From Inside Transbay Terminal (updates)

Farewell, Transbay Terminal
Photo by Telstar Logistics

Update (August 4, 7:36 a.m.): Chris Roberts has a nice gallery and story up about the Transbay Terminal over at SF Appeal.

Update (August 3, 12:20 p.m.): California Beat has a great article detailing the history of the terminal, along with more awesome photos.

Original post: Looking through many of the photos of last week’s final official peek inside the Transbay Terminal left me feeling nostalgic. I felt like I was really looking into San Francisco’s past, a sad, failed relic of what was once so idealistic and, I’m sure, awesome. Transbay was a place where transit systems converged, where worlds collided, mingled, ignored one another because they had places to be. It was like a sorry attempt at Grand Central in New York. Oh, the potential.

The building will soon be demolished to make room for a high rise and high-speed rail station. In the mean time, you’ve got to check out the photos from the last official tour of the Transbay Terminal.

Check out those antique Corn Flakes, all those goddam payphones, the bar set with Martini glasses and a shaker or two, a drunk tank (no comment), all from the set taken by the talented  Telstar Logistics, who also took the photograph above.

This Is Not A Hipstamatic
Photo by Troy Holden

The reason for the Transbay Terminal’s demolition (set for some time between Oct. 1 and Dec. 28 this year) is the construction of new, 21-century-ready transit center, to be located on the same footprint as this building. City, state, and federal governments (and some transit activists) hope this new building will usher in a new era of public transportation (note the rebranding, from terminal to center). Learn more about the upcoming Transbay Transit Center (including info on the temporary terminal).

Troy and Stuart at CaliberSF captured some really cool shots and inside the terminal and out. Whole Wheat Toast also photographed views of the Transbay Hidden Gems.

If you have photographs or memories or (even better) stories of the Transbay Terminal, tell us all about it before the building goes down. We’re all ears.


  • Dexter Wong

    I have memories of the Terminal, mostly positive, but then again I never spent that much time there. (One of my earliest memories was getting of a Key System train and having the motorman wave to me.) It was typically wait for an AC Transit bus, or go down to the ramp and catch Muni. I had heard of the Terminal’s history but could never find much trace of former tenants like the Sacramento Northern or SP-Interurban Electric. I have ridden a Greyhound bus through the Terminal but have never caught one there. I wasn’t there when it began its slide into a homeless camp and a place to be feared.

  • smallerdemon

    It seems like that the city could have sold many of the items inside the Terminal. Those benches, the bar, etc. all looked to fabulous items that any number of enterprising future bar owners would have loved to put in place as a vintage bar.

  • I’ve spent an awful lot of time waiting to transfer between buses at the Transbay terminal; one way to kill time was to take photos.

    I’ve got a small collection of pictures here that I’ve amassed over the years:

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