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Mark Hopkins Hotel

InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
The Mark Hopkins Hotel, 2009
Hotel chain InterContinental
General information
Address One Nob Hill
999 California Street
San Francisco, California
Opening 4 December 1926 (4 December 1926)
Management InterContinental Hotels Group
Height 92.97 m (305.0 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 19
Design and construction
Architect Weeks & Day
Other information
Number of rooms 380
Number of suites 39
Number of restaurants Top of the Mark
Nob Hill Club


Official name Site of the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art[4]
Reference no. 754
Reference no. 184[5]

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco is a luxury hotel located at the top of Nob Hill in San Francisco, California. The hotel is managed by the InterContinental Hotels Group. The chain operates over 200 hotels and resorts in approximately 75 nations. The Mark Hopkins is the oldest InterContinental in the United States.

The 19th floor penthouse suite was converted in 1939 into the glass-walled Top of the Mark restaurant cocktail lounge.[6]

InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[7]


  • History 1
  • Landmark status 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Mark Hopkins Mansion c. 1890s

Mark Hopkins, one of the founders of the Central Pacific Railroad, chose the southeastern peak of Nob Hill as the site for a dream home for his wife, Mary. The mansion was completed in 1878, after his death. Since the tower of the mansion was at the time the highest point in San Francisco, Eadweard Muybridge chose this location to shoot his iconic 1887 panoramic of the city from this location.

Mary Sherwood Hopkins, on her death in 1891 at the age of seventy-three, left the Nob Hill mansion and a $70 million estate to her second husband, Edward Francis Searles. In 1893, Searles donated the building and grounds to the San Francisco Art Association (now San Francisco Art Institute), for use as a school and museum.[8] It was called the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art and valued at $600,000 at the time.[9]

The Mark Hopkins mansion survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, however, it was destroyed in the three-day fire that followed the earthquake.

Mining engineer and hotel investor George D. Smith purchased the Nob Hill site, removed the Art Association building, and began construction of a luxury hotel. The San Francisco architectural firm Weeks and Day designed the 19-story hotel, a combination of French château and Spanish ornamentation.

Detail of Calafia mural

One of the banquet areas, "The Room of The Dons", contains a piece of California history. Nine seven-foot-high panels painted by artists Maynard Dixon and Frank Von Sloun in 1926 for the hotel's opening decorate the upper walls. One panel shows Queen Calafia and her Amazons set against a gold leaf sky. Calafia is the namesake for the state of California.

During World War II, the Top Of The Mark lounge was a favored place for Pacific-bound servicemen and their sweethearts to meet before being deployed.

In 1962, the hotel was sold by the original owner George D. Smith to San Francisco financier Louis Lurie. In 1973 Lurie's heirs signed a long-term management contract for the Mark Hopkins with InterContinental Hotels Corporation. Woodridge Capital Partners Affiliates and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management acquired the hotel in 2014. They also own the Fairmont San Francisco hotel across the street.[10]

The Mark Hopkins became a social center for the City, and is rated AAA Four-Diamond and has won the Gold-Key award.

Landmark status

A bronze plaque installed by the California State Park Commission, designating the site California Historical Landmark #754, was commissioned October 20, 1961.[11] The plaque marks the former site of the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art.[4] The Mark Hopkins Hotel is also listed as a San Francisco Designated Landmark.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Mark Hopkins Hotel at Emporis
  2. ^ Mark Hopkins Hotel at SkyscraperPage
  3. ^ Mark Hopkins Hotel at Structurae
  4. ^ a b "Site of the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  5. ^ a b "City of San Francisco Designated Landmarks". City of San Francisco. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Top Of The Mark – History". InterContinental Mark Hopkins. 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  7. ^ "InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, a Historic Hotels of America member". Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Overview – History". InterContinental Mark Hopkins. 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  9. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to Educate, 1898–1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 10. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ Vincent, Roger (February 21, 2014). "L.A. investors buy famed Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco".  
  11. ^ Hendley, Alvis (2010). "California Landmark 754: Site of the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco". Noehill. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 

Further reading

  • Woodbridge, Sally B. (1992). San Francisco Architecture (Second ed.). San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 61.  

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official website
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