You are here:   Home  /  The Building  /  Pier 1 Completed — [4 Images]
  • Panoramic View of Waterfront Construction
  • Pier 1 incorporated into San Francisco's 'City Beautiful' Waterfront
  • San Francisco Waterfront
  • Pier 1 at the Waterfront (lower right corner)

Pier 1 Completed — [4 Images]

The concrete platform, supported by concrete beams and a 10’x10’ grid of concrete-jacketed wood piles, extended 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 they could not meet contemporary building codes.

The first tenant of Pier 1 was The Bay and River Navigation Company, a small shipping company that transported cane sugar, refined and packaged at the C&H Sugar Company in Crockett, California. While bulk sugar was sent from Oakland and Alameda to other parts of the country, Pier 1 served as a warehouse for refined sugar that was sold locally.  The Pier’s adjacency to the San Francisco Produce District and wholesale markets made this an ideal location for sugar distribution.

The 1930s saw the highest recorded number of people using the Transbay Ferry Service in the city’s history. To accommodate this overflow ferry traffic, a small ferry slip located just to the north of the Ferry Building had to be used. However, this ancillary slip had to be removed during the construction of Pier 1. In its place, the designers added a curved southern shed wall following the distinctive shape of the ferry boats, making Pier 1 unique among San Francisco’s normally rectangular piers.  A second-level passenger gallery on the Pier’s north side was used to accommodate even more ferry berthing.

Pier 1 originally housed the headquarters for the Chief Wharfinger, the person responsible for all of the operations of the Port of San Francisco.

Photo Credits