Lands End Octagon Bldg? : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

In the Lucien Labaudt murals at Beach Chalet, in the North-East corner I believe, there is a painting of an octagon (maybe hexagon) shaped building with a "Lands End" sign on it.

It's obvious where this used to be, approximately, but can anyone tell me *exactly* where it was, and what it was used for? I have searched and searched and cannot find any mentions or photos (which surprises me, since it is such a neat looking building).

Thanks in advance! Rick

-- Rick Freeman (, January 18, 2005


There are two possibilities.

The first is the Marine Exchange lookout building (which is still standing) located above the parking lot at the end of El Camino Del Mar. From this lookout, ships approaching the Golden Gate were observed by telescope and their arrivals telephoned downtown. The station's function was a direct outgrowth of the 1850s semaphore signals that announced the arrival of sailing ships during the Golde Rush. Built in the 1920s, the current station became obsolete with the advent of ship-to-shore radios. It's currently owned by the GGNRA and is occupied under long-term permit by a tenant who (I believe) is a descendant of the last Marine Exchange observer.

The other option is the passenger station for the long-departed Land's End streetcar line. This was a one-story, hexagonal building surrounded on two sides by a porch rail where passengers waited to board the #1 streetcar. The "Lands End Station" was located almost directly behind today's VA hospital, in a heavily overgrown slide area that bears little resemblance to the streetcar era. The car line was wiped oiut by landslides in the 1920s, and the station building demolished not long after.

-- John Martini (, January 18, 2005.

Forgot to post a link to a photo of the streetcar station:

Is this the building represented in the mural?


-- John Martini (, January 18, 2005.


Thanks for your help. The building in the mural is indeed the streetcar station:

I appreciate you sharing your knowledge!


-- Rick Freeman (, January 19, 2005.

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