Skip to main content
  • San Francisco
  • Excelsior

Geneva Car Barn & Powerhouse

Project Status: In Operation

The Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse is a collaboration with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to renovate a historic former MUNI warehouse, one of the last physical reminders of the City’s first electric railway system. Located in the Excelsior neighborhood, Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse is an arts center and youth arts education hub for youth to cultivate their creative potential. 

2018 PAW Student Showcase. Photo courtesy of Performing Arts Workshop

SF Capoeira. Photo courtesy of Performing Arts Workshop

Photo courtesy of Performing Arts Workshop

2022 PAW Summer Showcase. Photo courtesy of Performing Arts Workshop

Photo by Raymond Rudolph

Groundbreaking ceremony, 2018. Photo by SF Recreation & Parks

The Powerhouse is utilized by various organizations to showcase arts and culture and serve as a family-oriented cultural hub and event space for the underserved community members of District 11, which has San Francisco’s largest population of families with young children and seniors. Partnering with CAST is the 54-year-old arts education nonprofit, Performing Arts Workshop (PAW).


The 16,000-square-foot building is owned by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, who led the renovation along with a $1 million pledge by CAST to rehabilitate and activate this culturally rich historic asset. First owned by private railway companies and then by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA), it was occupied until 1989, at which time it was heavily damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake.

In 2017, with the support and advocacy of the Friends of Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse and a partnership with the SF Rec and Parks Department and CAST, the PAW was granted the honor of being sole tenant and program provider of the Geneva Powerhouse. Phase 1 was completed in May 2020, realizing a 3,000 square foot new arts facility with 35′ high ceilings, skylights and large windows.

Through CAST, PAW has the opportunity to remain at the Powerhouse with a 55-year below-market rate lease.

Powerhouse Reimagine Distance Learning for pre-K, middle school, and high school dance, spoken word, theatre, and visual arts classes was launched in summer 2020.

Founded in 1965, PAW offers free youth classes at the Car Barn and provides almost 100 annual residencies for K-12 age students, providing arts instruction for more than 4,200 youth each year, offering classes in dance, music, spoken word, theater, and other forms of expression. With the Powerhouse, PAW has the opportunity to align its mission and values with on site and distance learning programming that will invite community input and allow them a return to creative ownness.

To learn more about their in-person and virtual opportunities, visit


Van Nguyen-Stone

Co-Executive Director

Performing Arts Workshop

It's been an honor to witness the Geneva Powerhouse space activated and alive! From our youth dancing and creating films to our elders enjoying music, we are deeply inspired by this energy. Through CAST's steadfast partnership, we are excited about what's to come in the heart of the D11 Community.

Lorena Landeros

Co-Executive Director

Performing Arts Workshop

The Geneva Powerhouse has become the heart of Performing Arts Workshop. It’s a physical manifestation of our core initiatives to build community, lead with anti-racism as our compass, and support artmaking practices. We are committed to this home and the district 11 community, youth, and artists that make it most alive with possibilities.

Related Events

Explore all

Related Posts

Explore all