Structures with Soul: The Iconic Buildings that Shaped SoMa

November 11, 2019

From its vibrant cultural background to significant historical sites, San Francisco is brimming with a personality all its own. Perhaps one of the greatest markers of the city’s soulful essence is the architectural diversity that captivates those near and far, each hilly street representing its own historical moment.

At The Harrison, we have the honor of living amidst Ken Fulk’s soulful interiors, featured by the likes of Architectural Digest, Curbed and Town & Country, while surrounded by the city’s most legendary architecturals. Here, get a glimpse of three iconic buildings that have shaped SoMa into the famed locale it is today.

140 New Montgomery

Just moments from The Harrison sits one of San Francisco’s most historically significant buildings: 140 New Montgomery. Originally built in 1925, the 26-story architectural served as the headquarters for Pacific Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company. Once San Francisco’s tallest and most grandiose structure, 140 New Montgomery has been lovingly restored to the landmark it is today. From the T-shaped entrance to lavish gold accents and rich black marble throughout, the historical structure represents a bygone era of San Francisco sophistication that inspires us to live a more anachronistic lifestyle—which Ken Fulk has effortlessly bestowed upon us at The Harrison.

140 Montgomery

The Palace Hotel

A landmark historic hotel set within the heart of SoMa, the renowned Palace Hotel dates back to 1875, yet was entirely razed in the 1906 earthquake. In 1909, the hotel was rebuilt and reintroduced to San Francisco with the same architectural grandeur as its predecessor. The building’s “Palm Court” has prevailed as San Francisco’s most prestigious hotel dining room since its opening, while the “Pied Piper” Bar just off the marble-clad lobby houses one of the city’s most historic paintings. Today, the Palace Hotel stands as a manifestation of the city’s resilience and integrity—which, witnessed by plan or in passing, reminds us of our steadfast hometown honor.

The Palace Hotel

The U.S. Court of Appeals

The James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals building is one of SoMa’s most revered architecturals, declared a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Completed in 1905 as the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office, the building went on to survive the notorious 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. In fact, it was dubbed the “best constructed public building in the country,” which remains true—all things considered.

U.S. Court of Appeals

Inundated with white Sierra granite and opulent marble finishes by virtue of Italian craftsmanship, the building was intended to represent the nation’s affluence and importance as it became a world power. Today, the Beaux-Arts courthouse exudes this same impressive character, convincing both locals and tourists alike of San Francisco’s architectural soul and supremacy.

*Photos courtesy of The Registry, Time Out & LA Times

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