The Gold Rush attracts fortune seekers from around the globe. The fast influx of unmarried men requiring temporary housing creates a brisk hotel trade in San Francisco. By 1956, 60 hotels and boarding houses line the city’s streets.
February 23, 1855
The heady days of the Gold Rush are gone. Gold is no longer an easily sourced commodity and San Francisco banks have transported their gilded assets to headquarters back East. The city dives into economic panic as local financiers cannot access their gold.
The discovery of silver in Nevada’s Comstock Lode revitalizes San Francisco’s economy through stock sales and speculation.
Construction begins on the Occidental Hotel. When completed, the four-story, Italianate hotel welcomes many notables, including Mark Twain, who describes it as “Heaven on a Half Shell” in his novel, “Roughing It”.
James Lick opens the city’s first Grand Hotel, The Lick House. It is hailed as the finest hotel West of the Mississippi. The 164-room hotel is most famous for its Dining Room, modeled after the Palace of Versailles. Crowned by a stained-glass dome and shimmering chandeliers, the opulent dining room seats 400 guests in the lap of luxury. The Lick House is soon embraced as “the place for society”.
The Martinez is born at the Occidental Hotel. An itinerant miner asks bartender, Jerry Thomas, to create something special for him. The miner mentions he is on his way to Martinez, Calif. Thomas creates the “Martinez”, later known as the “Martini”. In 1863, Jerry the Bartender was making $100 per week, higher pay than the vice president of the United States at the time.
The Lick House and the Occidental Hotel are destroyed during the Great Earthquake and Fire.
General John A. Sutter opens The Hotel Sutter, built upon the site of the Lick House and the Occidental Hotel. The 250-room hotel represents the height of hospitality in San Francisco and offers guests a fine café, bar, barbershop and elegant reading and writing rooms. Rates start at $1.50 per day.
During Prohibition, The Hotel Sutter operates a lavish speakeasy to quench the City's thirst for the forbidden. Remnants of the speakeasy's mosaic tile floor can now be found in the garage of the Galleria Park Hotel.
The Hotel Sutter is renamed the Galleria Park Hotel and plays host to many prominent politicians who attend the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco
The Galleria Park Hotel commemorates its centennial in style! Five hundred guests walk through time at a spectacular party, which is themed to replicate various decades in hotel's storied history.
The Galleria Park Hotel completes a $4million dollar restoration and renovation project to celebrate its rich heritage and enhance its stylish appeal to today's discerning traveler.
The Galleria Park Hotel completes multiple phases of renovations on all rooms and suites, in addition to the Lobby and Mezzanine areas. The design elements draw inspiration from the Art Deco bones, and adds sophisticated upgrades to result in timeless and modern elegance.