by both governments and unions, sweat shops, housing issues, but throughout, a determination to persist. Walk through the unique hidden alleyways to hear the history of America’s oldest and largest Chinese community. Learn how immigrant labor struggled for fair treatment while mining gold, building railroads, and working in the garment and building trades. Meet inside Portsmouth Square Park in front of Parking Garage Elevators adjacent corner of Walter P. Lum Pl. & Washington St. Public transportation: Muni lines 1, 30, and 45.

July 8 (Tuesday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at the corner of Stockton & Maiden Lane -East of Union Square
Rising Steel: Two Centuries Of San Francisco Architecture
By SF City Guides
Explore downtown architecture from as early as 1891 up to today. We’ll see famous buildings and little-known treasures while discussing the architects and design trends that changed the face of America. It will also look at the skills and creativity of the skilled union workers who built these artifacts. ‘Make no small plans!’ 30 buildings in two hours.

July 9 (Wednesday) 3:00 - 4:30 PM (Free) Meet at SW Corner of Geary and Laguna intersection
Union Sponsored Affordable Housing in San Francisco:
St. Francis Square Cooperative -
Walking tour and history discussion of St. Francis Square Cooperative, 299 affordable 1,2,3 bedroom units with patio or balcony, sponsored by the Longshore and Warehouseman’s Union (ILWU) in 1963. This complex created a new community that mitigated some of the destructive displacement effects of the Western Addition Redevelopment. The buildings and landscaping were designed by renowned architects Robert Marquis, Claude Stoller and Lawrence Halprin. The Square is still home to a number of union leaders, although now evolved to a market rate co-op. Residents and board members Norm Young and Nan Park, will be tour guides. Carol Cuenod, historian of the Square will share vintage photos.
Note: You can learn more about the St. Francis Square Co-op by visiting the San Francisco Main Library, which is hosting the photo exhibit: “St. Francis Square: Fifty Years of Cooperative Living” in the San Francisco History Room, located on the 6th Floor. Photos and memorabilia showing the history and development of the Square; interviews with many original, long-time residents and recent residents.

July 12 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at 75 Folsom St. - Entrance of Hills Brothers Coffee Building
San Francisco Waterfront Labor History Walk
With Lawrence Shoup and Peter O’Driscoll
There are many stories about labor struggles in San Francisco. The walk will focus on the maritime industry from 1835 until the burning of the blue book in 1934. Also, labor historian Larry Shoup will discuss the history of the 1901 transportation workers strike led by the Teamsters which the San Francisco police attempted to, but failed to smash. After an over two month long struggle, the workers emerged victorious, and the Union Labor Party won the election of 1901, taking control of the city. This was the first large city in the United States to have a union labor party in office.

July 12 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at the United Nations Plaza fountain on Market Street - SF Civic Center
Civic Center Tour
With David Giesen - When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?
A 1 hour walking tour of Civic Center followed by an hour of storytelling at a beautiful park/community garden across Grove Street from City Hall.
Telling tales illuminating the travails and successes of labor in San Francisco . . . tales inspired by the huge labor movement of 1377-1381 which took as its anthem John Ball's clever refrain "When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then a gentleman?"
A one hour art walking tour of Civic Center with David Giesen, San Francisco storyteller, will use fact, historic anecdote, and tall tales to reveal the history and labor significance of United Nations Plaza, Hiram Johnson State Office Building, Earl Warren Federal Office Building, the I.O.O.F. building, Herbst Auditorium, War Memorial Opera House, City Hall, and an almost unknown community park and garden opposite the south side of City Hall. The last hour of this histrionic program will transpire in that snug, green garden so Eden-like beside the brick and granite monuments of intentions to create cooperative communities.
Meet at the United Nations Plaza fountain on Market Street. Free.
For more information visit:

July 12 (Saturday) 10:00 AM ($20) Meet at front of Bill Graham Auditorium - 99 Grove, SF Civic Center
WPA Bus Tour
With Gray Brechin & Harvey Smith
Join Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith as they travel through history on a bus tour of sites built by the New Deal’s “alphabet soup” agencies. You will learn about the major contribution government-paid workers made during the depression era’s New Deal programs. Gray and Harvey will discuss the art, architecture and social programs that effectively dealt with the period’s economic meltdown in contrast with today’s response. Please be aware that the tour will take about 5 hours depending on the traffic and the discussions.
Meet at front of Bill Graham Auditorium, between City Hall and the Main Library.
Reservation required:
Send e-mail: or call: (415) 642-8066, and leave your name, number of reservations and phone number (this is to let you know that we have space for your reservation, and also we can get back to you in case of any changes. )
Make reservation, then send check to: LaborFest, P.O. Box 40983, SF, CA 94140
Please bring your own lunch. For those who can’t bring one, we will have some sandwiches and drink on the bus for a small cost. Bus will return to Civic Center.
Tour lasts about 5 hours.

July 15 (Tuesday) 10:00 AM (Free) Potrero Hill Neighborhood House - Southern Heights & DeHaro, SF
Potrero Hill walk
By Paul Cooney – City Guides
Potrero Hill is a diverse neighborhood on one of our many hills that has an interesting history, fascinating characters, vistas to the four winds and great weather. This hill even has a unique brewery and a one-of-a kind church across the street from each other. This neighborhood has amazing architecture. Potrero Hill was and is home to many working class families who made vital contributions to San Francisco’s industrial and maritime heritage.

July 17 (Thursday) 2:00 - 3:30 PM Meet at M Street Car stop at 19th Avenue and Holloway
Park Merced Housing Walk
The Park Merced Housing development in the southwest corner of San Francisco was built in the 1940s by Metropolitan Life Insurance as an investment in housing affordable to working people. It was a visionary mix of high-rise towers and two-story garden apartments within a historic landscape. MetLife sold the complex in the early 1970’s, and now, the current ownership group has decided they want to keep the seismically unsafe high-rise towers but demolish the two story garden apartments. Learn the issues and get an update on legal actions in a walking tour with members of the Park Merced Action Committee, which is fighting to save this vital and vibrant community.

July 20 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon Meet at 240 2nd St - front of the Marine Firemen’s hall near Howard
Irish Labor History Walk
With IBEW electrician Peter O’Driscoll and labor writer and UAW NWU member Larry Shoup.
This tour will focus on the history of San Francisco’s famed waterfront and the role of its Irish and Irish-American workers, leaders, and martyrs. It will also include the cases of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings who faced a labor frame-up in the Preparedness Day Bombing in San Francisco in July 1916, and the successful struggle for their release. The tour will also view the sculpture dedicated to the waterfront strikers of 1934 and other historic markers along the way. The tour will end inside Rincon Center, discussing the historic murals dedicated to the labor movement in San Francisco.

July 20 (Sunday) 2:00 PM (Train Fares & film ticket) Meet at Niles Station - 37001 Mission Blvd, Fremont
All Aboard the Niles Canyon Steam Train and Films
(Click here for more information)

July 20 (Sunday) 5:45 PM ($45) Pier 41 left of Pier 39 near outside ticket booth - Fisherman’s Wharf, SF
Building Bridges and Labor Maritime History
Boat Tour
5:45 PM Boarding, 6:00 PM Departure
Boat leaves promptly at 6:00 PM
Please arrive 30 minutes before the departure time

Tour lasts 3 hours

A complimentary meal will be provided, however, if you are on a special diet, please bring your own food.
(Sorry, we do not take any special orders for food.)

This year, LaborFest’s maritime boat cruise will look at the completed Eastern Span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and the disassembling of the old Eastern span. Labor photographer Joe Blum and others will talk about how the old bridge is being taken down.  We will hear about the labor and maritime history of the San Francisco Bay Area from historians including Harvey Smith, Gray Brechin and others. We will also have trade unionists talking about labor struggles in the Bay Area and the struggle to protect the environment.
We will also have music with labor guests from around the world and a dinner.
To make your reservation:
By E-mail:
Or call: (415) 642-8066
and leave (1) your name, (2) phone number and (3)number of people in your party. (We prefer e-mail.)
We will contact you back to confirm your reservation. Then, you should mail a check ($45/person, children under 6 - free, 6 to 12 $25) to LaborFest, P.O.Box 40983, San Francisco, CA 94140.

We don’t send you tickets, but we will either e-mail or call you back to let you know that we received your check, and as soon as we receive your check, your reservation will be confirmed.
You will get your ticket at the pier before you get on the boat.
We will be gathering west side of Pier 39 (when you face the Pier 39, go toward Pier 41, toward left.)
Please be there at least 30 minutes before the departure time in order to go through paper work.
We expect the tickets to be sold out quickly, so please make your reservation early.

Photos from 2012 boaat tour by Mike Meinyk.

July 23 (Wednesday) 10:00 AM (Free) Plaza on the south side of the CalTrain Station - 4th & King, SF
Mission Bay Hidden Water Walk
By Penny Bradshaw - SF City Guides
From placid waters fished by ancient peoples to the biggest construction project in San Francisco since 1906, the transformation of Mission Bay has been incredible. Gain a unique perspective on the area, and discover a hidden park and a forgotten creek. (If it’s a bay, where’s the water?) See a vibrant housing district featuring a project named for much loved San Francisco labor and community activist, Rich Sorro. Witness the new UCSF campus emerging as well as the city’s new transit infrastructure. Learn the history of working people, who once made this place the West Coast’s most important port.

July 26 (Saturday) 10:00 - 2:00 PM ($15) Meet at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum
New Almaden Quicksilver Mine - Labor History Tour
By special arrangement with Santa Clara County Parks, the tour will emphasize economic and labor history, and will cover the considerable distances between sights by van.
(Click here for more information)

July 26 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet at the fountain in Latham Square  - Telegraph and Broadway
Oakland 1946 General Strike Walk

With Gifford Hartman of the Flying Picket Historical Society. This walk will revisit the sites of Oakland’s “Work Holiday” that began spontaneously with rank-and-file solidarity with the striking - mostly women - retail clerks at Kahn’s and Hastings department stores whose picket line was being broken by scab escorted by police.
Within 24 hours, it involved over 100,000 workers and shut down nearly all commerce in the East Bay for 54 hours. In 1946 there were six general strikes across the U.S.; that year set the all-time record year for strikes and work stoppages. The Oakland “Work Holiday” was the last general strike to ever occur in the U.S.. This walk and history talk will attempt to keep alive the memory of this tradition of community-wide working class solidarity.
Meet at the fountain in Latham Square, in the intersection where Telegraph and Broadway converge across from the Rotunda Building (Oakland City Center/12th St. BART).

July 27 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at The Main Berkeley Post Office at corner of Milvia and Alston 
WPA Berkeley Walk
With Harvey Smith
This walk will explore the “New Deal nexus” in Berkeley that includes Berkeley High School, the Community Theater, Civic Center Park, Post Office art, the old UC Press Building (now being repurposed as the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive), and the old Farm Credit Building. The tour will also include the incredible mosaic mural on the UC Berkeley campus and photographs of the California Folk Music Project, Western Museum Laboratory, WPA prints at the Berkeley Public Library, and WPA projects on the UC Berkeley campus.
For more info: 510-684-0414

July 27 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at ILWU Sculpture at Mission and Steuart, SF
Architecture & Labor Social History of San Francisco -
Walk with Brad Wiedemier, member SEIU UHW & architectural historian.
San Francisco has a rich political and labor history that is also connected to its buildings. In this history-by-the-buildings walk, Brad Wiedemier will outline artifacts and events, and their connections to San Francisco’s past and present.
For more information call (415) 694-3605.

July 27 (Sunday) 3:00 - 9:00 PM (Donation $30) Meet at in front of the First Unitarian Church of San Jose
Farmworker Reality Tour in Watsonville
The First Unitarian church of San Jose located at 160 N 3rd St, San Jose, CA 95112
The firm is at Crystal Bay Farm, 40 Zils Rd., Watsonville, CA 95076

Strawberry Harvesting Demonstration & FW Life Story Followed by Dialogue, Testimonials, & Dinner with Farmworkers at Migrant Labor Camp in Watsonville.
Farmworker housing is typically located in remote areas far from cities and towns, thereby rendering farmworkers invisible to the general public. Farmworker Reality Tours correct this disconnect by allowing participants to meet, dialogue with, and hear the testimonials of farmworkers.
The tours challenge participants to better understand the conditions of Mexican farmworkers in Northern California by sharing in their lives, food, and living quarters.
Limited to the first 25 who register. Children with parents welcome. The first 25 persons to register (pay) will be able to attend. Must register by July 20.
Donation: $30 per Person Check Payable to “Human Agenda”.
Send to: Human Agenda Treasurer, 2175 The Alameda, Suite 103, San Jose, CA 95126. Proceeds go to farm worker families hosting the tour.
Meet: At 3:00 PM in front of the First Unitarian Church of San Jose, 160 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112. We will carpool to Watsonville.
Further Info: Contact Richard Hobbs at 408-460-2999 or