To contribute to downtown San Francisco’s revitalization, Hudson Pacific, operator of the Ferry Building, is proposing a series of enhancements to benefit the public and make the building more accessible in the evenings with additional restaurants and improved lighting and heating solutions. The project aims to protect the Ferry Building’s status as a historic landmark and support the Marketplace’s beloved local, farm-driven and ethnically diverse merchants by improving the infrastructure and visitor circulation they need to be successful.
The proposed enhancement plan will create a high-quality civic plaza overlooking San Francisco Bay that will feature expanded seating options and will highlight the Ferry Building’s civic importance by allowing for more public events and programming throughout the year.
Historic Preservation and Restoration
The enhancement project follows the restoration of the Ferry Building led by ARG Conservation Services that began in 2019 to repair portions of the façade and repaint the exterior in its custom-blended “Ferry Building Gray,” which represents the varied warm gray tones of the building’s original Colusa sandstone. The final phase of that restoration project — painting the iconic clocktower — is underway now and will be completed in 2023.
The Ferry Building clock and chime are temporarily stopped to prepare the tower façade area for this essential restoration work. Pausing the clock and chimes for the final phase of the restoration will allow the preservation team to work safely around the clock face and tiered portions of the tower. The clock and chimes will resume before the end of 2023.
Page & Turnbull, the original historic architect on the Ferry Building’s major 2003 restoration, has been engaged as both architect and historic architect on the upcoming enhancements to ensure the landmark’s historic features are protected.
On the north side of the building facing the Embarcadero (the Arcade), updates include enclosed spaces to accommodate new kitchens and added indoor seating for up to three restaurants with extended hours, bringing additional activity to the building in the evenings. Outside, along the Embarcadero, canopy structures employing new lighting and moveable overhead panels will provide shade, weather protection, heating and flexible seating for comfortable outdoor dining, year-round.
Along the Bayside exterior of the building, the enhancement project aims to increase public usage of Ferry Plaza by repairing and resurfacing the 50-year-old plaza and strengthening connectivity with the Ferry Terminal through a beautifully enhanced, pedestrian-friendly walkway — all of which will encourage and support the long-term growth in ferry service as a transit solution for the region. Modern infrastructure, such as new electrical systems, lighting and additional outdoor seating, will allow for additional activation and public programming on the Ferry Plaza seven days a week.
Like with other projects among Port of San Francisco properties, the Port is an important partner. The Ferry Building has been consulting Port staff to ensure proposed plans align with the City’s broader goals for the waterfront and the Embarcadero and are historically appropriate. The Ferry Building will also work with the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) to ensure that the project creates greater opportunities for locals and visitors to connect with the Bay at the new civic plaza. The Ferry Building has been reaching out to additional key stakeholders to get input and will further engage the community as the proposed designs are refined through outreach and review processes.
Questions or comments can be emailed to [email protected]
Timing and Operational Impact
Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and last approximately two years. The enhancement project will be delivered in phases to minimize disruption to tenants and visitors. The Ferry Building Marketplace will be open, and the Foodwise Farmers Market will continue operating throughout construction.