Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Bliss and Faville, Architects (firm); Walter Danforth Bliss (architect); William Baker Faville (architect)

Dates: [unspecified]


The Kamm Building was one of the earliest steel-frame buildings erected in San Francisco beofre the Earthquake and Fire of 04/18-19/1906. Despite sustaining significant damage, the Kamm Building was the first commercial building to reopen after the disaster.

Building History

The San Francisco architectural firm of Bliss and Faville designed this steel-frame office and retail building on Market Street. After the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, the Engineering Record published a series of articles that focused on the perfomance of the city's highrises. It wrote: "The Kamm Building was situated on the south side of Market St, near Third. This building was L-shaped in plan, the rear portion of the building extending back of the building shown immediately to its left. A severe explosion of some character in the interior of the building did great damage to the rear portion, as can be seen in one of the illustrations. The portion extending back from Market St to a depth of about 70 ft is in excellent condition. The construction consisted of steel columns, girders and beams with reinforced concrete slabs. It was subjected to a very severe fire test, but enjoys the distinction of being the first mercantile building on Market St. to be reoccupied since the coflagration. Messrs. Bliss & Faville were the architects.” (See John B. Leonard, “The Effect of the California Earthquake on Reinforced Concrete,” Engineering Record, 05/26/1906, pp. 643-644.)

PCAD id: 23489