Geneva Car Barn Improvements

Geneva Car Barn


Designed by the Reid Brothers (who also designed the Fremont Hotel and the Cliff House), the 1901 building served as a depot for the San Mateo Railroad, and then later for all San Francisco’s rail lines. In 1985, the Car Barn was declared a San Francisco city landmark. Heavily damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, it was left to deteriorate. In 1998, the Car Barn faced demolition, which galvanized the community, who convinced Mayor Willie Brown to save the building.

Ownership was transferred to the Department of Recreation and Parks in early 2004. In 2006, the Department completed a seismic retrofit to the structure which addresses some of the major concerns with the stability of the building. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Targeted Brownfields Assistance was used on the Geneva Car Barn in 2012-13.  Most recently, The Friends of Geneva Car Barn have organized and are moving forward with a strategic plan that will address new programming and capital improvements.


The rehabilitation of the Car Barn includes a seismic upgrade, the installation of modern utility systems, restoration of the historic features of the building, new circulation systems to accommodate ADA access and the creation of new studio and exhibition spaces, community meeting rooms, classrooms, a cafe, auditorium/concert hall/event space, a theater, a gallery and a history center for the interpretation of the building’s history.

Project Page

SF Rec & Parks Transforms Historic Car Barn into Youth Performing Arts Center

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today the groundbreaking of the $14 million Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse renovation.  The Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse (also known as the Car Barn) will become the latest addition of recreation space in Excelsior neighborhood.  A groundbreaking ceremony … Continue reading

Geneva Car Barn – Historic Preservation Commission Public Hearing

Phase 1 of scope of work includes the Powerhouse portion of the Geneva Car Barn complex: repair/restoration of the historic brick and concrete siding; repair/restoration of the historic (wood) windows; introduction of contemporary entry doors at the primary (west) façade; roof replacement of non-historic roof; at roof, restoration of the … Continue reading

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