History and Renovation
History And Renovation

Ferry Building History

The Ferry Building Marketplace is a people's marketplace serving residents and travelers alike. Located within the historic Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street, shops large and small celebrate food in all its forms, offering everything from artisan cheeses to the freshest of local fish. Restaurants and cafés serve cuisine representing the quality and cultural diversity of San Francisco’s best chefs.

Ferry Building
Ferry Building
A famous city's most famous landmark

Opening in 1898 on the site of the 1875 wooden Ferry House, the Ferry Building became the transportation focal point for anyone arriving by train from the East, as well as from all the East Bay and Marin residents who worked in the city.  From the Gold Rush until the 1930s, arrival by ferryboat became the only way travelers and commuters—except those coming from the Peninsula—could reach the city.

Adventures began and ended there

In 1892, a bond issue to build a new Ferry Building was passed by the voters of California. A young architect named A. Page Brown drew up plans for a large, steel-framed building. His original proposal was for an 840-foot-long building. However, when the construction estimates came in for the foundation (of pilings and concrete arches) the actual length had to be reduced to 660 feet by removing planned twin entrances at either end. As it was, Brown's foundation—which has supported the entire steel-framed structure in such a remarkably dependable manner through two earthquakes (1906 and 1989)—became the largest such foundation for a building over water anywhere in the world.  > Next

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