On Friday, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) held a packed grand opening of its own very cool archaeology exhibit. The exhibit details the lives and times of the original residents who for a number of years called the South of Market neighborhood home. The show is currently in the lobby of 201 Mission Street in downtown San Francisco, just one short block away from the project site itself at Mission and 1st Street.
“We are thrilled to share our archaeological findings with Bay Area residents and visitors,” said Executive Director Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan. “With the help of our archaeological team, we uncovered a rich array of artifacts that tell the story of the original neighborhood. We are proud that the Transbay Transit Center will anchor a new, revitalized, high density neighborhood with a new 5.4 acre rooftop park and seamless, convenient transit connections to the entire Bay Area.”
To learn what had preceded the former Transbay Terminal, the TJPA commissioned William Self Associates to look for artifacts in the project site during various stages of demolition and excavation. Archaeologists studied the project area and identified locations where the remains of San Francisco’s past might still be preserved below the ground. What they found was interesting.
They discovered a variety of items within the footprint of the project site that illuminate the rich history of San Francisco’s gold rush era. Recovered artifacts show the way residents of the South of Market neighborhood in the 19th century lived, worked and played, including industrial tools, household items and remnants of neighborhood businesses.
The Transbay Archaeological Exhibit’s opening occurs on the one year anniversary of the beginning of major demolition of the former Transbay Terminal, which was recently completed with nearly 55,000 labor hours without any accidents or injuries. The exhibit will be on display in the lobby of 201 Mission Street and open to the public during normal business hours through the end of January 2012. To learn more about the Transbay program visit: www.transbaycenter.org