|Maintained by||San Francisco DPW, Caltrans|
|Length||4.2 mi (6.8 km)|
|South end||Cesar Chavez (Army) Street|
|North end||McDowell Avenue|
Van Ness Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare in San Francisco, California, running from Market St north to the Bay. Originally named Marlette Street, the street was renamed Van Ness Avenue in honor of the city's seventh mayor, James Van Ness. Van Ness Avenue begins at Market Street near the Civic Center, and extends north to end at Bay Street at Fort Mason. Of the more striking landmarks along the route are the San Francisco City Hall, the War Memorial Opera House, and Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall.
South Van Ness Avenue is the portion of Van Ness south of Market Street, continuing through the city's South of Market and Mission districts to end at Cesar Chavez Street. It was formerly a continuation of Howard Street, having been renamed by resolution of the Board of Supervisors on August 22, 1932.
Originally a quiet residential neighborhood of mansions, the street was used as a firebreak by the U.S. Army during the 1906 earthquake and fire that destroyed most of San Francisco. Many of the buildings were dynamited along the street by soldiers in an ultimately successful attempt to prevent the firestorm from spreading west to the entire city. Following the quake, Van Ness served as the temporary commercial center and main thoroughfare of San Francisco, as it ultimately evolved into a busy commercial district in its own right, attracting many car dealerships that exist to this day as the majority of the city's car and scooter dealerships line the street. It still remains a generally upscale area with large and grand apartment buildings, restaurants, and movie theaters.
The entire route is within the borders of the City and County of San Francisco.
|Cesar Chavez (Army Street)|
|south (Central Freeway) to east - San Jose||South end of US 101 overlap; interchange|
|north (Lombard Street) - Golden Gate Bridge||North end of US 101 overlap|
|Bay Street||"Three Corners"|