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Bayview Opera House

ARG Conservation Services, Inc. / Bayview Opera House

Bayview Opera House

The Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theater was the main structure of a Masonic Lodge complex designed in 1888 by the German architect Henry Geilfuss, known for developing the distinctive Victorian architectural profile of San Francisco. The city’s oldest theater, the Opera House served as the center of cultural and community life for the industrial southeast corner of the city during a period of rapid growth in the late nineteenth century.

Today the building houses The Bayview Opera House, Inc., a non-profit organization that sponsors public cultural events and provides low or no-cost arts education. A major 2011 renovation of the Bayview Opera House cemented its role as an enduring center of community life in the Bayview-Hunters Point district.

Working with the San Francisco Arts Commission, ARG Conservation Services tested and treated the theater’s original proscenium. The decorative painted surfaces of the stage arch had been damaged by wear, water, and the accumulation of surface dirt. ARG Conservation Services stabilized damaged plaster and historic decorative paint.

Following renovation, the Bayview Opera House was recognized with the Governor’s Preservation Award and inscribed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Theater Proscenium Conservation


Bayview Opera House, Inc.


San Francisco, California