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Just nearing completion at the time of the 1906 earthquake, the Fairmont Hotel has been a San Francisco institution for over a century. The hotel is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • The Fairmont Hotel
  • Julia Morgan with William Randolph Hearst
The Fairmont Hotel was built--almost--in 1906, by sisters Theresa Fair Oelrichs and Virginia Fair Vanderbilt, who wanted to honor their father, Senator James Graham Fair. The structure was nearly complete at the time of the 1906 earthquake, and although the building itself survived, the interior was destroyed by fires.

The building then underwent a year-long repair and renovation, which was led by Julia Morgan. At a time when it was virtually unheard of for women to enter the profession, Morgan became the first licensed female architect in California, and would later design the Hearst Castle. Morgan was chosen to rebuild the hotel because of her expertise with reinforced concrete, and a year to the day after the earthquake, the Fairmont Hotel finally opened.

Since that time, the luxury hotel has witnessed plenty of history. It was here, in 1945, that international delegates met to lay the groundwork for the United Nations. The UN's charter was signed in the hotel's Garden Room. And every US president since Harry Truman has stayed at the Fairmont Hotel. It was also in the Fairmont--in its lovely Venetian Room--that Tony Bennett first performed his famed signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

The Fairmont Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Retrieved 9 May 2017.