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Move, lift, restore: Repurposing a former post office near San Francisco

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Move, lift, restore: Repurposing a former post office near San Francisco

A Bay Area project integrates a historic structure into an office and retail development.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | March 3, 2022
Post Office
The new and office retail building will be moved back to its former site in 2023.

In mid-February, a construction crew began lifting a 1940s post office building located in Burlingame, Calif., on the San Francisco Peninsula. The crew moved the 1,010-ton structure about 120 feet away so that a new underground parking garage can be built directly beneath the post office’s historic site, while a new office and retail development, 220 Park Road, will be built above it.

Post Office Reconstruction
Reconstruction began on a 1940 building in February.

In 2023, after undergoing restoration, the post office will be moved back to its former site, where it will be integrated into the new office and retail building, designed by KSH Architects. It will then have a second life as a ground-floor restaurant space at the base of the 220 Park Road office and retail development.

As the preservation architect, Page & Turnbull collaborated with KSH Architects and general contractor Garden City Construction to safely move the structure. The new development is a joint venture of Sares Regis Group of Northern California and Dostart Development Company.

“This post office is part of the historic fabric of the city of Burlingame, and we are honored to help ensure the preservation and adaptation of this public treasure,” says architect Ruth Todd, principal of Page & Turnbull, and the project’s preservation leader, in a statement.

Garden City Construction is joined by construction manager Devcon Construction, structural engineer IMEG, and civil engineer BKF. The mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering is performed, respectively, by Silicon Valley Mechanical, Rex Moore, and KDS Plumbing.

The project broke ground in September. When it’s complete, the long-vacant, 1.3-acre lot in the center of downtown Burlingame will be home to 185,000 square feet of new office and retail space. The repurposed post office then will open onto the new adjacent Burlingame Town Square, scheduled to begin construction right after the completion of 220 Park.

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