San Francisco’s Two Flood Mansions (and another in Atherton)

"New" Flood Mansion
Went to a wedding this weekend, at the Flood Mansion, 2222 Broadway, in Pacific Heights. But there is also an “old” Flood Mansion, on Nob Hill, at 1000 California.floodOldmansThis “old” Flood Mansion is now occupied by the Pacific Union Club.

Nob Hill: winners and losers in 1906

Nob Hill: winners and losers in 1906

The “Old” was built by silver baron James C. Flood, in 1885, of Connecticut brownstone brought “round the Horn” at great peril and expense. It is one of the two buildings (along with the Fairmont Hotel) on Nob Hill to have survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, though both were gutted. In 1912, Flood’s son, James L., began construction of the “new” mansion on Pacific Heights. The “Old” ‘James C.” Flood Mansion was refurbished under the direction of Willis Polk and is now the Pacific Union Club.
Not so lucky were the Big Four of the Union Pacific Railroad (see map): Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Collis P. Huntington and Charles Crocker… their mansions were all destroyed. The Stanford Court, Mark Hopkins Hotel, Huntington Park, and the Grace Cathedral, respectively, occupy those sites.
The “new” “James L.” mansion, on Broadway, was donated to the Catholic Order of the Sacred Heart and is operated as a wedding/party venue and school.

There was once a third and even more extravagant Flood Mansion, called Linden Towers, in Menlo Park (now Atherton), not far from the “farm” of Nob Hill neighbor Leland Stanford. The neighbors called it “The White Castle.”

Linden Towers

Linden Towers

Situated on 600 acres, this marvel (or monstrosity, depending on your viewpoint), was built in 1878, and was undoubtedly the most opulent home in America. The residence was torn down in 1926 after the death of James L. Flood. The ornate furnishings were sold at auction, and are of some interest to architectural salvagers and collectors.

58. Robida, A. LA VIELLE FRANCE: NORMANDIE, BRETAGNE, TOURAINE & PROVENCE. Four volume set. 160 full page lithographs (40 per volume) plus text illustrations & designs by Robida. Bookplate of Flood Mansion, Menlo Park. Librairie Illustree, Circa 1890. Gold decorated grey cloth bindings. 4to, Over 1200 pgs. Shaken, rubbed, inner hinges cracked. Good. $2500.00

The glory of these books is fine illustration & handsomely produced lithographs. Text in French.

Linden Towers gate, Middlefield at Linden Road, Atherton

Linden Towers gate, Middlefield at Linden Road, Atherton

The only remaining structure is the long brick wall and gate along the bay side of Middlefield Road. The property was subdivided in 1938.


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3 responses to “San Francisco’s Two Flood Mansions (and another in Atherton)

  1. Hi,
    I looked for a way to contact you to ask if I could use the two photos of the Flood mansions on my blog. I will, of course, credit the source. The post would go up on December 20th, 2011. Please let me know if you do not want me to post them. I can always remove them from the post. In any case, thanks for the interesting read!
    drawthatbridge at

  2. Pingback: San Francisco’s Two Flood Mansions (and another in Atherton) | Over the line, Smokey! – Castles of the Realm

  3. Morgan Paris

    I read that the beautiful Hamlin School for Girls building located at 2120 Broadway Street in San Francisco was also once a “Flood Mansion” until it was converted into a school in 1926. Is this in fact true? It was definitely a large mansion that had belonged to someone with a lot of disposable wealth on their hands at one time.

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