One Sansome – The Beginning


Completed in 1910 by renowned San Francisco architect Albert Pissis as The Anglo and London Paris National Bank, the buildings original construction was a steel frame, reinforced concrete, granite clad two-story building constructed in traditional temple form complete with 38’ high Doric columns. Like many other banks built in San Francisco at the time, it was designed in the classical temple form to symbolize the significant role of the financial institution in the community.

In 1915 the bank expanded into the adjoining Holbrook Building at 58-64 Sutter Street, and in 1921 another San Francisco architect, George Kelham, was commissioned to design an addition to the building. The resulting design nearly tripled the area of the original building and expanded the Sansome Street frontage from one to five bays. The Kelham addition repeated the same giant order of the original building but placed the entrance in the recessed porch as it stands today.

The HABS Statement of Signification

“The Anglo and London Paris National Bank is significant as one of the group of historically and architecturally important bank buildings in downtown San Francisco. Within this group it is particularly notable for its monumental size, prominent location, and adherence to the classical temple form. Given the highest rating of “5” in the San Francisco Planning Department’s Architectural Quality Survey; it also received the highest of 5 in the “A” group of significant buildings in the Heritage Downtown Inventory. The inventory notes the building’s steel frame and granite construction, its age as an early post-earthquake building, its rich exterior detail, and its classical temple form. The interior is given an “excellent” for the banking hall’s materials, skylight and detail. Its contribution to the streetscape is noted as significant.”

What is now the conservatory was the original structure of The Anglo and London Paris National Bank, which through a series of mergers and consolidations over the years became the Crocker Anglo Bank branch of the Crocker Bank in 1956 and continued to occupy the building through 1981.

CitiBank built the 43-story office tower adjacent to the original bank structure in 1980, preserving the architecture of the original bank as a conservatory.

Source: Historic American Building Survey (HABS)