Building 101 was designed by Frederick H. Meyer (1876-1961), who had designed many post-earthquake buildings in the Bay Area, including the Monadnock Building and the Humboldt Bank building. It was completed in 1918. Located at the northeast corner of 20th and Illinois Streets, the most prominent location within the shipyard area, Building 101 served as the local headquarters of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the parent of the Bethlehem Shipyards.

Building 101 Staircase. Photo: Ralph Wilson

Building 101 represents San Francisco's late empire period, when the city was playing an important role on the world stage. It was built during World War I, when Bethlehem Steel was enjoying an extremely successful and profitable period of wartime production. Bethlehem Steel wanted to create an important piece of architecture, an unusually impressive building so far from the center of the city.

Rusticated stucco enriches the first floor facades, with granite steps and a cast ornamental surround at the entry. Two-story fluted Doric pilasters ascend from the string course, dividing the primary facades into bays. A wide, simple entablature tops the building with a projecting cornice band and solid parapet.

Ceiling light fixture. Photo: Ralph Wilson