100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Year Constructed
Structural Engineering Firm(s)
Structural Engineer(s)
Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein & Moris
San Francisco Main Library
San Francisco Main Library
Significance to Structural Engineering History in Northern California

The base isolation system was the first for a major U.S. public library and the first public building in San Francisco to use base isolators.

Structure Description

The new San Francisco Main Library is a significant addition to the Beaux Arts style of architecture in San Francisco’s Civic Center district.  The library was moved from the location of the current Asian Art Museum to the newly designed 100 Larkin Street building, funded by $104.5 million in bonds and $22 million in private donations.  The 375,000 square foot building with six stories and a basement was constructed with steel special moment frames and 142 base isolators.  The library features a five-story sky-lit atrium, interior bridges connecting floors, a grand staircase rising four stories, and approximately double the amount of usable space than its predecessor.

  • SEAOC Excellence in Structural Engineering (2003)
Interesting Facts
  • The library opened on the 90th anniversary of the 1906 Great San Francisco earthquake.
Related Event(s)