Other Facts about the Building

Financing:

Construction was financed by a $109.5 million bond measure approved by San Francisco voters in 1988. Construction of the Main Library cost $104.5 million. The remaining funds were used for branch renovations. Furnishing, interior finishes and equipment were financed through $30 million in private funds raised by the Library Foundation of San Francisco.

Site:

Marshall Square in San Francisco Civic Center. The site is bounded by Larkin, Fulton, Hyde and Grove Streets.

Chronology and Schedule:

1974:

The Library Commission, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Keep Libraries Alive!, and other citizen groups fight successfully to retain Marshall Square as the site for a new main library.

1985:

The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library offers to work with Mayor Dianne Feinstein on the completion of the Civic Center, including use of Marshall Square for a new library.

1986:

A task force is created by Mayor Feinstein to complete the design of the Civic Center. A report by Becker and Hayes/Omni-Group criticizes the Old Main and calls for building a new library in Marshall Square. The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library inaugurate a private fund-raising campaign for the New Main. The Library Foundation of San Francisco is established to support a New Main. (Friends & Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library)

1987:

A second study by Becker and Hayes/Omni-Group underscores the use of Marshall Square for a new library. Another study, by Skidmore Owings Merrill, recommends that the Old Main be used for a museum. (Future of the Old Main.) The mayor calls for a new main library in Marshall Square as part of a Civic Center master plan.

1988:

Library bond for 109.5 million passes for renovation of a few branches and construction of a new 376,000 square foot Main Library.

1989:

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York and Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein Moris of San Francisco are hired by the Library Commission as architects for the New Main.

1991:

The Library Foundation officially announces its campaign for the New Main.

1992:

Groundbreaking ceremony is held in Marshall Square. Special Gifts campaign is launched to seek funds from various local constituencies (affinity groups) for particular collections and capital gains.

1993:

On March 15, construction of the New Main begins.

1994:

Topping-out ceremony marks the completion of the framing of the new building. The Library Foundation reaches $30 million fund-raising goal and keeps going.

1995:

New Main is completed. By the end of the year, the Library Foundation has raised $35 million.

1996:

Opening of the Main is on April 18.

2000:

Post Occupancy Evaluation Report (POE): Executive Summary

Seating:

Seating Capacity: 2,043 (5 times that of the Old Main Library)

Public Service Areas: 1,180 (3 times that of the Old Main Library)

Meeting Rooms: 544 seats Auditorium: 235 seats

Study Rooms: 46 seats (2 in each study room)

Size:

Square Feet: 376,000. Six floors above ground. One floor below ground.

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