Structure Type: built works - social and civic buildings - libraries

Designers: Tom Eliot Fisch Architects (firm); Appleton and Wolfard, Architects (firm); Field Paoli Architects (firm); Abraham Appleton (architect); Amy Eliot (architect); Bobbie Fisch (interior designer); Douglas Tom (architect); Harold Nelson Wolfard (architect)

Dates: constructed 1953-1954

1 story

view all images ( of 3 shown)

1890 Chestnut Street
Marina District, San Francisco, CA 94123

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map


This post-war branch library was sited nearby to the Marina Middle School, built in 1936. The library occupied the southwest corner of the WPA-era Funston Playground (what became the 12-acre George R. Moscone Recreation Center), a tract bounded by Bay Street on the north, Laguna Street on the east, Chestnut Street on the south, and what was Webster Street on the west.

Building History

The Marina Branch of the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) was the 23rd erected by the system. The San Francisco architectural tandem of Appleton and Wolfard designed the building, opened to the public on 06/16/1954. Its total cost came to $156,742. It functioned from 1954 until 2005, when it closed for renovations.

Building Notes

Appleton and Wolfard gave the Marina Branch Library a distinctly Modern appearance. The exterior had large window expanses to allow in light. They utilized a very precise looking stack brick bond to sheath the exterior walls.


In 2005-2007, the San Francisco Department of Public Works funded a renovation of the Marina Branch Library, at a cost of $3.9 million. Two architectural firms participated in the redesign process, Tom Elliot Fisch and Field Paoli. These two firms designed a small addition and supervised adjustments to the interior to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and new, more stringent seismic codes. It reopened in 08/2007.

PCAD id: 17829