Hotel Whitcomb

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Discover the Hotel Whitcomb with its history as San Francisco's City Hall in the early 20th century, complete with jail cells in the basement.

Hotel Whitcomb was constructed during the international conflict of 1914 to 1918, where the Central Powers battled the Entente for global dominance.

In a city known for its history, the Hotel Whitcomb in San Francisco has a story all its own. As the city was emerging from the 1906 earthquake, the hotel stepped in and became a substitute city hall while the original was being rebuilt.

In 1910, the city of San Francisco was still in the middle of rebuilding and was in need of a place to house their government officials. They found such a place across Market Street in the then-under-construction luxury hotel, where the developers were able to quickly change their plans and convert the hotel to City Hall. After the hotel’s civic duty, it was converted back to its original design and became the Hotel Whitcomb in 1916. Reminders of the landmark hotel's early history are still present in the hotel--the original jail cells are located in the basement and the words “City Hall” are still faintly etched above the hotel’s entrance.

  • About the Architecture +
    "Hotel Whitcomb is a marvel of early 19th century and Edwardian architecture that can be seen throughout the historic hotel. The Austrian crystal chandeliers, marble columns, rare Janesero wood paneling, intricately carved ceiling molding, and beautiful Tiffany stained glass at the front desk are but a few of the spectacular features of this exquisite property. "
  • About the Location +
    Centrally located near many of San Fracisco's historic sites, the hotel is steps away from Civic Center and a short trolley car ride away from Union Square, The Moscone Center, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

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