AKA: Kohl Building, Financial District, San Francisco, CA; 400 Montgomery Street Office Building, Financial District, San Francisco, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Percy and Polk, Architects (firm); Henry Haight Meyers (architect); George Washington Percy (architect); Willis Jefferson Polk (architect)

Dates: constructed 1900-1901

11 stories, total floor area: 99,510 sq. ft.

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400 Montgomery Street
Financial District, San Francisco, CA 94111

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The Hayward (Kohl) Building stood on the northeast corner of Montgomery and California Streets in San Francisco's Financial District.

Building History

Architect Henry Haight Meyers (1867-1943) of Percy and Polk, Architects, supervised the construction of this complex, an early steel-frame and reinforced concrete building in 1901. The skyscraper was sheathed in Colusa Sandstone, quarried in Colusa County, CA. Miraculously, it survived the 04/1906 Earthquake and Fire with minimal damage to its lowest two floors. San Francisco architect Willis J. Polk (1867-1924) oversaw the reconstruction following the fire.

The building was known as the "Kohl Building" after realty mogul Charles Frederick Kohl (1863-1921) purchased the building from Alvinza Hayward's estate in 1904. A former maid, Adele Verge, would shoot Kohl with a derringer outside the Grant Building in San Francisco on 06/08/1911, but he survived for 10 more years.

Building Notes

The Hayward Building, like many of the first two decades of the 20th century, was configured in an H-shape to enable light courts to provide daylight and ventilation to a maximum number of offices.

C. Frederick Kohl had his office in Room #1020 of the Kohl Building in 1909. (See Crocker-Langley Company’s San Francisco City Directory, 1909, p. 913.)

In 1909, the Atkins, Kroll and Company, a dealer in antimony, occupied Room #323 of the Kohl Building. (See Crocker-Langley Company’s San Francisco City Directory, 1909, p. 1708.)

In 2020, the Hayward/Kohl Building had 217 rooms and 22 bathrooms. It covered a 10.062-square-foot lot and contained 99,510 square feet of interior space. Land and structure had an assessed value of $77,500,000 in 2020.

San Francisco Historic Landmark: 161

San Francisco County Assessor Number: 0239009

PCAD id: 7835