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Then there’s G2 Insurance Services, another tenant at 140 New Montgomery. “We tried to retain as much as possible and combine it with new and modern elements to achieve a raw yet refined look,” says Lisa Wai of architecture and design firm EHDD.[contextly_sidebar id=”d0b534eaa43e3669d17cd68404f67ad8″]EHDD worked with SC Builders to accomplish this look. “There was a large walk-in safe in the building. EHDD saw that, so we asked Wilson Meany if we could have it,” says Kirk Wagerman, Project Manager at SC Builders. “We’re incorporating that into the entry door to a lounge at the back of their space.”
SC Builders and EHDD also ensured none of the perimeter’s original brickwork was covered or the floor’s ten-feet-tall windows blocked.
And as for Wilson Meany and Perkins + Will?
“We basically removed a lot of stuff that had been done that made it worse,” says Andrew Wolfram, Principal at Perkins + Will.
“We completely renovated the historic lobby on the ground floor. We kept all of the original ceiling and the marble walls and the floor,” says Callahan. “We recreated some pieces that were lost over time. There was bronze work on the elevators that had been lost over the decades so we recreated that from moulds and pieces that we had.”
“So those kinds of things made it better, but also made it more like it was historically,” says Wolfram.
Walk into the lobby and you might as well step into Pfleuger’s 1925. The restored ceiling is a marvel—a hand-painted, Chinese-inspired design decked in horned deer and phoenixes. The horned deer symbolize longevity. The phoenixes are emblematic of San Francisco, adopted after the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fire to symbolize its rebirth from the ashes.
Appropriate ornamentation for a building that’s reinvented itself yet again.
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Photography courtesy of Wilson Meany, copyright Henrik Kam