Market Street: Newspaper Angle

For many years, the intersection of Market, Kearny and Third Street was known as  Newspaper Angle because the three biggest newspapers in San Francisco had offices here.

The Chronicle 
DeYoung Building (now Ritz Carlton) 
1889 Daniel Burnham, architect
1909 Willis Polk, rebuild and expansion  
2007 Charles Bloszies, Page and Turnbull, restoration and tower addition.

San Francisco Chronicle owner Michael deYoung wanted to make a statement on Market Street. He hired the most famous architect in the world, Daniel Burnham from Chicago, who built him a towering fortress topped by the largest clock in the world. A fire destroyed the clock tower just before the 1906 earthquake and it was never rebuilt.    

In 1906, the building was gutted by fire, but the walls stood.  Daniel Burnham sent his protege Willis Polk to restore and expand the remaining structure. Then in the 1960s, the building was "modernized" by covering it with aluminum panels.

In 2007, the building had an extensive renovation, including removal of the panels.  In exchange for the restoration of the historic facade, the developer was permitted to build the condominium tower in the back.


The Call
The Spreckels Building (now Central Tower)
Reid Brothers, architects 1898
Albert Roller, renovation 1938

This tower was the tallest building in the west for over 30 years.  The original ornate crown could be seen from every hilltop in town.  There was a cafe on the 15th floor, at the base of the crown, where diners could enjoy spectacular views of the city.

The building belonged to the Spreckles family, who made their fortune in Hawaiian sugar and real estate speculation.  John D. Spreckles ran the Call Newspaper which was headquartered here.

The building gutted by fire in 1906.  Flames raced up the elevator shaft and the building burned like a candle, from the top down.  The building was rebuilt and 930s, the crown was removed and seven more floors were added.  Then the building was covered in pink granite in an Art Deco style and renamed Central Tower. 





The Hearst Building
Kirby, Petit and Green, architects 1909
Julia Morgan, exterior embellishment

William Randolph Hearst was born in San Francisco and he began his media empire here. Hearst ran the Examiner newspaper, a gift from his father.  He took the failing paper and turned it into the largest circulation paper in the city.  His style of sensational  journalism was so popular, Hearst soon had a string of newspapers across the country.

When his building burned in 1906, Hearst rebuilt it with the same hacienda-style design but made it over twice as tall.  The embellisments on the front depicting California wildlife were added later by Julia Morgan. Although Mr. Hearst spent most of his time in New York, and later on his ranch down south in San Simeon, he maintained a personal suite on the top floor of this building until his death in 1951.
  
Three photos above courtesy of the Bancroft Library,  University of California, Berkeley.
Photo links: Chronicle BuildingCall BuildingHearst Building








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