McAllister Tower Apartments

Mcallister Tower Apartments
  1. About the McAllister Tower Apartments in San Francisco
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The McAllister Tower Apartments is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Lewis P. Hobart and built in 1930, for a reported $2.80 million dollars, in San Francisco, CA.

McAllister Tower Apartments is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The McAllister Tower Apartments is also known, or has been known as, 100 McAllister, Temple Methodist Episcopal Church, William Taylor Hotel, or Empire Hotel.

Its precise street address is 110 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA. You can also find it on the map here.

The McAllister Tower Apartments is a structure of significant importance both for the city of San Francisco and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the McAllister Tower Apartments was officially included in the San Francisco Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The building has been restored 2 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 1938 and 1981.

Building's timeline

Design begins
Construction completed
Added to the San Francisco RHP
years ago
  1. 1936 to 1938 - Restoration.
  2. 1978 to 1981 - Restoration.

Architect and team

Lewis P. Hobart was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Architectural Style

The McAllister Tower Apartments can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The McAllister Tower Apartments was designed in 1920. These were the early days of the Art Deco movement, when the style hadn't yet reached its maturity, and there fore it is more likely to to still have traces of the Classical or Gothic Revival periods which preceded Art-Deco.

Lewis P. Hobart took a risk by designing a building that was ahead of its time, and which other architects sure took inspiration from as the Art Deco movement evolved.

Spaces & Uses

The McAllister Tower Apartments reaches an architectural height of 308ft (94m). It has a total of 28 floors, which combined offer a total of 279,861 sqf (26,000m2) of usable space.

When it opened its doors to the public in 1930, the McAllister Tower Apartments was primarily used as Hotel space. That however, is no longer the case, and today it mainly provides Residential space, with other complementary uses such as commercial space.

308ft (94m)

Materials & Structure

The McAllister Tower Apartments uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a pale-colored masonry brick work, with darker, ornamented metal plates covering the space between windows in the vertical direction. This emphathises the verticallity of the building by creating continuous stripes of lighter brick that go from the windowns on the second floor all the way to the top of the tower.