National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

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National Register #100004532
Glen Park BART Station
2901 Diamond Street
Glen Park
Built 1970

The Glen Park BART Station is a well-preserved example of a Brutalist architecture. Ernest Born designed the station to present visual drama through the use of materials, light and geometry. The building is essentially Brutalist, but some details, such as the pergola roof, recall the Bay Region Tradition.

The Unité d’habitation housing project in Marseilles, designed by Le Corbusier and completed in 1952, inspired the Brutalist style. Le Corbusier used concrete in its natural, unfinished state. Béton brut is French for raw concrete.

Brutalist buildings have a fortress-like massing with no applied ornament. In theory, if not in fact, raw geometry and the play of light and shade would visual interest. Early on, left-wing governments embrace Brutalism as an egalitarian aesthetic, but the enthusiasm was short-lived. Most people found Brutalism ugly, and the buildings spalled and stained as they aged. By the early 1980s, Brutalism was dead, with some people even advocating for the demolition of existing Brutalist buildings, such as Boston City Hall.

Source: National Register of Historic Places nomination.
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