History

The history of The San Francisco Builders Exchange begins with the laying of the first adobe brick and the driving of the first nail in the Old Mission Dolores in the Pueblo of Yerba Buena.

Without a name, the Exchange continued to grow as did the Pueblo. Gradually, the building trades began to develop and the bricklayer, carpenter, plasterer, plumber and painter set himself up in his own particular line and hung out his shingle.

Later on, the journey men of several crafts met in the evenings, by natural affinity, at designated places on the streets. It soon became known what street corner to go to find a carpenter, bricklayer or other mechanic, and this is a custom that in some instances even prevails today.

As the years rolled by, the various crafts of the building industry realized the need for closer relationships. This led to the need of one central body and meeting place, and paved the way for the formation of the Builders Exchange. The Exchange was organized on June 30, 1890, and on the third day of July 1890 was incorporated.

Before you step inside the entrance of this fine facility occupied January 2, 1957, let us remember that this is California’s oldest Builders’ Exchange with 119 years of service to its members.

Today, the Exchange has 100 percent occupancy of office space with a waiting list. This attests to the continuing need for construction services to all phases of the industry, made readily available on a non-profit basis to members of the San Francisco Builders Exchange. After 119 years of continuous service, this organization is still growing as it keeps pace with evolving methods, materials, supplies and services for all facets of the building industry.

As the construction industry grew over the years and become more sophisticated, the San Francisco Builders Exchange added a broad range of contractor services. The San Francisco Builders Exchange members use the association facilities as estimating headquarters. Architects, county, state and federal agencies, and private builders have continually utilized the San Francisco Builders Exchange Plan Service Listing by issuing plans and specifications to us free of charge. The San Francisco Builders Exchange has more plan coverage than any other plan room in California.

The San Francisco Builders Exchange is continually growing and changing. We look forward to servicing our members for many more years to come.