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San Francisco: Taber, Photo, (n. d.). Ca late 1880s. Taber imprint in photograph bottom band; verso with large Taber imprint, including woodcut of his building, 8 Montgomery Street. Photograph: 4-7/8" x 8". Card: 5-5/16" x 8-3/8". Card mount with slightly rounded corners. Now housed in an archival mylar sleeve. Sligh yellowing to image, and a slight bow to the card. Faint vertical crinkle to the left side. Very Good. Item #46452
This an image of the original Palace Hotel, which "was built by San Francisco banker and entrepreneur William Chapman Ralston, who heavily depended on his shaky banking empire to help finance the $5 million project. Although Ralston's Bank of California collapsed in late August 1875, and Ralston himself drowned in San Francisco Bay on the same day that he lost control of the institution, it did not interfere with the opening of the Palace Hotel two months later on October 2, 1875. Ralston's business partner in the project was U.S. Senator William Sharon, who had helped cause the collapse of the bank when he dumped his stock in the Comstock Lode. Sharon ended up in control of the hotel as well as both the bank and Ralston's debts, both of which he paid off at just pennies on the dollar.
With 755 guest rooms, the original Palace Hotel (also known colloquially as the "Bonanza Inn") was at the time of its construction the largest hotel in the Western United States. At 120 feet in height, the hotel was San Francisco's tallest building for over a decade. The skylighted open center of the building featured a Grand Court overlooked by seven stories of white columned balconies which served as an elegant carriage entrance. Shortly after 1900 this area was converted into a lounge called the "Palm Court". The bartender, William "Cocktail" Boothby, was a fixture at the hotel for some years. The hotel featured large redwood-paneled hydraulic elevators which were known as "rising rooms". Each guest room or suite was equipped with a private bathroom as well as an electric call button to summon a member of the hotel's staff. All guest rooms could be joined together to create suites, or to make up large apartments for long-term residents, and the parlor of each guest room featured a large bay window overlooking the street below." [Wiki]
This grand dame of San Francisco would not survive the 1906 quake, succumbing to the fires that ravaged so much of the city.