Literary San Francisco: The Montgomery Block
The Transamerica Pyramid is built over the most important literary site of the 19th and early 20th Century American West. An expensive four-story building was erected here in 1853 by General Henry W. Halleck. Known as the Montgomery Block, the building was first used for offices but later became the studios of (literally) thousands of bohemian artists and writers. Ambrose Bierce lived here, as did Kathleen Norris, Joaquin Miller, Gelett Burgess, W.C. Morrow, George Sterling, and James Hopper. Also known as the "Monkey Block," this is the place where in 1911 exiled Dr. Sun Yat-sen wrote the Chinese constitution that was later installed after the fall of the Manchu dynasty. Mark Twain gamboled here in the 1860s when he met a San Francisco fireman named Tom Sawyer in the Montgomery Block sauna. Twain later used the man's name for his 1876 novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. SF Bulletin editor James King of William was shot dead in front of the Montgomery Block in an 1856 confrontation with James Casey. Casey was later executed by the Vigilante Committee. The storied Montgomery Block survived the 1906 Earthquake and Fire but was torn down in 1959 for a parking lot. The Transamerica Pyramid was completed on the site in 1972. 

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