Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Bliss and Faville, Architects (firm); Walter Danforth Bliss (architect); William Baker Faville (architect); Frederick Manson White (architect); Hart Wood (architect)

Dates: constructed 1902-1904, demolished 1906

301-345 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-1804

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Located on the southwest corner of Union Square;

The Family of Charles W. Crocker (1822-1888), wealthy from its stake in the Central Pacific Railroad and banking interests, commissioned the Saint Francis Hotel, seeking to make it equivalent to the best in Europe. Family members toured Europe's most posh hotels, collecting ideas for their San Francisco showplace. San Francisco architects, Walter D. Bliss (1874-1956) and William B. Faville (1866-1946), produced a design that was constructed between 1902-1904. The Saint Francis opened officially on 03/21/1904, and was named for the grand, Gold Rush-era Saint Francis Hotel #1, located on Dupont Street at Clay Street.

This first hotel had 250 rooms. Architect Hart Wood (1880–1957), who later had a career in HI, worked as a young draftsman on the Saint Francis Hotel #1.

Bliss and Faville's first attempt at the Saint Francis was burned in the fire following the April 18, 1906, San Francisco Earthquake; the same architects assisted in the rebuilding in 1907; the hotel's interior was ruined, but the steel frame remained, allowing a rapid process of reconstruction. Within 40 days after the fire, a temporary, 110-room hotel opened across the street around the Dewey Monument in the heart of Union Square.

PCAD id: 2127