AKA: Caltrans, San Francisco Transbay Terminal, South of Market, San Francisco, CA

Structure Type: built works - infrastructure - transportation structures - bus terminals; built works - infrastructure - transportation structures - railroad stations

Designers: Brown, Arthur, Jr., and Associates, Architect (firm); Donovan, John J., Architect (firm); Pflueger, Timothy L. Architect (firm); Arthur Brown Jr. (architect); John Joseph Donovan Sr. (architect); Timothy Ludwig Pflueger (architect)

Dates: constructed 1937-1939, demolished 2010

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425 Mission Street
South of Market, San Francisco, CA 94105


Noted San Francisco architect Timothy Pflueger designed this terminal building to serve electric trains operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad, Sacramento Northern Railway and Key System. These trains used the lower deck of the Bay Bridge to reach San Francisco from the east, but service was curailed by the SP and Sacramento Northern in 1941, only two years after the terminal's completion. The Key System, serving the East Bay, continued to use the building until 1955, when its electric rail service stopped. In 1959, local and national bus lines--including the East Bay's AC Transit, San Francisco's Muni, Marin County's Golden Gate Transit, San Mateo County's SamTrans, and Greyhound--utilized the Transbay Terminal. Buses until it closed permanently on 08/07/2010. A new multi-modal Transbay terminal, known as the "Transbay Center," would replace it by 2018.

Building History

Timothy Pflueger (1892-1946), the talented San Francisco architect, led a top design team that included the San Francisco architect Arthur Brown, Jr., (1874-1957) and Oakland's John J. Donovan (1876-1949), to create this Depression era infrastructure project. Originally serving electric rail service entering the city via the Bay Bridge, the station became redesigned to accommodate bus tranport by the late 1950s.

Pflueger also collaborated with Charles H. Purcell, chief engineer, Charles E. Andrew, bridge engineer, and Glenn B. Woodruff, engineer of design.

Building Notes

When first opened, the Transbay Terminal included various amenities for commuters and travelers, including a Harvey House diner, Cuddles Bar, a shoe shine stand, Roy's Barber Shop, and other stores and stands.


The process of taking down the Transbay Terminal began in 12/2010 and concluded by 09/2011.

PCAD id: 22618