North Beach Branch Library
2000 Mason Street
(415) 355-5626
For current hours and events, please visit:

The library renovation has been completed.  The public opening will be on April 10, 2014 in the library.  Please join!


The North Beach Branch Library was originally located at the site of the Chinatown Branch. That branch was renamed in 1958 and a new North Beach Branch was erected at 2000 Mason Street next to Joe DiMaggio Playground. It was completed on December 16, 1958, and opened to the public on February 5, 1959. Designed by architects Appleton & Wolford at a total cost of $220, 627, the branch was the 26th branch established by the San Francisco Public Library.

A New, Bigger Library is Planned for North Beach

As Part of the Branch Library Improvement Program, the North Beach Branch will be getting a brand new building designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Leddy Maytum Stacy. The new branch will be 8,500 square feet, 60% larger than the current branch. The new North Beach library’s plan is under Environmental Review. For more information about the project please see the Library’s website at

FAQs About the Library Project
(Source: City records)

Will building on the triangle take away green space?

4,100      Added square feet of park land if the triangle becomes a mini-park.
12,000    Added square feet of park land if the library goes on the triangle, Mason
becomes park land and the old library site is reclaimed.
200         Lineal feet of park land bordering Columbus Avenue if the library is placed on the
triangle and Mason is closed.

Will closing Mason create a traffic problem?

25         Average number of seconds between cars traveling in either direction on Mason
Street during peak evening commute hours.
<10      Average delay, in seconds, at peak commute hours at the intersections
surrounding the triangle.
+1        Anticipated additional delay, in seconds, if Mason is closed.

 Will closing Mason create a safety problem?

0         Number of City departments, including Fire and Police, that are opposed to the
closing of Mason Street.

Is the current library historically important?

8        Number of libraries designed by Appleton-Wolfard in the 1950s and 60s.
6        Number of Appleton-Wolfard libraries being renovated.
8        (Last) Rank of the North Beach Branch compared to the other Appleton-Wolfard
branches for adherence to original appearance and layout and adaptability to
modern structural and accessibility requirements.

Is the planned library too small?

2nd               (Smallest) Relative size of the current library as compared to other City
branches, at 5,330 sf.
8,500 sf      Planned size of new library (60% bigger).
8,400 sf      Average size of neighborhood branch libraries (up from 6,900 sf before the
Branch Library Improvement Program began).

Is the planned library too big?

26 ft      Height of the current library above the playground.
30 ft      Proposed average height of the new library.
37 ft      Average height of the surrounding residential buildings.
48 ft      Average height above grade of the proposed 701 Lombard condos.

Was there adequate public process?

5        Number of community meetings held between 4/08 & 2/09.
80      Average number of people attending each of those meetings.
7       (Out of 7) Number of Library Commissioners that voted in favor of the proposed
master plan .
7       (Out of 7) Number of RecPark Commissioners that voted in favor of the proposed
master plan.
3       (Out of 3) Number of Arts Commission Civic Design Review members that voted in
favor of the conceptual design for the new library.

Should we wait and look for more options?

27      Number of branches in the San Francisco library system.
26      Number of branches that have been renovated, constructed or had renovation
plans initiated since 2000. North Beach is the last branch in the system to be
upgraded, partially due to “neighborhood process.”
7        Years since first community meeting on the North Beach Branch renovation.
58      Number of different library locations and configurations considered for the North
Beach Branch during the last 18 months.