In June 1917, to serve residents of the growing Golden Gate Valley, Cow Hollow, and Marina neighborhoods, construction of the Golden Gate Valley Branch Library was begun at a site on the southwest corner of Green and Octavia Streets that had been purchased by the City for $7,500. The resulting brick and terra cotta Beaux-Arts structure was designed in the shape of a basilica by local architect Ernest Coxhead. Though Carnegie grant funds paid for the building, City funds were used for the furnishings. The total cost of the building and furnishings came to $43,000, and on May 5, 1918, the branch was opened to the public. Golden Gate Valley Branch was the ninth branch established in the San Francisco Public Library system.
In November 2000, the voters passed a bond measure for $106 million to upgrade San Francisco’s branch library system and in November 2007, the voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition D authorizing additional funding to improve the branches. Plans include seismic strengthening, accessibility improvements, technology upgrades, a small rear expansion, a new designated Teen Area, Children’s Area with interactive early learning features, improved heating & ventilation, and a renovated program room for library and community programs. The historic integrity of this 1917 Carnegie will be maintained and the building restored to its original grandeur.