H. C. Baumann (1890-1960)
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|
|Apartment Building on Bay Street||1931||1690 Bay Street||San Francisco||Bay 1690||Apartment Building on Bay Street|
|Apartment Building on Bay Street||1936||1700 Bay Street||San Francisco||Bay 1700||Apartment Building on Bay Street|
|Apartment Building on Broadway||1927||1800 Broadway||San Francisco||Broadway 1800||Apartment Building on Broadway|
|Apartment Building on Broadway||1931||1801 Broadway||San Francisco||Broadway 1801||Apartment Building on Broadway|
|Apartment Building on Broadway||1938||1890 Broadway||San Francisco||Broadway 1890||Apartment Building on Broadway|
|Apartment Building on Broadway||1929||1945 and 1955 Broadway||San Francisco||Broadway 1945||Apartment Building on Broadway|
|Apartment Building on Broadway||1935||2090 Broadway||San Francisco||Broadway 2090||Apartment Building on Broadway|
|Apartment Building on Buchanan Street||1937||2400 Buchanan Street||San Francisco||Buchanan 2400||Apartment Building on Buchanan Street|
|Apartment Building on Clay Street||1930||1950 Clay Street||San Francisco||Clay 1950||Apartment Building on Clay Street|
|Apartment Building on Clay Street||1931||3401 Clay Street||San Francisco||Clay 3401||Apartment Building on Clay Street|
|Apartment Building on Gough Street||1926||1950 Gough Street||San Francisco||Gough 1950||Apartment Building on Gough Street|
|Apartment Building on Lombard Street||1940||290 Lombard Street||San Francisco||Lombard 0290||Apartment Building on Lombard Street|
|Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue||1959||1800 Pacific Avenue||San Francisco||Pacific 1800||Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue|
|Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue||1931||1895 Pacific Avenue||San Francisco||Pacific 1895||Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue|
|Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue||1932||2400 Pacific Avenue||San Francisco||Pacific 2400||Apartment Building on Pacific Avenue|
|Apartment Building on Pierce Street||1924||2845 and 2855 Pierce Street||San Francisco||Pierce 2845||Apartment Building on Pierce Street|
|Apartment Building on Sacramento Street||1928||2201 Sacramento Street||San Francisco||Sacramento 2201||Apartment Building on Sacramento Street|
|Bellaire Tower||1930||1101 Green Street||San Francisco||Green 1101||Bellaire Tower|
|Bellevue-Staten Apartments||492 Staten Avenue||Oakland||Staten 0492||Bellevue-Staten Apartments|
|Gaylord Hotel||1928||620 Jones Street||San Francisco||Jones 0620||Gaylord Hotel|
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 restrained Pacific Heights looks like a party crasher dressed by Donatella Versace.
The Talbot-Dutton House in the lower photograph is San Francisco Landmark 57.