Shaping San Francisco


The Hidden Histories of Fort Mason, Black Point and the North Shore

Date and Time: Saturday May 27, Noon
Duration: Two hours, no intermission
Location: The Chapel (box-office check in only)

Ticket Information

General Admission: $13


Artist Info

(site for calendar of public Talks, walks, and bike tours, as well as extensive oral history interviews)

(site for the digital archive of San Francisco on which most of our tour material is based)

Work Sample

Labor history tour:

Food history tour:


For this special San Francisco International Arts Festival tour, we begin in the shadow of the Fontana Towers at Van Ness and Bay and will conclude at the Fort Mason gates. During our excursion we’ll traverse the grounds of the old military base and discover histories of farms, soldiers, waterways, and World’s Fairs. A lost lagoon, a misaligned alley, a slain hero, and an apparent suicide highlight a stroll through the old World’s Fairgrounds and today’s landfilled multi-million dollar neighborhoods… Chris Carlsson will regale you with overlooked stories that still shape the San Francisco of today.


Chris Carlsson’s tours are based on two decades of grassroots historical research and participation. He is co-founder and co-director of Shaping San Francisco, and chief curator of the archive of San Francisco history at He regularly conducts bicycling and walking tours on topics ranging from labor and ecological history, to transit, food, public art, and dissent. Carlsson has written two books, including a novel set in a future “post-economic” San Francisco (After the Deluge, Full Enjoyments Books: 2004), and edited six books including three “Reclaiming San Francisco” collections with the venerable City Lights Books.
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