Art and Archaeology of the Transbay Transit Center

Aug. 14, 2015
The TJPA has voluntarily committed $4.75 million to fund the acquisition of artwork for the program.

The “Grand Central Station of the West,” the Transbay Transit Center (TTC) Project is a $4.5 billion transportation and housing project that will be the heart of a new transit-friendly neighborhood.  The project consists of three elements:

- Replacing the former Transbay Terminal

- Extending Caltrain and California high-speed rail from Caltrain’s current terminus into the new downtown Transit Center

- Creating a transit-friendly neighborhood with homes, offices, parks and shops.

The TJPA has voluntarily committed $4.75 million to fund the acquisition of artwork for the program. The TJPA’s commitment is in the spirit of the city and county of San Francisco’s “Percent for Art Ordinance,” which allocates two percent of construction costs for the inclusion of public art in the civic structures and facilities, and is consistent with policies established by the Federal Transportation Authority encouraging the inclusion of art in transportation facilities.

The TJPA engaged the San Francisco Arts Commission to manage and oversee the planning and development of the public art program.

Phase I of the art program consists of the installation of five large-scale, permanent, commissioned artworks in the Transit Center. These artworks merge seamlessly with the grand and elegant architecture of the facility, This is an exciting opportunity for public artwork to be commissioned in conjunction with the design and construction of the new Transit Center.

Depending on the availability of funding, Phase II of the art program may include opportunities for artists to create smaller scaled works in the passenger lobbies, corridors, passageways, pedestrian entrances, as treatment of temporary, construction-related chain link fencing, and in a new park planned at Second and Howard streets.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority has sponsored an archaeological research project within the future Transit Center site. Archaeologists studied the project area extensively and identifi ed various locations where remnants of San Francisco’s past might be preserved below ground. These carefully selected locations then became the focus of archaeological excavations.