Ferry Building Renovation and Retrofit
San Francisco, CA
Photos: Richard Barnes

Structural Engineering

175,000 sf

Key Info
Preservation of historic façade during extensive demolishing within the building

Built in 1896 entirely over piers, the monumental Beaux Arts Ferry Building, designed by A. Page Brown, is a San Francisco landmark. Rutherford + Chekene renovated and retrofitted the building. Project complexities included converting a dark building with a Hodgepodge of past renovation elements into an illuminated space for high-end, visitor-friendly retail and Class A offices. The team’s solution demolished the mezzanine and opened the 600-foot-long central nave to allow natural lighting to illuminate the building’s historic grandeur.

The work included preserving the building’s historic façade during extensive demolition work. R+C advised the architect on demolition options, reviewed contractor plans, detailed support systems to preserve structural and historic components, and worked with various building materials that include structural concrete, masonry and wood.

The project also expanded the East Promenade located on the deck behind the building to provide enhanced public access to the bay and ferry terminal. The result is a much-loved and multifunctional tourist and local destination.