Jessie Street Substation

Also known as: Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Stevenson St. Substation, Central Substation, The Contemporary Jewish Museum
222-226 Jessie St., San Francisco, California


Street View 


The original plain brick building with some romanesque detailing was completed in 1881 and enlarged in 1883 and again in 1892 to accommodate switching and generating machinery.

Ownership of the building passed to the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company in 1896, then to Pacific Gas and Electric in 1905. Further additions, as well as alterations to existing elements, were designed by Willis Polk during that year. The building was partially destroyed by fire in February 1906. Rebuilding began only to be destroyed by the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

Post-quake reconstruction and an east annex were designed by Polk and completed in 1909. PG&E vacated the premises in 1973. The building now houses the Contemporary Jewish Museum designed by architect Daniel Libeskind.

San Francisco Designated Landmark No.87

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 6, 1974
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Classical Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Energy facility
Period of significance
Significant years
1905; 1906; 1909

Update Log 

  • April 21, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information
  • April 23, 2018: New Street View added by Michael Miller