the fairest of them all

hi guys! i can’t believe it’s actually been an entire week since i’ve had a chance to post about this trip to san francisco. even as i write this it’s rushed. lynn is about to pick me up again for another morning of foggy fun and although i got up early to write, it’s dwindling fast and my connection is slow. still i’m determined that before i see another thing or take another shot i’d say hello and nip the tip of this iceberg of a city!

our home for the past week has been the fairmont hotel at the top of nob hill. (yes virgina, they do have affordable rooms)! it’s been an incredible experience as a history buff and lover of all things old and grand.

the gold dining room in the teens above and today below

the detail is stunning.

this grand dame has seen it all. there is no way to squeeze it all into this short time but the hotel halls are lined with ephemera and photos, old menus and archives from breaking ground to the earthquake to the fire to the resolve to rebuild. just being here is humbling, knowing what the early settlers went through to create this splendor, revel in its glory and see it destroyed. their strength to regroup and rebuild, not knowing if it could all just crumble again is mind boggling.

yet they did it without hesitation, living in tents, carrying supplies uphill, in chilly fog, without bathrooms, heat, electricity or phones.

the more i learn about san franciscans and the pioneers who created this masterpiece of a city brick by brick the more in awe i am.

these men and women are unsung heroes whose names are forgotten but their work lives on.

the ballroom was used in the relief efforts after the quake. it is such a grand room, i’m sure they were beyond grateful it was spared. it must have been strange to live and work in such contrast but they did it. twice!

i’m dying to get into the archives of the hotel. the shot above is from one of the many incarnations the lobby has had over the years. i would have killed to see this one by dorothy draper. ok she’s here, more soon. hope you’re having a great weekend!

August 8, 2010. California, Hotels, San Francisco.


  1. cityfarmer replied:

    chicago … next … you … me … lunch … junkin????


  2. Dad replied:

    Loved your comments on one of the world’s great hotels. Too bad it’s so cold in SF because you’re such a creature of humidity and heat, and are bravely enduring what has to be so discomforting for you. Love as always.


  3. Teresa hatfield replied:

    Love the rooms and especially the gorgeous chandeliers.
    Teresa (Splendid Sass)


  4. Lisa Golightly replied:

    My favorite hotel … one of the best things about my previous marriage was our reception at the Fairmont ! ( in the Carol Channing room ! )


  5. le petit cabinet de curiosites replied:

    I can’t beliece they have affordable rate in this palace. Lucky you, you are staying there .
    Love your post about this fantastic hotel


  6. Paris Hotel Boutique replied:

    LOVE this post! The photos are fabulous! You know I never really thought about the rebuilding of the City from your perspective. So very true! XXOO


  7. Nancy replied:

    I want to go to SF and stay there!
    It’s so great to open your blog to learn, to be philosophically enriched or simply appreciate beauty.
    Thank you!


  8. Melissa replied:

    C ~
    You know how this party of 3 feels about the Fairmont! A divine Diva she is!

    Did you make it to the Legion?



  9. Chatelaine replied:

    Thanks for the historical commentary. It looks absolutely fabulous. I’ve never been to San Francisco but I definitely want to go someday.


  10. J. Is a Bird replied:

    Very beautiful, I’ll have to make a point of checking it out next time I’m up that way. Sounds like you’re having a great, if exhausting, trip.



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