The Hobart Building, Market Street
One of the more unusual landmarks on Market Street is the Hobart Building, designed by San Francisco's most influential architect, Willis Polk in 1914. The building's idiosyncratic shape is a seven-story oval tower atop a 14-story angled base. Even more controversial at the time was the fact that the entire building was completed in just eleven months. When it was done it was the second-tallest building in San Francisco. Since its construction, the adjacent buildings have been torn down revealing the odd diagonally-sided base.

W.S. Hobart who built the building was a gold and timber baron who a vision of creating a new kind California. In the 1870s he spent a two million dollars to build the lumber town of Hobart Mills just north of Lake Tahoe. Hobart saw the town as a family community not just a bachelor camp for miners and loggers. At its peak the town had a population of 1500, all living in well kept houses on the neat streets. Saloons were banned in Hobart Mills, as were liquor sales. Hobart Mills was so well behaved, that for the first decade, the townspeople found no need for a Constable or a Justice of the Peace.

Hobart died in the early 1900s and Hobart Mills prospered for 60 years until 1936 when the nearby virgin pine timber ran out. Without the trees the town shut down, the buildings were dismantled, and the families left. Eventually the ten of thousands of acres of the Hobart forests were sold to the US Forest Service. Today, not much remains of Hobart's vision of a new California except for the Hobart Building on Market Street.
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