The Hibernia Bank: A Treasured History

 

Built in 1892 by the acclaimed architect Albert Pissis, The Hibernia Bank has been recognized nationally for its historic significance. San Francisco Historic Landmark #130, The Hibernia Bank was described by SF Architectural Heritage guide as “one of the finest of San Francisco’s uniquely superb collection of modified temple form banks.”

As one of the few structures to survive the 1906 earthquake, The Hibernia Bank serves as a visible anchor for the City’s storied Mid-Market neighborhood and features unique Neoclassical Revival-style touches, including its grand corner entrance, giant exterior colonnade, and famed domed entrance. The site became home to the Hibernia Savings and Loan Society, a bank founded by a group of prominent Irish businessmen in 1859. The building thus became known as The Hibernia Bank building, as “Hibernia” is the Latin name for Ireland.

The 1981 Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board lauded The Hibernia Bank as one of the best designs for the numerous irregular Market Street intersections, saying, “It occupies its Market Street corner with unusual control. Its columned sides present rich textures to the street…” Beyond Chron noted, “Mayor Ed Lee’s many visits to the Tenderloin in the 1980’s left him an admirer of the landmark Hibernia Bank. After becoming mayor he committed to doing whatever he could to get the Hibernia reopened.” Today, The Hibernia Bank reopens to offer leased space: old world elegance made new again.