National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

National Register #89000319: Southern Pacific Company Hospital Historic District 23 June 2003
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National Register #89000319
Southern Pacific Company Hospital Historic District
1400 Fell Street Between Baker and Lyon
Built 1907-1908

This historic district covers an entire city block (twenty-five acres) and contains five contributing buildings: hospital, nurses' annex, powerhouse, paint shop, and Huntington Social Hall.

The main hospital building occupies the southern portion of the site, fronting on Fell Street and facing the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park; the remaining four structures stretch across the north side of the block from Lyon to Baker Street, and lend a prominent, institutional importance to the residential streetscape of Hayes Street.

The buildings are related architecturally, being of monumental, Neo-Classical style and scale, executed in painted "Golden Gate sandstone" brick with stucco-covered concrete trim. The complex is a remarkably intact survival of early 20th century institutional planning in a monumental design.

Between 1982 and 1983, the main hospital building was renovated for use as senior citizen housing for the owner, Mercy Terrace.

Excerpted from the NRHP nomination dated 22 March 1989.

When Southern Pacific Railroad purchased this site in 1906, it was one of the largest realty transactions after the earthquake and fire of earlier that year. The previous SP hospital, built in 1898 at 14th and Mission Streets, present site of the Mission Armory, had been destroyed in the fire.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Southern Pacific Railroad dominated every aspect of California's economy through its construction of the second transcontinental rail line via New Orleans during the 1870s and the purchase or construction of a network of routes throughout the West.

The most important of the Big Four of railroad building fame, Collis P. Huntington (1821-1900) managed the prosperous development of the Central Pacific and the Southern Pacific, and became president of these corporate giants in 1890. Though the railroad's monopolistic influence in politics was condemned by the press, the institution did provide for its own.

In 1868, Southern Pacific began to establish hospitals throughout the West for the exclusive use of employees who were injured on the job or required other medical care. These were the first hospitals in the world established for the exclusive use of railroad employees.

Excerpted from the NRHP nomination dated 22 March 1989.

Southern Pacific Company Hospital is also San Francisco Landmark 191.

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