Alhambra Apartments


“Alhambra” (2007)

(302/12) 860 Geary Street; Alhambra Apartments. Apartment building with forty-one two- and three-room units. 6B stories; steel frame and reinforced brick structure; stucco and polychrome terra cotta Moorish arches at base and upper level, arched windows in second to fourth floors, upper loggia, penthouse, dome; 3-part vertical composition with penthouse; Moorish ornamentation; vestibule: Moorish arch entry, tile steps and floor, marble walls, decorative clerestory and ceiling, wood doors; lobby: fantasy lobby; signs: bronze plaques flank entry with “Alhambra 2-3 room Apartments”; alterations: security gate. Original owner: August F. Schleicher, interior decorator and capitalist. Architects: Dunn and Kearns. 1913.

Most striking of the three Tenderloin buildings designed by James Francis Dunn is the Alhambra. According to local legend, its most famous tenant was Rudolph Valentino, who used the penthouse and dome as his San Francisco playhouse, where he could frolic with his paramours away from the bright lights and prying eyes of Hollywood.


Upper loggia, penthouse, and dome. (2007)



Filed under Local Characters, Tenderloin

5 responses to “Alhambra Apartments

  1. Daniel

    I used to live there and it was always fun to have people over. The apartments themselves are pretty standard, although I’ve never been in the penthouses – I’m sure they are remarkable.


      I lived there for four years, and once sold an armchair to a resident of one of the two penthouses. I did see the inside briefly. Although large, it was not as architecturally ornate as the lobby, or maybe just not decorated very elaborately by the tenant. My memory is that it was nice but not stunningly lavish.

  2. I can see this building from my window at work. I have always been curious about the history of it. I would love to see the interior someday, including the penthouse. : )

    • I didn’t have a camera when I saw it, but I can tell you that the building’s interior is stunning, although I couldn’t get into the penthouse. If you’re interested, most of the lobby is visible through the front door after dark.

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