The Past, Present, and Future of San Francisco | Mechanics' Institute

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The Past, Present, and Future of San Francisco
with Former Mayor Willie Brown Jr. and John King

Join Willie L. Brown, Jr., former two-term Mayor of San Francisco and Speaker of the California State Assembly, in conversation with Pulitzer Prize finalist and San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King on the past, present, and future of San Francisco. The discussion will explore San Francisco’s legacy as “The Golden City,” “Baghdad by the Bay,” and “The Paris of the West”. The duo will share their hopes for the city as it continues to combat the “doom loop” narrative, and the importance of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area as the forefront of the world's progress, problems, and solutions.

This discussion is part of Mechanics' Institute's 170th Anniversary Open House celebration.

 

 

 

 

 

Two-term Mayor of San Francisco, legendary Speaker of the California State Assembly, and widely regarded as the most influential African-American politician of the late twentieth century, Willie L. Brown, Jr., has been at the center of California politics, government, and civic life for an astonishing four decades.  His career spans the American Presidency from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush, and he’s worked with every California Governor from Pat Brown to Arnold Schwarzenegger.  From civil rights to education reform, tax policy, economic development, health care, international trade, domestic partnerships, and affirmative action, he’s left his imprimatur on every aspect of politics and public policy in the Golden State.  As Mayor of California’s most cosmopolitan city, he refurbished and rebuilt the nation’s busiest transit system, pioneered the use of bond measures to build affordable housing, created a model juvenile justice system, and paved the way for a second campus of the University of California, San Francisco, to serve as the anchor of a new development that will position the City as a center for the burgeoning field of biotechnology.  Today, he heads the Willie L. Brown, Jr., Institute on Politics and Public Service, where this acknowledged master of the art of politics shares his knowledge and skills with a new generation of California leaders.

John King is urban design critic at the San Francisco Chronicle and a two-time Pulitzer finalist, the author of two guidebooks to San Francisco architecture, and an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. His most recent book, Portal: San Francisco's Ferry Building and the Reinvention of American Cities, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. He lives in Berkeley, California.

 

ABOUT THE OPEN HOUSE

Founded in 1854, Mechanics' Institute is celebrating its 170th anniversary with an all day activation of our historic library, events space, and chess room. All are welcome to explore this literary, arts, and cultural jewel of downtown San Francisco through building tours, scavenger hunts, and library pop-ups throughout the day. Special events include a family story hour, discussions with the leading voices of the Bay Area on the past, present, and future of San Francisco, and a Bastille Day jazz concert with Le Jazz Hot Quartet. The full open house schedule is available below.

Attendees are welcome to register for any and all of the events listed below. Please use individual ticket options to register for the events you would like to attend. While we always welcome same-day and drop-in attendance, only tickets purchased prior to each event will guarantee admission. Mechanics' Institute members receive discounted tickets for all Open House events!

Thank you to our donors Harlan Records and Semmifreddi's!

Open House Schedule

11:00 am: Family Book Fair

12:15 pm: Family Story Hour (no registration required)

1:00 pm: Therese Poletti - The Building (and Re-Building) of San Francisco (sold out)

2:00 pm: Building Tour

3:00 pm: Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr. and John King on the Past, Present, and Future of San Francisco

4:00 pm: Introductory Chess Lesson

5:00 pm: Happy Hour

6:00 pm: Bastille Day Jazz Concert with Le Jazz Hot Quartet

Activities

Admission: 
Members of Mechanics' Institute $5
Non-Member/Public $15
Register now ›
Location: 
2nd Floor Library
Questions?
Programs & Events - 415-393-0116
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0116.
 

 

Future Activities

Jul 18 - 5:30 pm

Tech Support Hour
Get tech support from our Community Tech Network Volunteers!

Jul 19 - 12:00 pm

Tech Support Hour
Get tech support from our Community Tech Network Volunteers!

Jul 20 - 11:00 am

Tech Support Hour
Get tech support from our Community Tech Network Volunteers!

Jul 25 - 5:30 pm

Tech Support Hour
Get tech support from our Community Tech Network Volunteers!

Jul 26 - 12:00 pm

Tech Support Hour
Get tech support from our Community Tech Network Volunteers!