Warfield Building


“Warfield” (2008)

(342/6,7) 982-998 Market Street, Warfield Building. 8B stories, steel frame construction; decorative brick, painted terra-cotta and stucco facade; galvanized iron cornice and belt course; three-part vertical composition; Renaissance-Baroque ornamentation. Owner: Fair Market Properties LLC. Architect: G. Albert Lansburgh. 1922.

Composed of the Warfield Theater and attached office space, the Warfield Building was purchased for $12 million in 2005 by David Addington, principal at Fair Market Properties LLC, Atlanta. The theater lease was taken over in May 2008 by Goldenvoice Presents, part of the Anschutz Entertainment Group,* after the acrimonious departure of Bill Graham Presents (owned since Graham’s death by Clear Channel). Following some minor renovation work on the theater, concerts were resumed in September 2008.

*Anschutz Entertainment Group is owned by multi-billionaire Philip Anschutz, who also owns the San Francisco Examiner.

Source: San Francisco History Center, S.F. Public Library

Warfield Building, 1922.

Warfield Entrance

“Warfield Storefronts” (2008)

Warfield Caryatids

“Caryatids” (2008)

Warfield Theater

“Theater Entrance” (2008)

Loew's Warfield_1922
Source: San Francisco History Center, S.F. Public Library

Loews Warfield, opening day, 1922.

Opened on 23 May 1922 as Loews Warfield, the theater was named for People’s Vaudeville Company co-founder David Warfield (born David Wohlfeld in San Francisco on 28 November 1866), one of Marcus Loew’s best friends and one of the first investors in the corporate empire that became Loews-MGM. Originally a venue for both vaudeville and cinema, the theater operated as a first-run movie house until the late 1970s, when it began to occasionally host live music by artists such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and Devo. The theater was leased by Bill Graham Presents about the same time that Graham closed down his North Beach venue Wolfgang’s after a suspicious fire. Since then, just about every top name in rock has performed at the Warfield. Jerry Garcia set the record for most performances at the theater by appearing eighty-eight times with the Grateful Dead and various side bands.

Warfield Stairs

“Theater Stairway” (2009)

Proscenium & Loge

“Proscenium Arch and Loge” (2009)

Proscenium Detail

“Proscenium Detail” (2009)

1 Comment

Filed under Local Characters, Mid-Market

One response to “Warfield Building

  1. Rex

    A few years ago, when Bill Graham Presents still owned it, I was given a tour of the building. Most interesting was a complete nightclub/speakeasy in the basement of the building – still mostly intact except that’s where the new, huge air conditioning system has been installed. Apparently, during prohibition, the speakeasy was accessible via a tunnel that ran under Market street from a cigar store across the street. The tunnel was destroyed when Muni and Bart were built. Fascinating…

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