Press Release from…

The Commonwealth Club of California

595 Market Street ¨ San Francisco, CA 94105

                                                                                           Contact:  Riki Rafner, 415.597.6712


For Immediate Release



“Historic San Francisco Walking Tours”


                                                            Waterfront Walk:

Date: Thursday October 16th

Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2-4:30 p.m. tour

            Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members

Tickets must be purchased in advance at: OR (415) 597-6705

Tour operates rain or shine


 Other Upcoming Historic San Francisco Walks:

                                                September 4: Russian Hill

                                                September 23: Nob Hill

                                                October 2: Chinatown

                                                October 23: Downtown Architecture

                                                November 5: Waterfront Walk

                                                November 19: Waterfront Walk

                                                December 11: Waterfront Walk     



(San Francisco, August 18, 2014) The Commonwealth Club is proud to continue its tradition of walking tours of historic San Francisco by offering a new tour of the city’s ever changing waterfront. Guide Rick Evans, who was recently named one of Travel + Leisure’s World’s Greatest Tour Guides, will lead the Waterfront Walk on Thursday October 16th beginning at 2 p.m.  Evans will explore the historic sites of the waterfront neighborhood where the Commonwealth Club’s new headquarters are scheduled to open in 2016.  Sites to be showcased include The Audiffred Building which is home to the restaurant Boulevard, the historic Anton Refregier murals in the Rincon Annex Post Office, and the One Market Building. Evans will also share stories of the entrepreneurs, artists and labor organizers who helped create what is now a dynamic and revitalized neighborhood.


“We are thrilled that historian Rick Evans is leading these walking tours for the community. They are designed to showcase what makes San Francisco neighborhoods so unique, and to teach locals some of the lesser known facts of our city’s history. For example, people are often surprised to find that California’s first public school was in Chinatown” says Kristina Nemeth, Director of the Commonwealth Club’s highly popular educational travel programs.


The Club closed escrow on the historic building at 110 Embarcadero on October 24, 2012.  After holding onto this valuable property for 79 years, the Accornero family graciously and enthusiastically agreed to sell it to The Commonwealth Club.  Stated Giulio Accornero at a private ceremony in which the keys to the building were officially handed over to Dr. Gloria Duffy, “My father was an Italian immigrant who came to this county in 1917 with nothing and without even knowing English. He would be a very proud man today. This building has been an integral part of the Accornero Family. My parents started the Sonoma Hills Wine Company here in 1933.  My brother and I literally grew up in the building and my father suffered a heart attack and died in my arms on this very floor. This has been our home for more than a lifetime but now it is your home as you begin a new era. We are very proud to entrust our building to you because The Commonwealth Club is a San Francisco tradition and plays a vital role in creating the public dialogue needed to maintain and preserve our democracy.  My wife, Susan and I thank you for our membership in the club and we look forward to attending many of your programs in the future. We are very grateful.”


The Club’s new home, like The Club itself, also played a significant role in San Francisco’s history as part of the development of the waterfront and the labor movement.  In the 1930’s, before the Accornero family purchased it, it belonged to the International Longshoremen’s Association, the organization led by Harry Bridges.  This location was the site of the San Francisco General Strike of 1934 and in the Pacific Coast Dock Strike.  It soon became the backdrop for the events of San Francisco’s notorious “Bloody Thursday” that took place in July of 1934, during which two striking dockworkers were killed.  The Club intends to honor this San Francisco history by preserving the building’s Steuart Street façade and by presenting information on the events that took place at the noteworthy setting.


The Club is also planning a “green” retrofit of the two-story building to make efficient use of energy and other resources. It is striving to create a comfortable and welcoming environment for all members and the public, while preserving the history of this building and the neighborhood. Its future home is adjacent to the Audiffred Building, built in 1889, the oldest surviving building on San Francisco’s waterfront.


The Commonwealth Club’s tours of historic San Francisco highlight the city’s most famous buildings and landmarks, along with lesser known locations including rooftop gardens and unique open spaces. Rick Evans’ previous tours showcased the architecture and historical sites of North Beach, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Chinatown, and the Financial District.


Historian and guide Rick Evans began offering tours of San Francisco to help jumpstart research for a book on San Francisco’s architecture. The book is still a work in progress, but his one-of-a- kind tours have earned high praise from publications ranging from Travel + Leisure, to Budget Travel, and travel sites including TripAdvisor. Rick Evans has explored San Francisco like few others and offers an interesting and offbeat take on the city’s architecture, history and neighborhoods.


Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s premier public affairs forum, with more than 20,000 members.  Based in San Francisco and San Jose, the Club hosts over 450 speeches, debates and discussions each year on issues of regional, national and international significance.  The Club sponsors public policy projects on issues ranging from structural reform of state government to climate change and energy policy.  At least half a million people hear The Commonwealth Club’s weekly radio broadcasts on more than 230 stations across the country.  The Club also podcasts its programs and televises them on the California Channel, YouTube, and For the past century, The Club has fostered free speech and civic dialogue on wide-ranging topics, addressing key issues in society, culture, politics, the economy and more. For more information, visit


#   #   #