National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco
The photograph shows streetcar No. 952, a "Streetcar Named Desire." The car was built by the Perley Thomas Car Company of High Point, North Carolina, in 1923 as one of seventy-three identical cars ordered by the New Orleans Public Service, Inc. (NOPSI). The car saw forty years of service in New Orleans before being retired in 1964 and sent to a hotel complex in Chattanooga. New Orleans reacquired Car No. 952 for its new Riverfront Line in 1984 where it ran until 1997, painted red. Once again Car No. 952 was retired when New Orleans commissioned new, replica cars for the Riverfront Line.
In 1998, Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco and Mayor Marc Morial of New Orleans arranged for the transfer of the car to commemorate San Francisco Opera's world premier of the Andre Previn opera based on Tennessee Williams' play. San Francisco had hoped to obtain title to the car, but preservation officials in Louisiana would only allow a lease.
San Francisco Municipal Railway Improvement Corporation, subsequently purchased a sister car, No. 913, from the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Riverside County. As of June 2008, Car No. 952 continues to operate on San Francisco's F-Line while Car No. 913 awaits restoration.
For information about the Audiffred Building, please see San Francisco Landmark 7.