Flood Building

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James C. Flood Building
Flood Building 2017.jpg
Flood Building in 2017
James C. Flood Bldg. is located in San Francisco County
James C. Flood Bldg.
James C. Flood Bldg.
Location within San Francisco County
James C. Flood Bldg. is located in California
James C. Flood Bldg.
James C. Flood Bldg.
James C. Flood Bldg. (California)
James C. Flood Bldg. is located in the United States
James C. Flood Bldg.
James C. Flood Bldg.
James C. Flood Bldg. (the United States)
Alternative namesJames L. Flood Building
870 Market Street
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Retail space
Architectural styleBeaux-Arts
Location870 Market Street
San Francisco, California
Coordinates37°47′06″N 122°24′27″W / 37.7849°N 122.4074°W / 37.7849; -122.4074Coordinates: 37°47′06″N 122°24′27″W / 37.7849°N 122.4074°W / 37.7849; -122.4074
CostUS$1.5 million
OwnerThe James C. Flood Family Mary E Stebbins Trust
ManagementWilson Meany Sullivan
Technical details
Structural systemSteel frame
Floor count12
Floor area293,000 sq ft (27,200 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectAlbert Pissis
DeveloperJames L. Flood
Reference no.154

The Flood Building is a 12-story highrise located at 870 Market Street on the corner of Powell Street in the downtown shopping district of San Francisco, California completed in 1904 and designed by Albert Pissis. Situated on Powell and Market streets, next to the Powell Street cable car turntable, Hallidie Plaza and the Powell Street BART Station entrance, it is one of the few structures that survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The site formerly housed Baldwin's Hotel and Theatre, which was destroyed by fire in 1898.[3] It was later purchased by James L. Flood, who constructed the building as a tribute to his father, James Clair Flood (1826–1889, the Comstock Lode millionaire).[3] In 2003, it was still owned by the Flood family.[3]

John King, the architecture critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, praised the Flood Building as "twelve stories of orderly pomp with a rounded prow that commands the corner of Powell and Market Streets ... Every detail is rooted and right, from the tall storefronts that beckon cable car daytrippers to the baroque cliff of the sandstone façade with its deep-chiseled windows and just enough ornamentation to enliven the mass rather than clutter the scene."[4]

Major tenants[edit]

The Southern Pacific Railroad company maintained its headquarters in the building after its earthquake renovations from 1907 until 1917 when it moved to its own building now at One Market Plaza. The F. W. Woolworth Company store located on basement level and first and second floors was the largest in the chain until 1992, when it was downsized, and later closed in 1996. More recent major tenants include the flagship stores for retailers Gap, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie.

The Pinkerton Detective Agency had an office in Room 314 of the building, and employed Dashiell Hammett, an author of hard-boiled detective novels, as an operative.[5]

See also[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. ^ Flood Building at Emporis
  3. ^ a b c Patricia Yollin (4 July 2003). "Flood of Memories". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  4. ^ King, John (2011). Cityscapes: San Francisco and its Buildings. Heyday. ISBN 978-1597141543.
  5. ^ Audrey Medina (16 January 2011). "5 places for finding the stuff of film noir". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 24 January 2011.

External links[edit]