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FiDi's Landmark Hobart Building Celebrates its Centennial

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Welcome to The Landmarks, where Curbed takes a look at one of the many San Francisco landmarks, listed either locally or on the National Register of Historic Places. Landmarks will be chosen at random, but do drop us a line if you'd like to see a certain landmark highlighted

This week's Landmarks post comes at a reader's request, and is perfectly timed for the building's 100th birthday. The Hobart Building at 582 Market Street was designed by historic starchitect Willis Polk back in 1914, and its unique shape leaves many folks intrigued - so much so, it was listed as San Francisco Landmark #162 back in 1983.

At the time of its construction in 1914, the Hobart Building was the second tallest building in San Francisco. It was built on a crazy polygon shaped lot, so the lower portion was originally designed to fill in the space next to existing buildings - but the one on the west side was torn down in 1967, leaving the west wall exposed.

The building was constructed for the the Hobart Estate Company as offices, and has operated as such every since. It replaces an early Hobart building that was destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. The head of the company, Walter Hobart, picked the wonky shaped site back in the 1880s for the original building on purpose because of its location across from Second Street.

Back then Second was a major street that lead to the wealthy residential area of Rincon Hill. Polk still designed the new building so that the best view of the tower was from Second Street.

It was listed as a local landmark in 1984 for being "one of the most successful tall buildings ever built in San Francisco."

· Hobart Building Landmark Designation [SF Planning]
· The Hobart Building [Fisher Hill]
· Chronology of an Office Building [Pacific Coast Architect via Internet Archive]