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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Bank of California

“The Grand Old Lady of California Street”

 

—400 California Street —

 
Bank of California Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, December 16, 2013
1. Bank of California Marker
Inscription. The Bank of California, a founding financier of the West, was established by William Chapman Ralston on July 5, 1864, the company quickly outgrew its quarters at this location and engaged architects Walter Danforth Bliss and William Baker Faville to design an impressive new building for the site.

In January 1906, the bank moved to a temporary location while beginning preparations for the splendid new building. Progress was halted abruptly on April 18, 1908 by the earthquake and fire, but work recommenced just six weeks later. The Bank of California’s new building – today affectionately called “The Grand Old Lady of California Street” – opened on September 8, 1908 as the first new commercial structure the Financial District to rise out of the ruins of the earthquake.

The Bank of California and Union Bank merged in 1996 to create Union Bank of California, N.A. This historic building was rededicated on its 100th anniversary September 8, 2008, by Union Bank of California President and Chief Executive Officer Masakki Tanaka and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
 
Erected 2008 by Union Bank of California. (Marker Number 3.)
 
Location. 37° 47.59′ N, 122° 24.085′ 
Bank of California Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, December 16, 2013
2. Bank of California Marker
W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is at the intersection of California Street and Sansome Street, on the right when traveling west on California Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 California Street, San Francisco CA 94104, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Union Bank Building (within shouting distance of this marker); William Alexander Leidesdorff (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of What Cheer House (about 300 feet away); “The Orient Building” (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named William Alexander Leidesdorff (about 400 feet away); The Old Chamber of Commerce Building (about 500 feet away); "The Family" (about 600 feet away); The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in San Francisco.
 
Also see . . .  Bank of California and William Ralston -found SF. Ralston dabbled in a number of schemes before finding his lode. Some things like helping to finance the takeover of Nicaragua by soldier of fortune William Walker just did not pay off. It was to the Comstock Lode south of present-day Reno that "Billy" Ralston hitched his star soon after its discovery in 1859. (Submitted on December 19, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Bank of California Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, December 16, 2013
3. Bank of California Plaque
A similar plaque at the Union Bank of California entrance portico.

The Bank of California opened for business July 5, 1864 at the southwest corner of Washington and Battery streets. In 1865 construction began on a new home at California and Sansome (this location) which was occupied June 27, 1867. The bank outgrew these quarters and in January 1906 moved to a temporary location at California and Leidesdorff while the present building was being erected. Construction was about to begin when the earthquake and fire occurred April 18, 1906. Work was resumed after the emergency and the bank returned to this site September 8, 1908.
 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 366 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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