Much of BART's current coverage area was once served by the electrified streetcar and suburban train network called the Key System. By the 1950s the entire system had been dismantled in favor of automobiles and buses and the explosive growth of highway construction. Proposals for the modern rapid transit system now in service began in 1946 by Bay Area business leaders concerned with increased post-war migration and growing congestion in the region.

Between 1957 and 1962, plans were developed for a system that would usher in a new era in rapid transit. The system would include electric trains that would run on grade-separated right-of-ways reaching maximum speeds of 75-80 mph; advanced transit cars with sophisticated braking and propulsion systems; and luxurious interiors.  in the Bay Area. Stations would be pleasant, conveniently located, and striking architectural enhancements to their respective on-line communities.

By 1961, a final plan for the new system was sent to the boards of supervisors of each of the five counties. BART construction officially began on June 19, 1964.

The Glen Park station in San Francisco was designed by Corlett & Spackman and Ernest Born. Born designed the Italian marble wall that greets riders as they ascend the escalator from the platform. It is unknown why this station received the funding for such an elegant architectural feature. Born also designed the station graphics. Service began in November 1973.