San Francisco/Golden Gate Valley

San Francisco/Golden Gate Valley, San Francisco County

San Francisco area, San Francisco Bay Area region

Golden Gate Valley Branch Library
1801 Green Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

opened 1918
Public library from 1918-present
currently a public library

grant amount: $43,000
architectural style: Italian Renaissance
architect: Ernest Coxhead


In accordance with the 1901 letter from Andrew Carnegie to Mayor James Phelan, promising $750,000 for a main library and branches, the Carnegie funds were allocated more or less one half for a main library and the remainder for branches. The city paid the difference between the main library's Carnegie share and its $1,152,000 total cost. The branch share was divided among seven libraries. No lots were donated and land costs ranged from a high in densely populated Mission property to a city owned lot in less developed Richmond; in at least one case the neighbors contributed to land costs.

Most of the branches have been enlarged very slightly, all have been retrofitted due to higher standards and varying degrees of earthquake damage, and all are included in San Francisco's "List of Architecturally Significant Buildings." And all of the branches still serve as libraries.

For Golden Gate Valley, the fourth San Francisco Carnegie, a 50'x125' corner lot was purchased for $9000, of which $1500 was raised by residents of the area. Noted architect Ernest Coxhead designed the Italian Renaissance building which resembles a Roman basilica with its long narrow rectangle and curved apse visible on three sides. In a residential area in the Marina, south of Lombard Street at the corner of Octavia and Green streets, the library is sited immediately adjacent to the sidewalk. It was completed at a cost of $43,000.