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Project 061 ◄| Project List |► Project 63

FBG Project S-062

Source: Yost

St. Clair Building (aka Boyd Building)

  • San Francisco
  • Contract: Jun 1906
    Completed Jul 1907
    • $200,000
  • Architect: Nathaniel Blaisdell
  • Standing and in original use

This project was an 8-story office building for the Boyd estate, which had lost several buildings in the earthquake and fire. This was one of FBG's first round of contracts in rebuilding the devastated San Francisco. By the time of completion and since, it was known as the St. Clair Building, but during its construction it was known by the owner name. (Edna Yost refers to it as “the Boyd Building” even in 1949.)

The building was all-concrete and attracted much notice as an example of the “fireproof and quakeproof” large new buildings that were and would continue to replace the largely wooden and brick city that had been leveled.

Nathaniel Blaisdell may have been the architect of the original building on that site as well, as he was for both the pre- and post-reconstruction Mutual Life Building.

A near-twin building was also built (by another contractor) for the Boyd estate at Pine and Battery, known thereafter and today as the McGregor Building.

The building at 8 California Street appears to be the original construction with the original cornice removed, probably for earthquake safety. Frank B. Gilbreth lists his offices in the building in a 1909 ad, probably a holdover from later 1908 before closure of the San Francisco office.

FBG Provenance


  • Standing and in original use at the corner of California and Drumm Streets, as 8 California Street. Mixed use, ground floor commercial and apartments, possibly some offices.


  • SF Call, 11 Jun 1906: Boyd estate had only $90k in insurance on its “buildings” and quick rebuilding was the only option to prevent financial disaster.
  • SF Call, 24 Jun 1906:

  • American Architect & Builder's News, 30 Jun 1906:

  • SF Call, 24 Jul 1906 p.9: permit to explode blasts at California and Drumm, $5000 bond.
  • SF Call, 24 Jun 1906: Contract notice—“Cost about $200k. Structure will be rushed up with all haste possible for good workmanship. Will be built along same lines as Engineering Record Building in New York.”
  • SF Examiner, 28 Jan 1907:

  • Rock Products, 8 Feb 1907: “foundation and basement done, first floor column forms in, trying to make up for lost time.”
  • Rock Products, 22 Apr 1907 notes “two stories completed and third underway.”
  • American Builders Review, Mar 1907: “one of the most satisfactorily designed and soundly built reinforced concrete buildings here.”
  • Rock Products, 20 Jun 1907, “largest reinforced concrete structure erected here by Gilbreth; seven stories and rushing to completion; massive structure and imposing location.”
  • Detail of St. Clair Building cast-concrete cornice (since removed), from Concrete System:

  • Concrete, Nov 1907:

  • SF Recorder, 4 Nov 1907:

  • SF Call, 8 Aug 1906—the companion Boyd estate building (not by FBG). This building is similar in many respects to the St. Clair, and still standing as well:

  • Letter from ad in Engineering News, 24 Jun 1909:


stclair.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/11 19:58 by