AKA: University of California, Regents' Building, South of Market, San Francisco, CA; Blake, Moffitt and Towne (BMT) Building, San Francisco, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Bakewell and Brown, Architects (firm); Polk, Willis, and Company (firm); John Bakewell Jr. (architect); Arthur Brown Jr. (architect); Willis Jefferson Polk (architect)

Dates: constructed 1910-1911

6 stories

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41 1st Street
South of Market, San Francisco, CA 94105

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Overview

This Regents of the University of California erected this specualtive office/warehouse building at 41 1st Street in San Francisco in 1911.

Building History

The University of California's Board of Regents had, over time, received bequests of real estate that it developed for income purposes. In 1916, the Regents leased this building to two firms in 09/1916, the Buckingham and Hecht Company and the Blake, Moffitt and Towne Company. The University of California President's annual report for 1916-1917, stated of this transaction: "September 12, 1916, the Regents approved a lease to Buckingham and Hecht and to Blake, Moffitt and Towne of the lower four floors and basement and the upper two floors, respectively, of a six-story and basement building of the reinforced concrete warehouse type, on a lot on the east side of First street in San Francisco, with a frontage of 68 feet 9 inches and a depth of 137 feet 6 inches, the lease to be for ten years from November 1, 1917, at a rental, for Buckingham and Hecht of $750 a month, with option for renewal by the lessee for an additional ten years, provided that the option be exercised by March 1, 1927; and a rental, for Blake, Moffitt, and Towne, of $220 a month, Blake, Moffitt, and Towne to have an extension of the existing lease for the Blake, Moffitt and Towne Building on First street, so that it shall expire contemporaneously with the lease of the upper two floors of the new building." (See "Lease to Buckingham and Hecht and Blake, Moffitt and Towne," Annual Report of the President of the University 1916-1917, University of California Bulletin, Third Series, vol. XI, no. 6, p. 282)

Building Notes

The Regents of the University of California had a property dispute with the Sheldon Company that owned a building next to this one at 41 1st Street. It was resolved in 1917: "April 10, 1917, the Regents approved an agreement with the Mark Sheldon Company, owners of the property adjoining land on First street, San Francisco, owned by the Regents, that in view of the action of the Regents in hot-coating the south wall of the Sheldon Building and placing proper building material paper over the hot-coating to prevent any bond between the Sheldon Building and the Buckingham and Hecht Building, the Mark Sheldon Company would agree that should the Sheldon Building at some time be torn down and another building be erected in its place that they would, at their own cost and expense, cut off from the wall of the Buckingham and Hecht building, owned by the Regents, the one-half inch that protrudes over and upon the property of the Mark Sheldon Company." (See "Agreement with the Sheldon Company," Annual Report of the President of the University 1916-1917, University of California Bulletin, Third Series, vol. XI, no. 6, p. 282)

Alteration

The San Francisco architectural firm of Bakewell and Brown was retained to accomplish renovations to this building to suit the Buckingham and Hecht Company, new tenants at 41 1st Street, in 1916. The Annual Report of the President of the University 1916-1917 said of this: "September 12, 1916, the Regents approved an agreement with John Bakewell, Jr., and Arthur Brown, Jr., to serve as architects for the Buckingham and Hecht Building." (See "Lease to Buckingham and Hecht and Blake, Moffitt and Towne," Annual Report of the President of the University 1916-1917, University of California Bulletin, Third Series, vol. XI, no. 6, p. 282)

Changes to the buildng occurred in 1948, 1952, 1967 and 1968 according to the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), "Blake, Moffitt & Towne Building, 41 First Street, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA," accessed 10/04/2018. According to this document: "The building permit files are not explicit as to the major changes to the ground floor, exterior, and interior.In 1948, the northernmost pair of exterior doors were removed and replaced with plate glass and a base to match the existing; the original base in this case would have been cast iron. Later, in 1952, reference is made to "removing doors, installing plate glass front and marble bulkhead."

It continued: "In 1967 and 1968, a major remodeling was undertaken. New elevators were installed requiring new floor openings, new roof opening, and new machine room on the roof. Rather than retaining the existing elevators at the two sides (north and south) of the building, two new elevators were placed side-by-side along the south wall. Additional remodeling included new office partitions and dropped acoustical ceilings." (See Historic American Builidngs Survey, "Blake, Moffitt and Towne Building, 41 First Street, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, Photographs, Written Historical and Descriptive Data," HABS No. CA_2204 (later number HABS CAL, 38-SANFRA 145-)

Demolition

A note in the Historic American Buildings Survey entry on the Blake, Moffitt and Towne Building said: "Currently slated for demolition in early 1983." (See Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), "Blake, Moffitt & Towne Building, 41 First Street, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA," accessed 10/04/2018.

PCAD id: 22436