San Francisco historic cable car routes. The Cable Car Barn & Powerhouse was built in 1879 and then mostly leveled by the 1906 earthquake. Rebuilt on the same site the powerhouse continues to pull the cable cars up and down the steep streets of the great city. More than 140 years later the cable technology is still fascinating to watch. The Cable Car Barn & Powerhouse also houses the Cable Car Museum where you can watch the system at work. Canon G11, 1/8 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 800, converted to black and white.