Hibernia Bank, Our Brokedown Palace, Dumps a Load of Bricks on Jones Street

About 20-something ornamental bricks rained down from the top of the old Hibernia Bank Building at 1 Jones Street on McAllister near Market yesterday evening, bringing out a mess of SFPD and SFFD personnel. (Get up to speed on this building at SF Curbed and the Socketsite.)

The mise-en-scene. Bricks fell from both of the traingular areas you can see near the top. Click to expand:

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See where the bricks used to be, way up high?

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Here are some of them on the sidewalk of the west side of Jones Street:

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Some of the bricks that landed on the sidewalk at about 30 MPH:

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Do you ever want worried-looking police captains and firefighting battalion chiefs hanging out in front of your building in front of yellow tape? No, you do not:

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The SFFD made “soundings” as part of its investigation. Did that cause more blocks to fall? Possibly. Is that a Good Thing, that they fell yesterday instead of today on the noggins of passersby? Yes. Why did this masonry fall?  Is there a possible suspect in this scene? Yes.

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Is Albert Pissis rolling over in his grave about now?

“…Hibernia Bank at 1 Jones Street, completed in 1892, was exceptionally advanced, not only for San Francisco but for the country at large. It appeared a year before the Chicago Columbian Exposition swept the nation with renewed appreciation for classical grandeur and order. With its crisp and dignified detailing, its scholarly composition and white Sierra granite walls, capped with a then-gilded dome, the bank appeared like a manifesto near the incoherent City Hall and the adjacent jumble of brick and wood commercial structures. Architect and Engineer reflected in 1909 that “the (Hibernia Bank) became famous at once and marked an epoch in San Francisco architecture and placed its designer in the forefront of his profession, where he has remained ever since. The building from the first to last shows no sign whatever of immaturity.”

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One Response to “Hibernia Bank, Our Brokedown Palace, Dumps a Load of Bricks on Jones Street”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It would be great if the header to this page was not 1/3 of the screen real estate. What a drag.