San Francisco Ferry Building

San Francisco Ferry Building

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San Francisco Ferry Building

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The San Francisco Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries that travel across the San Francisco Bay and a shopping center located on The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. On top of the building is a large clock tower, which can be seen from Market Street, a main thoroughfare of the city. Architecturally, the clock tower was modeled after the 12th century Giralda bell tower in Seville, Spain. During daylight, on every full and half-hour, the clock bell chime portions of the Westminster Quarters. The chimes are a recording and play through several sets of very large speakers in the tower and are not connected to the tower clock mechanism.


The present structure, designed by local San Francisco architect A. Page Brown, opened in 1898, replacing its wooden predecessor, and survived both the 1906 earthquake and the 1989 earthquake with little damage. Until the completion of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s it was the second busiest transit terminal in the world, second only to London's Charing Cross Station. It served as the embarcation point for commuters to San Francisco from the East Bay who rode the ferry fleets of the Southern Pacific and the Key System. A loop track existed in front of the building for streetcars. A large pedestrian bridge also spanned the Embarcadero in front of the Ferry building until the late 1940s.


After the bridges opened, and the new Key System trains began running to the East Bay from the Transbay......
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