Best Little-Noticed Shrine - 2007
Fisherman's & Seaman's Memorial Chapel
Nestled on the inner harbor side of Pier 45, this small wood-framed chapel, built in 1979, is a charming memorial to the memory of Bay Area fishermen who've lost their lives at sea. It's also something of a touchstone for San Francisco's mostly Italian, mostly Roman Catholic fishing community, which traces its origins to Sicilian immigrants from the early 1800s. Officially known as St. John the Apostle Oratory, the chapel received the blessing of the Archbishop of Palermo during a visit here in 1989. The tiny chapel, with its stained glass windows and separate campanile, offers a splendid escape from the hustle and bustle of Fisherman's Wharf, as either a place of reflection or to rest tired feet. Except, that is, on the first Saturday of October, when it's home base for the Blessing of the Fleet, an age-old fisherman's tradition.