San Francisco, CA, William Taylor Hotel, McAllister and Leavenworth Streets, 1930
Constructed in 1920, the edifice at 100 McAllister Street initially served dual purposes: it was both the William Taylor Hotel and the Temple Methodist Church. To undertake this grand project, four Methodist Episcopal congregations in San Francisco sold their individual properties and collaborated to construct this significant building. They enlisted the talents of the Miller and Pflueger architectural firm.
Pflueger conceived a tiered, Gothic Revival skyscraper, bearing similarities to his design for the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company Building. Spanning the second to fourth floors, the Temple Methodist Church had enough space for 1,500 worshipers. Additionally, the hotel offered 500 rooms to guests and held the distinction of being the tallest hotel on the West Coast for an extended period.
After Miller and Pflueger were dismissed and succeeded by Lewis P. Hobart, they won a lawsuit against him, contending that Hobart's design was hardly distinguishable from Pflueger's original concept.
The Methodist community continued to administer the property until 1936 when it was lost due to mounting debt. The building then transformed into the Empire Hotel, featuring the Bay Area's pioneering view lounge, the Sky Room, located on the 24th floor. Meanwhile, the sections previously designated for the Temple Methodist Church were converted into a parking area.
Around 1935, the Methodists acquired another property, the Hotel Californian, taking over the William Taylor Hotel's role as the city's sole temperance hotel.
With the onset of World War II, the federal government acquired the structure, repurposing it into offices and barracks for military personnel.
Years later, in 1978, the University of California's Hastings College of the Law purchased the building. After renovations, it was rebranded as McAllister Tower and repurposed for student accommodations.