AKA: City of San Francisco, Public Library, Richmond Branch, Richmond District, San Francisco, CA; City of San Francisco, Public Library, Richmond/Senator Milton Marks Branch, Richmond District, San Francisco, CA

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

Designers: Bliss and Faville, Architects (firm); Walter Danforth Bliss (architect); William Baker Faville (architect)

Dates: constructed 1913-1914

1 story, total floor area: 13,900 sq. ft.

351 9th Avenue
Richmond District, San Francisco, CA 94118

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The notable Beaux-Arts architectural firm of Bliss and Faville designed this Carnegie-financed Richmond District branch of the San Francisco Public Library. The Richmond District received the fourth branch constructed in the SFPL system, and this library was the second facility to serve the neighborhood, the first at 809 Point Lobos Avenue having operated from 1892 until 1914.

Building History

This branch library was the first of seven built by the San Francisco Public system between 1914 and 1921. Subsequent branches opened in the Mission (1915), Noe Valley (1916), Sunset District (1918), Golden Gate Valley (1918), North Beach, (later Chinatown) (1921) and the Presidio (1921), all of which received Carnegie money, about $50,000 each, to complete. (The Richmond Branch received $48,910 in 1912 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.) The renowned architectural firm of Bliss and Faville, perhaps the city's leading Beaux-Arts firm, produced the design for the Richmond Branch.

Building Notes

The San Francisco Landmarks Board designated the Richmond Branch Library as an official city landmark on 02/09/2005. It became Landmark #247.

The original building contained about 9,900 square feet of space. An additional 4,000 square feet was added in 2009.


In order to upgrade and enlarge the Richmond Branch, $7.3 million in funding was derived from a $105.9 million City of San Francisco bond measure passed in 11/2000 to approve SFPL renovations, a total of $500,000 raised for furniture and equipment by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and an additional $5.9 million paid out of California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act of 2000 (Proposition 14) bond funds. The total $13.7 million funding paid for seismic improvements and historic renovation of the 1914 library, enhanced electrical and data infrastructure, a new space designed for teen readers and a larger children's reading area, new study spaces, a two-floor atrium, a new book-drop, erogonomic furniture for staff, and additional ADA improvements. The ADA alterations were mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.

The San Francisco Department of Public Works, Bureau of Architecture, collaborated with building contractor ISEC, Incorporated, on the building rehabilitation and expansion. Their renovations received a "Project of the Year Award" from the American Public Works Association (APWA), Northern California Chapter, in 03/2010.

San Francisco Historic Landmark (2005-02-09): 247

PCAD id: 19247