San Francisco Landmarks

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San Francisco Landmark #291
Japanese YWCA/Issei Women’s Building
1830 Sutter Street
Built 1932

Founded by Issei (immigrant generation) women in 1912 because Japanese women were barred from using the main San Francisco YWCA, the San Francisco Japanese YWCA was the first independent Japanese YWCA in the United States.

The building, derived from traditional Japanese architecture, is one of more than thirty YWCA buildings designed by Julia Morgan.

During WWII, when people of Japanese ancestry were removed from the niighborhood and incarcerated. From 1942 until 1959, the San Francisco chapter of the Committee on Racial Equality (CORE) and was located here. advancing African American and gay civil rights. In 1943, Bayard Rustin led a seven-week course here and he visited Manzanar.

In 1954, the first convention of the Mattachine Society convened here.

The Japanese YWCA is also National Register Listing 100004868.

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