Our History

1901- The Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse opens for business. It is an office building and carhouse for the San Francisco and San Mateo Electric Railway Company.


1906- The San Francisco earthquake damages the Geneva Car Barn Building. The Powerhouse sustains the most damage. However, the building returns to normal operations less than a month later, and all damage is repaired by 1910.


1907 carbarn

1907- United Carmen’s strike against United Railroad in one of the bloodiest strikes of the early 20th Century.


1910 Powerhouse

1917- United Carmen strike again. Strikebreakers are stationed in Car Barn and snuck in and out of a window to operate the streetcars, as a precaution against clashes with the mob of striking operators outside the building.


1921 – United Railroads reorganizes as the Market Street Railway Company.


1944 – Market Street Railway Company is absorbed by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. The Geneva complex becomes the center of streetcar operations in San Francisco.


1970's Carbarn

1985 – Geneva Car Barn Office Building designated San Francisco Landmark No. 180 by the Board of Supervisors.


1989 – The Loma Prieta Earthquake damages the Car Barn and Powerhouse. The building is closed and abandoned, and remains that way.


1999 – Ten years after the closure of the building, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown directs San Francisco Municipal Railway to halt demolition of the Car Barn. He does so at the urging of the community.


2004 – Building ownership is changed from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority to the Recreation and Parks Department. The building is stabilized and given a new roof, and community activists form a partnership with the City to restore the building as a future youth center.


2009 – Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse nominated for the National Register of Historic Places, and the Powerhouse is proposed as an addition to the complex’s SF Landmark status.