NoeHill: San Francisco Architects

Bliss & Faville (1898-1925)

The Hellman-Ehrman Mansion on Lake Tahoe was designed by Bliss & Faville and built 1903. Hellman-Ehrman Mansion on Lake Tahoe
13 September 2010
Walter Danforth Bliss (1872-1956)
William Baker Faville (1866-1946)

Walter Danforth Bliss was born in Nevada. William Baker Faville was born in San Andreas, California. They met while attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

They left MIT in 1895 to work for McKim, Mead & White in New York City. In 1898, they moved to San Francisco and formed a partnership.

The partnership often imitated buildings designed by McKim, Mead & White. In those days, architectural critics did not fetishize originality for its own sake. Appropriation was praised rather than condemned:

"The general resemblance of the [Bank of California to] the Knickerbocker Trust Company in New York will, of course, strike everyone who is familiar with the latter building; but the architects are to be congratulated rather than condemned for their frank and intelligent attempt to make under happier conditions a revised version of a good thing." (Architectural Record 1906: 471)

Bliss and Faville terminated their partnership amicably in 1925.

Five Bliss & Faville buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Geary Theater near Union Square, the Rialto Building in the Financial District, the #79000470Oakland Hotel and the Oakland Public Library in Alameda County, the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion on the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

Three Bliss & Faville buildings are San Francisco Landmarks: the Bourdette Building in SoMa, the Bank of California in the Financial District, the Geary Theater near Union Square, the Savings Union Bank on Market Street

You can view buildings designed by Bliss & Faville in chronological order here, or use a link in the following table to visit a specific property.

Name Year Address City Sort Address Sort Name
Bliss Residence on Broadway18992898 BroadwaySan FranciscoBroadway 2898Bliss Residence on Broadway
Residence on Pacific Avenue19003020 Pacific San FranciscoPacific 3020Residence on Pacific Avenue
Residence on Washington Street19003638 Washington StreetSan FranciscoWashington 3638Residence on Washington Street
Tahoe Tavern (Demolished 1969)1901West Lake BoulevardTahoe CityWest LakeTahoe Tavern (Demolished 1969)
Oakland Public Library1902659 14th StreetOakland!Street 14 0659Oakland Public Library
Bourdette Building190390 Second StreetSan Francisco!Street 02 0090Bourdette Building
Augustus Taylor House19033 Altree CourtAthertonAltreeAugustus Taylor House
Hellman-Ehrman Mansion1903Highway 89Sugar Pine Point State ParkHighway 89Hellman-Ehrman Mansion
Walter Danforth Tobey House19041001 Hamilton Avenue/567 Hale StreetPalo AltoHamiltonWalter Danforth Tobey House
Edna Hopkins Lowery House190441 Lowery DriveAthertonLoweryEdna Hopkins Lowery House
St. Francis Hotel1904335 Powell StreetSan FranciscoPowell 0335St. Francis Hotel
Residence on Pacific Avenue19052520 Pacific AvenueSan FranciscoPacific 2520Residence on Pacific Avenue
Residence on Scott Street 280019052800 Scott StreetSan FranciscoScott 2800Residence on Scott Street 2800
Residence on Pacific Avenue19063001 Pacific AvenueSan FranciscoPacific 3001Residence on Pacific Avenue
Bank of California1908400 California StreetSan FranciscoCalifornia 0400Bank of California
Savings Union Bank19081 Grant AvenueSan FranciscoGrant 0001Savings Union Bank
Residence on Washington Street19083540 Washington StreetSan FranciscoWashington 3540Residence on Washington Street
Geary Theater Annex1909333 Mason StreetSan FranciscoMason 0333Geary Theater Annex
Residence on Presidio Terrace190918 Presidio TerraceSan FranciscoPresidio Terrace 0018Residence on Presidio Terrace
Geary Theater1910415 Geary StreetSan FranciscoGeary 0425Geary Theater
Rialto Building1910116 New Montgomery StreetSan FranciscoNew Montgomery 0116Rialto Building
Fred McNear House191060 Parkwood DriveAthertonParkwoodFred McNear House
Saint Francis Hotel Streetlights1910335 Powell StreetSan FranciscoPowell 0335Saint Francis Hotel Streetlights
Eastman Kodak Building (Gone)1911241 Battery StreetSan FranciscoBattery 0241Eastman Kodak Building (Gone)
Oakland Hotel1912260 13th Street Oakland!Street 13 0260Oakland Hotel
Flood (James Leary) Mansion19122222 BroadwaySan FranciscoBroadway 2222Flood (James Leary) Mansion
Christian DeGuigne1912891 Crystal Springs RoadHillsboroughCrystal SpringChristian DeGuigne
University Club1912800 Powell StreetSan FranciscoPowell 0800University Club
Masonic Temple191325 Van Ness AvenueSan FranciscoVan Ness 0025Masonic Temple
Carnegie Library - Richmond Branch1914351 9th AvenueSan Francisco!Avenue 09 0352Carnegie Library - Richmond Branch
Atascadero Administration Building 19146500 Palma Avenue Atascadero PalmaAtascadero Administration Building
Bliss Residence on Vallejo19152990 Vallejo StreetSan FranciscoVallejo 2990Bliss Residence on Vallejo
Residence on Lyon Street19162233 LyonSan FranciscoLyon 2233Residence on Lyon Street
One Market19161 Market StreetSan FranciscoMarket 0001One Market
Metropolitan Club1916640 Sutter StreetSan FranciscoSutter 0640Metropolitan Club
Residence on Broadway19172100 BroadwaySan FranciscoBroadway 2100Residence on Broadway
Residence on Baker Street19182332 Baker StreetSan FranciscoBaker 2332Residence on Baker Street
United States Post Office1918315 West Sycamore StreetWillowsSycamore 0315United States Post Office
Bank of Italy Hallidie Plaza Branch19201 Powell StreetSan FranciscoPowell 0001Bank of Italy Hallidie Plaza Branch
Residence on Jackson Street19211950-1960 Jackson StreetSan FranciscoJackson 1950Residence on Jackson Street
Matson Building1923215 Market StreetSan FranciscoMarket 0215Matson Building
Pacific Telephone Building1924444 Bush StreetSan FranciscoBush 0444Pacific Telephone Building
Tavern on Mt. Tamalpais1924Mt. TamalpaisMarin CountyMt. TamalpaisTavern on Mt. Tamalpais
Southern Pacific Depot19265th and I StreetsSacramento!Street 05Southern Pacific Depot
California State Building1926350 McAllister StreetSan FranciscoMcAllister 0350California State Building
Marines' Memorial Club1927609 Sutter StreetSan FranciscoSutter 0609Marines' Memorial Club
Morris Plan Co.1940715-719 Market StreetSan FranciscoMarket 0715Morris Plan Co.
Building1940721 Market StreetSan FranciscoMarket 0721Building
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