Lewis Parsons Hobart Commissions
(abbreviated list of architectural work)
Compiled by Phelps Hobart
Links to chapters:
Commercial Buildings, downtown San Francisco
Residences, San Francisco
Buildings, San Francisco
Grand Estates of Hillsborough
Outside of California
Commercial Buildings, downtown San Francisco
Alexander Building, 1921
149 - 157 Montgomery Street (SW corner Bush Street)
This steel frame tower in three part vertical composition
with Gothic ornamentation anchors this corner in the financial
district. The warm brown brick curtain walls reinforce the
prevailing colors and textures of the area.
Commercial Building, 1908
825-833 Market Street
In composition, a steel reinforced poured concrete three part
vertical block with Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation. It
is distinguished by terra cotta eagles at the mezzanine level
and garlands and balconies in the upper zone. The building
is of major significance as part of the majestic wall of buildings
along this part of Market Street. The front of the ground
floor is an unsatisfactory remodel.
Federal Savings, Remodel
79 Post Street
Firemen's Fund Insurance Company Building, 1914
401 California ?
An imposing neo-classical temple with huge columns on two
Underwood Building, 19
525 Market Street (Still there?)
Jewelers Building, 1908
150 Post Street
165 Post Street (Still there?) The Ross Building?
Macy's (originally the O'Conner-Moffat Department
Store) 1928, 1948
101 Stockton Street (NW corner O'Farrell)
The store was enlarged in 1948 in a compatible manner with
the original building; latter expansions are not in the same
style. The original building is a three part vertical block
composition with terra cotta Gothic ornamentation. Many innovations
in merchandise handling, mechanical systems, internal communications,
and express elevators were incorporated in the 1948 expansion.
This was still a time when natural light was considered a
merchandising asset; windows occupied a large amount of the
wall areas. The pier and spandrel structural design lends
itself to permitting large windows.
Mills Tower, 1931
220 Bush Street
Willis Polk designed the Mills (banker D. O. Mills) Building
in 1891, After the earthquake and fire it was redone and added
to but the big addition was the tower - 22 stories - at the
rear of the building. It adapts the Mills Building design
to this final addition. In composition it is a three part
vertical block with differentiated end bays. Ornamentation
is Romanesque including the very fine massive round entrance
arch. The exterior facade of the base of the building is in
Inyo County white marble. Above yellow-buff brick walls set
off intricate ornamentation in terra cotta. Architectural
historians consider the Mills Tower the city's first skyscraper.
Newhall Building, 1910, enlarged in 1917
260 California Street
Described as one of Lewis Hobart's finest designs - a ten-story
three part vertical block displaying a rich sense of color
and detail in the ornate cream terra cotta decoration and
red brick piers. The Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation is
highlighted by terra cotta eagles in the spandrels of the
Postal Telegraph Building, 1908
22 Battery Street (NE corner Bush at Market)
The last of what was a fine row of old buildings, this building
is highly visible from Market Street. In composition, a steel
reinforced poured concrete three part vertical block with
a stacked shaft and Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation.
Selbach & Deans Building, 1928
340 - 344 Pine
In both materials and texture this structure is an integral
part of the Pine Street block. A two-part vertical composition
with Romanesque ornamentation.
660 Market Street (Still there?)
Union Oil Company Clock Tower Building, 1940
425 First Street, San Francisco
A Streamlined Moderne pair right next to the Bay Bridge southern
approach. The first building is nautical in style while the
second exemplifies the transformation of a building into a
sign which was a landmark to those crossing the bridge. It
was constructed in a style harmonious with the Golden Gate
Exposition. In 1993 Union Oil vacated the buildings and in
1995 the Bank of America purchased them. The original 138-foot
tower was demolished and replaced with a 191-foot triangular
clock tower with the bank's logo and a digital clock along
with a two story parking facility below it.
White Investment Co. Building, 1908
280 Battery (SE corner of Sacramento Street)
Brick and reinforced concrete structure with Renaissance/Baroque
ornamentation. Unusual fish and shell molding in the frieze
and large cartouche over the cornices.
Residences, San Francisco
2516 Pacific, 1921.
Hobart's clients were Louis and Lydia Monteagle. Louis Finlay
Monteagle was a Scot, born in 1855, who arrived in San Francisco
in 1879. He was an insurance broker, a director of the Spring
Valley Water Company, on the Board of Governors of the San
Francisco Symphony and active in the Episcopal Church. Lydia
Paige Monteagle had inherited a fortune from her parents Timothy
and Mary Paige and she contributed significantly to the cost
of building Grace Cathedral.
The original house at 2516 Pacific had been designed by Perch
and Hamilton in 1881 on a 53 ft. by 127 ft. lot. The Monteagles
bought it in 1894. With a growing family and in need of a
larger house, in June 1920 they had the opportunity to buy
the adjoining 32 ft. wide lot to the east, stretching from
Pacific to Broadway, from the estate of Virginia Strassburger.
First they commissioned Lewis Hobart to design a house above
a garage on the northern half of the lot, now 2421 Broadway,
and then they embarked upon the major project of rebuilding
2516 Pacific across the entire 85 ft. Pacific Avenue frontage.
The finished result is a somewhat restrained Tudor Revival
composition with a brick exterior. A hipped roof comes down
to a thin cornice which wraps around the bay window, which
at four bays in width is much wider than would be found on
a Tudor-era house in England. Note the ogee arches on the
second level of the four bay windows, matching the three ogee
arches on the windows of the first level of the eastern side.
The arched entry has layered moldings and the columns themselves
are layered. With its brick exterior, the house imparts a
feeling of massiveness, of being rooted to the earth.
After Louis Monteagle died in 1940, the property was left
to his sons Paige and Kenneth Monteagle. Paige bought out
Kenneth's interest and lived there with his wife Louise until
they sold the house in 1948 to Samuel and Celeste Stewart.
The Stewart's sold the house in 1954 to the present owners,
the British Government.
At first the house was used as both Consulate Offices and
the Consul-General's Residence, but the British Consulate
business functions were moved downtown by 1962 and the property
has been used primarily as a residence ever since, with a
secondary role in official entertaining. Queen Elizabeth II
attended receptions there when she visited San Francisco in
1983, although she stayed at the St. Francis Hotel at that
time, but other Royal visitors have had occasion to stay in
the house on private visits to San Francisco over the last
50 years. The guest bedroom suite has direct access to a spacious
terrace with a lovely view of the Bay and the Golden Gate
2108 Washington, The house moved to that site in 1921 and
completely remodeled in 1925 for the Tobin family
20 Presidio Terrace, 1909
40 Presidio Terrace, 1919
2421 Broadway, 1920
2970 Broadway, Designed in 1916 for attorney Sidney M. Ehrman
3424 Jackson, 1921
1055 Taylor, Diocesan House, 1935
1055 California, 15 large apartments, with H. P. Merritt,
1050 Green, The George A. Bos Apartments, 1913
This five story classical revival apartment house contains
four large apartments (now condominiums, 1987). It has an
aristocratic Parisian feel what with its black wrought-iron
front gate and formal allie of tree roses in the small front
garden. The view to the north is exceptional.
Other Buildings, San Francisco
Bohemian Club, 1930
625 Taylor Street (NE corner Post Street)
This distinct building, Moderne in design, is the club house
for many of the male movers and shakers in San Francisco society
over the decades. The brick building is a three part vertical
composition with bronze and terra cotta ornamentation designed
by three club members. The interior with its murals and artwork
by members is noteworthy as well.
British Consulate, 1921
Fleishhacker Zoo, 1925
Sloat Boulevard with an entrance near 45th Avenue, South of
the Sunset District
Approximately 1,000 mammals and birds are housed in a friendly
and safe environment. About this time my Grandfather answered
a knock at his door one Christmas morning; there with the
deliveryman was an appropriately boxed brown bear. It enjoyed
the good life at the zoo for years to come.
Grace Cathedral (Episcopal), 1928, completed 1965.
Exterior grounds completed 1996.
California at Taylor Streets, Nob Hill
After the Loma Prita earthquake in 1989, the Cathedral House
built in 1911 was structurally damaged. A capital campaign
was initiated, the building was removed and Mr. Hobart's original
plans were actually finalized a few years later. Gothic in
style, the building is actually reinforced poured-in-place
concrete. The doors on the east front facing Taylor Street
are casts of the Gilberti doors of the Baptistery in Florence.
My Grandfather would not accept a commission for this work.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park,
1915 - 31
Steinhart Aquarium, North American Hall, African Hall
Excellent architectural examples of form and function all
the more remarkable since it is built on former sand dunes.
The Aquarium houses approximately 140,000 aquatic things in
University of California Hospital, 1917
Parnassus Heights on the slopes of Mt. Sutro. Formally St.
Luke's Hospital. The hospital, chapel and administrative buildings.
William Taylor Hotel and Methodist Church, 1929
100 - 120 McAllister Street
A team effort design with the firm of Miller & Pflueger.
The building had multiple uses including being a Federal office
building. Now back in residential use for the Hastings
College of Law.
Y.W.C.A. Building, 1916
620 Sutter Street
Invites comparison to the Women's Club, 640 Sutter Street.
Includes a gymnasium and swimming pool. Julia Morgan has a
Y.W.C.A. building also; the former Chinatown YWCA, 1932, (940-950
Grand Estates of Hillsborough
Hillsborough was incorporated in 1910 to prevent its grand
estates being drawn into the growing cities of San Mateo and
Burlingame. Today, though diminished it still remains a private
preserve of stately homes. Don't look for commercial properties
or public parks here. Same for sidewalks. Four prominent Lewis
P. Hobart Peninsula homes in Hillsborough are:
Joseph Grant Mansion, "Strawberry Hill",
1910, renovated 1936
At the end of Redington Road, this home is not accessible
or visible from a public road. A fine small Italian Renaissance
palace complete with parapet sculptures set in the most lovingly
maintained grounds imaginable. Two story steel reinforced
concrete structure with seven rounded arch bay windows on
the ground level of the front. The roof is flat with parapets
and denticalted cornices. The garden is elaborately walled
and terraced. It is a tribute to Mr. Hobart's talent as both
an architect and a landscape designer.
George T. Cameron Mansion, "Rosecourt",
815 Eucalyptus Avenue
This one can be glimpsed from the road.
George A. Newhall Sr. Mansion, "La Dolphin",
1760 Manor Drive
William H. Crocker Mansion, "New Place",
End of New Place Road
New Place is considered the most famous of his homes. Set
in one of the Peninsula's finest man made landscapes - the
middle of the Burlingame Country Club, the house and the original
interior give testament of how it was to live in the then
fashionable Italian Renaissance Revival idiom.
Del Monte Hotel, with Clarence A. Tantau, 1925
Sloat Avenue between Highway 1 and Del Monte Avenue, Monterey
The Del Monte Hotel, now the U. S. Navy Post Graduate School,
was one of the really great social spas of the late 19th and
early 20th centuries. The first hotel built in 1879 burned
down in 1887. The second in a huge, elaborate wooden Swiss
Chalet style had it's central section burn in 1924. Mr. William
Crocker and his manager Mr. Morse hired Mr. Hobart and Mr.
Clarence A. Tantau to rebuild it. It was replaced in a grand
fashion with a reinforced poured in place concrete building
in a Spanish Colonial Revival style attached to the remaining
two Victorian wings.
The exteriors and roofs of these wings, built in 1887, were
modified to make them more compatible with the Hobart-Tantau
"Hollywood Mediterranean" design. The building includes
red Spanish tile floors; mahogany doors and window frames;
elaborate wrought iron work in the chandeliers, stairways,
sconces, and registers; painted ceilings throughout the main
floor; inlaid mosaic-patterned tiles on the stairs and in
the prominent ballroom a fountain; murals, a fresco and a
diorama adorn the interior walls. The outdoor swimming pool
is comparable to the outdoor pool at the William Randolph
Hearst San Simeon mansion.
Del Monte Lodge, with Clarence A. Tantau, 1915
Mr. Charles P. Crocker built a railroad line between San Francisco
and Monterey to bring guests to the Del Monte Hotel. From
there by dirt road they could journey by carriage and later
motor vehicle to the Del Monte Lodge in Pacific Grove. The
17 Mile Drive remains part of this original road. Along it,
Mr. Hobart was commissioned to design several splendid seaside
villas as well as a replacement for the Log House - the first
lodge that burned down Christmas night, 1914. The Lodge is
in the Spanish Colonial Revival style - extremely attractive
but far less imposing than the Hotel. The noted residential
architect Clarence A. Tantau assisted.
St. Mary's by the Sea Episcopal Church, 1910
13th Street and Central Avenue, Pacific Grove
Originally built in 1887, Mr. Hobart was given the task to
enlarge this charming board and batten Gothic Revival building.
It contains Tiffany and Bruce Porter windows.
Villa Hebe, Col. John Hudson Poole House, Pebble Beach, 1925,
Near Palmera, off 17 Mile Drive
John Cravens House, Pebble Beach, 1920s
Near Palmera, off 17 mile Drive
Ansel M. Easton House, 19
Christ Episcopal Church, 1939
Northwest Corner of 15th and H Streets, Eureka
Those who have visited this coastal seaport to the north know
what a treasure trove of architectural gems it contains. Center
stage is the Queen Anne William Carson Home built in 1886.
The church shows how a newer building can carry on the style
of the earlier period. Like St. Mary's, Christ Church is board
and batten Gothic Revival. It replaced an 1869 building but
blended perfectly into the design many of its features: the
altar, altar rail, pulpit, pews, etc.
Lockwood Elementary School, prior to 1915
6701 International Blvd. Oakland
This one story building is noteworthy for its neo-classical
simplicity. The center entranceway is taller than the adjacent
classrooms. It has three gated rounded arches above which
the words Literature, The Sciences, and Geography
are inscribed. Exterior windows are large and extensive to
allow natural light to enter the classrooms. The rooms surround
a courtyard and colonnaded covered patio.
Shredded Wheat Company building, 1915
Buildings Outside of California
Portland Post Office (Now identified as The Federal
This architectural treasure of an office building to this
day is exceptional due to its size and decorative work. The
face of the building is in the elegant, but reserved, style
of the 2nd Renaissance Revival (early 1500's) adapted to contemporary
use. No baroque excesses, this building speaks of a quality
of construction and attention to detail common to the architect's
work. Within the interior's first floor lobby extraordinary
artistry in marble, bronze and cast-iron is equally remarkable.
The ceiling is coffered in gilt. Click
here for Web reference.
The Honolulu Memorial, (1925)
Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium
Lewis P. Hobart won the design competition for the World War
I memorial with a natatorium and band shell. The Waikiki War
Memorial Natatorium was constructed ocean-side in Kapiolani
Park in the shadow of Diamond Head. It was designed to be
a "living memorial" to the 102 servicemen from Hawaii
who were killed in WWI. In the center of a long wall is an
elaborate 20 foot-tall memorial archway toped by four stone
eagles. The huge 40 by 100 meters tide fed saltwater pool
is suitable for Olympic swimmers; bleachers for 6,500 face
the pool and the ocean beyond. The facility fell into disrepair
but underwent a $4.4million partial restoration and was rededicated
Memorial Day, 2000. The pool itself was not repaired.
Temple of Music
The second part of the memorial is the Temple of Music a block
away across Kalakaua Avenue. It is of reinforced concrete
construction, oval in plan, 40 feet in diameter on the main
axis and 50 feet the other dimension. The height is 70 feet.
It too has ornamentation, the Coat of Arms of Hawaii on one
side and the Coat of Arms of the United States on the other.
The finial on top is a bronze pineapple. The floor is tile
in a decorated pattern with a bronze plaque of the emblem
of the American Legion in the center. Now known as the Waikiki
Shell, it remains a popular venue for the Kodak Hulu Show,
the Honolulu Band, and musicians and acts from far and near.
Dominion of New Zealand Building
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