Cala Foods Market

Wynkoop, Dudley
Nob Hill, San Francisco
Building Type:
1401 California Street, San Francisco, California
Current Name:
Cala Foods Market
Current Use:
Grocery Store
Current Condition:
Not Listed
Constructed between 1960 and 1962, the Cala Foods Market is an interesting example of a modern super market. The reinforced concrete building features a unique thin shell concrete roof, which was featured in Engineering News Record in 1962. The building represents a movement by super market chains, beginning as early as the 1950s, to transform their stores with bold design statements stressing the modern, cutting-edge image of the supermarket. Often located at new shopping centers, the mid-century supermarket was at the heart of a larger post-war transformation in the way Americans shopped. The buildings consisted of large shells containing tens of thousands of square feet of mostly open space for retailing, often with expansive parking lots. Although mid-century design elements were employed for many grocery store buildings in the mid-twentieth century, the unique design of the Cala Foods Market at 1401 California Street was not replicated. Unlike other prototype designs like the Marina Safeway, constructed in 1959 by Wurster, Bernardi and Emmons, the Cala Foods design was difficult to execute, and remains as an interesting example of a common typology. The building marks a point in the movement of the supermarket industry toward Modern buildings and is notable for the thin concrete roof that created and enabled its design.



DOCOMOMO US/Northern California

P.O. Box 29226
San Francisco, CA 94129-0226


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