The Wax Museum

New Wax Museum on Fisherman’s Wharf.
San Francisco
May 2000
12 months
MBH Architects
Fong Real Estate Company, LLC.

Project Summary

The historic 100-year-old San Francisco  building that housed the Wax Museum for 35 years was demolished in September 1998 to make way for a new $10 million, 100,000 square-foot showplace building.  The new Wax Museum on Fisherman’s Wharf has upgraded the retail and dining experience on Jefferson Street.  This project is an excellent example of Nibbi’s expertise in working in bay mud. A pile system was employed known as Fundex, which greatly minimized vibrations during installation compared to conventional precast piles. This reduced the risk of damage to adjacent structures due to vibration. In addition, a complex multi-phase plan was developed to perform the below grade work, which included dewatering, shoring and bracing to respond to the challenges of working in the mud and in an area with a very high water table.  The tight site access and constant flow of pedestrians provided coordination challenges which Nibbi responded to proactively to ensure maximum public and work safety.

The new museum is a 3-story steel structure with a basement.  The exterior is comprised of curtain wall bay windows, storefront, brick veneer and stucco. The site contains 100,000 square-feet of retail space, including the Rainforest Café, a unique jungle-themed restaurant containing waterfalls, aquariums and various exotic plants.