Book Description

SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE (1906). Shainwald, Buckbee & Co, Real Estate and Insurance. A typed letter, signed, to R.D. McElroy, reporting on very slight damage done to the Kohl Building. Jan 14 1908. Mahony Bros, Builders. A two page typed letter, signed by John Mahoney, to James D. Phelan of the Mutual Savings Bank Building, relating to earthquake damage to five buildings that they had originally constructed at a cost of £5.5 million dollars: Flood Building, St Francis Hotel, Crocker Building, Shreve Building, Sloane Building. After their inspection they estimate the damage caused to total $88,000. May 22nd 1908. William Curlett, Architect, typed letter, signed, to R.D. McElroy, giving a report of his examination of the Class "A" buildings, and finding that "not one of these buildings was damaged to the extent of 1% of the const of construction." May 25th 1908. R.D. McElroy, Real Estate and Insurance. A two page typed letter, signed, to Joseph Hadley, of Lloyds in London, in which he submits evidence showing "the extent of the earthquake damage done in April, 1906 to Class "A" Steel Cage Buildings. He encloses the above letter from Mahony Bros, "the largest and most responsible builders on the Pacific Coast." 9th June 1908. There is also a typed "extract from a letter written by Joseph Hadley, in Frisco, 19 Nov 1907." "The rebuilding that has been done in this town since the fire is simply wonderful... considering that much of the burned district is still in ruins leaving a smaller number of buildings to be protected, the actual protection is now better than it was before the fire.... in my opinion rates are now at panic prices and it is a golden opportunity for Underwritres to make money." Like the Phelan Building #1, the Phelan Building #2 was a valuable investment property for the Phelan Family and became an prominent symbol of San Francisco's architectural sophistication and prosperity. In the wake of the demoralizing destruction of the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, James Duval Phelan (1861-1930), Bay Area philanthropist, Mayor of San Francisco, and Senator from CA, demonstrated for his contemporaries the tenacity and ambition to rebuild on the same site, and to build a second tower taller and larger than its predecessor. He commissioned William Curlett (1846-1916), one of San Francisco's most experienced architects, to design his new, steel-frame office tower. The Mahony Brothers worked with Curlett as building contractors. The Phelan Building served as a particularly large and visible reminder of San Francisco's will to rebuild bigger and better than before.
Author San Francisco Earthquake (1906)
Date 1908

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