The Building

1918 Read More →
San Francisco's Completed 'City Beautiful' Waterfront

Construction Begins on Civic Finger Piers 1, 1½, 3 and 5 (1918 – 1928) — [6 Images]

Construction begins on civic finger Piers 1, 1½, 3 and 5, at the heart of the San Francisco waterfront north of the Ferry Building.

The construction of these finger piers spanned over a decade and was led by Chief Engineer of the State Harbor Commission, Frank G. White. Pier 1 opened in 1931. Unlike the piers to the south of the Ferry Building, the piers to the north were built in the Beaux-Arts architectural style, similar to New York City’s Cunard Line and White Star Line Piers (of Titanic fame), designed by Warren and Wetmore, architects of New York’s Grand Central Station.

1918 Read More →
Panoramic View of Waterfront Construction

Pier 1 Completed — [4 Images]

Pier 1 is built. The concrete platform, supported by concrete beams and a 10’x10’ grid of concrete-jacketed wood piles, extends 703 feet into the Bay to the east behind the bulkhead building. The Pier is connected to a system of marginal wharves and sea walls upon which the bulkhead building rests—in other words, the bulkhead building was built principally on the land, while the pier platform and shed were built over the water on tall Douglas fir piles. The pier shed building, an elegant steel frame and concrete structure, was designed for the loading and unloading of ships. The open aprons on both the north and southern sides accommodated cargo loading and transport. Neither the bulkhead building, the pier platform nor the pier shed were laterally braced, and seismically could not meet contemporary building codes.

1931 Read More →

The Building Now

1932 Read More →

Original State of the Building

1936 Read More →
Pier 1 as a Parking Lot

Pier 1 and the Waterfront – Neglected and Forgotten — [6 Images]

Pier 1 used as a Parking Lot with miscellaneous office and retail uses in the Bulkhead Building. Finger Piers like Pier 1 had become dilapidated and obsolete and, with the 1953 construction of the Embarcadero Freeway, the once vibrant Port of San Francisco was cut off from its lifeblood, the City of San Francisco.

1960 Read More →
Ships Docking at Civic Piers early 20th Century

Changes to the North Apron

Various changes were made to the North Apron. In four areas small inlets, which permitted small ships to dock inside the pier shed, were filled in, and six of the original …

1963 Read More →
Train Tracks in Pier 1 South Apron before Redesign

Competition Brief Issued by the Port of San Francisco — [5 Images]

With the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway in the early 1990s, the Port of San Francisco made the decision to issue its initial Developer-Architect Public-Private RFP to re-purpose the first …

1998 Read More →

Move from 505 Montgomery Street

Hamid Moghadam, Prologis, CEO, wanted to change the workplace parameters and style of Prologis’ office configuration and layout in order to achieve a more collaborative, efficient office environment. Luis Belmonte, Project Principal, …

1998 Read More →
Pier 1 Proposed Elevations

Prologis/SWWM Team Produces Competition Entry — [13 Images]

Four teams submitted and the Prologis/SMWM team was selected to partner with the Port. This was the first Public-Private Partnership undertaken by the Port and set both the tone and process for the re-purposing of subsequent historic San Francisco finger piers.

1998 Read More →
Pier1 Team Short

Pier 1 Team Selected

Working with Prologis, SMWM selected a team of design and technical consultants to work together on this new pioneering project:

Rutherford and Chekene–Structural Engineers (Rich Niewiarowski, Alan Kren)
Flack and Kurtz—Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineers (Reg Monteyne, Allan Montpellier)
Historic Consultant—Page and Turnbull (Jay Turnbull)
Graphic Design—Debra Nichols
Workplace Guru—Fritz Steele
Marine Engineer—Moffatt and Nichols (Bo Jensen)
Underwater Engineer—Power Engineering
General Contractor—Nibbi Brothers (Larry Nibbi, Joe Mazetti)
Construction Manager –Nick Sica
Land Use Attorney—Shepherd Mullin (Bob Thompson)
BCDC Attorney—Mike Wilmar
Architect of Record, Port Offices—TomEliotFisch (Doug Tom)

1998 Read More →
Pier 1 Cross Section

Study of Existing Conditions at Pier 1 — [2 Images]

Prologis and SMWM/Perkins+Will (the wining design team) work to understand the existing conditions at Pier 1 including the exterior building envelope, seismic conditions and existing underwater structural conditions. Via the discovery of poor seismic conditions, and the need to redo underwater structure, the design team decides not to add parking as part of the pier development.

1998 Read More →
Historic Places National Register Plaque

Application for National Register of Historic Places Granted

This award allowed the project to be awarded tax credits, which permitted greater flexibility in the financing of the Pier 1 project.

1998 Read More →

The Construction Process

1998 Read More →
Pier 1 Project Schedule

Entitlement Process Begins

City and County of San Francisco Planning Department issued final negative declaration. Pier 1 required compatibility with plans and policies, agencies with oversight, including: San Francisco Planning Code City and …

1999 Read More →

The Approval Process

1999 Read More →
SMWM Pier 1 Architectural Site Model

Specific Design Studies at Pier 1 Conclude — [15 Images]

These studies included the expansion of public access as required by the Bay Expansion and Development Commission, fenestration and sustainability (heating and cooling) studies.

1999 Read More →

Workplace Development

SMWM/Perkins+Will began its workplace study engagement with Prologis.  Drawing on key workspace precedents, ranging from the Alcoa headquarters in Pittsburgh to the Chiat/Day headquarters in Los Angeles, Prologis began the …

1999 Read More →
Pier 1 during Construction

Seismic Upgrades and Construction — [30 Images]

Piles and pile caps are put into place, and construction begins.

1999 Read More →
Pier 1 Section

Workplace Design Engagement (1999 – 2001)

The workplace design team, with input by Prologis CEO Hamid R. Moghadam , workplace consultant Fritz Steele and design firm SMWM establish basic Workplace Design.

These included a more engaged workforce, willing to work in a more collaborative fashion across disciplines and break down departmental silos. The objectives also aimed to create an atmosphere that inspired creativity and more opportunities for ad hoc interactions. The plan included spaces for staff to find private places to think and do focused work, as well as space for staff to collaborate in various sized teams, gather socially, and host large events.

1999 Read More →

Mezzanine Added

Mezzanine section is added to the Pier 1 workplace.

1999 Read More →


Prologis’ continues to improve the sustainability of Pier 1.  In 2013 it began an energy-efficiency overhaul that will reduce grid energy consumption by 32 percent. Prologis undertook this project to …

2000 Read More →
Pier 1 Interior

Renovation Completed, Prologis Moves In — [26 Images]

Prologis moved into its new headquarters, as did the Port of San Francisco and several notable tenants, including the venture capital firm of Weston Presidio and the Venture Law Group. 2000: The final workplace goals for the Pier 1 Project are articulated to drive the design.

These primary goals were to create a highly effective new work environment for Prologis in San Francisco. The workspace would be a testing ground for new concepts such as ways of using space and other resources efficiently: a workplace for the future. This combination of special building and unique location transformed the way Prologis works.

2001 Read More →
ULI Award

Pier 1 Honored with Awards

Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence – Best Rehabilitation 2001 San Francisco Business Times Real Estate Deals of the Year – Best Rehabilitation/Renovation 2001 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Outstanding …

2001 Read More →

Pier 1 Today

Pier 1′s Uses today:

2001-2003 New Pier 1 Waterfront conference rooms used as the Port Commission Hearing Room by the Port while the Ferry Building was being completed
2002 National American Institute of Architects has special meeting at Pier 1 and the Ferry Building to celebrate the future opening of the Ferry Building
2010 Foundation for San Francisco’s Architectural Heritage lecture series
2012 SF Giants hold Mission Rock project public meeting # 1
2001- Present Workshops, seminars, planning sessions by the Port, various other government agencies and community groups (SPUR, SF Architectural Heritage, SF Planning Department, etc.)

2013 Read More →