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Historic former Valencia Street bank sold

Longtime Social Security office lease set to expire in 2022

The old Hibernia Bank building on Valencia Street.
The old Hibernia Bank building on Valencia Street.
Photos courtesy of Jordan Geller

The onetime Hibernia Bank turned Social Security office at 1098 Valencia Street went up for sale in October asking $9.9 million. It didn’t take long for someone to take a run on the offer. Realtor Jordan Geller confirms the sale, telling Curbed SF the final price came out to more than $11.89 million

The building will continue to serve as the local Social Security office until July of 2022. Soon thereafter, the federal government has no option to renew its lease, presumably opening up the historically significant 1924 building and its more recent, attached neighboring building to lucrative development opportunities.

Geller’s ad referred to the structure as a “high-identity building” and “a concrete and steel reinforced Renaissance Revival design.”

In fact, it was Arthur Brown Jr., the great Beaux-Arts architect who gave us SF City Hall and Coit Tower, who designed the building, capturing both the highfalutin pride and the unyielding ambition of American economic institutions in the 20th century.

An intimidating and dignified sight in its day, the Hibernia building now looks like an intriguing artifact or lost monument on the modern Valencia drag, perhaps something local archaeologists dug up right in the midst of one of the city’s busiest blocks.

Note that the city classifies 1098 Valencia as a historic resource—which is to say, any pans for renovation or remodel will have to step lightly with the architecture.