History

A Partnership
This site is a partnership between the South San Francisco Public Library and the South San Francisco Historical Society for the purpose of preserving and making available to the community information and artifacts from South San Francisco's past.
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The Grand Avenue Library houses the South San Francisco History Room devoted to the historical development and current events in South San Francisco.  The Local History Collection was established in 1967 and is located downstairs at Grand Avenue Branch Library, 306 Walnut Avenue.  The collection includes photographs, building and genealogical resources, pamphlets, yearbooks, oral history tapes, maps and many other documents.

The Historical Society is a non-profit organization established in 1980 for all those interested in the history and culture of South San Francisco.

It was originally formed to advocate for the historically significant architecture in the downtown Grand Avenue corridor and for the preservation of landmarks. The Society seeks to achieve this through active support and participation in community planning.Today we now have Sign Hill as a Registered National Landmark, Sidewalk of Names, Magnolia Plaza community room, the Historic Preservation Ordinance, and some 25 historic resources protected against needless destruction. 

A Resident's Reflection
on South San Francisco
  


When he’s not in San Francisco operating SFMUNI’s 143 year old cable car system, you can find local resident Nizar Elmashni, known as “Niz” by his family and friends, shooting hoops at Westborough Park. These are his reflections on South San Francisco. 

Nizar Nick Elmashni
When did you move to South San Francisco?
My family owned a liquor and wine shop in San Francisco while South San Francisco served as our home base. Very proud to say that I was born in South San Francisco, so I am a true native, 30 years strong! 
 
What brought you to South San Francisco? 

My parents moved here from Palestine in 1977 to escape the war. They wanted to find a nice, quiet family-oriented location and neighborhood. When they happened upon Westborough in South San Francisco, it all just clicked for them. 



What is one of your favorite memories of South San Francisco?
Growing up, my brothers and friends and I loved playing basketball at Westborough Park since it was so close to our house. Another memory is literally eating Little Lucca sandwiches on a daily basis. Even today as a grown man I can barely eat half of their sandwiches! Perfect for ballers on budget...

What is one piece of history that you think most people don’t know about when it comes to South San Francisco?
I have always considered South San Francisco as a special gem in the Bay Area. This City is on the cutting edge, but with a hometown, mom n’ pop vibe. Don’t know too many places that can say this. There’s a true celebration of old and new which keeps everyone happy (my parents included). 

What do you think is the “best kept secret” of South San Francisco? 
I love how close it is to literally everything. Being in the middle of the Bay Area, we are minutes away from San Francisco, Burlingame, Silicon Valley and most importantly we are 5 mins away from SFO. Let me say that again, we are 5 mins away from SFO! Personally, that is my favorite thing about SSF.

What is your favorite thing to do in South San Francisco?

I have a few favorites. I enjoy playing basketball at Westborough Park, taking my niece and nephew to Buri Buri Park. And, I recently discovered Paris Baguette in the new Westborough Square (thanks, by the way, for revamping the plaza, we really needed it). They make fresh pastries daily and have a wide variety to choose from, perfect for breakfast and coffee. One request: we need an ice cream or yogurt shop in town, STAT!



What do you want other people to know about South San Francisco?
It's super convenient without the ridiculous San Francisco rents!