H. C. Baumann (1890-1960)

Detail of Apartment at 2090 Broadway Designed by H. C. Baumann
2090 Broadway Detail
Both Photos 26 June 2012
(Click Photos to Zoom)

Herman C. Baumann was born in Oakland in 1890. His parents had moved to California the year before.

After the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, downtown San Francisco was rebuilt with commercial buildings and apartment buildings. Many of these buildings still stand in the Lower Nob Hill Apartment Hotel District and the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District.

The popularity of apartment buildings soon spread from downtown to the Western Addition and Pacific Heights, neighborhoods west of Van Ness Avenue which had survived the 1906 catastrophe largely intact. By 1910, Victorian residences in these neighborhoods had become costly to maintain, particularly large detached houses on corner lots. Many of these houses were first divided into apartments and subsequently demolished during the building boom of the 1920s to be replaced by apartment buildings.

The new apartment buildings were typically six to ten stories. In Pacific Heights, they were luxurious. In some buildings, an apartment occupied an entire floor with views to all points of the compass.

Some Victorian houses were spared, and the urbane mix of architectural periods and scale - Victorian houses and Art Deco apartments - creates a signature style for this section of Pacific Heights north of Lafayette Park.

Baumann, who started his architectural practice in 1905 by specializing in apartment buildings, was well positioned for this change in taste and economics. During a five year span he designed and built over five hundred apartment buildings, including two of his best known works, the Bellaire Tower and the Gaylord Hotel (San Francisco Landmark 159).

Baumann also designed hotels and commercial buildings in San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento.

During World War II he designed many structures for the Navy at Mare Island and other locations. After the war he designed about a dozen multi-family housing projects in the Bay Area.

Herman Baumann died a week before his 70th birthday on April 6, 1960.

Source: Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley and Encyclopedia of San Francisco Website

Name Year Address City Sort Address Sort Name
Bellevue-Staten Apartments and Garage492 Staten AvenueOaklandStaten 0492Bellevue-Staten Apartments and Garage
Apartment Building on Bay Street: 169019311690 Bay Street San FranciscoBay 1690Apartment Building on Bay Street: 1690
Apartment Building on Bay Street:170019361700 Bay StreetSan FranciscoBay 1700Apartment Building on Bay Street:1700
Apartment Building on Broadway: 180019271800 Broadway San FranciscoBroadway 1800Apartment Building on Broadway: 1800
Apartment Building on Broadway: 180119311801 Broadway San FranciscoBroadway 1801Apartment Building on Broadway: 1801
Apartment Building on Broadway: 189019381890 BroadwaySan FranciscoBroadway 1890Apartment Building on Broadway: 1890
Apartment Building on Broadway: 194519291945 and 1955 BroadwaySan FranciscoBroadway 1945Apartment Building on Broadway: 1945
Apartment Building on Broadway: 209019352090 BroadwaySan FranciscoBroadway 2090Apartment Building on Broadway: 2090
Apartment Building on Buchanan Street: 240019372400 Buchanan StreetSan FranciscoBuchanan 2400Apartment Building on Buchanan Street: 2400
Apartment Building on Clay Street: 195019301950 Clay StreetSan FranciscoClay 1950Apartment Building on Clay Street: 1950
Apartment Building on Clay Street: 340119313401 Clay StreetSan FranciscoClay 3401Apartment Building on Clay Street: 3401
Apartment Building on Gough Street: 195019261950 Gough StreetSan FranciscoGough 1950Apartment Building on Gough Street: 1950
Bellaire Tower19301101 Green StreetSan FranciscoGreen 1101Bellaire Tower
Gaylord Hotel1928620 Jones StreetSan FranciscoJones 0620Gaylord Hotel
Apartment Building on Lombard Street: 2901940290 Lombard StreetSan FranciscoLombard 0290Apartment Building on Lombard Street: 290
Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue: 180019591800 Pacific AvenueSan FranciscoPacific 1800Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue: 1800
Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue: 189519311895 Pacific AvenueSan FranciscoPacific 1895Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue: 1895
Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue: 240019322400 Pacific AvenueSan FranciscoPacific 2400Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue: 2400
Apartment Building on Pierce Street: 284519242845 and 2855 Pierce StreetSan FranciscoPierce 2845Apartment Building on Pierce Street: 2845
Apartment Building on Sacramento Street: 220119282201 Sacramento StreetSan FranciscoSacramento 2201Apartment Building on Sacramento Street: 2201

Apartment at 1800 Pacific Avenue Designed by H. C. Baumann 1800 Pacific Avenue
Apartment at 1800 Pacific Avenue Designed by H. C. Baumann Talbot-Dutton House Built in 1875 and 1800 Pacific Avenue
Both Photos 26 June 2012
(Click Photos to Zoom)
1800 Pacific Avenue Built in 1959

The apartment building at 1800 Pacific Avenue was Baumann's last completed building, an attempt at the International Style which would be at home in Fort Lauderdale or Miami Beach but in Pacific Heights looks like a party crasher dressed by Donatella Versace.

The Talbot-Dutton House in the lower photograph is San Francisco Landmark 57.


Architectural Styles | Architects