Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Bugbee, S.C., and Son, Architects (firm); Charles Lewis Bugbee (architect); Samuel Charles Bugbee (architect)

Dates: constructed 1870

3 stories

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1075 California Street
Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA

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The prominent San Francisco lawyer Richard Tobin (1831-1887), one of the founders the Hibernia Savings and Loan Society in 1859, built one of the earliest mansions on Nob Hill in 1870. Prior to this, homes of the well-to-do in San Francisco were clustered in the Rincon Hill and South Park neighborhoods. Tobin and his wife, Mary Regan Tobin (b. 1835 in Chile), erected their Second Empire residence two years before David D. Colton (d. 1878) built his wood-frame, Neo-Classical residence nearby in 1872.

Building Notes

A wealthy and influential man, Tobin's death in 1887 was front page news. The Daily Alta California newspaper said of him: ""The deceased was a native of Waterford, Ireland, aged fifty-five years. He left the land of his nativity at an early age and removed with his parents to Australia, and after a brief period, to chili [sic], where the family resided for six years. In 1849 young Tobin came to San Francisco and read lae in the office of Judge Barry. He was admitted to the Bar in 1853, his knowledge of Spanish acquired during his residence in Chili greatly facilitating his practice of law in California. He rose rapidly in his profession and soon became widely and favorably known in legal and business circles. Mr. Tobin was successful to a more than ordinary degree as an attorney and linguist and amassed a handsome fortune from his land and Federal practice." (See "Death of Richard Tobin," Daily Alta California, vol 42, no. 13805, 06/18/1887, p. 1.)


This residence, the abode of the Richard Tobin and his wife, dated from c. 1870 and was seriously damaged by a fire caused by "neglectful house painters" on 08/27/1895. It occupied the southeast corner of California and Taylor Streets. A contemporary account stated: "...The flames were being swept by the high wind through the bedrooms of the second story and along beneath the high mansard roof. The building was erected fully thirty years ago and was built in the style of those times, with a total disregard for protection against fire. The spaces between the outer and inner walls served the fire as so many chimneys and the falling spares dropped down to the first story, where in a short time they set fire to the building in fresh places. For a short time it looked as though the fine old structure was doomed, but the firemen worked hard to save it. Ladders were were run to the roof and several lines of hose were directed against the flames from the top. In fact they fairly flooded the house.The house presented a sorry appearance when the flames were conquered. The south wall was riddled with large holes from the first story to the roof. Atleast ten rooms in the second story were gutted. The west side of the building was but little better than the south, but on the north and east sides the structure is not badly injured." (See: "A Big Fire on Nob Hill," San Francisco Call, 08/27/1895, Accessed 08/30/2012.)


It was later replaced by the Huntington Apartments.

PCAD id: 18052