San Francisco Landmarks

San Francisco Landmark #120: Saint Joseph’s Church 1 June 2003
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San Francisco Landmark #120
Saint Joseph's Church, Parish Hall and Rectory
1401 Howard Street At 10th Street
Built 1913

Saint Joseph's Church, Parish Hall and Rectory have been vacant since they were damaged by the Loma Prieta Earthquake on 17 October 1989, but things are looking up for the neighborhood. The new headquarters of Twitter, Inc. is located just two blocks from Saint Joseph's Church.

Saint Joseph's Church is also National Register Listing #82002250.

The following is adapted from San Francisco Planning Commission Resolution No. 8591 dated 22 July 1980.

St. Joseph's church and parish were founded in 1861 by Rev. Hugh Gallagher, under the direction of California's first Archbishop, Joseph Alemany. The congregation outgrew the first frame structure, which was followed in 1865 by a structure which was destroyed in the 1906 fire. The cornerstone of the present Neo-Romanesque church, designed by architect John Foley, was laid in April 1913.

The church founded two parochial schools in 1867 - one for boys and one for girls - and has had educational facilities at the site since that time. The present parish hall, built in 1906, once served as both the church and school. The Young Men's Institute, a fraternal organization, was founded here in 1883, and was expanded into chapters nationally.

St. Joseph's Church and complex has had important meaning to many ethnic groups in the city, not just to its South of Market parishioners. The complex reflects the many social and economic changes in the city, and is an example of a church coping with these conditions, to remain a vital force in the city.

From its originally predominantly Irish parishioners, the Church now [1980] serves a primarily Filipino parish, the largest in the United States. In April, 1979, the Image of the Santo Niño de Cebu, the Philippines' patron saint, was enthroned in the church.

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