An independent jury of industry experts in design and construction, judging more than 125 projects in a variety of categories, selected 450 Pacific for an “Award of Merit” in the category of “Restoration/Renovation.” The jury awarded points to construction submissions based on criteria including project management, overcoming challenges of the job, overall excellence in architectural or engineering design, innovation, safety and the contribution to the community and/or the construction industry.
450 Pacific has enjoyed a history as colorful as the city in which it was built. Originally constructed as a two-story commercial building in 1885, the ground floor of the building was used to stable horses and the second floor to store and distribute liquor. At least 120-year-old, the pine timbers on the ground floor of the building still show signs of the teeth marks from the horses.
In 1894, the building was purchased by the Guinasso & Arata families, both closely linked to Bank of Italy (now Bank of America) founder A.P. Giannini. The building survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and in the construction boom that followed, a third story was added. The building continued to operate as a stable and warehouse. The San Francisco Fire Department Engine Company No. 1, which was located immediately across Pacific, used the horses stabled at 450 Pacific to pull the fire wagons used to fight fires in the north beach area.
In 1925, the building was sold to new owners who converted it into a wine and liquor warehouse. Although the country was in the midst of prohibition, the building was occupied by the Christian Brothers order who used it to store the wine and brandy they made at their Mont La Salle vineyards in St. Helena at Greystone, the iconic winery now occupied by the Culinary Institute of California.
In 1946, following the end of World War II, the building was sold to a lithographer who used the space to print magazines. In 1949, it was purchased by Chong Hing & Co. which operated the Chong Kee Jan Grocers and Import Company until the late 1960s. In the early 1970s, San Francisco designated the Jackson Square neighborhood an historic district and 450 Pacific was converted to a commercial office building.
Keesal, Young & Logan purchased the building in 2007. Since its purchase, the building has gone through a complete seismic and design renovation which has preserved the building’s historic brick and timber architecture.
Special thanks to Marilyn Whitcomb, our executive director, for taking this project from a dream to a reality.
Click here for the Best of 2009 Awards.