The Historic Klamath
San Francisco, CA
“It was an opportunity of a lifetime. It was bold… creative… undeniably risky.” These are the ambitions embodying Bay Area Council’s goals to transform the historic Klamath ferryboat into their new headquarters and provide a roof garden destination open to the public along the vibrant Embarcadero waterfront. Founded over 70 years ago, the Bay Area Council (BAC) organization continue to serve the regional community to tackle the Bay Area economic challenges. In 2020, they continued the local stewardship and embarked on the restoration and modernization of the Klamath ferryboat that once was a vital sea transportation workhorse during the first half of the 20th century.
The intimate 7,500 square feet BAC headquarters occupies the upper deck, in between the main deck below and roof deck above. The main deck includes future office and event spaces, while the roof deck, anchored by a multi-use room and Klamath museum, provides a nourishing garden for native drought tolerant plants. The roof deck is also open to the public, where visitors are treated with an uninterrupted grand view of the east bay, Bay Bridge and City skyline.
The near 100-year-old Klamath was a true passion project for BAC, RMW and all the specialty consultants and builders. Countless hours of restoration, preservation and modernization brought the vessel back to glory. The Klamath, once dutifully served as the transportation lifeline between the cities across the bay, now proudly anchored as a community beacon along the San Francisco promenade.
The office narrow deck floors ensure employees are never three workstations deep from ample daylight and bay views. A key sustainability and design driver is the celebration of Klamath’s existing architectural elements. The steel bones and frames with rugged welding are left for all to see and touch.
Public Roof Terrace
Saved from environmental demise, the Klamath is now a community asset. Its new home at Pier 9 in San Francisco breathes life to a half mile void between two popular destinations, the Ferry Building and Exploratorium. The new 7,500 square feet roof deck includes 3,500 square feet of native drought-tolerant plants, along with expansive views of the City and Bay. An intimate museum with artifacts and digital displays of the Klamath welcomes and educates visitors. Lastly, the roof garden provides an incredible benefit for employee wellness working in the office below.
- Terry Kwik
- Hakee Chang
- Denise M. Darrin
- Jenna Szczech
- Kristen Beus
- Scarlet Entwistle
- Michael Thomas
- Matt Cottrill
The Standard: See Inside the ‘Crazy’ Ferryboat-Turned-Office of This Bay Area Business Group
SF Chronicle: Relic from Roaring Twenties to become modern S.F. waterfront office
SF Port: Restoration of the Historic Ferryboat Klamath
SF Bay: Bay Area Council finds new home on historic Klamath ferry
Secret San Francisco: A 97-Year-Old Ferry With A Rooftop Garden Will Open To The Public At Pier 9
SF Examiner: The 97-year-old Klamath ferry will soon be yours to visit
SF Yimby: Historic Klamath Ferry Boat Docked On Pier 9, San Francisco
YouTube: Return of the Klamath
West Boundary Photography: Demo, and Restoration Videos
Spediacci Construction, General Contractor
Argonautics, Marine Engineering
Forell | Elsesser, Structural Engineer
Garrett Rowland, Photographer