Remodel of Iconic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Calls for Polished Concrete Floors by Bay Area Concretes

The Decorative Surface Solution Group (DSSG) members and suppliers collaborated to rejuvenate the flooring in the iconic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.

“This San Francisco landmark is thought to be one of the more prestigious venues in music with top artists performing at the arena each year including Lady Gaga, The Grateful Dead, The Who, Janis Joplin and scores of others,” said Curt Thompson, President and CEO of DSSG. “Our members and suppliers came together to solve a tough flooring problem in the building in a way that exemplifies the core value of DSSG membership—collaboration for new business opportunities by using the network to deliver a complete and successful solution.”

The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is a well know and historic (built in 1915) multi-purpose venue in San Francisco, California. The arena was originally constructed to be a part of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and, at that time, was named the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. In addition to concerts and conventions, it was also host to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

The management of the auditorium wanted a new floor in their basement corridor, a very busy area during events. DSSG member Ogden Contract Interiors, Inc. of Potrero Hill in San Francisco was asked to put together pricing for a new floor. After seeing the old epoxy floor failing due to obvious moisture issues, they called in PolishedCrete, also a member of DSSG, to assess, evaluate, and recommend a solution.

“We talked to Mike Price of PolishedCrete ( about what the problem with the floor was. Mike came out to take a look,” said Steve Costagli of Ogden Contract Interiors, Inc. “We knew there was a moisture issue as the epoxy was blistering and bubbling over the whole area. After Mike completed his inspection, he said polished concrete would be the best solution for the floor because it will breathe and let the moisture out without affecting the floor. It would also save the client from the cost of moisture mitigation.”

The client was not entirely sold as they had seen a couple of samples of polished concrete from other contractors and didn’t care for the finished look. Price saw the samples and noted the flaws and overall lack of quality and offered to do some samples on their floor. PolishedCrete operates a “fast sample” center in order to provide appropriate samples with short turnaround times so the client can make design choices right away. After seeing the new samples, the client gave the go-ahead and the floor prep and polishing started.

“The Bill Graham Auditorium project was about 5,000 square feet of a major below-grade corridor that needed to look great again,” noted Mike Price, CEO of PolishedCrete. “Polished concrete is perfect for so many flooring applications and this is where it’s hard to find any solution that compares. When you have a moisture issue, which is very common in the San Francisco Bay Area, polished concrete is tops. This was just a case of finding the right look to meet the client’s aesthetic design requirements.”

Ogden and PolishedCrete/BAC are all part of the Decorative Surface Solutions Group (DSSG), as are Proseco (used for the polish chemicals) and ProCrete who supplied the diamonds to complete the project.

“This is a great example of how the DSSG network works for everyone to find solutions and generate new business,” said Price. “The concrete division at Bay Area Concretes placed large patch areas of new concrete to alleviate the unstable and dilapidated concrete areas, blending them in, while PolishedCrete, using ProCrete and Proseco products, delivered the final finished floor.”

The client and Ogden were both happy with the floor. “We thought it looked spectacular and compared to what we had been dealing with, it was unbelievable,” said Costagli. “It was like night and day. Afterward, the walls were painted and now the space looks beautiful. We also love that the long-term cost to maintain the floor will be much lower than other alternatives.”

PolishedCrete is a division of Bay Area Concretes, Inc.

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