Built in 1849, the foundation of this three-story brick building was constructed of the same heavy timbers as is its neighbor the Belli Building. The original building burned down only a year after its construction and was rebuilt by Joseph Genella for his china and glassware business as well as his home. By 1860 Genella had moved but retained ownership of the building, renting it to multiple tenants including bullion dealers, merchandise brokers, a Spanish newspaper (La Voz de Chile), and offices for a mining company.
Bank of Lucas, Turner & Co.
Built in 1854 the Bank of Lucas, Turner & Company was located at 800-804 Montgomery in Jackson Square, San Francisco. Designed by Reuben Clark in the Italianate style typical of early San Francisco, the classical building faces Montgomery Street, which was the city's main commercial street at the time. The ground floor is built from well cut and fitted granite blocks. The granite is not from California- some claim that the granite was imported from China while others claim that it arrived from the eastern United States. Originally three stories high, the building cost $53,000 to construct- a large sum for the day.
One of the oldest buildings in the city, this structure was built in 1852 by Nicholas Larco, a prominent member of the city's early Italian community. The building also held a store that offered fine imported wine--a popular item for many of the wealthy residents of the city. The building served as the headquarters of the Italian Benevolent Society, a fraternal organization for Italian immigrants that provided a space for social interaction, cultural preservation, and economic assistance for newcomers and widows of members. The building later became the headquarters of La Parola, an Italian weekly newspaper. At various times in the 19th century, the foreign consulates for Chile, Spain, and France were all headquartered in this building. The famous chocolate maker Domingo Ghirardelli also used the building for several years before starting his own factory across the street in 1853.
Ghirardelli's Chocolate Factory, 1853-1893
Ghirardelli's Chocolate Factory was originally built in 1850 on the corner of Broadway and Battery, but burned down in a fire a year later. By 1853 Ghiradelli was able to reopen the Chocolate Factory at this location, on the corner of Jackson and Mason Streets. The company diversified from chocolate and began to sell coffee and spices in the US, China, Japan, and Mexico. Ghiradelli retired in 1892 and his three sons took control of the business.