San Francisco Landmarks
The Mechanics' Institute Library was founded in 1854, and the Mercantile Library Association was founded in 1852. Both subscription libraries lost their collections in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
They merged in 1906 and commissioned Albert Pissis to design a new mixed-use building with two floors designed to house the new library. The Beaux Arts building, completed in 1909, includes a 1909 Arthur Mathews painting in the lobby and a fine spiral staircase of iron and marble ascending from the lobby to the library.