The Port of San Francisco lies on the western edge of the San Francisco Bay near the Golden Gate. It has been called one of the three great natural harbors in the World, but it took two long centuries for navigators from Spain and England to find the Anchorage originally called Yerba Buena. A port, as was said in its Early days, in which all the fleets of the world could find anchorage. The larger waterfront area extends from the anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge, along the Marina district, all the way around the north and east shores of the city of San Francisco including Fisherman's Wharf and the Embarcadero, and southward to the city line just beyond Candlestick Point. The Port of San Francisco is currently a semi-independent organization run by a five-member commission, appointed by the mayor and approved by the Board of Supervisors.
The port area under the commission's control comprises nearly eight miles of waterfront lands, commercial real estate and maritime piers from Hyde Street on the north to India Basin in the southeast. The list of landmarks under port control include Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, the Ferry Building, AT&T Park (formerly SBC Park and Pacific Bell Park), located next to China Basin and Pier 70 at Potrero Point. Huge covered piers on piles jut out into San Francisco bay along much of The Waterfront, bordered by the Embarcadero roadway.
The San Francisco Ferry Building was built by the Harbor Commission for less than one million dollars and quickly became one of the most profitable investments in state history. It survived the 1906 earthquake with little damage. In the 1920s, fifty million passengers a year and a great number of automobiles used the ferries. On either side of the ferry slips, bay and river steamers arrived and departed with passengers and produce to and from the Sacramento- and San Joaquin Valleys. Beyond were wharves for regular coastal steamers bound for Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, British Columbia, Alaska, and ships bound for Hawaii, Central and South America and the Pacific Rim.