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MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

The Montgomery Block

 
 
The Montgomery Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, December 16, 2013
1. The Montgomery Block Marker
Inscription. This, San Francisco’s first fireproof building erected in 1853 by Henry Wager Helleck, was the headquarters for many outstanding lawyers, financiers, writers, actors and artists. James King of William, editor of the Bulletin, died here after being shot by James Casey, May 14, 1856. Escaping destruction in the fire of 1906, the building is preserved in memory of those who lived and worked in it.

Plaque below The Montgomery Block marker.
Montgomery Block
1853 – 1959

 
Erected by California State Park Commission in Cooperation with the Society of California Pioneers. (Marker Number CHL 80.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the California Historical Landmarks, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 37° 47.725′ N, 122° 24.187′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from Montgomery Street near Washington Street, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 600 Montgomery Street, San Francisco CA 94111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Black Cat Café (within shouting distance of this
The Montgomery Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, December 16, 2013
2. The Montgomery Block Marker
marker); Western Headquarters of Russell, Majors, and Waddell (within shouting distance of this marker); Bummer and Lazarus (within shouting distance of this marker); First Jewish Religious Services (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Commander John B. Montgomery's Landing Site (about 300 feet away); Bank of Italy (about 300 feet away); Pony Express (about 300 feet away); The Banking Firm of Pioche et Bayerque (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. This marker is currently located in the north lobby of the Trans-America Building. It was originally placed on the Montgomery Block building which was demolished in 1959.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Monkey Block - Found SF. Built in 1853 as the largest commercial building west of the Mississippi, the huge brick Montgomery Block building served initially as studios and apartments for writers including Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce, Robert Louis Stevenson,
Pony Express plaque in the lobby of the Trans-America Building image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, December 16, 2013
3. Pony Express plaque in the lobby of the Trans-America Building
The Pony Express
1860 – 1861

Pony Express
Western Terminus No. 2

This was the location of the building known as the “Montgomery Block”. It was originally called the Washington Block when built. On October 3, 1860 it became the new headquarters of the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company that owned and operated the 1860-1861 Pony Express. They had moved here and operated out of Olney’s Washoe Stock Exchange at this site.
Sponsored by Bill & Jo Pasley, Steven & Rhonda Hembree, Joseph L. Schroeder and the Pony Express Trail Association, Joe Nardone – Historian
Jack London, George Sterling, and Emma Goldman. The building miraculously survived the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906.
(Submitted on December 19, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. Fireproof in SF - Guidelines. Six fires between 1849 and 1851 destroyed large parts of rapidly growing San Francisco. Clearly fires were a significant hazard for a town filled with structures made of wood. Local attorney (and future Chief of Staff of Lincoln's armies) Henry Wager Halleck felt that public confidence needed to be bolstered by building a structure that would be impenetrable to fire or flood. A civil engineer trained at West Point military academy, Halleck was very able to guide the development of San Francisco's first fireproof building, the Montgomery Block, located at 628 Montgomery Street at Washington Street. (Submitted on December 19, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
The original placement of The Montgomery Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
4. The original placement of The Montgomery Block Marker
In 1955, Oliver P. Stidger, who had saved the Monkey Block from dynamiting in 1906, unveiled a plaque naming the building an historic site.
The Montgomery Block in the 1860s. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
5. The Montgomery Block in the 1860s.
The Montgomery Block in the 1930s. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
6. The Montgomery Block in the 1930s.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 298 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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