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National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

National Register #86000148: Y.M.C.A. Hotel
12 March 2004
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #86000148
Y.M.C.A. Hotel
351 Turk Street
Built 1928

The Y.M.C.A. Hotel is one of San Francisco's last major buildings based upon the late 19th and early 20th century Chicago style of two-part or three-part vertical blocks with historicist ornamentation. It was probably the last major pre-1945 work of local master architect Frederick Herman Meyer.

The Chicago style arrived in San Francisco with Burnham & Root's Chronicle Building (San Francisco Landmark 243)and Mills Building (San Francisco Landmark 76). The vast majority of downtown rebuilding after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire was in the Chicago style. The Chicago style continued dominant locally until about 1925, when supplanted by the slim setback tower, and it died out completely during the construction hiatus of the 1930s.

The grandeur of the building's exterior and public rooms symbolizes the importance of the San Francisco Young Men's Christian Association to the community. The minimal spaces and corridors upstairs symbolize the organization's practical service to young men.

No other Y.M.C.A. in California constructed a building exclusively for hotel use, and only a handful, such as Chicago and Buffalo, built such hotels anywhere in the country.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination form.

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