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.
Pyramid was completed on the site in 1972.