Ritz-Carlton Club & Residences


Originally designed by famed Chicago architects Burnham & Root for Michael DeYoung, the original Chronicle Building was the first skyscraper in San Francisco and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River when it was built in 1882.

The project was a conversion from office to residential use, including a vertical addition. Completed in 2008, the project contains 101 units; some are individually owned residences, with the remainder operated as part of the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club.


Location:690 Market Street, San Francisco
Client: R.C. Chronicle Building, L.P., Alameda CA
Excellence in Engineering Award, 2006, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC)


Once the tallest structure in the city, the building was dwarfed by its neighbors by the start of the 21st century. An addition was proposed, in part to justify the cost of restoring the original façade which had been heavily damaged by installation of metal over-cladding in the 1960s. The addition was designed as a modern, architecturally quiet “new”, intended to complement the Romanesque Revival “old,” which was uncovered and restored. The 12 additional stories were stepped back from the original building’s street wall, acting as a sympathetic subordinate element.


The original cast iron columns were strengthened with reinforced concrete jackets, and an entirely new foundation system was constructed, consisting of reinforced concrete underpinnings inserted below load bearing columns, arches, and walls following a sophisticated installation sequence.

The project was an enormous technical challenge, especially 
given its location at one of San Francisco’s busiest intersections.
Elaborately designed shoring was required to hold up the heavy brick
mosonry walls while floors were strengthened and the new tower was erected.
A gap between the 1960’s metal cladding and the original facade.
The damaged original facade.

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Copyright: Office of Charles F. Bloszies, 2024