San Francisco Landmarks

San Francisco Landmark 180: Geneva Car Barn 24 April 2021
Photo Courtesy Neil Mishalov
(Click Photo to Enlarge)
San Francisco Landmark #180
Geneva Car Barn
AKA San Francisco & San Mateo Railroad Company Office Building
2301 San Jose Avenue Near Geneva
Built 1901

The San Francisco and San Mateo Railroad Company was incorporated in 1891 by Isaac and Behrend Joost and other other investors. The first line opened in 1892 providing service from Second and Market Streets to Daly's Hill (now Daly City). In 1894, a branch line to Golden Gate Park began service.

In 1896, A. B. and J. D. Spreckels gained control of the company and purchased the existing car barn site. Construction of the office and powerhouse complex was completed 1901. The Spreckels sold to United Railroads. During United ownership, the 1906 Earthquake damaged the car house. United Railroads operated carried coffins and mourners directly to the cemeteries via spurs off of the San Mateo line.

This decade after the earthquake was marked by labor disputes and carmen strikes. The large social hall at the rear of the top floor provided space for company sponsored entertainment in times of labor peace. But when a strike occurred, the space was converted to dormitory space for live-in strike-breakers. A second-floor window was converted to a doorway that provided direct access to the yard so that strike-breakers and striking employees could avoid contact.

Source: Adapted from LPAB City Planning Commission Resolution 306 dated 5 June 1985

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The complex has continued in use under the Municipal Railway system, with recent renovations to the yard to accommodate Light Rail Vehicles.

The load bearing masonry building, designed by the Reid Brothers, survived the 1906 Earthquake with minor damage.

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The Geneva Office Building and Power House were listed on he National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

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