Monday, May 14, 2012

Where in San Francisco? One Leidesdorff Place

My Evening in San Francisco

I was invited to the Entire Productions Launch at One Leidesdorff Place in San Francisco the beginning of May by a friend, who is an event planning colleague. One Leidesdorff Place and the Merchant Exchange Building are widely known, I don't think the casual sightseeing tourist will seek out and wander to this part of majestic, inspiring history located in the Finance District of San Francisco, California and Montgomery Streets.  My advice, you should.

Entire Productions Bash at One Leidesdorff Place

As we entered one of San Francisco's  extraordinary 4,400 feet event venues, I immediately knew we would be uncovering several surprises throughout the evening.  Walking through the One Leidesdorff Place entrance, we stood in a small reception area with a high ceiling and I saw draped curtains in front of us. After we were greeted, we walked through the center of curtains which were pulled back and into the main room.



The elegance of the venue with the Entire Production artistic lighting effects made a very special, sophisticated evening.  Lighted vines of leaves climbing the walls created a revealing ambiance along with the Entire Production logo illuminated above the bar area.

The evening began with sipping a vodka cocktail and tastes of passed hors d'oeuvres creating an exclusive feeling. We watched the fine artist, Jeremy Sutton, draw digital portraits of guests, and dancers on pedestals as we talked with other guests.


Entire Productions at One Leidesdorff Place
 It was fun to stand back and watch reactions of others with amazement and smiles on their faces as they explored through the venue.  We walked up a small spiral staircase to the mezzanine level to find people gathered around tables with Foley Family Wine tasting, cupcakes, and guests painting graffiti on a large screen. We tasted delicious bites of sushi inside edible seaweed cones.

 

It is nice to relax and meet many new people and even current friends while listening to the music and enjoying this excellent designed event.  Thank you, Entire Productions! (Pictures of this event courtesy of the Fun Tour Guru)

Bonus from this Event

If this wasn't spectacular enough for the evening, I need to include this very special tour opportunity of San Francisco's Merchant Exchange Building, by the very  passionate venue host, Jason Eriksen, of the 4,300 feet Julia Morgan Ballroom and the Credo, Feed the People, restaurant.

Jason walked us through the elaborate lobby with the barrel-vaulted ceiling of marble, gold leaf, and bronz, and I immediately envisioned special receptions and weddings held in the area.  We went up to the 15th floor and walked through Daniel Burnham Bar and Lounge, with a 27 feet curved mahogany bar.

As we entered the Julia Morgan Ballroom, we saw a 20 feet creamy stone fireplace and the honey-combed ceiling of mahogany octagonals.  Jason walked us through the excellent maintained and full scale catering kitchen for the ballroom and we saw smaller meeting rooms surrounding the ballroom which might be used for break out meetings or as places for guests from wedding parties to prepare.  Jason was incredible as he described every intricate detail during this tour. Thank you Jason! 

Julia Morgan Ballroom, Merchants Exchange Building

History of Merchant Exchange Building, San Francisco

Additional information about these magnificent venues I discovered in-depth on this trip is as follows.  Thank you to Jason Erikson, for use of these pictures of the Julia Morgan Ballroom and One Leidesdorff Place and the Daniel Burnham Bar and Lounge.

One Leidesdorff is named for William Alexander Leidesdorff, founding father and California pioneer from 1841 known for launching the first steamboat to sail in the San Francisco bay, and built and operated one of the city's first hotels.  

One Leidesdorff Place, San Francisco

The Merchants Exchange Building was constructed in 1904 by Daniel H Burnham of Chicago. Burnham, who constructed the Union Station in Washington D.C. and the Flatiron Building in New York City worked with Willis Polk, who constructed the Hallidie Building, Kezar Stadium, Pacific Union Club on Nob Hill.  

This building survived 1906 earthquake and was used to provide water and power to neighbors while rebuilding from the disaster. The Merchant Exchange Building was home to the Commercial Club of San Francisco where city leaders and business people went to socialize. There have been numerous black tie fundraisers  through the years, 1915 to present day, the latest with First Lady Michele Obama in February 2012. 

Daniel Burnham Bar & Lounge
In 1995, Clint Reilly was instrumental in the extensive effort to restore the Julia Morgan Ballroom in honor of the most famous tenant in the building of Morgan of 44 years. Julia Morgan helped design the Ballroom with the Beaux Arts style of Hearst Castle. 

A spectacular San Francisco  evening I won't forget ~ The Fun Tour Guru


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