San Francisco Landmarks
The following is excerpted from the Van Ness Avenue Area Plan.
One of the two great temples to the automobile1 on Van Ness Avenue and a designated City Landmark. Its base, particularly the entrance, is monumental in scale and execution. The six upper floors, while bearing an excellent relationship to the base, take on architectural significance only when viewed with the base.
The interior fulfills the expectations gleaned from viewing the exterior. Monumentality is achieved and expressed in variations of the California architectural theme of the Spanish revival, also expressed by the cub bears atop columns on the Van Ness facade.
Note 1: The other great temple to the automobile on Van Ness Avenue is the Packard Showroom designed by Bernard Maybeck.
The Don Lee Building is also National Register Listing #01001179.