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The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

ARG Conservation Services, Inc. / The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a landmark building on Nob Hill dating to 1909. The building was originally designed by Napoleon LeBrun and Sons to be the Pacific Coast headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. After subsequent additions, the building reopened in 1991 as the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The U-shaped building spans the entire block between Pine and California Streets on Stockton, forming a courtyard protected from the street. The massive columns, detailed architrave and cornice, and decorative lion’s head medallions—all constructed of white and polychrome terra cotta manufactured by Gladding, McBean of California—make the Ritz-Carlton a magnificent example of neoclassical design.

In 2004, ARG Conservation Services, acting as the general conservation contractor, oversaw the restoration of the south-facing Pine Street façade of the hotel. The repair work on Pine Street, undertaken as the second year of a five-year project, involved the restoration of all of the terra cotta comprising the building façade, sealant work at the metal windows, and graffiti removal and prevention using coatings. Upon successful completion of this phase of work, ARG Conservation Services was retained to continue as general conservation contractor for the remaining four phases of the project.

The hotel remained open throughout the multi-year project, completing the necessary repairs without disrupting or disturbing the hotel staff and guests.


Exterior Repair


Host Marriot Corporation


San Francisco, California


General Contracting, Restoration