National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

National Register #98001195: Hotel Californian
4 February 2012

National Register #98001195: Hotel Californian
4 February 2012

National Register #98001195: Hotel Californian Vintage Postcard


For One, from $4.00
For Two, Double Bed from $5.50
For Two, Twin Beds from $6.00
Parlor Suites from $12.00
Garage adjoins hotel $1.00

All rooms located outside and with bath. Located downtown, opp. new NBC Building. Also Beauty Salon and Barber Shop. One of San Francisco's better hotels.
P. Tremain Loud, Manager

National Register #98001195
Hotel Californian
403 Taylor Street Between O'Farrell and Geary
Built 1923 and 1929

The twelve-story Hotel Californian was designed by San Francisco architect Edward E. Young and built in 1923. A four-story addition, completed in 1929, was designed by architect Alfred Henry Jacobs.

The building was originally designed in the Renaissance Revival style with a Spanish Colonial Revival lobby. The 1929 addition altered the exterior to reflect the popular Art Deco style. The lobby retains its original Spanish Colonial Revival style.

Significant exterior features include decorative pressed metal panels, balconies, and elaborate cornice decoration. Significant interior features include Spanish Colonial decoration in the lobby such as twisted columns and decorative ironwork. Numerous alterations have been made to the ground floor retail spaces. The upper floors are largely intact.

The building was operated by Matthew A. Little as an upscale apartment-hotel until 1935 when Elizabeth Glide and the Glide Foundation purchased it for use as a temperance hotel.

Hotel Californian is significant for its association with the temperance movement. In 1935 the hotel was purchased by the Glide Foundation for use as San Francisco's only temperance hotel.

Lizzie Glide, a devout Methodist, devoted her life to helping others. After the death of her husband, millionaire stockman Joseph Glide, oil was discovered on the Glide ranch lands, enabling Lizzie to accomplish the numerous charitable and missionary goals she pursued in the name of her faith.

She moved to Berkeley and built a Christian girls' dormitory on the UC Berkeley campus, a Christian home for young working women, and the Glide Memorial Methodist Church.

In 1935 she acquired the Hotel Californian just two blocks from the Glide Memorial Church. The hotel operated as San Francisco's only temperance hotel from 1935 to 1978. The Glide Foundation and the Glide Memorial Church continue to operate in San Francisco.

The Serrano Hotel, operated by San Francisco based Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, now occupies the building.

The Serrano Hotel hosts a wine hour each evening.

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