Ghirardelli Square is a landmark with shops and restaurants in the Fisherman's Wharf area. A portion of the area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Pioneer Woolen Mills and D. Ghirardelli Company.
In 1893, Domingo Ghirardelli purchased the entire city block in order to make it into the headquarters of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. In the early 1960s, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was bought by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company which moved the headquarters off-site to San Leandro and put the square up for sale.
San Franciscan William Roth and his mother bought the land in 1962 to prevent the square from being replaced with an apartment building. The Roths hired landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and the firm Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons to convert the square and its historic brick structures to an integrated restaurant and retail complex, the first major adaptive re-use project in the United States. It opened in 1964. In order to preserve Ghirardelli Square for future generations, the Pioneer Woolen Mills and D. Ghirardelli Company was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Ghirardelli Square is undergoing an extensive renovation. Many of the specialty shops have closed or moved to other locations (inside or outside the square). In the main plaza there are new shops and restaurants. Notably, Gary Danko will soon open a second restaurant within walking distance of his original San Francisco eatery. This new restaurant will be in the Mustard Building along with the Fairmont Heritage Place.