William F. Curlett (1874-1916)

Charles Crocker Mansion on Nob Hill - Destroyed in 1906 Earthquake & Fire Charles Crocker Mansion on Nob Hill
Designed by Curlett & Cuthbertson
Prior to 1906 Earthquake and Fire
Courtesy Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
(Click Photo to Zoom)
Crocker Mansions on Nob Hill Commemorative Plaque Plaque on the Wall of Grace Cathedral
Near California Street Entrance

The Crocker Mansions

At this location "1150" California Street, now the site of the choir, stood William H. Crocker's Queen Anne style mansion (1888). The Deuxieme Empire - Italian villa style mansion (1877) of his father, Charles Crocker, was at the N. W. corner of California and Taylor Streets. Both buildings were destroyed by the Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Subsequently, the Crocker family, in consultation with the Rt. Rev. Willaim Ford Nichols, second bishop of California, donated this entire block as the site for Grace Cathedral. The cornerstone was laid on January 24, 1910.

In commmeoration of their generosity of spirit and in the presence of their descendants, Charles Crocker III and Charles de Limur, we dedicate this this memorial.

Photographed 10 July 2012
(Click Photo to Zoom)

William F. Curlett was born in Ireland in 1846 and came to San Francisco in 1871.

He was among the most prolific architects on the Pacific Coast in the final decades of the 19th and first decade of the 20th Century with a practice that typified the successful architectural profession of that period. Contacts with the gentry and well-heeled were of paramount importance. Curlett had his wealthy friends both in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He built many buildings, both public and private, in each city and throughout California.

He possessed another trait critical to the success and survival of architects in his time, the ability to adapt the current stylistic vogue to one's own design. During some forty years of practice, he designed buildings of many different styles.

His residences ranged from flamboyant Victorian (the Crocker Mansion and the Payne Residence in San Francisco) to sober Roman Renaissance (Villa Montalvo in Saratoga and the Payne country home in Menlo Park).

His commercial and public projects ranged in style from Richardson Romanesque (Los Angeles County Courthouse and the California State Bank in Sacramento) to an eclectic combination of Classic, Roman, and Flemish forms (Mutual Savings Bank in San Francisco.)

Adapted from NRHP Nomination Form #80000847: Theodore F. Payne Residence

William Curlett and Walter Cuthbertson designed the Charles Crocker and William H. Crocker houses on the present site of Grace Cathedral.

Willis Polk regarded the Charles Crocker house as the ugliest building in the city and offered to burn it down as a civic gesture.

Curlett spent the later years of his life in Los Angeles and was elected President of the State Board of Architects.

Adapted from the Phelan Building website


 

Name Year Address City Sort Address Sort Name
Clunie House1897301 Lyon StreetSan FranciscoLyon 0301Clunie House
Federal Hotel19121083-1087 Market StreetSan FranciscoMarket 1083Federal Hotel
Haas Candy Factory190754 Mint StreetSan FranciscoMint 0054Haas Candy Factory
Head Building1909201-209 Post StreetSan FranciscoPost 0201Head Building
MacDonough Building1907333-343 Kearny StreetSan FranciscoKearny 0333MacDonough Building
Mutual Savings Bank1902704 Market StreetSan FranciscoMarket 0704Mutual Savings Bank
Payne Residence18811409 Sutter StreetSan FranciscoSutter 1409Payne Residence
Phelan Building1908760-784 Market StreetSan FranciscoMarket 0760Phelan Building
Shreve Building1905201 Grant AvenueSan FranciscoGrant 0201Shreve Building
Villa Montalvo189215400 Montalvo RoadSaratogaMontalvo 15400Villa Montalvo
Packard Library1905301 4th Street Marysville Street 04 0301Packard Library

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