National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

National Register #05000001: Baker and Hamilton Building in San Francisco 1 June 2003
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National Register #05000001
Baker & Hamilton
601 Townsend Street
Built 1904-1905

The Baker & Hamilton Building is a heavy timber industrial building typical of the South of Market warehouse district in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is one of few remaining pre-earthquake buildings of its type.

The building narrowly missed destruction in 1906 Earthquake and Fire when the fire traveled down Townsend Street, turned north and burned only the east side of Seventh Street. The fire destroyed many warehouses, leaving the Baker & Hamilton Building a rare survivor.

By surviving the fire, the Baker & Hamilton Building served as anchor to the warehouse district that developed during the post earthquake building boom in San Francisco.

The building was designed to house the Pacific Hardware and Steel Company, a company founded in Sacramento, California by Mark Hopkins and Collis P. Huntington in the 1850s.

The need for materials and hardware following the 1906 Earthquake and Fire helped make Pacific Hardware and Steel Company one of the largest wholesale steel and hardware business in the west. The Pacific Hardware and Steel Company merged with the Baker & Hamilton Company in 1918 and continued operating in the building until 1981.

The building was designed by Albert Sutton and Charles Peter Weeks, who had formed a partnership in 1902. Sutton and Weeks designed several other buildings in San Francisco, but Baker & Hamilton was one of their earlier projects. The firm disbanded in 1910.

Charles Peter Weeks became associated with W.P. Day in 1918. The firm of Weeks & Day designed some of San Francisco's better known landmarks, such as the Mark Hopkins and Huntington Hotels on Nob Hill.

Adapted from the NRHP Nomination Form

The Baker & Hamilton Building is also San Francisco Landmark 193 and is currently occupied by Adobe Systems, Inc.

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