The San Francisco Bay Area Portal
The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world with 8.80 million people.
The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500
companies in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area
, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal
politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity
. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, after the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area
and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income
and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States
. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance
, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties. (more...)
Stanford Memorial Church
is located at the center of the Stanford University
campus in Stanford, California
, United States. It was built during the American Renaissance
by Jane Stanford
as a memorial to her husband Leland
. Designed by architect Charles A. Coolidge
, a protégé of Henry Hobson Richardson
, the church has been called "the University's architectural crown jewel".
Designs for the church were submitted to Jane Stanford and the university trustees in 1898, and it was dedicated in 1903. The building is Romanesque in form and Byzantine in its details, inspired by churches in the region of Venice and, especially, Ravenna. Its stained glass windows and extensive mosaics are based on religious paintings the Stanfords admired in Europe. The church has four pipe organs, which allow musicians to produce many styles of organ music. Stanford Memorial Church has withstood two major earthquakes, in 1906 and 1989, and was extensively renovated after each.
Stanford Memorial Church was the earliest and has been "among the most prominent" non-denominational churches on the West Coast of the United States. Since its dedication in 1903, the church's goal has been to serve the spiritual needs of the university in a non-sectarian way. The church's first chaplain, David Charles Gardner, began a tradition of leadership which has guided the development of Stanford University's spiritual, ethical, and academic relation to religion. The church's chaplains were instrumental in the founding of Stanford's religious studies department, moving Stanford from a "completely secular university" at the middle of the century to "the renaissance of faith and learning at Stanford" in the late 1960s, when the study of religion at the university focused on social and ethical issues like race and the Vietnam War. (more...)
George Edward Crothers
(May 27, 1870 - May 16, 1957) was one of the first students at Stanford University
and was instrumental in putting the university on a solid legal and financial footing following the deaths of its founders, Leland
and Jane Stanford
. He served as a member of Stanford's board of trustees and as a California superior court
judge. His monetary gifts to his alma mater
made possible the construction of two student residences on the Stanford campus--one named for himself, the other dedicated to the memory of his mother. (more...)
Walnut Creek is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, about 16 miles (26 kilometres) east of the city of Oakland. With a total estimated population of 67,673, Walnut Creek serves as a hub for its neighboring cities because of its location at the junction of the highways from Sacramento and San Jose (I-680) and San Francisco/Oakland (SR-24) and its accessibility by BART. Its active downtown neighborhood features hundred-year-old buildings and extensive high-end retail establishments, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Walnut Creek owns more open space per capita than any other community in the state of California. In 1974, Walnut Creek voters approved a $6.7 million bond measure that allowed the city to purchase 1,800 acres (730 ha) of undeveloped hillsides, ridge lines, and park sites. Walnut Creek owns parts of Lime Ridge Open Space, Shell Ridge Open Space, Acalanes Ridge Open Space, and Sugarloaf Open Space. (more...)
Recently in the Bay Area
- The Berkeley City Council declares Berkeley a "sanctuary city" for recreational cannabis sales, prohibiting the use of city resources to assist in enforcing federal marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis sales, the first city in California to do so 
- Marin County is ranked worst among all California counties in racial disparity, according to Race Counts and Advancement Project California, with a spokesperson for the groups stating, "We were surprised, and were not expecting Marin to be the number-one county in terms of disparity...It's not that progressive counties have it all figured out" 
- Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announces that her office will review thousands of marijuana convictions, dating back to 1974, for possible dismissal under Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, guidelines, following closely after San Francisco announced a similar plan (above) 
- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf alerts city residents to imminent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, earning criticism from some federal authorities. She responds, "I was sharing information in a way that was legal and was not obstructing justice, and it was an opportunity to ensure that people were aware of their rights." 
- Two studies conclude that the housing crisis in the Bay Area and California is reaching emergency proportions, with one study estimating that two counties alone, Santa Clara and Alameda, will need more than 50,000 new homes to meet the demand for affordable housing for lower-income residents, while homelessness increased by 36% in Alameda County from 2016-2017
- The father of some of the ten children that were removed from a home in Fairfield, where they were living in conditions of severe neglect and abuse, is arrested and booked on seven counts of torture and nine counts of felony child abuse 
- A nine-story electronic sculpture, "Day for Night", created by artist Jim Campbell, that features low resolution, abstract videos of San Francisco, debuts at the top of Salesforce Tower 
- San Francisco voters pass an ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, due in part to concerns that candy-flavored products may lure teenagers into nicotine addiction 
- Santa Clara County voters remove Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Aaron Persky, who came to national attention in 2016 when he sentenced a Stanford University student to just six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman 
- London Breed (pictured) is elected Mayor of San Francisco in a special election, defeating close rival Mark Leno 
- Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and former president and COO Ramesh Balwani are indicted on charges of wire fraud, accused of carrying out a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors, doctors and patients. Theranos announced that Holmes would resign as CEO, but retain her position as chairwoman of the board 
- Hanabiko "Koko", a female western lowland gorilla born at the San Francisco Zoo, who was known for having learned a large number of hand signs from a modified version of American Sign Language. dies at her home in Woodside, California 
The Bay Area by year
Selected historical image
Steamship at the San Francisco waterfront, 1876
image credit: LLOYD, B. E.
Did you know...
• ... that filmmaker Emiko Omori (pictured, left, with Victor Wong) began her career in 1968 at KQED, becoming one of the first camerawomen to work in news documentaries?
• ... that Fisher Creek is tributary to the largest freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County, Laguna Seca, a seasonal lake important to groundwater recharge and migratory birds?
• ... that San Francisco based architect Jack Hillmer is known for his meticulously hand-crafted Modernist homes built from redwood, and was an exponent of what Lewis Mumford called the "Bay Region style"?
• ... that Stanford University Department of Biology chairman Tim Stearns (pictured), together with his wife, medical researcher Susan Cleveland, tend a fruit tree orchard at their home in Redwood City?
• ... that the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company's flagship, the Oceanic (pictured), set a Pacific crossing record of 16 days and 10 hours, 8 days less than the ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company?
• ... that the building consumed in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire had at least ten complaints filed on it since 1998? (interior damage pictured)
• ... that after Agnes Fay Morgan conducted a nutritional study with foxes, she presented her data wearing a stole made from the fur of her subjects?
Previous Did you know...
Selected periodic event
Litquake is a literary festival in San Francisco, first held in 1999. It has been described as "Literature as Carnival". In 2012, Litquake featured a total of 860 authors over the course of the 9 day festival. The festival closes with a "Lit Crawl," a literary pub crawl that includes bars, cafes, bookstores, theaters, galleries, clothing boutiques, furniture showrooms, parking lots, a laundromat and even a bee-keeping store. (local author and attendee Zarina Zabrisky pictured)
Selected multimedia file
Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas
Things you can do
San Francisco Bay Area categories