31 August 2018

The new San Francisco Transbay Transit Center aka the Salesforce Transit Center: August 2018

The new Transbay Transit Center, also known as the Salesforce Transit Center, required 20 years of planning, and nearly a decade of construction. The Transit Center is located in downtown San Francisco between Beale Street and Second Street. The construction cost of the Transit Center is $2.26 billion, as of 2018. A below-ground concourse level, in addition to a below-ground Caltrain rail link from the southern part of the San Francisco Peninsula, is still under construction. It is estimated that the underground portion of the Transit Center will be completed in 2028. Salesforce.com agreed to pay $110 million over a 25 year period for naming rights to the Transit Center.

The Transit Center contains approximately 1.2 million square feet of space, which is spread out across six levels—four levels above ground and two below ground. An attractive mini replica of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge serves as a Bridgeway, which provides the access point for buses heading to, and returning from, the East Bay via the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The Transit Center's street-level bus terminal is used by San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency buses and San Francisco Paratransit vehicles. A bus deck on the third floor hosts Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District buses and Western Contra Costa Transit Authority buses from the East Bay, plus Golden Gate Transit buses from Marin County. Greyhound Bus Lines and Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach bus services are also located on the third floor. 

The Transit Center has a 5.4-acre rooftop park, the length of which is almost three blocks long. The distance of the walking paths around the Transit Center's rooftop park is 0.55 miles. The park is a delight to behold.

3,992 perforated white aluminum panels make up the exterior facade of the Transit Center. The panels feature a geometric rhombus pattern which was discovered by Sir Roger Penrose in the 1970s. The combined panels are 3,000 feet long and 44 feet tall. 

Click on an image to see the full-size photograph.
 
This is a view of the bus access ramp between the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the new Transit Center. The scene is looking south.


This is a view of the bus access bridge to the Bay Bridge as seen from the park located on the top level of the new transit center.


On the bus access bridge roadway.


The recently constructed Transbay Transit Center is the second iteration of the San Francisco Transbay Terminal. The first Transbay Terminal occupied the same general location as the current Transbay Center.

The original San Francisco Bay Bridge Transit Terminal opened on 14 January 1939; Timothy L. Pflueger designed the structure. The original Transbay Terminal served as the San Francisco terminus for electric commuter trains of the Interurban Electric, the Key System, and the Sacramento Northern railroads. The trains traversed San Francisco Bay on the lower deck of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. 

The terminal was converted from a train station to a bus depot in 1959. The tracks were removed, and buses replaced the streetcars. The Transit Terminal mainly served as a transportation destination to downtown San Francisco from surrounding communities of the Bay Area. AC Transit, the publicly owned successor of the Key System, had buses traversing the Bay Bridge. Bus service thrived until late 1974 when BART's Transbay Tube opened. A majority of people preferred to take BART rather than a bus from the East Bay to San Francisco. BART is a rapid-transit rail system which has 48 stations along six routes covering 112 miles. 

The original San Francisco Transbay Terminal closed on 7 August 2010 to make way for the construction of the current replacement facility, the Transbay Transit Center.


The opening day celebration of the original San Francisco Transbay Terminal: 14 January 1939. The western span of the two-level San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is visible in the background. Streetcars traveled between the East Bay and San Francisco on the lower level of the bridge. This photo is courtesy of the SFMTA.


The front of the original Transbay Transit Terminal, shortly after construction. 16 November 1939. This photo is courtesy of the SFMTA.


Another view of the facade of the original Transit Terminal. 27 August 1939. This photo is courtesy of the SFMTA.


The original Transit Terminal is on the left, and the Pacific Telephone Building is ahead. The view is looking southwest. 28 April 1978. This photo is courtesy of the SFMTA.


This photo of the original San Francisco Transit Terminal was taken on 15 November 1965. When the photographer took this picture, he or she was standing high up in the 26 story Pacific Telephone Building, which opened for business in 1925. The photographer intended to take a picture of the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61) as it is navigated south through San Francisco Bay. In this picture, the aircraft carrier is about to travel under the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. If you look closely at the photograph, you can  also see the early evening tall shadow of the Pacific Telephone Building. The view is looking east. 


This is a schematic drawing of the new Transit Center.


Jeremy Menzies is the staff photographer for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The SFMTA is responsible for public transit in San Francisco. Mr. Menzies is also entrusted with administering the SFMTA Photo Archives, which contains tens of thousands of San Francisco transportation-related photographs from 1903 to the present day. The SFMTA Photography Department & Archive is an excellent webpage from which to view the history of San Francisco in general, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in detail.

The bus behind Mr. Menzies is SFMTA bus # 2230; it is a recently restored 1956 Mack Motor Coach. And I must add, it is a beautiful restoration. When this bus was in operation, it traveled from the original Transbay Terminal, west on Geary Boulevard to the Fort Miley Military Reservation and 48th Avenue. The picture was taken on the third floor of the new Transit Center.


This is bus # 2103. It was manufactured by General Motors in 1958, and it was one of twenty-one buses purchased by the Key Transit System. All of the buses were used by the Key System to transport passengers from the San Francisco Transit Terminal, over the Bay Bridge, to a terminal located in the East Bay. The passengers were then able to transfer to a Key System bus or streetcar which traveled to their destination. The picture was taken on the third floor of the new Transit Center.


This is an illustration of the new Transit Center. The view is looking northwest and the Transit Center Bridgeway is seen in the lower left portion of the drawing.


This is the bus depot located on the third floor of the Transit Center.


Greyhound buses at the bus depot.


On the third floor of the bus depot.


The third-floor bus depot.


A view of the main entryway to the Transit Center.


The San Francisco Muni bus terminal is located on Fremont Street at Natoma Street.


The Transit Center is shown crossing over First Street at Minna Street. The view is looking southeast.


This is a view of First Street as seen from under the Transit Center. The scene is looking southeast.


This is a view of First Street as seen from under the Transit Center. The view is looking northwest.


A street level view of the Transit Center.


This is a closeup view of the perforated white aluminum panels which make up the exterior facade of the Transit Center.


An escalator in the Transit Center.


The main ground level entryway to the Transit Center.


The ground level entryway.


A skylight in the Transit Center.


A view of the park sited on the top floor of the Transit Center.


A view from the park.


A view from the park.

A view of the children's playground.


 A view of the park.


A view of a small stage in the park.



A view of a pathway in the park. 


A view from the park. The Pacific Telephone Building is straight ahead, with a flag on its roof.


A view of the water geysers.

A view from the park.


A view from the park. Salesforce Tower, aka Transbay Tower, is the building on the left. It is the tallest building in San Francisco.


A view of the bus Bridgeway between the Bay Bridge and the Transit Center.


A view from the Transit Center looking southeast down Fremont Street.


A busy bee hard at work in the Transit Center park.


"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lang 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view those photos.

   A Sony camera was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

18 June 2018

Presidio of San Francisco gun batteries located on the coastal bluffs overlooking San Francisco Bay: June 2018

On 18 June 1912, in response to instructions issued from the United States Department of War on 16 February 1912, the Army’s Western Division published General Order #11. The general order stated that "Fort Winfield Scott, is established as an independent coast artillery post, to take effect at 12 o'clock noon, 19 June 1912, and the headquarters of the Artillery District of San Francisco will be located thereat.”

Although always physically a part of the Presidio, Fort Winfield Scott functioned as a separate military command. On 9 June 1925, it was designated headquarters for the "Coast Defenses of San Francisco.” Fort Winfield Scott supported and manned Endicott Period gun batteries in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the gun batteries were located at Forts BakerBarry, and Cronkhite in Marin County and Forts Miley and Funston in San Francisco. 

Fort Winfield Scott was also responsible for seventeen Endicott-era gun batteries within the Presidio. These gun batteries were constructed, armed, and manned between 1891 and 1946.

Fort Winfield Scott's independent role, established in 1912, permanently ended on 25 June 1946, when the fort was designated as a sub-post of the Presidio of San Francisco.



Click on an image to see the full-size photograph.
This is Fort Winfield Scott's headquarters building. Construction of this army post began in 1909. In addition to the administration facilities, there were ten enlisted men's barracks, officer housing, and an Army prison. This photo was taken from the parade ground, and the view is looking west.

Here are two of the ten enlisted men's barracks that were built between 1909 and 1912. This is a view from the parade ground looking north. The site of Battery Dynamite is located in the treed area behind the barracks.


It is a foggy summer morning in San Francisco; this is a view looking north from the gun battery bluffs of the Presidio. The ship heading under the Golden Gate Bridge appears to be an oil tanker traveling to the Chevron Richmond Oil Refinery


This aerial photograph of Fort Winfield Scott was taken in 1939. The Golden Gate Bridge is just out of sight at the top left corner of the picture. Many of the gun batteries sited on the bluffs overlooking San Francisco Bay can be seen on the left side of this photo. 
From top to bottom they are Battery Cranston, Battery Marcus Miller, Battery Boutelle, and Battery GodfreyBattery Dynamite and Battery Saffold are also visible, amongst other gun and mortar batteries. 
The parade ground, the enlisted men's barracks, the headquarters building, the Army prison, and officer housing are also visible. This view is looking north.


THEN This 10-inch disappearing gun at Battery Marcus Miller is sited at gun battery position oneThis disappearing gun is in its raised, ready to fire position. There were three 10-inch disappearing guns mounted at Battery Marcus Miller. The construction of Battery Marcus Miller commenced on 2 June 1891. The three guns were placed on the site in 1897. The battery was eventually considered obsolete, and the guns were ordered removed in July 1918. This photo is circa 1910.


NOW This is Battery Marcus Miller's gun battery number one. The orange buildings ahead are maintenance workshops and offices for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. The offices and workshops occupy the site of Battery Cranston.


This is Battery Marcus Miller's gun battery number two.


Here is Battery Marcus Miller's gun battery number three.


NOW This is a photo of Battery Cranston's gun battery number two. It is now used as office space for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. The construction of Battery Cranston commenced on 10 June 1897. Battery Cranston had two ten-inch disappearing guns; they were installed on 31 March 1898. During World War II, Battery Cranston was declared obsolete, and on 21 November 1942 the guns were ordered removed and scrapped.


THEN Battery Cranston was armed with two 10-inch disappearing guns. This is gun battery number two. The gun as seen in this picture is in its lowered non-visible position. This photo is circa 1910.


NOW A partial view of Battery Cranston's number two gun's firing position; it is now occupied by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District; it is being used as office space.


THEN This is Battery Boutelle. The picture is circa 1910, and the view is looking north. 


NOW  Battery Boutelle had three 5-inch guns. Construction of the battery commenced in 1898, and the three guns were placed in 1901. Within sixteen years Battery Boutelle was considered obsolete, and on 31 December 1917, its three 5-inch guns were ordered removed. 

Here is a view of gun battery number three at Battery Boutelle.


This photograph of Battery Godfrey was taken in 1938. This gun battery had three non-disappearing 12-inch guns. The construction of the gun battery commenced in 1892. Two of the three guns were placed in 1896, and one was placed in 1897. During World War II, the guns were deemed to be obsolete, and they were ordered to be removed on 19 November 1942.


This is one of the three non-disappearing 12-inch guns at Battery Godfrey. This picture is circa 1910.

Battery Godfrey's gun battery number one is being prepared to test fire a 12-inch round which weighed approximately 1,070 pounds. This photo is circa 1910. 


Battery Godfrey gun battery number two is being test fired. Circa 1910. 


Here is a view of Battery Godfrey looking west.


This is a view of Battery Godfrey looking north.


Battery Godfrey's gun battery number three is being test fired with civilians observing the event. I believe this firing took place on the 4th of July, in celebration of Independence Day. This photograph is circa 1910.


The one-story cinder block building partially visible on the left side of this photograph is Presidio building #1648It was the site of the San Francisco Bay Area Nike Missile Headquarters. During the Cold War, in the 1950s thru the 1970s, there were up to twelve Nike missile launching sites located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and approximately 280 Nike missile sites nationwide. On the right side of this photo is Battery Godfrey. The view is looking west.


A view looking west from the Presidio's coastal bluffs. Ahead in the distance is San Francisco's Land's End. Fort Miley was sited at Land's End. Its mission was to defend the Bay Area from enemy ships attempting to enter San Francisco Bay.

This is a combined Harbor Defense Command Post Harbor Entrance Control Point. It was a bomb-proof reinforced concrete two-story command/observation post. Construction of the post was authorized after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. The post was built in 1943, and it became operational on 8 January 1944.

The main part of the post was roofed with reinforced concrete, and with earth cover for overhead protection. This structure provided 44,900 cubic feet of gas-proof space. The first floor consisted of 16 room of various sizes. The second floor housed one observation post for the Navy and one observation post for the Army, as seen above. This underground command post is not accessible to the general public.


Battery Godfrey's commander's observation post and plotting room. This observation post became operational on 31 December 1900.

During the American Civil War advances in artillery proved that brick and masonry forts were unable to withstand bombardment by heavy artillery. Thus, the period following the Civil War was marked by revisions to the United States seacoast defense system; earthwork gun batteries replaced brick and mortar forts. 

In 1872, work began on several new gun positions on the coastal bluffs overlooking San Francisco Bay. In 1873 West Battery was completed and armed with twelve 15-inch Rodman guns. When the Endicott-period gun batteries were constructed at the Presidio during the 1890's, Fort Point's West Battery was almost completely demolished. This was done in order to build new Endicott gun batteries on the coastal bluffs overlooking San Francisco Bay. This is the remains of an earthen powder magazine at West Battery. 


This photograph of Battery Saffold was taken in 1938. Battery Saffold was sited just west of Battery Dynamite; It had two non-disappearing 12-inch guns. The construction of this gun battery began in 1897. One of the two guns was placed in 1897, and the second gun was placed in 1898. Battery Saffold became operational on 4 February 1898. While the battery could fire seaward, Battery Saffold was unique because recesses existed in the parapet walls of the battery which allowed the two guns to also fire directly into San Francisco Bay. The battery remained in service through the beginning of World War II, after which the guns were deemed to be obsolete, and they were ordered to be removed on 19 November 1942. Battery Saffold is closed to the general public.


Battery Saffold's battery commander's post is visible in this picture. It was added to the battery in 1900.


This was the location of gun battery number one.


The battery commander's observation post.

NOW This was the location of gun battery number two.


THEN This is a view of gun battery number two with three medical personnel from the Presidio's Army Hospital on site. This photo is circa 1920. 

Here is the location of gun battery number one.

This is the rear of Battery Saffold.


This was the Battery Dynamite powerhouse. It supplied compressed air at 2,500 pounds per square inch with which to fire the pneumatically launched dynamite shells. The construction of Battery Dynamite began in 1894. Three dynamite guns were placed at Battery Dynamite in 1895, and Battery Dynamite became operational on 8 June 1900. All pneumatically launched dynamite gun batteries in the United States were declared obsolete in 1901. The three guns of Battery Dynamite were ordered salvaged in 1904. Once disarmed, the site of Battery Dynamite was used for many different purposes over a period of multiple decades.


Here is another view of the Battery Dynamite powerhouse. During November 2016, I visited Battery Dynamite. Go Here to see the photographs that I took of Battery Dynamite.


Fort Point is a brick and masonry constructed fortification located at the entrance to San Francisco Bay at the southern terminus of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Army Corps of Engineers began the construction of Fort Point in 1853, and a crew of 200 men labored for eight years in the building the fort. 

In 1861, with civil war looming, the army had soldiers stationed at Fort Point to defend San Francisco against attacks by Confederate warships. Throughout the American Civil War(1861-1865) artillerymen at Fort Point stood guard against a Confederate attack that never came. 

In August of 1865, the Confederate raider ship CSS Shenandoah was in the Pacific Ocean sailing north towards San Francisco. As the vessel approached San Francisco Bay, the captain of the CSS Shenandoah received an urgent message stating that Confederate forces had surrendered to Union troops on 13 May 1865, three months previously.

On the Atlantic Coast, severe artillery damage was rendered to similarly constructed brick and masonry forts during the Civil War. That fact brought into question the effectiveness of brick and masonry forts against the new high powered artillery shells being used by Confederate naval ships. Shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War, Army troops vacated Fort Point, and it was never again continuously occupied.


THEN This photo of Battery Crosby was taken in 1938. This gun battery had two non-disappearing 6-inch guns. Construction of this gun battery began on 3 June 1899, and the guns were mounted in 1900. During the early days of World War II, Battery Crosby's two 6-inch guns were used to cover the approaches to the Golden Gate Bridge and the underwater defensive minefields in the Main Shipping Channel. Battery Crosby was later deemed to be obsolete, and the guns were ordered removed on 6 December 1943. The view is looking east.


This is a current view of Battery Crosby.


THEN A test firing of a non-disappearing six-inch gun mounted at Battery Crosby. The view is looking north, and this picture is circa 1930.


NOW Here is a view of Battery Crosby's gun battery number two.


Battery Crosby is seen in the near distance. The Marin Headlands and the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge are visible.


This is Marshall's Beach. Ahead is the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge opened to the public on 27 May 1937. It is 1.7 miles in length and has a six-lane roadway. At the time of its construction, it was both the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world, with a main span of 4,200 feet and a total height of 746 feet. It is still the tallest bridge in the United States, and on an average day, it carries 110,000 vehicles.


Here is a view of Baker Beach, looking west. The San Francisco Sea Cliff neighborhood and Lands End are both visible.

In 1891 the Federal government secured ownership of 54 acres at Lands End. The construction of fortifications at Lands End, as part of the Coast Defenses of San Francisco, began in 1899. A battery of two 12-inch disappearing guns was completed in 1902. A third 12-inch disappearing gun was installed in 1903. On 27 November 1899, construction began on a mortar battery containing sixteen 12-inch mortars. The mortar battery was completed in 1902 and transferred to the Coast Artillery Corps on 26 September 1902. These weapons covered all of the approaches to San Francisco Bay. In 1900 the military reservation at Lands End was named Fort Miley. Fort Miley eventually lost its strategic importance, and by 1949 it was history.

Battery Chamberlin is located towards the far end of Baker Beach. The battery was built in 1904, and it had four 6-inch disappearing guns. Battery Chamberlin was deemed obsolete after World War II, and the guns were ordered to be removed in 1948. Go Here to see the photographs that I took of Battery Chamberlin during November 2016. 







"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lang 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt

"Harbor Defenses of San Francisco - A Field Guide, 1890 to 1950," was an essential tool in assembling this edition of the photo bog. Thank you, Matthew W. Kent. 

You may enjoy my 12 October 2016 photo blog post. It contains additional information about Presidio Building #1648.

The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view those photos.

   A Sony camera was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com