The San Francisco Transbay Terminal/Transit Center

When I was a little girl in the early 50’s, and then later when my family returned to the Bay Area in the late 60’s, one of the constants was the San Francisco Transbay Terminal. Built in 1939 by the famous local architect Timothy L. Pflueger, it was a huge concrete building where the trains from East Bay and then in 1959 buses from the extended Bay Area would arrive. Even long distance transportation such as Greyhound busses and Amtrak trains would pull up at the terminal. Then all you had to do was walk outside, and climb aboard one of the various forms of public transit available in the City. The East Bay cities had their transit companies and S.F. had another. But all of them worked remarkably seamlessly together. Not flawlessly, mind you, but it was a piece of cake to transfer from one system to another.

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This image was copied from Wikipedia

My husband and I left the Bay Area for jobs when we got married at the end of 1974. 42 years later we returned (2016), only to visibly discover what we knew from the news: the 1939 Terminal had been demolished and the new San Francisco Transbay Transit Center had been built. This was a HUGE change as you can see below. I took this photo as friends and I were inching our way towards the on-ramp for the Bay Bridge about 2 months ago. We had gone into the City to see a play, and there seemed to be an accident blocking one access to the bridge. At one point it took us half an hour to advance 5 blocks, so it was a long trip home. We laughed, we joked, we carried on, and of course I used the opportunity to take photos by leaning out the window.

Here is one photograph of the new Transit Center taken just as we entered under the overpass, and looking behind us. (It’s now named the Sales Force Transit Center). Look for the garage entrance (Enter and Do Not Enter) in the lower right of the photograph, then follow upward on the slant toward the windows and you will see the steel grid of the canopy reflected.

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Hannah Keene 2019

Posted to the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “The San Francisco Transbay Terminal/Transit Center”

    1. Yup. We’ve never had transit buildings branded before this. It’s down in a redevelopment area. I’ll be posting a photo that includes the Salesforce Tower another day. The Salesforce Tower is their corporate headquarters.

      1. Naming rights on office buildings I get, and maybe even sports stadia — but public buildings!! I know from arts events I’ve been involved with how much effort goes into keeping sponsors happy and it can work against the function of the event.

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