The Hotel Whitcomb echoes the graciousness of turn-of-the-century San Francisco with Austrian crystal chandeliers, beautiful marble, Tiffany Stained Glass and rare Janesero paneling adorning the elegant lobby. Originally named Hotel Whitcomb, after wealthy San Franciscan A.C. Whitcomb, the hotel then went through a few name changes over the years until it's proper name was restored in 2007. The hotel bears the city's history as deeply as the 1906 earthquake altered the destiny of the yet unbuilt hotel.
During the post-earthquake reconstruction period of 1910, city architects Wright, Rushforth and Cahill were drawing plans for the new hotel. The proposed site, facing Civic Center, attracted the attention of city leaders who needed a temporary City Hall while the original was being rebuilt. Inspired by a sense of civic pride, the Whitcomb Estate agreed to have their hotel used as City Hall. The architects of Hotel Whitcomb used all of their ingenuity to affect a compromise between the original and secondary plans. Hotel Whitcomb served as the seat of government for San Francisco from 1912 through 1915.
Until the mid 1990s, the words City Hall could still be seen faintly etched above the main entrance. The mayor's office, once located on the mezzanine level, now serves as the administrative office. Guests stay on the remaining floors of the hotel that were once occupied by other government officials, including judges for the Superior Court. Remnants of the original jail cells are still intact in the basement of the hotel and used for storage rooms today.