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Built in 1917/1918, the Hallidie Building sits in the heart of the Financial District in San Francisco. The building is sometimes credited as the first one in the US to feature a glass curtain wall, however it was actually predated by Louis Curtiss' Boley Clothing Company building in Kansas City, Missouri, completed in 1909.


The iconic building was designed by architect Willis Polk and is named after San Francisco cable car pioneer Andrew Smith Hallidie. Today the building is home to the San Francisco chapters of the American Institute of Architects, AIGA, Center for Architecture + Design, the US Green Building Council - Northern California Chapter, Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc., and Coordinated Resources, Inc. (CRI).

This building was Polk's last major project before he died in 1924. He was hired by the UC Board of Regents to create an office building that could be leased out to players in the Financial District's top firms. Polk laid out a stack of high-ceilinged floors and then sheathed it in a net of glass, the individual windows bolted to vertical steel mullions that were attached to the concrete structure.

Years of weather damage took its toll on the building and by the turn of the millennium, it was time for a makeover. Floor by floor, every section of the wall above Sutter Street's shops was removed and then either repaired, rebuilt or replaced. The glass is all new, still clear but laminated to meet safety requirements. 

San Francisco Landmark #37 Hallidie Building. Noe Hill. Accessed May 07, 2017. http://noehill.com/sf/landmarks/sf037.asp.

King, John. Hallidie Building restoration in SF. SF Gate. Accessed May 07, 2017. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/place/article/Hallidie-Building-restoration-in-SF-4468260.php.

San Francisco’s historic Hallidie Building. Frisco Vista. September 08, 2016. Accessed May 07, 2017. http://www.friscovista.com/news/architecture/san-franciscos-historic-hallidie-building/.