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National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

National Register #95001385: PG&E Company General Office Building and Annex
Matson Building and PG&E Building
26 June 2010
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #95001385
Pacific Gas and Electric General Office Building
245 Market Street
Built 1923-1925 and 1945-1947

The seventeen story Pacific Gas and Electric Company General Office Building, designed by Bakewell & Brown and built between 1923 and 1925, is one of a series of skyscrapers built during the 1910s and 1920s which impart to San Francisco its downtown character.

The building was enlarged in 1945-1947 to the design of Arthur Brown, Jr. The addition, which has its own address at 25 Beale Street, is fully interconnected with the main structure and functions with it as one building.

Reflecting Beaux Arts and City Beautiful precepts of harmony among the elements in a composition, the building was designed to be compatible with the adjacent Matson Building.

Similar to the Matson Building and other Chicago School skyscrapers built during the 1910s and early 1920s, the primary elevations are divided vertically into three major divisions - separated by horizontal divisions relating to those of the Matson Building.

The lower divisions are ornamented with a classical arcade, rising through two stories, and allegories of power and light. The fourteenth and fifteenth floors, capping the structure, are articulated by a giant order of applied Doric columns with full entablature which is very similar to the base of the dome on San Francisco's City Hall. The shaft, or central portion of the elevations, is expressed with paired windows lighting each structural bay.

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