Making Room for San Francisco in San Francisco

Organizations in San Francisco with room to fit a 1000 square foot scale model

The San Francisco scale model is a detailed wooden replica of the city of San Francisco at a scale of one inch to one hundred feet, making for a total size of roughly one thousand square feet, fully assembled.

The model was made by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for the San Francisco Planning Commission between 1938 and 1940. It was made to be used as a city planning tool, and a tourist attraction as well as for educational purposes.

Beginning in April 1940, it was on view at City Hall. In 1942, the model was packed away when the room where was displayed was repurposed for World War II administration. To our knowledge, the model has not been on public view—and certainly not in its entirety—since 1942.

From January 25 through March 25, 2019, sections of the model will be publicly exhibited throughout the branches of the San Francisco Public Library. Each neighborhood will be on display in its corresponding library, including the twenty seven neighborhood branches, the Main Branch, and the branch at SFMOMA. But we do not yet have a place to display the model all together.

The future of the model is up to you. The dream is for the scale model of San Francisco to be put on public display in its entirety. Sign up here to show your support for finding a place to display the model all together and to follow along with our progress toward making this happen.

For more information about the model and programming visit the project site at

Sponsored by
San Francisco, CA

To: Organizations in San Francisco with room to fit a 1000 square foot scale model
From: [Your Name]

To whom it may concern,

The 1938 Works Progress Administration Scale Model of San Francisco is an absolute asset to the city's public life. I am of the opinion that the model should be reassembled and put on public display somewhere accessible to all San Franciscans. All we need is enough space and some people power. Please consider your public space as a place of exhibition and proof that there is still room for San Francisco in San Francisco.

A concerned citizen