Sunol Water Temple.

Sunol Water Temple (In Transition)

Field review by the editors.

Sunol, California

It's a municipal water facility, not a pagan temple, but the Corinthian columns holding up the circular roof make the Sunol Water Temple seem really out of place in the mountains east of San Francisco bay. And those half-finished painted figures on the ceiling look like Vestal Virgins. The quotes that wrap around the outside about water are biblical -- from the Old Testament.

The elaborate concrete structure was built in 1910, designed by architect Willis Polk to resemble an ancient Italian Temple of Vesta (!). It shunted water through its cistern into a channel and subsequent filtering conduits, delivering half of all the drinkable H2O needed in San Francisco.


The temple was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, but a community restoration project between 1997 and 2001 brought it back to its former glory. Today the gated area is usually open during the business week. The 40-ft tall temple is easy to spot.

Also see: Pulgas Water Temple | Water: Wonder Temples and Miracle Springs

Sunol Water Temple

505 Paloma Rd, Sunol, CA
Hwy 680 S get off at Sunol exit, turn left (south) on Pleasanton-Sunol Rd. 4/5 mi. go thru 4 way stop into SF Water Depot.
August 2019: Reported closed until 2022.
In Transition
Save to My Sights

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In the region:
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