The Hearst Hotel

This is the second Hearst Building on the site. The original 1898 Hearst Building was destroyed in the 1906 fire and earthquake. The current Kirby, Petit & Green designed building was completed in 1911 and was remodeled by Julia Morgan in 1938. The Hearst Building was the center of operations for the Examiner Newspaper and other Hearst publications, with the presses operating in the basement until the 1960s.

The initial objective for the project was a seismic upgrade to the non-ductile concrete frame. Due to the positioned serpentine floor plate, continued use as an office building was not financially viable, and concepts for conversion into a boutique hotel were initiated.

The FORGE team oversaw the Schematic Design, evolving program requirements, and preservation strategies, obtaining approvals from SF Planning and the State Historic Preservation Office. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, further development has been shelved.

The program included 165 rooms, multiple roof decks, a signature restaurant, lounge, library bar, day spa, and conference facilities.


Project Type:





San Francisco, CA

Preservation/Hospitality/ Adaptive Reuse





A Taste of Hospitality

A part of the project was research requiring a bit of travel. The most interesting trip was a stay at Hearst Ranch and a behind-the-rope tour of the Ranch and Hearst Castle. Pictured here is much of the project team on the roof deck of Hearst Castle.

Hearst Castle is now a separate entity from Hearst Ranch and is under the stewardship of the  California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The 150-year-old oceanfront Ranch consists of 83,000 acres (128 square miles), produces 1000 head of cattle yearly, is home to a private herd of wild zebra, and contains its own airstrip.   The airstrip allowed W.R. Hearst and his numerous guests easy access to the ranch and daily deliveries of newspapers for Hearst’s editorial review.   

A few of us stayed in the Senator’s House (George Hearst’s House), which predated the Castle, while others, including our host, stayed in the Bunk House, also designed by Julia Morgan.

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