James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse

James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse 

Photo by Carol M. Highsmith Photography

95 7th Street
San Francisco, CA 94013

View map [a nongovernment website]

The James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse is the headquarters for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Building Information

Property Manager: Kelvin "Dale" Slaton

Public Hours: 8:30 a.m.– 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (except federal holidays)

For more building information or service calls, see contact information at top right (or by scrolling down on mobile devices). For other federal government information, call 800-FED-INFO.

Parking and Public Transportation

There is no parking available in the building for the general public. Paid public parking is located on Mission Street between 7th and 8th Streets. Metered street parking is nearby. Several commercial parking lots, both open and covered, are within walking distance to the building. Public transportation is available via BART and Muni [a nongovernment website].

Public Access

All public visitors are required to pass through electronic security equipment on the first floor. ADA access is available at the Mission and 7th Street entrances to the building.

Key Tenants

The only tenant is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Additional information for tenants >

Building Services

Courthouse Cafe Public 1st floor, Room 103 M-F 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Vending Machines Public 1st floor, Room 103 24/7
Fitness Center Federal Employees Only 1st floor, Room 136 24/7

Public Art

Six ceramic tile mosaics by Earl Stetson Crawford are featured in the courthouse.

History and Architecture

The James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco is considered one of the nation's most beautiful public buildings. Built as the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse at the turn of the twentieth century, it was intended to represent the affluence and increasing importance of the United States as it became a world power.

The building was designed in the 1890s to house the federal courts and San Francisco post office. Construction cost $2.5 million, and it opened in 1905. The building was deemed a fine and early example of Beaux-Arts Classical or American Renaissance architecture and has been praised for the quality and splendor of its craftsmanship.

In 1906 the structure successfully survived the San Francisco earthquake with relatively minor damage; however, in 1989 the courthouse and post office suffered serious damage during the Loma Prieta earthquake that made continued occupancy dangerous. Congress authorized $91 million for the seismic retrofitting and historic rehabilitation of the entire facility. The structure was fitted with a friction pendulum base isolation system – architectural shock absorbers to resist damage during earthquakes. All utility system upgrades were carried out in such a manner to preserve the historic character of the interior and exterior finishes.

The building reopened as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1997 and was renamed during the centennial celebrations in 2005 to honor Judge James R. Browning. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as U.S. Post Office and Courthouse.

Read more history and architecture >

Last Reviewed 2017-03-08