Maxfield's Bar and Restaurant, The Palace Hotel
The 755-room Palace Hotel was built by William Chapman Ralston and William Sharon in 1875. At the time of its construction "Grande Dame of the West" was reputedly the largest, most luxurious and costly hotel in the world. The magnificent hotel featured unheard of opulence such as 14-foot ceilings, a pneumatic tube system throughout the hotel, and air-conditioning, fireplaces and bay windows in each room. The Palace also featured engineering marvels called 'rising rooms' (hydraulic elevators).

Despite a state-of-the-art defense against earthquakes and fire, including 760,000-gallon water reservoir, the Palace was damaged during the 1906 earthquake and fire. It reopened three years later and The Pied Piper, Maxfield Parrish's 16-foot mural behind the hotel's bar was commissioned for that second opening. Today the painting's appraised value is half of the hotel's original $5 million construction cost.

Maxfield's and the Palace Hotel have entertained over a dozen presidents as well as untold business moguls and celebrities including actress Sarah Bernhard who arrived with a pet baby tiger. In 1891 King David Kalakaua of Hawaii died in the Palace and in 1945 the hotel hosted dignitaries from all over the world as it catered the banquet honoring the opening session of the United Nations, held in San Francisco.
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