Cliff House, 1090 Point Lobos, San Francisco, CA. 94121 -- part of the Golden Gate State Park......The first Cliff House was a modest structure built in 1863 by Masters Butler and Buckley. The guest register bore the names of three U.S. Presidents as well as prominent San Francisco families such as the Hearsts, Stanfords and Crockers who would drive their carriages out to Ocean Beach for horse racing and recreation. In 1881, the Cliff House was sold to Adolph Sutro, a self made millionaire, philanthropist and later a mayor of San Francisco. Seven years later, Sutro built a railroad to bring the general public to this seaside attraction. On Christmas Day 1894, the Cliff House was destroyed by fire. Sutro spent $50,000 in 1896 to rebuild the Cliff House in grandiose style. Fashioned after a French Chateau, the second Cliff House boasted 8 stories, spires and an observation tower two hundred feet above sea level. Though never a hotel, it served as an elegant site for dining, dancing and entertainment. On the third floor were a photo gallery, reception room, parlors and panoramic views from its large windows. The second floor held 20 private lunch rooms, a large art gallery and a gem exhibit. At ground level, there was a large dining room, parlor, bar, numerous private dining rooms and kitchens. This was the most resplendent and beloved of all the Cliff Houses but it was short lived. This exquisite building survived the 1906 earthquake only to succumb to a raging fire the following year.
.... the photo abouve and at left is the second Cliff House, now gone