AKA: Pacific Gas and Electric (P,G and E) Building, 215 Market Street, South of Market, San Francisco, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

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

Dates: constructed 1922-1924

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215 Market Street
South of Market, San Francisco, CA 94105-1703

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Building History

San Francisco architects Bliss and Faville designed this grand office building for a shipping line founded by Captain William Matson (1849-1917) in 1882. In the 1870s, Matson worked for the CA sugar magnate Claus Spreckels (1828-1908) sailing coal freighters to fuel the latter's sugar refineries, and also piloted Spreckels's personal yacht. As a result of this acquaintance, Spreckels agreed to fund the first of Matson's transport ships, the Emma Claudina, (christened in honor of Spreckels's daughter), which at first moved sugar cane from Hawaii to the mainland for processing. The Hawaii-based company subsequently diversified into all sorts of commercial and passenger transport, becoming a dominant Pacific carrier and one of the territory's "Big Five" commercial enterprises. This building, which served as Matson's mainland headquarters from 1922-1947, was sold to the Pacific Gas and Electric utility in 1972; the building, like the Southern Pacific Building (1 Market Street) and Pacific Gas and Electric Building (77 Beale Street), was modeled on Italian Renaissance palazzi;


An annex was added to the Matson Building in 1945.

National Register of Historic Places: 95001384 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 991