Structure Type: built works - infrastructure

Designers: Polk, Willis, and Company (firm); Willis Jefferson Polk (architect)

Dates: [unspecified]

Sloat Boulevard
San Francisco, CA

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San Francisco architect Willis Polk used "Gunite," cement sprayed with a gun, for the exterior of this pumping station. The first Gunite cement gun was developed by C.F. Akeley of the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago, IL; the gun consisted of mixing chamber for cement and sand through which compressed air was forced, moving the mixture through a hose to a nozzle, where water was added to form an easily-applied form of concrete. Akeley created the machine to cover the Field Museum building, erected in temporary materials for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, in a permanent, fire-proof material. Gunite began to be used by architects in Los Angeles, CA, Pasadena, CA, and San Francisco, CA, by about 1910. The Mortimer Fleishhacker House (Greene and Greene, Woodside, CA, 1911-1912) was a well-known example to have a Gunite-applied cement exterior cladding. Polk used this machine at about the same time, c. 1910-1911 to surface this pumping station for the Spring Valley Water Company. Fleishhacker's prominent estate was near to reservoirs used by the Spring Valley Water Company to store San Francisco's drinking water.

PCAD id: 15822