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San Francisco Points of Interest

Pacific Building on Market Street 21 June 2003
(Click Photo to Zoom)
Pacific Building
801-823 Market Street
Built 1907

The Pacific Building was designed by Charles Whittlesey, perhaps as a tribute to his mentor Louis Sullivan and his Pirie Scott Building in Chicago.

The lower floors of the building are faced with red tile and the upper with green tile and white trim. Whittlesey compared his design to a lady dressed in a stylish outfit with a satin cravat. He did not want to build yet another white building in San Francisco because "this town is so shady in color as well as morals that a little spot of white attracts attention like a diamond dropped in the mud."

After undergoing many modifications and modernizations over the years, the Pacific Building was rehabilitated by Gensler Associates except for the cornice which remains covered in concrete. Despite this detail, the overall effect is splendid.

As of 23 February 2012, the Pacific Building houses the flagship Old Navy Store, the Palomar Hotel and the Fifth Floor Restaurant & Lounge.

The orange Peter Witt streetcar is one of eleven streetcars that San Francisco obtained from Milan, Italy.

Although the streetcar came to us from Italy, the design was American, and Peter Witts ran in fifteen American cities as well as Toronto, Mexico City, Madrid, and three Italian cities: Naples, Turin, and Milan.

Milan has the longest-serving Peter Witts in the world, having built about five hundred since 1928, some of which continue to serve Milan. (Source: Market Street Railway)

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