San Francisco State University

San Francisco State College, like many city institutions, kept moving west. The State Normal School, opened by Dr. Frederic Burk in 1899, operated out of a rented building on Powell Street until the earthquake and fire of 1906.

San Francisco State College Union

A new campus sprouted at the corner of Haight and Buchanan near the Mint. There, the school grew out of its humble teacher-training roots.

In 1924, the State Normal School was granted the right to confer A.B. degrees. In 1935, the name was changed to San Francisco State College and a wider degree of curriculum developed, creating a true liberal arts college.

Land for a new campus on the shoreline of Lake Merced was acquired from the Spring Valley Water Company in 1937, but World War II and land use discussions delayed any building until the late 1940s.

State finally moved to its current location in 1953, becoming a western neighborhoods landmark.

San Francisco State San Francisco State University - August 2001

Images: 1, 2) from a 1950s booklet commemorating the new campus (Courtesy of SWL Collection); 3) Student Union Building, built in 1980 (WNP photo, Aug 2001)

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Page updated 09/02/01