Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - restaurants

Designers: Colley and Lemme, Architects (firm); C. J. Colley (architect); Emile Schroeder Lemme (architect)

Dates: constructed 1895-1896, demolished 1907

8 stories

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1090 Point Lobos Avenue
Sea Cliff, San Francisco, CA 94121-1449

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Building History

This second, new-from-the-ground-up building was begun in 1895 and completed by 02/1896. The architects C.J. Colley and Emile Lemme designed the building for owner Adolph Sutro, who also owned the nearby Sutro Baths, an important recreation center for San Francisco from its opening in 1893. The French architects produced an understandably Chateauesque design, influenced, perhaps by other high-profile hospitality landmarks of the era, most notably the completion of the Canadian Pacific's series of grand tourist hotels beginning in 1888 with the Banff Springs Hotel, followed by Quebec's Château Frontenac in 1893, both by the New York architect, Bruce Price (1845-1903).

Sutro passed away in 1898, and the Sutro Family hired John Tait to operate the Cliff House #2's restaurant. While Tait was remodeling the Cliff House, a fire began that ultimately destroyed the immense restaurant on 09/07/1907.

Building Notes

In 1899, the San Francisco Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) hosted a luncheon at the Cliff House #2 honoring the presence of several foreign and East Coast architects serving on the design jury of Phoebe Apperson Hearst's University of California Design Competition of 1899. San Francisco lawyer Jacob Bert Reinstein (1853–1911) served as the Chairman of the Committee of the Phoebe A. Hearst Architectural Plan for the University of California. Another member of this committee was James C. Hooe (d. 12/1910), who worked as the the private secretary to Phoebe Apperson Hearst (1842-1919). Paul B. Tuzo (1867-1953) was an architect working Washington, DC. The influential English architect Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912), prestigious Beaux-Arts architect Jean-Louis Pascal (1837-1920), German Huguenot architect Johann Paul Wallot (1841-1912), and New York architect Walter Cook (1846-1916) were all on this committee. All except for Shaw were present for this luncheon. (See "Architects from Distant Lands Feted by Their Craftsmen at the Cliff House," San Francisco Examiner, 09/13/1899, p. 4.)

PCAD id: 5103