The Baldwin Hotel & Theater (owned by historical figure "Lucky" Baldwin) occupied the site of today's Flood Building. It was destroyed by fire in 1898. In 1902, James L. Flood purchased the plot of land that held the remains of the Baldwin Hotel and hired architect Albert Pissis to build a building in honor of his late father James Clair Flood, who passed away in 1889. The twelve-story, 293,837 square foot building cost $1,500,000 and was completed in 1904. At that time, it was the largest building in the city of San Francisco.
The 1906 Earthquake
The Flood Building was one of the few buildings to survive both the devastation of the 1906 earthquake, and the subsequent great fire. The steel frame structure with brick curtain walls covered in gray Colusa sandstone proved to be substantial enough to withstand the most deadly forces of nature. The building was restored and opened in 1907 with Southern Pacific Railroad as its primary tenant, where it remained until 1917. After the departure of Southern Pacific, the Flood Building was remodeled again to accommodate for dental and medical offices. It remained a medical center through the 1920's, '30s and '40s.