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

Designers: Coxhead, Ernest, Architect (firm); Ernest Albert Coxhead (architect)

Dates: constructed 1917

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1801 Green Street
Pacific Heights, Ssn Francisco, CA 94123

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The Golden Gate Valley Branch occupied the southwest corner of Green and Octavia Streets.


English-born architect Ernest Coxhead designed this small, linear branch library in the mid-1910s. It was completed in 1917, and paid for using funds supplied by Andrew Carnegie's Carnegie Corporation of New York. Its form had to fill a narrow site, and its plan varied from many contemporary Carnegie libraries of the period.

Building History

In the years before and after Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915, a great deal of building and development occurred in San Francisco's north-central Marina neighborhood. Woody LaBounty of SF said of the Golden Gate Valley Branch: "Between 1925 and 1930, as single-family homes, flats, and apartment buildings filled the former site of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the housing capacity of the Marina District went from almost nothing to more than 25,000. The closest public library for these new residents was the Golden Gate Valley branch at Green and Octavia Streets, built in 1917. The Carnegie-funded Beaux-Arts-style building was imposing and formal. Architect Ernest Coxhead had modeled it on a roman basilica and it exuded classical grandeur inside and out. But its size was not adequate to handle a doubling of patrons." (See Woody LaBounty, SF "Marina Branch Library: a Landmark of Light," pubished 10/19/2020, accessed 02/20/2022.)

PCAD id: 24300