[San Francisco]: ca. 1891.
7 x 11 inches (oblong),  pp, with 25 full-page, half-tone photographic illustrations.Original string-tied embossed wrappers with ties replaced; mild toning to wraps, else fine.
Rare promotional book for a luxury hotel destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. The California opened for business in 1890 under the management of experienced hotelier A.F. Kinzler, billing itself as "unquestionably the most beautifully and luxuriously furnished hotel in America" and the first on the West Coast to compare favorably to the grand hotels of New York. The eight-story stone structure was entirely paneled in a variety of polished woods on the inside. It included a first-class restaurant with tiled floor and mirrored walls; music room with frescoed dome; gentleman's reading room with Moorish arches and "Oriental" decor; billiard room; wine room; smoking room; and ladies' conservatory, "where tropical plants and rare flowers abound." Notwithstanding its claim to be "positively fire-proof," the California burned to the ground in the aftermath of the earthquake. This well-illustrated booklet offers valuable documentation of the hotel's interior, as well as a birds-eye view of the city with the hotel at the center. The text gives details about its planning and construction, and there are also many interesting advertisements, particularly for luxury goods and wine and spirits. One copy found in OCLC, at the Bancroft.