Fairmont San Francisco

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The Fairmont San Francisco is a luxury hotel at 950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill in San Francisco, California. The hotel was named after mining magnate and U.S. Senator James Graham Fair (1831–94), by his daughters, Theresa Fair Oelrichs and Virginia Fair Vanderbilt, who built the hotel in his honor.[7] The hotel was the vanguard of the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts chain. The group is now owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, but all the original Fairmont hotels still keep their names.

Fairmont San Francisco
Fairmont is located in San Francisco County
Location within San Francisco County
Fairmont is located in California
Fairmont (California)
Fairmont is located in the United States
Fairmont (the United States)
Hotel chainFairmont Hotels and Resorts
General information
LocationUnited States
Address950 Mason Street
San Francisco, California
Coordinates37°47′33″N 122°24′37″W / 37.7924°N 122.4102°W / 37.7924; -122.4102
OpeningMain: 18 April 1907; 117 years ago (18 April 1907)
Tower: 1962
OwnerMirae Asset Global Investments
ManagementFairmont Hotels & Resorts
HeightTower: 99.06 m (325.0 ft)
Technical details
Floor countMain: 9
Tower: 29
Design and construction
Architect(s)James W. and Merritt J. Reid
Ira Wilson Hoover
Julia Morgan
Other information
Number of rooms591
Number of suites>11
Number of restaurantsLaurel Court Restaurant and Bar
Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
Fairmont Hotel
Architectural styleBeaux-Arts
NRHP reference No.02000373
SFDL No.185
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 17, 2002
Designated SFDL1987[1]

It has been featured in many films, including The Rock. Exterior and interior shots of the hotel were used as stand-ins for the fictional St. Gregory Hotel in the television series Hotel. It is also notable for its presidential suite, often used by U.S. Presidents when visiting the Bay Area.

The Fairmont San Francisco was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 17, 2002.[8] It is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[9]

1906 earthquake edit

Damage to the fifth floor from the 1906 earthquake

The hotel was nearly completed before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Although the structure survived, the interior was heavily damaged by fire, and opening was delayed until 1907. Architect and engineer Julia Morgan was hired to repair the building because of her then innovative use of reinforced concrete, which could produce buildings capable of withstanding earthquakes and other disasters.

United Nations edit

In 1945, the Fairmont hosted international statesmen for meetings which culminated in the creation of the United Nations.[10][11] Finessing of the United Nations Charter was conducted in the hotel's Garden Room and a plaque at the hotel memorializes the event.[12]

First concierge in the United States edit

The Fairmont was the first American hotel to offer concierge services. Tom Wolfe, who had trained in Europe, served as the Fairmont's first concierge from 1974 to 1981. He returned to the Fairmont in 1995.[13]

Tonga Room edit

Among the hotel's attractions is the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, a historic tiki bar, which opened in 1945 and was remodeled in 1952, and 1967. Elements of the bar were also "updated" in 2009. It features a bandstand on a barge that floats in a former swimming pool, a dining area built from parts of an old sailing ship, and artificial thunderstorms. In January 2009, the owners announced plans to close the Tonga Room in connection with a renovation and condo conversion of the hotel.[14] In response, a group planned to file an application to make the Tonga Room an official San Francisco landmark.[15] The plans were delayed and Tonga Room is still open today (despite many rumors of its temporary closure).

Ownership change edit

On May 9, 2012, funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. and Woodridge Capital Partners LLC, a Los Angeles–based real estate developer and investor, bought the property for $200 million.[16] They also acquired the Mark Hopkins Hotel across the street in 2014.[17]

The hotel was sold again on November 30, 2015, to the South Korean Mirae Asset Global Investments group for $450 million.[18]

Popular culture edit

The Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel was where Tony Bennett first sang "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" in December 1961.[19] A statue of Tony Bennett was unveiled outside the Fairmont on 19 August 2016, in honor of his 90th birthday, the performance and the song's history with San Francisco.[20]

The Fairmont Hotel was used in the establishing shots for the fictional St. Gregory Hotel in the 1983 television series Hotel. The hotel on which the original novel was based is now The Roosevelt New Orleans.

The Fairmont is also seen in the movie The Intern.

Ernie Gehr's avant-garde film Side/Walk/Shuttle was filmed entirely from the Fairmont's elevator.[21]

In the song "Real Good for Free" on the album Miles of Aisles Joni Mitchell changes the line "I slept last night in a good hotel" to "I slept last night in the Fairmont Hotel"[22]

The Fairmont makes a brief appearance in the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, where characters Shang-Chi and his best friend Katy previously worked as valet parkers at the beginning of the film.[23]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "City of San Francisco Designated Landmarks". City of San Francisco. Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  2. ^ "Fairmont San Francisco Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  3. ^ "Emporis building ID 298250". Emporis. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016.
  4. ^ "Fairmont San Francisco Tower". Emporis. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016.
  5. ^ "Fairmont San Francisco". SkyscraperPage.
  6. ^ Fairmont San Francisco at Structurae
  7. ^ Woodbridge, Sally B.; Woodbridge, John M. (1992). San Francisco Architecture. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 62. ISBN 0-87701-897-9.
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  9. ^ "The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, a Historic Hotels of America member". Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved January 28, 2014. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ "Charter of the United Nations - Photo Resources". United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law. Retrieved 10 August 2011.[dead link]
  11. ^ Craig, Christopher; Elan Penn (2006). San Francisco: A Pictorial Celebration. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-4027-2388-9. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  12. ^ Samara Diapoulos (23 August 2009). "Moments in History". The Fairmont San Francisco. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  13. ^ Lowder, J. Bryan (18 August 2015). "Anything Short of Breaking the Law". Slate. New York: The Slate Group. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  14. ^ Jesse McKinley (April 3, 2009). "Order a Mai Tai and Save Paradise". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  15. ^ John King (September 8, 2009). "The Tonga Room a Landmark? Not So Fast". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  16. ^ Nadja Brandt (May 9, 2012). "Fairmont San Francisco Hotel to Be Sold for $200 Million". Bloomberg News.
  17. ^ Vincent, Roger (February 21, 2014) "L.A. investors buy famed Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco" Los Angeles Times
  18. ^ Resource, Hotel News. "Fairmont San Francisco Hotel Sold For $450 Million". www.hotelnewsresource.com.
  19. ^ "The Fairmont Hotel Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Tony Bennett's First Performance of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"". 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  20. ^ "San Francisco to honor Tony Bennett with statue, festivities - SFGate". www.sfgate.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-19.
  21. ^ Camper, Fred (February 16, 1995). "Edge City". Chicago Reader. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  22. ^ "Joni: Just Miles Ahead". Joni Mitchell. Retrieved 16 February 2021. I slept last night in the Fairmont hotel
  23. ^ "Marvel movie's running 'Rings' around town". San Francisco Examiner. September 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2021.

External links edit