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Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., Port of San Francisco, and Ferry Building Investors Get Things Ticking, Celebrate Clock Re-Starting


A new plaque was also unveiled on the front wall of the Ferry Building commemorating the refurbishment. Port Director Doug Wong and Port Commission President Emeritus Kim Brandon flank Mayor Brown.

The Mayor of San Francisco, the Port of San Francisco, and Ferry Building Investors, LLC re-started the Ferry Building’s 245-foot tall historic timepiece during the "Ferry Building Clock Starting Ceremony" on Tuesday, June 17th. At noon, the Honorable Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. officially "re-started" the clock as the carillon signaled the clock’s return to service and the beginning of summer in San Francisco.

"The rehabilitation of the Ferry Building is a lasting legacy for San Franciscans," said Mayor Brown. "The re-starting of the clock signals the Ferry Building’s return to public service as an icon on the vibrant waterfront. The restoration would not have come to fruition without the tremendous public support and backing by the Port and the Ferry Building Investors stakeholders."

Ferry Building Investors, LLC is a joint venture partnership among four firms including Equity Office, Wilson Meany Sullivan (WMS), Primus Infrastructure, LLC, and Banc of America Historic Capital Assets, LLC. In 1998, San Francisco-based developer WMS was selected by the city to transform the site back to its original status with additional functionality that would enhance the value and community impact of the property. Equity Office joined the effort and provided investment capital, extensive commercial office experience, and financial solidarity to the project.

That takes the cake. Mayor Brown cuts the first slice of a cake baked into the shape of the Ferry Building.

"This is one of the city’s most important projects and certainly a landmark achievement for Equity Office as well," said Mark Geisreiter, senior vice president of Equity Office’s San Francisco region. "As stewards of bringing the vision of the fully restored Ferry Building to life, we believe that starting the clock is another step toward restoring one of San Francisco’s most cherished landmarks to even greater grandeur."

The public reintroduction to this world-renowned and cherished civic icon was initiated earlier this spring when ferry commuters reentered the building and the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market returned, and will continue throughout the summer culminating with a Marketplace Grand Opening Celebration planned for the fall.


From the ridiculous to the sublime: "Ferry Building Man," aka John Hearney, a contractor living in Oakland, lines up with the real thing.

"With the clock starting, we’re celebrating an unprecedented collaboration between public and private interests," said Chris Meany, principal of WMS. "While there is still more to come at the project, the clock starting is an opportunity to publicly thank the numerous partners that came together on this monumental development. Credit should also be shared with our trio of well-respected San Francisco-based architectural firms, SMWM, BCV Architects, and Page & Turnbull, as well as our contractor, Plant Construction Company of San Francisco."


Local color. He may seem crazy, but he was savvy enough to get his sign smack-dab in the center of every camera angle.

The monumental clock tower, modeled after the clock tower of the Giralda Cathedral in Seville, Spain, has been a landmark at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco for more than 100 years. The clock has stood still for more than two years while the building was under construction. Each of the four 22-foot diameter clock faces has been carefully refurbished. New steel bracing has strengthened its core, while the historic clock mechanism has been rehabilitated. A new lighting system ensures that the clock tower, with its elegant architectural details, will be a visible beacon both night and day.


Chris Meany played a key role in making the Ferry Building renovation happen and he has the ship marks to show for it. Here, his moment in the sun.

For more than a century, the Ferry Building has been one of the most beloved buildings in San Francisco. Designed by A. Page Brown and originally completed in 1898, the monumental Beaux Arts Ferry Building was the primary point of arrival and departure for San Francisco until the construction of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges in the late 1930s. In 1957, the building was hidden behind the Embarcadero Freeway. With the removal of the Embarcadero Freeway, the Ferry Building is once again the focal point on San Francisco’s magnificent waterfront. Now, after the city’s 10-year effort to transform this once industrial area, the Ferry Building claims its place as a gem on the waterfront midway between the new PacBell Ballpark and Fisherman’s Wharf. The venerable waterfront icon is a beacon of civic pride, having earned a spot on the National Register’s list of Historic Places and distinction as the City of San Francisco’s Registered Landmark No. 90. The unique mixed-use project includes 175,000 square feet of Class A office space, 65,000 square feet of retail marketplace space, open-air cafes and restaurants, and is home to the popular Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market.

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