The Mothers Building was constructed in 1925 by notable architect George W. Kelham, although the murals and mosaics were not added to the building until 1933-1938. The building is one of the few remaining structures from the original Fleishhacker Playfield and Pool and was in continuous use until 2002, when the building was decommissioned. Today, the building is owned by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, but managed and operated by the San Francisco Zoological Society.
There has been little alteration to the Mothers Building over time, and as a result, it maintains a high level of historic integrity. The building retains a number of character-defining features including original wood paneling, furniture, windows, doors, and the WPA murals. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department received a grant for $102,484 on October 27, 2014 from the Historical Preservation Fund Committee (HPFC) to conduct a building conditions assessment and seismic evaluation for the Mothers Building. The HPFC was created to help disburse funds for historical preservation purposes.
While short-term repairs include maintenance issues to protect from further water damage, the long-term repairs require seismic, mechanical electrical and plumbing system upgrades.
Scope of Work
Immediate and short-term repairs include: installing a new gas line and reactivating the heating and ventilation system; and masonry stabilization work to secure exterior elements.
Funding for the immediate and short-term repairs includes $400,000 in add-backs from District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang.
Gas line installed in June 2017. Masonry Repair Project will start in August 2018 and will be completed by Fall 2018.
Roebuck Construction and Thameside Masonry are beginning the Masonry Repair Project at the Mothers Building this week. The work will be complete by November 2018.
One of the final elements of the short-term repairs as identified in the Conditions Assessment is the stabilization of masonry elements on the exterior of the building. The contract for this work was awarded to Roebuck Construction with Thameside Masonry as the subcontractor. Construction will start in August 2018 and … Continue reading
In March 2017, CyArk donated their services to digitally document the exterior of the Mothers Building. This work will be helpful in the restoration project. With the $400,000 in funding provided as an Add-Back from Supervisor Tang, we are tackling the various immediate and short term projects identified in the … Continue reading
By Ryan Kelly In honor of Woman’s History Month, we’re highlighting a building located at the San Francisco Zoo that honors the greatest women in the world—our mothers! The Mother’s Building was built in 1925 on land donated by brothers Herbert and Mortimer Fleishhacker to honor their mother Delia’s memory. … Continue reading
Architectural Resources Group (ARG) finalized the Structural Assessment for the Mothers Building in February 2016. Input was received from Rec and Park, the Arts Commission, Office of Workforce and Economic Development, the Planning Department and other interested stakeholders. The Structural Assessment was funded by a grant awarded by the Historical … Continue reading