CFAH

Designed by Bliss and Faville and built on the northwest corner of Grant and O’Farrell in 1910, the historic Savings Union Bank building at 1 Grant Avenue, a.k.a. the Security Pacific Bank building, is on the market.

Most recently home to the since shuttered Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC), prior to which it was home to Emporio Armani and the Armani Cafe, the Pantheon-derived building, which was landmarked by the City in 1981, measures over 28,000 square feet, with oversized bronze doors opening to a nearly 5,000-square-foot main room with ornate detailing and a 60-foot-tall ceiling.

And while an asking price hasn’t been advertised, the building, “an outstanding monument to the idealism of the American renaissance and the attempted urban harmony of the City Beautiful movement,” last traded for $16.3 million in 2015.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    I think this is my favorite SF Banking Hall (anyone want to start a ‘gofundme’ page?? just a few thousand of us at $10K each…).

    It’s very similar to the contemporaneous (and slightly larger) Girard Trust Corn Exchange Bank in Philly, although I guess we can say they’re both modeled on the Pantheon….all the different Gods – Dollars, Pounds, Marks, Yen…can be worshipped therein!

    • Posted by unlivablecity

      It was at peak when the Armani store was there and a temple of italiano. Thy had little tables on the sidewalk and handsome waiters served delicious food. Of course this was before our insanely feckless city government ave the go ahead to let Market St become an open air inane asylum and crime zone. Now that location is plagued by trouble. It would be great if a retail power brand moved back in.

      • Posted by Hunter

        Versace next maybe? surprised they don’t have a location in our gay mecca.

        • Posted by Clyde Benke

          They did in the Crocker Galleria in the 1990’s. But their high priced K-Mart look sells better in LA, so they left town.

      • Posted by JohnSF

        Could not agree more. It was the best, undiscovered place to grab lunch (or a quick coffee/drink) in Union Square. It was a loss when Armani shuttered the cafe.

      • Posted by Grubber2

        100%. Sigh….the good old days. You would have to station security outside now to allow a customer to finish their espresso without harassment. Unfortunately retail is pretty much dead as a real estate class so I don’t expect this to return to its former glory. Maybe an event space is all that is left.

  2. Posted by Brian M

    Come on guys. Are you really claiming that Market Street was that good when Armani was open there? Really? The street has had problems for DECADES

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Market Street has been a problem for decades, but it’s become significantly worse in the last couple of years.

      • Posted by BobN

        I recently walked from Civic Center down to about 4th. I gave up and went home. It was the worst I’ve ever seen in 30 years. I had never ever felt in danger walking SF’s streets until that day. I didn’t think I’d be a target, I was more worried about being caught up in one of the crazy altercations and brawls. This was at 10 AM.

        • Posted by Notcom

          B….b…but the Times – both the Financial and the mother ship – BOTH proclaimed SF is “back”. So who am I going to believe, two papers based thousands of miles away that count on rotating correspondents, or someone that lives here (or tries to)? It’s a tough call. Honest.

    • Posted by unlivablecity

      Hmm. Who knew? My experience was pretty simple: lunch after lunch of uninterrupted al fresco dining. Not a single interruption. At the Armani cafe. Then. Now you can’t wait for the walk light without many, many interruptions.

  3. Posted by soccermom

    $8mm

  4. Posted by Plugger

    MOIC was a last gasp, a place only created to exist online. No buyer or tenant is coming for this thing.

    Best you could hope for is an actual museum, there’s already a glut of those in SF

    • Posted by Aaron Goodman

      Museum of the gummi bear (haribo) tastings and samples or jelly belly central? Or maybe a full lego store? 🧐

  5. Posted by JR

    Enjoyed eating on the mezzanine when it was an Italian restaurant, a location that was so unique!

  6. Posted by cough

    That picture reminds me how few trees there are in San Francisco.

  7. Posted by Observer

    It’ll share the same fate as the Hibernia Bank building at 6th & Market.

    • Posted by soccermom

      Kinda sorta. The Hibernian bank tenant is the very best kind. That building won’t change while Social Security still wants to pay rent and with good reason.

      This is a vacant “owner user” opportunity that will probably stay vacant for 3-5 years until we figure out what to do about office space and retail downtown. But something tells me it will still be there in 50 years (not demolished).

    • Posted by Notcom

      Uhmmm: the link is to the wrong Hibernia Bank building
      (try this).

      As for the claim: I would think a building in the heart of the retail district might be more in demand than one adjacent to skid row

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