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The Bank of California Building

SAN FRANCISCO HISTORIC LANDMARK NUMBER 3 

THE BANK OF CALIFORNIA BUILDING 
"THE GRAND OLD LADY OF CALIFORNIA STREET" 
400 CALIFORNIA STREET 

THE BANK OF CALIFORNIA, A FOUNDING FINANCIER OF THE WEST, WAS ESTABLISHED BY WILLIAM CHAPMAN RALSTON ON JULY 5, 1864. THE COMPANY QUICKLY OUTGREW ITS QUARTERS AT 
THIS LOCATION AND ENGAGED ARCHITECTS WALTER DANFORTH BLISS AND WILLIAM BAKER FAVILLE TO DESIGN AN IMPRESSIVE NEW BUILDING FOR THE SITE. 

IN JANUARY 1906, THE BANK MOVED TO A TEMPORARY LOCATION WHILE BEGINNING PREPARATIONS FOR THE SPLENDID NEW BUILDING. PROGRESS WAS HALTED ABRUPTLY ON APRIL 18, 1906 
BY THE EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE, BUT WORK RECOMMENCED JUST SIX WEEKS LATER. THE BANK OF CALIFORNIA'S NEW BUILDING-- TODAY AFFECTIONATELY CALLED "THE GRAND OLD LADY OF 
CALIFORNIA STREET"-- OPENED ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1908 AS THE FIRST NEW COMMERCIAL STRUCTURE IN THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT TO RISE OUT OF THE RUINS OF THE EARTHQUAKE. 

THE BANK OF CALIFORNIA AND UNION BANK MERGED IN 1996 TO CREATE UNION BANK OF CALIFORNIA, N.A. THIS HISTORIC BUILDING WAS REDEDICATED ON ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY, 
SEPTEMBER 8, 2008, BY UNION BANK OF CALIFORNIA PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER MASAAKI TANAKA AND SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM.

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