clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

San Francisco’s military monuments and memorials, mapped

Remembering those who died in service

View as Map

From the World War II West Coast Memorial that pays tribute to missing solders to the recently dedicated octagonal-shaped Veterans Memorial at Civic Center, San Francisco has much to offer for those who want to pay their respects to the U.S. military. Check out this map featuring 12 memorials and monuments where you can pay your respects and remember those who severed.

Did Curbed SF miss any notable monuments or memorials? Leave a comment or email us at out tip line.

Read More

War Memorial Opera House

Copy Link

Finished in 1932, the War Memorial Opera House is noted for being one of the last Beaux-Arts structures finished in the United States. Its Doric order architecture of the Roman variety was used to give off a sober aesthetic in order to commemorate those who served and died in World War I. The interior's high barrel vaulted and coffered ceilings are one of the building's most awe-inspiring highlights. Fun facts: The San Francisco Symphony performed here from 1932 to 1980, prior to Davies' completion, and it was used in the acclaimed movie Steve Jobs.

A post shared by Matthew Conroy (@mattmattroy) on

San Francisco Veterans Memorial

Copy Link

Nestled in between the War Memorial and Opera House across from City Hall, this contemporary, stone octagon memorial was dedicated in 2014. In the center of the octagonal lawn in the Memorial Court at Civic Center, it features a poem by Archibald MacLeish, "The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak," which in part reads: "The young dead soldiers do not speak ... They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us."

War Memorial Veterans Building

Copy Link

Located next to the War Memorial Opera House, a plaque honoring the San Francisco servicemen killed in the Vietnam War was unveiled in 2016. Designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., the American architect who also created San Francisco City Hall, this circa-1932 cultural landmark is one of the last Beaux-Arts structures built in the country.

Holocaust Memorial

Copy Link

Though the memorial has been vandalized over the years (e.g., graffiti of swastikas and splashes of red paint), it still stands in the face of fear and hate. Artist George Segal used white painted bronze to create the memorial featuring a series of bodies trapped within a barbed-wire fence. In addition to many Jews who were primarily imprisoned and killed inside the Nazi camps, LGBT people and overseas soldiers were also executed inside the camps.

A post shared by Todd Nelson (@trojan_fox) on

Fort Mason General's Residence

Copy Link

Primarily used today as a wedding venue, the Fort Mason General's Residence once housed exactly just that: It's where the Army general lived when Fort Mason was an active military base. Recently renovated, the residence’s ballroom, dining room, lounge, and foyer have all been revamped.

A post shared by Rosemarie (@r_mckeon) on

Fort Mason

Copy Link

A former United States Army post, Fort Mason was active for more than 100 years. It was initially used as a coastal defense site, then as a military port facility during World War II. Today it is used as an event space, hosting galas galore and an excessive amount of food parties.

Presidio Army bunkers at Fort Scott

Copy Link

Fort Scott closed in 1956. But the old army batteries remain. The long-abandoned, bunker-like structures, where massive guns aimed at the bay, were turned into an art gallery in 2016. Most notable, it held Home Land Security, an exhibit that featured artists from 11 different countries, featuring mediums from sculptures to videos to live performance, each exploring themes like security, ideology, conflict, and other military-minded artifacts.

SS Jeremiah O'Brien

Copy Link

A Liberty ship built during World War II and christened for American Revolutionary War captain Jeremiah O'Brien, the SS Jeremiah O'Brien was part of the armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day. It's now open to the public open to the public, where visitors can tour the engine room, bridge, and cargo holds.

World War II West Coast Memorial

Copy Link

Dedicated in 1960, the memorial is dedicated to missing servicepersons (soldiers, sailors, et al.) during World War II. The structure is a curved wall of granite flanking a grove of Monterey pine and cypress. One of the two bas-reliefs featured on it depicts two constellations: Pegasus (the winged horse) and Pisces (the fish), which are meant to denote the stars mariners used for guidance.

Photo via NPS.gov

USS San Francisco Memorial

Copy Link

Noted as one of the most decorated ships of World War II, earning 17 battle stars, the USS San Francisco, a New Orleans-class cruiser, was heavily damaged during the Battle of Guadalcanal. Dismantled in 1959 and sold for scrap metal, this piece of shell-riddled flag bridge wing stands as a memorial to the former glory.

A post shared by Caity Rogowski (@caityrogo) on

San Francisco National Cemetery

Copy Link

Though typically thought of during Memorial Day, this is an excellent way to pay your respects while seeing a richly textured part of San Francisco's history. Per the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Office, "The cemetery is enclosed with a stone wall and slopes down a hill that today frames a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Its original ornamental cast-iron entrance gates are present but have been unused since the entrance was relocated. Tall eucalyptus trees further enclose the cemetery. The lodge and rostrum date to the 1920s and reflect the Spanish Revival styling introduced to several western cemeteries."

San Francisco National Cemetery.
San Francisco National Cemetery.
Photo by Shutterstock

Korean War Memorial

Copy Link

Built by the Korean War Memorial Foundation and the Presidio Trust, the circa-2016 memorial can be found just outside San Francisco National Cemetery.

Photo via Presidio.gov

Loading comments...

War Memorial Opera House

Finished in 1932, the War Memorial Opera House is noted for being one of the last Beaux-Arts structures finished in the United States. Its Doric order architecture of the Roman variety was used to give off a sober aesthetic in order to commemorate those who served and died in World War I. The interior's high barrel vaulted and coffered ceilings are one of the building's most awe-inspiring highlights. Fun facts: The San Francisco Symphony performed here from 1932 to 1980, prior to Davies' completion, and it was used in the acclaimed movie Steve Jobs.

A post shared by Matthew Conroy (@mattmattroy) on

San Francisco Veterans Memorial

Nestled in between the War Memorial and Opera House across from City Hall, this contemporary, stone octagon memorial was dedicated in 2014. In the center of the octagonal lawn in the Memorial Court at Civic Center, it features a poem by Archibald MacLeish, "The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak," which in part reads: "The young dead soldiers do not speak ... They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us."

War Memorial Veterans Building

Located next to the War Memorial Opera House, a plaque honoring the San Francisco servicemen killed in the Vietnam War was unveiled in 2016. Designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., the American architect who also created San Francisco City Hall, this circa-1932 cultural landmark is one of the last Beaux-Arts structures built in the country.

Holocaust Memorial

Though the memorial has been vandalized over the years (e.g., graffiti of swastikas and splashes of red paint), it still stands in the face of fear and hate. Artist George Segal used white painted bronze to create the memorial featuring a series of bodies trapped within a barbed-wire fence. In addition to many Jews who were primarily imprisoned and killed inside the Nazi camps, LGBT people and overseas soldiers were also executed inside the camps.

A post shared by Todd Nelson (@trojan_fox) on

Fort Mason General's Residence

Primarily used today as a wedding venue, the Fort Mason General's Residence once housed exactly just that: It's where the Army general lived when Fort Mason was an active military base. Recently renovated, the residence’s ballroom, dining room, lounge, and foyer have all been revamped.

A post shared by Rosemarie (@r_mckeon) on

Fort Mason

A former United States Army post, Fort Mason was active for more than 100 years. It was initially used as a coastal defense site, then as a military port facility during World War II. Today it is used as an event space, hosting galas galore and an excessive amount of food parties.

Presidio Army bunkers at Fort Scott

Fort Scott closed in 1956. But the old army batteries remain. The long-abandoned, bunker-like structures, where massive guns aimed at the bay, were turned into an art gallery in 2016. Most notable, it held Home Land Security, an exhibit that featured artists from 11 different countries, featuring mediums from sculptures to videos to live performance, each exploring themes like security, ideology, conflict, and other military-minded artifacts.

SS Jeremiah O'Brien

A Liberty ship built during World War II and christened for American Revolutionary War captain Jeremiah O'Brien, the SS Jeremiah O'Brien was part of the armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day. It's now open to the public open to the public, where visitors can tour the engine room, bridge, and cargo holds.

World War II West Coast Memorial

Photo via NPS.gov

Dedicated in 1960, the memorial is dedicated to missing servicepersons (soldiers, sailors, et al.) during World War II. The structure is a curved wall of granite flanking a grove of Monterey pine and cypress. One of the two bas-reliefs featured on it depicts two constellations: Pegasus (the winged horse) and Pisces (the fish), which are meant to denote the stars mariners used for guidance.

Photo via NPS.gov

USS San Francisco Memorial

Noted as one of the most decorated ships of World War II, earning 17 battle stars, the USS San Francisco, a New Orleans-class cruiser, was heavily damaged during the Battle of Guadalcanal. Dismantled in 1959 and sold for scrap metal, this piece of shell-riddled flag bridge wing stands as a memorial to the former glory.

A post shared by Caity Rogowski (@caityrogo) on

San Francisco National Cemetery

San Francisco National Cemetery.
San Francisco National Cemetery.
Photo by Shutterstock

Though typically thought of during Memorial Day, this is an excellent way to pay your respects while seeing a richly textured part of San Francisco's history. Per the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Office, "The cemetery is enclosed with a stone wall and slopes down a hill that today frames a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Its original ornamental cast-iron entrance gates are present but have been unused since the entrance was relocated. Tall eucalyptus trees further enclose the cemetery. The lodge and rostrum date to the 1920s and reflect the Spanish Revival styling introduced to several western cemeteries."

San Francisco National Cemetery.
San Francisco National Cemetery.
Photo by Shutterstock

Korean War Memorial

Photo via Presidio.gov

Built by the Korean War Memorial Foundation and the Presidio Trust, the circa-2016 memorial can be found just outside San Francisco National Cemetery.

Photo via Presidio.gov