Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Bill Graham Civic AuditoriumProject Description 

Originally constructed for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is one of the monumental buildings surrounding Civic Center Plaza. The building was identified as a seismic risk and was included as part of the voter approved 1990 Earthquake Safety Program Phase 2 (ESP2) to be seismically upgraded.

Design Solution 

To allow for occupancy by the San Francisco Opera during the seismic upgrade of the Opera House, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium became the first major project of the ESP2 program.  A pre-design study of the steel framed building with un-reinforced masonry in-fill panels resulted in the selection of a fixed base concrete shear wall scheme to seismically upgrade the structure.  Architectural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and hazardous materials abatement work was required throughout the building to allow for the structural work.  Concurrent with the seismic upgrade, upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) were funded by the Convention Facilities Department.  After twenty months of construction, the Civic Auditorium reopened as a seismically safe landmark with wheelchair access to all seating categories, upgraded banquet halls, meeting rooms and restroom facilities.

Project Team 

Bureau of Architecture (BOA): Mark Dorian, Will Kwan, Marilyn Thompson, Susan Ferreyra
Bureau of Construction Management (BCM): Michael Lane


$25.8 Million

Completion Date:  March 1996

Client ESP2; Convention Facilities Department