Past to Present: A San Francisco Neighborhood from the Gold Rush to Today

Available by reservation

ADMISSION: All K–12 schools free with $25 deposit

Filled with local history, evocative architecture, and symbolism, The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s building is a work of contemporary art in itself. A former Pacific Gas and Electric Power Substation, The CJM’s building embodies the history and innovation of San Francisco. Explore the city's past through stories mined from The Museum building, the Gold Rush, the 1906 earthquake, immigration, and the changes to San Francisco’s cultural communities over time.

Appropriate for third and fourth Grades

Interactive, 90-minute tours integrate primary sources and hands-on activities, and align with third and fourth grade social studies curriculum areas.


All K–12 schools free with $25 deposit

Group size is limited to 22 students. We recommend 3 free chaperones per group of 22. We can accommodate multiple groups simultaneously.


Adventures in Architecture tours are available year-round, and are offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, beginning as early as 9:30am.


Reservations are required for school tour groups, and must be made a minimum of two weeks in advance of your tour.


Need help?

Reservations can be made online, or by calling 415.655.7857, or by emailing


Prepare for your tour with this Teacher Resource Guide, available online or as a downloadable PDF, which explores the impact of three historic moments on our neighborhood and offers a starting point for teachers and students to examine primary sources as one way of understanding history.


School and Teacher Programs are made possible by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Leadership support comes from Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and The Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund. Patron support is provided by The Bavar Family Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation, Norman Berkman, California Arts Council, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Toole Family Charitable Foundation, and Ullendorff Memorial Foundation.