History

1901

The Geneva Office Building opens for business. There is an attached car barn for the San Francisco and San Mateo Electric Railway Company behind the building.

1903

The powerhouse is built to provide electricity to the streetcar line. 

1906

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake strikes. The powerhouse sustains the most damage. The facility returns to normal operations less than a month later. All damage is repaired by 1910.

 

1907 carbarn

 

1907

The United Carmen’s strike against United Railroad is one of the bloodiest strikes of the early 20th Century, and the Office Building is a stage in the labor strife.

 

1910 Powerhouse

 

1917

United Carmen strike again. Strikebreakers are stationed in the Office Building and sneak in and out of a second-story 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 Office Building and Powerhouse becomes the center of streetcar operations in San Francisco.

1960s

The community begins calling the Geneva Office Building and Powerhouse the “Geneva Car Barn” for short.

 

1970's Carbarn

 

1985

The Geneva Office Building, but not the Powerhouse, is designated San Francisco Landmark No. 180 by the Board of Supervisors.

1989

The Loma Prieta Earthquake damages the facility. The building is red tagged and closed.

1999

The San Francisco Municipal Railway attempts to demolish the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse to create a parking slot. Neighborhood advocates successfully urge Mayor Willie Brown to halt the agency’s plans.

2002

Neighborhood advocates found the nonprofit Friends of the Geneva Office Building and Powerhouse to urge the City Hall to restore the building for community use.

2004

Building ownership is changed from Municipal Transportation Agency to the Recreation and Parks Department. The Office Building is stabilized and given a new roof, and community advocates form a partnership with the City to restore the building as a future youth center.

2009

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

2018 – 2019

The Powerhouse renovation began in earnest. When completed, it will be operated by the nonprofit Performing Arts Workshop. Architecture firm Aidlin + Darling Design provided the Friends with photos of the construction.