Union Square is a 2.6-acre public plaza bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets in San Francisco, California. “Union Square” also refers to the central shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds the plaza for several blocks. Our hotel was on Post, so it was a short walk to the Square and the cable car stops. The area got its name because it was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the American Civil War, earning its designation as a California Historical Landmark. Today, this one-block plaza and surrounding area is one of the largest collections of department stores, upscale boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and beauty salons in the United States, making Union Square a major tourist destination.
The Dewey Monument is a memorial statue located in the middle of Union Square. The monument was named after Spanishâ€“American War hero Admiral George Dewey. In 1901, President William McKinley visited San Francisco to break ground for the monument. Six months later McKinley was assassinated and was succeeded by his Theodore Roosevelt. On May 14, 1903, Roosevelt officially dedicated the monument, which “commemorates the victory of Admiral George Dewey and the American fleet over Spanish forces at Manila Bay, the Philippines, on May 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War” and also is a tribute to the sailors of the US Navy.The Goddess of Victory statue atop the Dewey Monument.
Beginning in 2009, painted heart sculptures from the Hearts in San Francisco public art installation have been installed in each of the four corners of the square. Each year, the sculptures are auctioned off to benefit the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation and new sculptures painted by various artists are installed in their place. Many of the sculptures are permanently relocated to various other locations throughout the city.