|Post Card- Spreckel's Mansion|
What mistake was made, you may ask?
So then, what was this "Palace" that Joaquin Miller was talking about? Well, Miller called it Spreckels Palace but in actuality it was known as the Spreckels Chateau or Spreckels Mansion (not to be confused with the one in San Diego bearing the same name). This mansion was located on the corner of Van Ness and Clay Streets in San Francisco. It had been built in the 1880s, about a decade before Preston was built. In retrospect, this makes more sense being that the Palace of the Legion of Honor doesn't have any similarities to Preston at all. This mansion does however show similar style and grand design as well as its use of stonework.
So what happened to the Spreckels Chateau? Unfortunately it was damaged by a fire after the great earthquake in 1906 when the army decided to create a fire break in order to curb the fire at Van Ness Street, and was dynamited. Even after such damage the structure remained intact although the insides were gutted. Sadly, in 1927 it was finally demolished entirely and turned into apartments which still stand to this day. What an architectural tragedy.
Photos: by the California State Library, California History Room
via Calisphere, California Historical Society, State Archives and historical post card.