The Clipper card is a reloadable contactless smart card used for electronic transit fare payment in the San Francisco Bay Area. First introduced as TransLink in 2002 by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as a pilot program, in 1993, Bay Area Rapid Transit and County Connection launched a pilot program named Translink that allowed the use of a single fare card between the two systems. The card, which used magnetic stripe technology, was envisioned to one day include all Bay Area transit agencies, due to technical problems, the program was abandoned two years later. Translink had a capital cost of $4 million when undertaken in 1993. In its current form, first as TransLink and as Clipper, cost estimates have since increased, the projected 25-year capital and operations costs are now estimated at $338 million. Scheduled implementation delays have added up to more than a decade, in 1998, MTC envisioned full availability of TransLink by 2001. However, it was operational for only five transit agencies by 2009.
As of December 2011, Clipper was only accepted by eight of the Bay Areas transit agencies, Clipper was developed by Australian-based ERG Group and Motorola under the ERG-Motorola alliance in April 1999. However, upon the launch of Clipper, Cubic Transportation Systems has taken over administration of distribution, customer service, full implementation of Clipper has been far slower than that of similar contactless smart cards, including the Oyster card and SmarTrip, chiefly due to bureaucratic difficulties. In October 2010, the MTC selected 路路通 as the official Chinese name for Clipper, obtaining a card was free from introduction in June 2010 to encourage users to adopt the card, until September 1,2012 when new adult cards began to cost $3. This charge covers the approximately $2 per card to manufacture and reduces the incentive to throw away the card if the value goes negative when fare is calculated on exit, the $3 fee is waived if the card is registered to auto-load more value. Passengers can add money to their Clipper cards in person at work, while the money is added immediately in person, it will take 3–5 days before it registers on the Clipper card if added by telephone or online.
A number of regional transit agencies have not yet joined Clipper, including ACE. Clipper utilizes a NXP Semiconductors MIFARE DESFire integrated circuit to manufacture the card, the card operates on the 13.56 MHz range putting it into the Near Field Communication category. Because the card uses NFC technology, any NFC-enabled device can read the number, travel history. However, data cannot be written to the card without the proper encryption key, the former Translink cards, while still functional on the fare system readers, do not conform to MIFARE and are unreadable by 13.56 MHz readers. Because Clipper operates in multiple areas with sporadic or non-existent internet access. To accomplish this, the Clipper card memory keeps track of balance on the card, fares paid, and trip history
San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall is the seat of government for the City and County of San Francisco, California. The structures dome is taller than that of the United States Capitol by 42 feet, the present building replaced an earlier City Hall that was destroyed during the 1906 earthquake, which was two blocks from the present one. It was bounded by Larkin Street, McAllister Street, and City Hall Avenue, largely where the current Public Library and U. N. Plaza stand today. The principal architect was Arthur Brown, Jr. of Bakewell & Brown, whose attention to the finishing details extended to the doorknobs, browns blueprints of the building are preserved at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. Brown designed the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, Veterans Building, Temple Emanuel, Coit Tower, the buildings vast open space is more than 500,000 square feet and occupying two full city blocks. It is 390 ft between Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street, and 273 ft between Grove and McAllister Streets and its dome, which owes much to Mansarts Baroque domes of the Val-de-Grâce and Les Invalides in Paris, rises 307.5 ft above the Civic Center Historic District.
It is 19 ft higher than the United States Capitol, and has a diameter of 112 ft, resting upon 4 x 50 ton and 4 x 20 ton girders, each 9 ft deep and 60 ft. The building as a whole contains 7,900 tons of steel from the American Bridge Company of Ambridge. It is faced with Madera County granite on the exterior, and Indiana sandstone within, together with finish marbles from Alabama, Vermont, much of the statuary is by Henri Crenier. The Rotunda is a space and the upper levels are public. Opposite the grand staircase, on the floor, is the office of the Mayor. A bust of former county supervisor Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in the building was unveiled on May 22,2008, MAYOR1931 The words were written by the previous Mayor Edward Robeson Taylor, and dedicated by Mayor James Rolph. The medallions in the vaults of the Rotunda are of Equality, Strength, Learning and, as memorialized in the South Light Court display, Progress. The current City Hall building is a replacement for a building which was completed in 1899 after 27 years of planning.
The original city hall was a larger building which contained a smaller extension which contained the citys Hall of Records. The building was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, after Arthur Brown Juniors design was selected, construction started in 1913 and was completed by 1915, in time for the Exposition. The main rotunda had served as the location of prominent state funerals. General Fredrick Funston, hero of the Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War, joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were married at City Hall in 1954
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Bay Area Rapid Transit is a public transportation system serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The rapid transit elevated and subway system connects San Francisco with cities in Alameda, Contra Costa, BART operates 5 routes on 104 miles of track connecting 45 stations, plus a 3. 2-mile automated guideway transit line to the Oakland International Airport which adds an additional station. A spur line in eastern Contra Costa County will utilize other rail technologies, with an average of 433,000 weekday passengers and 128.5 million annual passengers in fiscal year 2016, BART is the fifth-busiest heavy rail rapid transit system in the United States. The systems acronym is pronounced Bart, like the name, BART is operated by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, formed in 1957. As of 2017, it is being expanded to San Jose with the consecutive Warm Springs, some of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Systems current coverage area was once served by an electrified streetcar and suburban train system called the Key System.
This early 20th-century system once had regular trans-bay traffic across the deck of the Bay Bridge. By the mid-1950s, that system had been dismantled in favor of highway travel, a new rapid-transit system was proposed to take the place of the Key System during the late 1940s, and formal planning for it began in the 1950s. Some funding was secured for the BART system in 1959, passenger service began on September 11,1972, initially just between MacArthur and Fremont. All nine Bay Area counties were involved in the planning and envisioned to be connected by BART, before the system began revenue service, serious problems in the design and operation of the Automatic Train Control system were observed. Three engineers working for BART, Max Blankenzee, Robert Bruder, BART management was dismissive of their concerns, so the three took the issue to the board of directors. All but two of the directors voted in February 1972 to support management and reject the safety concerns, management retaliated against the engineers, firing them in March 1972.
The IEEE filed the first amicus brief in its history to support the engineers. The California Society of Professional Engineers reported to the California State Senate in June 1972 that there were serious safety risks with the ATC. Legislative analyst A. Alan Post, opened an investigation immediately, an ATC failure caused the train to run off the end of the elevated track and crash to the ground, injuring four people on-board, and drawing national and international attention. The “Fremont Flyer” led to a redesign of the train controls. The California State Public Utilities Commission imposed stringent oversight over train operations, the legislative analyst issued the first of three “Post Reports” in November 1972. The report was “sharply critical” of BART, finding that the ATC system was unreliable, the ATC program was mismanaged, and “no solution was in sight. ”The report accused BART of paying excessive fees for engineering services. BART’s general manager called the indictment of safety in the Post Report “not only disappointing, telephone calls were placed manually between stations, instead
The Golden Gate is a strait on the west coast of North America that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. It is defined by the headlands of the San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Peninsula, the strait is well known today for its depth and powerful tidal currents from the Pacific Ocean. Many small whirlpools and eddies can form in its waters, with its strong currents, rocky reefs and fog, the Golden Gate is the site of over 100 shipwrecks. The Golden Gate is often shrouded in fog, especially during the summer, heat generated in the California Central Valley causes air there to rise, creating a low pressure area that pulls in cool, moist air from over the Pacific Ocean. The Golden Gate forms the largest break in the hills of the California Coast Range, allowing a persistent, dense stream of fog to enter the bay there. Before the Europeans arrived in the 18th century, the area around the strait, descendants of both tribes remain in the area. The strait was surprisingly elusive for early European explorers, presumably due to this persistent summer fog.
The strait is not recorded in the voyages of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo nor Francis Drake, the strait is unrecorded in observations by Spanish galleons returning from the Philippines that laid up in nearby Drakes Bay to the north. These galleons rarely passed east of the Farallon Islands, fearing the possibility of rocks between the islands and the mainland, the first recorded observation of the strait occurred nearly two hundred years than the earliest European explorations of the coast. Until the 1840s, the strait was called the Boca del Puerto de San Francisco, on 1 July 1846, before the discovery of gold in California, the entrance acquired a new name. Frémont wrote, To this Gate I gave the name of Chrysopylae, or Golden Gate, for the reasons that the harbor of Byzantium was called Chrysoceras. In the 1920s, no bridge spanned the watery expanse between San Francisco and Marin in California—so when the U. S, post Office issued a postage stamp on 1 May 1923, celebrating The Golden Gate, the issue naturally portrayed the scene without a bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a bridge spanning the Golden Gate. As part of both US Highway 101 and California Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension span in the world when completed in 1937. Since its completion, the length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. It still has the second longest suspension bridge span in the United States. In 2007, it was ranked fifth on the List of Americas Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects, Golden Gate Park, located in San Francisco, California, is a large urban park consisting of 1,017 acres of public grounds
History of San Francisco
The history of the city of San Francisco and its development as a center of maritime trade, were shaped by its location at the entrance to a large natural harbor. San Francisco is the name of both the city and the county, which share the same boundaries. Starting overnight as the base for the rush of 1849, the city quickly became the largest and most important population, naval. It was devastated by an earthquake and fire in 1906 but was quickly rebuilt. The San Francisco Federal Reserve Branch opened in 1914, and San Francisco is ranked sixth on the Global Financial Centres Index and has grown wealthier by its proximity to Silicon Valley. The earliest evidence of habitation in what is now the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. Native Americans who settled in this region found the bay to be a resource for hunting and gathering, leading to the establishment of small villages. Collectively, these early Native Americans are now known as the Ohlone, and their trade patterns included places as far away as Baja California, the Mojave Desert and Yosemite.
The earliest Europeans to reach the site of San Francisco were a Spanish exploratory party in 1769, led overland from Mexico by Don Gaspar de Portolà, the Spanish recognized the location, with its large natural harbor, to be of great strategic significance. A subsequent expedition, led by Juan Bautista de Anza, selected sites for military, the Presidio of San Francisco was established for the military, while Mission San Francisco de Asís began the cultural and religious conversion of some 10,000 Ohlone who lived in the area. The mission became known as Mission Dolores, because of its nearness to a named after Our Lady of Sorrows. The original plaza of the Spanish settlement remains as Portsmouth Square, todays city took its name from the mission, and Yerba Buena became the name of a San Francisco neighborhood now known as South of Market. The Moscone Center and Yerba Buena Gardens are in the Yerba Buena area, in addition, the name Yerba Buena was applied to the former Goat Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, adjacent to Treasure Island.
San Francisco became part of the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, European visitors to the San Francisco Bay Area were preceded at least 8,000 years earlier by Native Americans. According to one anthropologist, the name for San Francisco was awaste, meaning. When the Spanish arrived, they found the area inhabited by the Yelamu tribe, the Ohlone speakers are distinct from Pomo speakers north of the San Francisco Bay, and are part of the Miwok group of languages. Their traditional territory stretched from Big Sur to the San Francisco Bay, miwok-speaking Indians lived in Yosemite, and Ohlone-speakers intermarried with Chumash and Pomo speakers as well. The Spanish conquest of the San Francisco Bay area came than to Southern California, a Spanish exploration party, led by Portolà and arriving on November 2,1769, was the first documented European sighting of San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Department of Public Works
San Francisco Public Works is responsible for the care and maintenance of San Francisco’s streets and infrastructure. Public Works serves San Francisco residents and visitors 24 hours a day, San Francisco Public Works was officially created on January 8,1900 with the name of Board of Public Works. Its first task was to organize and regulate street construction and paving projects throughout the city, the original four bureaus were, Lighting and Light & Water Services. Over the next century and nearly two decades later, the roles have shifted and expanded dramatically, in 2014, after a year-long rebranding process, the department switched its name from the San Francisco Department of Public Works, or DPW, to San Francisco Public Works. The budget for the first year of operations was $637,194.00, the operating budget for Fiscal Year 2015-16 is approximately $256 million. 1969 - The Gateway Arch to Chinatown, San Francisco was completed in September at a project cost of $76,790. ”1974 - DPW implemented the Controlled Parking Program and it began as a pilot program in the Richmond District.
The Board of Supervisors approved $56,700 for 2,200 signs to be posted throughout the neighborhoods, the program eventually expanded to a new district each year after. 1976 - San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center opens and this $30 million construction project was awarded in 1971. After many construction difficulties the medical facility eventually opens,1980 - Bureau of Engineering completes a $726,382 contract to develop and rehabilitate the music concourse in Golden Gate Park. The estimated costs at the time were $800 million by 1985,1988 - Voters pass $27 million Street Improvement Bond Issue to improve streets and traffic signals. 1989 - Within 72 hours of the October 17th San Francisco earthquake, in all that year, over 15,000 inspections were made, classifying buildings Red and Green. 1994 - The graffiti abatement program begins with two painters from the Bureau of Building repair and ten young people form the Mayors Youth Worker Program,1997 - $70.5 million Civic Center Courthouse for the San Francisco Superior and Municipal Civil Courts is completed.
1998 - The $56 million War Memorial Opera House Seismic Upgrade, San Francisco Department of Public Works Official Site
Government of San Francisco
It is the only consolidated city-county in California, and one of only thirteen charter counties of California. The fiscal year 2007–08 city and county budget was approximately $6 billion, San Francisco utilizes the strong mayor form of mayoral/council government, composed of the mayor, Board of Supervisors, several elected officers, and numerous other entities. San Francisco voters use ranked-choice voting to elect the mayor, the Mayor of San Francisco is the head of the executive branch of the city and county government. The mayor serves a term and is limited to two successive terms. If the mayor dies or resigns, the President of the Board of Supervisors assumes the office, the Board of Supervisors is headed by a president and is responsible for passing laws and budgets. Proposition K - 2009-2034, Different formula for local streets and local and regional public transit, pursuant to its charter, San Francisco causes to be published several codified version of its ordinances and regulations, the San Francisco Municipal Codes.
Every act prohibited or declared unlawful, and every failure to perform an act required, by the ordinances are misdemeanor crimes, San Franciscans make use of direct ballot initiatives to pass legislation. In addition, several regional governmental units in San Francisco operate independently of the municipal government, there are several school districts that are co-extensive with San Francisco. The San Francisco Unified School District is governed by the elected seven-member San Francisco Board of Education, the community college district of the City College of San Francisco is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Trustees. Also notable are the independent police forces of the University of California, San Francisco and the Park Police of the Presidio Trust and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The San Francisco Democratic Central Committee, the body of the San Francisco Democratic Party, is a county central committee of the California Democratic Party for San Francisco. The SFDCC is elected from the two Assembly districts in San Francisco and consists of 24 members, with a 14/10 member split between the two Assembly districts based on number of registered Democrats
San Francisco Fire Department
The San Francisco Fire Department provides fire and emergency medical services to the City and County of San Francisco, California. Volunteer companies were first formed in the city in 1850, Fire Chief Dennis T. Sullivan suffered mortal wounds in his home by a falling chimney early in the disaster and subsequently died in the hospital. They have recently gotten another fireboat, the SFFD has two fireboats that are docked at Pier 22 1⁄2. Fireboat 1, the Phoenix, was constructed in 1954 and is fitted with three monitors, a water town and two under pier monitors. Fireboat 2, the Guardian, was constructed in 1950 and is the oldest fireboat in the fleet, both boats are 89-foot and outfitted with two 500 horsepower engines giving them top speeds of 12.5 knots and 15 knots. A third new 85-foot fireboat is as yet unnamed and it was delivered to SFFD on July 25,2016 and is planned to be unveiled and put into service sometime in October 2016. A contest for children Grades K-8 was held to name the vessel, below is a full listing of all fire station and company locations in the City & County of San Francisco according to division and battalion.
There are three SFFD-operated fire stations located at the San Francisco International Airport in San Mateo County, all apparatus at SFO go by the Rescue call sign, whether Engine, Truck, ARFF Crash, Medic Unit, or Command SUV. The film cast many actual firefighters from the department and used many actual SFFD fire trucks during the filming, Fire Station 38 was shown in the filming. The exterior shots were done at the Bank of America Building,555 California, the SFFD was used in the Dirty Harry film series, particularly Rescue Squad 2 in Dirty Harry. The depicted fire station, Fire Station 53, is a fictitious station, the exterior of the station was represented by Fire Station 1 of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The SFFD was featured in two Emergency, Television movies in 1978 and 1979, where L. A. County firefighter/paramedics Gage and DeSoto run calls with the firefighters of Rescue Squad 2, the NBC Television show Trauma followed the fictional lives of SFFD paramedics, EMTs and flight medics.
The department is featured in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill, the station was Station #9, built in 1915. San Francisco Fire Department official website San Francisco Fire Museum History of the San Francisco Fire Department at the SF Museum SFFD Fire Reserve website
San Francisco Municipal Railway
The San Francisco Municipal Railway is the public transit system for the city and county of San Francisco, California. In 2006, it served 46.7 square miles with an budget of about $700 million. In ridership Muni is the seventh largest transit system in the United States, with 210,848,310 rides in 2006 and the second largest in California behind Metro in Los Angeles. With a fleet average speed of 8.1 mph, it is the slowest major urban transit system in America and one of the most expensive to operate, costing $19.21 per mile per bus and $24.37 per mile per train. However, it has more boardings per mile and more vehicles in operation than similar transit agencies, many weekday riders are commuters, as the daytime weekday population in San Francisco exceeds its normal residential population. Muni shares four metro stations with BART, on weekends, most Muni bus lines are scheduled to run every ten to twenty minutes. However, complaints of unreliability, especially on less-often-served lines and older lines, are a system-wide problem.
Muni has had difficulty meeting a stated goal of 85% voter-demanded on-time service. Most intercity connections are provided by BART and Caltrain heavy rail, AC Transit buses at the Transbay Terminal, 70% of stops are spaced closer than recommended range of 800–1,000 feet apart. Muni is short for the Municipal in San Francisco Municipal Railway and is not an acronym, the Muni metro is often called the train or the streetcar. Most San Francisco natives use Muni when speaking about the system in general, the E Embarcadero and F Market & Wharves lines are referred to by Muni as a historic streetcar line rather than as a heritage railway. Munis logo is a stylized, trademarked worm version of the word muni and this logo was designed by San Francisco-based graphic designer Walter Landor in the mid-1970s. Bus and trolleybus lines have number designations, rail lines have letters, except for cable cars, cash fares are $2.50 for adults, $1. Clipper card fares are $2.25 for adults and $1 for seniors, proof-of-payment, which fare inspectors may demand at any time, is either a Clipper card, Muni Passport, or paper transfer.
One fare entitles a rider to unlimited vehicle transfers for the next 90 to 120 minutes, cable cars are $7 one way, with no transfers unless the rider has a Muni Passport or Fast Pass. As of September 2014 monthly passes cost $70 for adults, $35 for low-income residents, or $24 for youth, passes are valid on all Muni lines—including cable cars—and the $83 adult Fast Pass allows BART transit entirely within San Francisco. Other passes and stickers are valid on all Muni lines, including cable cars, cable car fare is $7 per trip, with no transfers issued or accepted. Muni has implemented a smart card payment system known as Clipper
Great Seal of California
The word Eureka, meaning I have found it, is the California state motto. The original design of the seal was by U. S. Army Major Robert S. Garnett, Garnett became the first general to be killed in the Civil War, where he served as a Confederate general. The legal definition of the Great Seal of the State of California is found in the California Government Code, Sections 399-405. In 1928, due to the number of details that had crept into the seal over the years, state printer Carroll H. Smith was authorized to prepare a new. His design was not adopted as the seal, although it was used by the State Printing Office. Both features remain to this day, the 1937 standardization came about when state employees, wishing to print the seal on blotters for the State Fair, could not find any official design of the seal. Also in the 1937 standardized seal there is a building on the far left rear hill that has interpreted in a variety of ways. The building, along with the break in the mountains, may have added to give San Francisco Bay a stronger claim on its location being the landscape portrayed in the seal.
This building first appeared in versions of the seal in the mid-1880s, and in most of these. Fort Point has no dome, and it is unknown what building the 1895 artist was attempting to portray, two years later, Harold F. Wilson, in his interpretation created for the old State Building in Los Angeles, retained the dome. In 1952, the structure, again with dome, was cast in bronze in the seal at the west steps of the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The rumor states it was added as a signature of the inmates who cast it. The unsanctioned addition, so the story goes, was not noticed until it was too late to do anything about it and that places the building on the wrong side of the Gate to be San Quentin. No building in form, including the chapel, has ever existed at San Quentin. The building first appeared in artistic renditions of the seal as early as 1886, decades before this seal was cast in 1952, and was officially added in 1937. The configuration of the building on this seal is similar to its appearance in the 1937 standardization.
Four detailed, post-1952 accounts of the seal make no mention of the rumor and this seal features what appears to be two structures combined into one. The right half, with imagination, resembles the front gates of San Quentin State Prison
Caltrain is a California commuter rail line on the San Francisco Peninsula and in the Santa Clara Valley. The northern terminus of the line is in San Francisco at 4th, extra trains were often run for special events held in AT&T Park in San Francisco, Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, and SAP Center in San Jose. Caltrain operates 92 weekday trains,6 of which are extended to Gilroy, weekday ridership in February 2016 averaged 62,416, up 83% since 2010. Caltrain is governed by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board which consists of agencies from the three counties served by Caltrain, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara, each member agency has three representatives on a nine-member Board of Directors. The member agencies are the City and County of San Francisco, SamTrans, Caltrain has 29 regular stops, one football-only stop, and two weekend-only stops. As of October 2012 Caltrain runs 92 weekday trains,36 Saturday, the original commuter railroad built in 1863 was the San Francisco and San Jose Rail Road, it was purchased by Southern Pacific in 1870.
Southern Pacific double-tracked the line in 1904 and rerouted it via Bayshore, after 1945, ridership declined with the rise in automobile use, in 1977 SP petitioned the state Public Utilities Commission to discontinue the commute operation because of ongoing losses. To preserve the service, in 1980 Caltrans contracted with SP. Caltrans purchased new locomotives and rolling stock, replacing SP equipment in 1985, Caltrans upgraded stations, added shuttle buses to nearby employers, and dubbed the operation CalTrain. The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board was formed in 1987 to manage the line, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties commissioned Earth Metrics, Inc. to prepare an Environmental Impact Report on right-of-way acquisition and expansion of operations. With state and local funding, the PCJPB bought the right of way between San Francisco and San Jose from SP in 1991. The following year, PCJPB took responsibility for CalTrain operations and selected Amtrak as the contract operator, PCJPB extended the CalTrain service from San Jose to Gilroy, connecting to VTA Light Rail at Tamien Station in San Jose.
In July 1995 CalTrain became accessible to passengers in wheelchairs, five months later, CalTrain increased the bicycle limit to 24 per train, making the service attractive to commuters in bicycle-friendly cities such as San Francisco and Palo Alto. In July 1997 the current logo was adopted, and the name became Caltrain. A year later, VTA extended its rail service from north Santa Clara to the Mountain View Caltrain station. In June 2003, a connection for the Bay Area Rapid Transit. In 2006, Caltrain announced that wireless internet access would be available on trains at no additional charge, Caltrain invested more than $1 million in researching and testing WiFi in 2006. Caltrain still hopes to offer the service eventually as part of a comprehensive communication package
San Francisco Public Library
The San Francisco Public Library is the public library system of the city of San Francisco. The Main Library is located at Civic Center, at 100 Larkin Street, in 1877 a residents meeting was called by Andrew Smith Hallidie who advocated the creation of a public library for San Francisco. A board of trustees for the Library was created in 1878 through the Rogers Act, signed by Governor of California William Irwin, the San Francisco Public Library opened in 1879 on Bush Street at Kearny Street and hired Albert Hart as the first librarian. In 1888 the Library moved to the Larkin Street wing of City Hall at Civic Center, the first three branches opened from 1888 to 1889, in the Mission, in North Beach, and in Potrero Hill. In 1889 the Library became a Federal depository by nomination of Senator George Hearst, in 1906, architect Daniel Burnham presented his plans for a new Civic Center for San Francisco, including a new library building. These plans were put on hold after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the library moved to temporary quarters while a new building was designed and built.
In 1917, the new library building, designed by George W. Kelham. Ten major murals by California Tonalist Gottardo Piazzoni were installed in 1931-1932, four more were completed in 1945, but left uninstalled until the 1970s. In 1986, a force was set up to complete the design of the Civic Center, including the use of Marshall Square, next to the main library at the time. Construction on the current Main Library began on March 15,1993, the building was completed in 1995 and opened a year on April 18,1996. The old main library, which was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, was rebuilt as the new Asian Art Museum. At over 376,000 square feet and with six floors above ground and one below, the new library features over 300 computer terminals, room for 1100 laptops, and a new wing for children. The city spent $104.5 million on the new library. San Francisco Public Library/Other Facts about the Building, Library visitations doubled in its first year open, from 1.1 million to 2.1 million, and the number of library card holders nearly tripled.
Nonetheless, the Main Library has its critics, in October 1996 author Nicholson Baker wrote a scathing article in The New Yorker about the weeding of books from the library as it moved to the new building. He was critical about the elimination of the catalog when the computerized catalog was introduced. Due to this publicity, the library released an official response to Nicholsons New Yorker article. Later, under pressure that included Mayor Willie Brown, City Librarian Ken Dowlin whose policy it was to weed. The library was used in the 1998 film City of Angels