Baldwin Hotel (San Francisco)

Baldwin Hotel was a 19th-century luxury hotel and theatre built by Comstock Lode millionaire, entrepreneur, and gambler Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin, formerly in downtown San Francisco, California. It was located on Powell Street at the corner of Market Street, near the Union Square area.

Baldwin Hotel and Theatre
Baldwin Hotel
Baldwin Hotel
Baldwin Hotel
General information
TypeMasonry on steel
AddressMarket and Powell Streets, San Francisco
Town or citySan Francisco
CountryUnited States
Coordinates37.7849°N 122.4074°W / 37.7849; -122.4074
OwnerLucky Baldwin
Design and construction
ArchitectSumner Bugbee,
Second Empire style


The Baldwin Theatre was completed in 1875, and the Baldwin Hotel was completed around it in 1876. The hotel was designed in the Second Empire style by architect Sumner Bugbee.

The theatre featured touring performers and it was first known as Baldwin's Academy of Music. Most of the touring performers of the day appeared there.[1] The hotel and theatre occupied the entire block. The ground floor was divided into a number of large stores.

A theatre attendee, Mrs. Frank Leslie, described the building in 1877:

"In the evening, by way of severe contrast [to the Mission Dolores they visited earlier that day], we went to Baldwin's Theatre, attached to the hotel of the same name and just finished. It is really the prettiest to be seen in any part of the world -- a perfect little gem, fitted up like a bonbonniere in crimson satin and gold. The six proscenium boxes on either side, and the row of French boxes at the back are marvelously pretty. Nothing could be more rich and exquisite in refinement of taste. The symmetry of the house is unmarred by rows of pillars, the galleries being suspended from the roof." [2]


The entire building was destroyed by fire in 1898.[3][4][5][6] Two people were killed, and the adjacent Columbia Theater building on Powell Street suffered considerable damage.[7] After the Baldwin Hotel building was demolished, the Flood Building was built on the site in 1904.


  1. "Baldwin Theatre - Oxford Reference". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. California: a pleasure trip from Gotham to the Golden Gate Mrs. Frank Leslie April, May, June, 1877
  3. "Theatres, California Sheet Music (Duggan)". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  4. "The Sydney Mail - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  5. "SAN FRANCISCO HOTEL FIRE; "Lucky" Baldwin's House Laid in Ruins by Flames. LOSS OF LIFE MAY BE GREAT Only Two Victims' Bodies So Far Recovered -- Theatre in the Building Also Burned" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  6. "Lewis Meyers | Skagway Stories". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  7. "San Francisco, CA Baldwin Hotel Fire". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
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