Alessandro Baccari


Fishermen's & Seamen's Memorial Chapel

Alessandro Baccari at the Fishermen's & Seamen's Memorial Chapel in SF, CA, Sat., Sept. 29, 2012

Alessandro Baccari lived his life like a true Renaissance man, leaving behind a rich tapestry of impactful art, research, writings, and so much more. In fact, Baccari dabbled in several intellectual activities, including city planning, research economics, radio broadcasting, political speechwriting, lecturing at San Francisco State, poetry, painting, photography, history, and even authored two books.

Born on July 18, 1928, at Mount Zion Hospital, Alessandro Mario Baccari Jr. spent his early years in Marin and the Marina, moving to North Beach at age 6. His new home was right above Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store, at the bustling intersection of Union Street and Columbus Avenue.

Baccari’s father, Alessandro Sr., was an artist and playwright who ran a photography studio out of Fugazi Hall. Growing up, Baccari attended parish schools and served as an altar boy at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, even lighting the candles for Joe DiMaggio’s first wedding.

Starting at age 10, Baccari played an official role in the Madonna del Lume celebration, honoring fishermen lost at sea. He and his wife spearheaded a campaign in 1979 to build the Fishermen’s and Seamen’s Memorial Chapel, providing the procession with a sanctuary.

The chapel, tucked behind fish processing plants, was tricky to locate, so Baccari raised $160,000 to erect a tower with an 1880s warning bell from the Port of San Francisco and an electronic carillon. As a beloved historian, civic leader, and community member, both the Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach communities deeply mourned his passing. At his memorial service, the bell of the Fishermen's and Seamen's Memorial Chapel rang in tribute to Baccari's impactful life.

Information Sourced from: 
Whiting, S. (2012, December 9). Alessandro Baccari, North Beach historian. SFGATE. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
Baccari, A. (2006). San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. Arcadia Publishing.