High on a Hill: St. Regis Apartments
The St. Regis Apartment building on the east end of Lafayette Park is the only privately owned building in San Francisco's public parks. The beaux arts luxury apartment building exists as the result of a 19th Century feud between the City and former City Attorney Samuel Holladay, who successfully challenged his eviction from property on the park which Holladay said he had purchased in 1851. (The land surrounded by Washington, Sacramento, Laguna, and Gough streets was designated for public use in 1855.) The City failed in four attempts to have Holladay declared a squatter and removed. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Holladay's claim in 1896. Though Holladay's 1869 house at the summit of what was then known as Clay Street Hill was razed after his death in 1915, Holladay sold the portion of his land at 1925 Gough to Swedish immigrant Alexander W. Wilson who built the St. Regis Apartments there from 1905-1908.


Copyright 2003 Hank Donat
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