In 1852 you would have been standing on a bluff overlooking the narrow beach just below that followed the approximate line of King Street. First accurately charted by the U.S. Coast Survey topographical engineers in 1852, the shoreline was named Steamboat Point after the boatyards on the beach. All of the land that you can see on the bay side of King Street is man-made, created by filling the bay. Massive timber cribbing was built to hold large rocks, and thousand of cubic yards of the city's sandhills and rubble were dumped on top. The construction of the seawall beyond and beneath the foot of King Street and the Embarcadero in 1905 fixed the line of the present shoreline.
"Oh you Saints look don (sic) on the new made town. And tell me, pray, which way to go? Oh the shoreline's deranged and everything's changed. Tell me, pray, which way to go?" - South of Market Journal, 1926