Palace Hotel, San Francisco
The Palace Hotel is a landmark historic hotel in San Francisco, California, located at the SW corner of Market and New Montgomery Streets. Also referred to as the "New" Palace Hotel to distinguish it from the original 1875 Palace Hotel (which had been demolished after being gutted by the fire caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake) that it was built to replace, the present structure opened in December 1909, on the site of its razed predecessor. Occupying most of a city block, the now century old nine story hotel stands immediately adjacent to both the BART Montgomery Street Station and the Monadnock Building, and across Market Street from Lotta's Fountain.

The original Palace Hotel (1875-1906)
With 800 rooms the original Palace Hotel (also known colloquially as the "Bonanza Inn") was at the time of its construction the largest hotel in the Western United States, and according to some claims, the largest in the world. The monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii at the time, King Kalakaua, passed away in this hotel on January 20, 1891. Financed primarily by Bank of California co-founder William Ralston, it offered many innovative modern conveniences including an intercom system and four oversized hydraulic elevators called lifting rooms. The most notable feature of the hotel was the Grand Court that served as an entry area for horse-drawn carriages. The area was converted to the palm filled "Garden Court" a few years before the 1906 earthquake. "A palace truly! Where shall we find its equal? Windsor Hotel, good-bye! you must yield the palm to your great Western rival, as far as structure goes, though in all other respects you may keep the foremost place. There is no other hotel building in the world equal to this. The court of the Grand at Paris is poor compared to that of the Palace. Its general effect at night, when brilliantly lighted, is superb; its furniture, rooms and appointments are all fine, but then it tells you all over it was built to "whip all creation," and the millions of its lucky owner enabled him to triumph." .... Andrew Carnegie, Round the World Free guided tours of the hotel are led by volunteers of the San Francisco City Guides, a program of the San Francisco Public Library. )

1906 earthquake & fire
Although the hotel survived the initial damage from the early morning April 18, 1906, San Francisco earthquake, by late that afternoon it had been consumed by the subsequent fires. Notably, tenor Enrico Caruso (who had sung the role of Don José in Carmen the night before) was staying in the hotel at the time of the quake, and swore never to return to the City.

The "New" Palace Hotel (Opened 1909)
Completely rebuilt from the ground up, the "New" Palace Hotel opened on December 19, 1909, and quickly resumed the role of its namesake predecessor as an important San Francisco landmark as well as host to many of the City's great events. While externally much plainer then the original Palace, the new "Bonanza Inn" is in many ways as elegant, sumptuous, and gracious on the inside as the 1875 building. The "Garden Court" (also called the "Palm Court") " which occupies the same area that the Grand Court did in the earlier structure " has been one of San Francisco's most prestigious hotel dining rooms since the day it opened. Equally famous is the "Pied Piper" Bar (overseen by its famous Maxfield Parrish painting of the same name) which is located just off the gleaming polished marble lobby. The Ralston Room, named for co-founder William Ralston, is off the main lobby to the left.

Hotel events
The hotel served as the stage for several important events. KalÄkaua, the last reigning king of the Kingdom of Hawai Ê»i, died at the old Palace Hotel in 1891. In 1919, Woodrow Wilson gave speeches in the Garden Court in support of the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations. In 1923, Warren G. Harding's term as President ended suddenly when he died at the Palace Hotel, in Room 8064, an eighth floor suite that overlooks Market Street. In 1945, the Palace Hotel hosted a banquet to mark the opening session of the United Nations.

Modern renovations
The Palace Hotel was renovated from 1989 to 1991 and currently has a proposal to add a 60 storey, 204 to 207 m (669 to 679 ft) residential tower to be named the Palace Hotel Residential Tower designed by the architecture firm, Skidmore Owings & Merrill. The hotel is presently owned (since 1973) by the Kyo-Ya group, a large hotel and resort company based in Hawaii and Japan, and operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Recent renovations also included an updated high speed wireless network for employees and guests implemented through Xirrus 802.11a/b/g+n Wi-Fi Arrays.

Building Activity

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