Westin St. Francis Hotel.

Industry: Hospitality

Project:  Historical Brochure

Strategy: At the turn of the century, the guardians of the Charles Crocker family announced plans to build the finest hotel on the Pacific Coast. Their vision was to make San Francisco the “Paris of the West.” This piece commemorates the hotel’s rich heritage as the center of the city’s social, literary, and artistic life.

From the introduction.

There is only one St. Francis. Located in the heart of the city, facing Union Square, it has maintained its prominence as San Francisco’s center of social, theatrical, and business life since first opening in 1904. As one of the last survivors of colorful, turn-of-the-century San Francisco, the Westin St. Francis is as modern as tomorrow with a proud past — a collecting place of history and legend.

From section on Victor Hirtzler.

Hirtzler, the venerable chef of The St. Francis Hotel from 1904 to 1926, was known as the chef who would not stay in the kitchen.  If The St. Francis was a grand theater — then surely Victor was its greatest actor. With his strong French accent, pointed mustache and beard, and flamboyant costumes, he is said to have made the perfect portrait of the master chef. During his time at The St. Francis, he helped establish San Francisco as a world class culinary center and taught socialites how to set lavish tables, plan Epicurean menus, and even how to cook.

From section on Milk Baths.

When theater impresario Florenz Ziegfeld announced to the press in the early 1900s that his wife, Anna Held, would only bathe in 30 gallons of fresh milk, he set off a nationwide fad that had woman across the country touting the merits of the now-famous St. Francis milk baths.  Each night, the press reported that Anna would go up to her room followed by a caravan of waiters carrying bottles of milk.  Not long after Anna Held left The St. Francis, the reigning family of American theater, the Barrymore’s moved in.  They too were pampered by the St. Francis staff. Ethel Barrymore’s pet chimpanzee was looked after without question.

  1.    Back to Work.

Design: Arias Associates
Design: Arias Associates