AKA: Hunter - Dulin Building, Financial District, San Francisco, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Brunnier, H.J. , Associates, Structural Engineers (firm); Schultze and Weaver, Architects (firm); Henry John Brunnier Sr. (structural engineer); Leonard B. Schultze (architect); S. Fullerton Weaver Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1925-1927

22 stories, total floor area: 285,093 sq. ft.

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111 Sutter Street
South Beach, San Francisco, CA 94104

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New York architects Schultze and Weaver created this 308-foot, Chateauesque design to take the place of the demolished, three-story Lick Hotel (built 1861). They designed it for the Hunter, Dulin and Company investment house. Formed in Pasadena, CA, in 1916 as the Blankenhorn-Hunter Company, the firm suspended operations during World War I, and reemerged c. 1918 as the Blankenhorn-Hunter-Dulin Company, focused on bond trading and underwriting. Soon thereafter, Blankenhorn retired as President, and Robert E. Hunter assumed the leadership of the new Hunter-Dulin Company, with Garrettson Dulin and E.S. Dulin as Vice Presidents. According to the journal United States Investor of 09/22/1922: "The company is engaged in a general Investment Securities business, dealing in practically all the better type of Municipal, District and Corporation bonds. It has specialized to some considerable extent in the underwriting of First Mortgage Land Bonds, Office Building Bonds and Irrigation District Bonds of California. Offices are maintained in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, Hollywood and San Diego. The company is fortunate in having Mitchell, Hutchins & Co., with offices in Chicago and New York as Eastern correspondents." Hunter-Dulin grew very rapidly, expanding from one office c. 1918 to seven in 1922. In 1919, it opened the San Francisco office. The United States Investor continued: "The volume of Hunter, Dulin & Co.'s local [San Francisco] business soon grew to such proportions that many enlargements both in personell [sic] and office space have been made necessary. Growing out of their quarters in the American National Bank Building, the company moved its offices to 256 Montgomery Street, where they now occupy the entire second floor." (See "San Francisco Houses: Hunter, Dulin & Co.," United States Investor, vol. XXXIII, no. 39, 09/30/1922, p. 22.) By 1925, the firm continued to outgrow its San Francisco accommodations, and, seeking to avoid rising rental costs and given its expertise in issuing office building bonds, it decided to invest in its own skyscraper near the city's Financial District. They retained Los Angeles architect Earl T. Heitschmidt (1894-1972) to act as the "local" supervising architect for Schultze and Weaver. Given San Francisco's recent horrific history with earthquakes, paramount importance was placed on seismic safety. Architectural historian Michael Corbett noted of the building's foundation: "The steel frame was built on a reinforced concrete sheet piling system designed by the prominent local engineer, H. J. Brunnier. The foundation was laid by continuously pouring concrete for 44 hours, the object of which was to speed up construction by eliminating joints and delays between pours." (See Michael R. Corbett, Corbett, Splendid Survivors: San Francisco's Downtown Architectural Heritage, [San Francisco: California Living Books, 1979]). Iowa-born structural engineer Henry John Brunnier, Sr., (1882-1971) consulted on many West Coast skyscrapers and bridges during his consulting career spanning 1908-1971, and held prominent leadership roles in national and regional professional engineering societies.

The NBC Orange Network, created initially to share programming for seven West Coast radio stations--KPO and KGO in the San Francisco, KFI (Los Angeles), KHQ (Spokane), KFOA (Seattle) and KGW (Portland)--used a studio on the 22nd floor of the Hunter-Dulin Building as its hub during the period 1927-1942.

Garcia/Wagner and Associates renovated the Schultze and Weaver design between 1999-2001. Ralph E. Phillips, Incorporated, served as a structural engineering consultant.

National Register of Historic Places (April 17, 1997): 97000348 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 14122