Jackson Square is bounded by Pacific Avenue and Broadway street east of Montgomery Street, Washington Street on the south, Columbus Avenue on the west and Battery Street on the east with any number of nearby satellite buildings and residents outside the bounds that truly belong to the neighborhood. Jackson Square encompasses the former and notorious Barbary Coast.
Jackson Square Historic District retains its character as one of the oldest commercial neighborhoods in San Francisco. Though in some cases extensively altered during seismic retrofit, the collection of three-story brick buildings found on the narrow streets and alleys offer a bright glimpse into the California Gold Rush that gave San Francisco its start. Buildings on the north side of Jackson between Montgomery and Sansome retain cast iron shutters as protection against fire.
Walking tours regularly assemble for the sights and recounting of history, even as the neighborhood changes with dramatic new development and commercial instability fueled by high rents. With few vacancies, there is plenty of evidence of neighborhood vitality. With 25 furniture and decorative art galleries, advertising agencies, architects and industrial or graphic designers still survive in the neighborhood, and law firms have offices in many of the prime locations. Watering holes and restaurants and clubs dot the streets and alleys, and many of these are historic institutions in themselves.