Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Lansburgh and Joseph, Architects (firm); Bernard Julius Joseph (architect); Gustave Albert Lansburgh (architect)

Dates: constructed 1906-1907

8 stories

323 Geary Street
Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102

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The Elkan Gunst occupied a corner site at Powell Street and Geary Street.

Building History

San Francisco architects G. Albert Lansburgh (1876-1969) and Bernard Julius Joseph (1875-1971) designed this commercial building for the businessman and real estate owner Moses Arthur Gunst (born 07/04/1853 in New York, NY- died 06/23/1928 in Burlingame, CA), who owned a successful chain of tobacco stores in the Bay Area in the early twentieth century. (See "Moses Gunst Is Dead at 75," San Jose News, 06/23/1928, p. 2.) Gunst served as a patron for Lansburgh helping to pay for his education at the École des Beaux-Arts,Paris, between 1898-1906. An earlier commercial property owned by Gunst was lost in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and this property replaced it. It was named for Elkan Cohn Gunst (1889-1906), a son of Moses who died at age 16 due to an injury sustained while playing football. Another son of Moses Gunst, Carlton Chester (1894-1910), also died prematurely at age 16.

Building Notes

Moses Gunst commissioned two high-rise buildings from Lansburgh and Joseph c. 1906-1907, the Elkan Gunst Building at Geary and Powell Streets, and the M.A. Gunst Building at 3rd and Mission Streets.

PCAD id: 17240