Fire damages historic Fisherman's Wharf

March 19, 2002 |

A five-alarm fire in a historic warehouse on San Francisco's famed Fisherman's Wharf caused extensive damage March 16, forcing Saturday night restaurant and bar patrons nearby to flee the scene. The building had been undergoing renovations to convert the facility into a luxury boutique hotel and maritime museum.

In February, Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group, San Francisco, signed a 57-year lease with the National Park Service, owner of the Haslett Warehouse, and planned to open the 268-room Argonaut Hotel this coming December. The renovation is being designed by Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz, San Francisco, with Cahill Contractors, San Francisco, as the general contractor.

Several neighboring buildings sustained fire and water damage, including The Cannery retail and restaurant complex, that together with the warehouse, once made up the world's largest fruit cannery. On March 18, Kathleen Bertolani, Kimpton's director of public relations, said the company was evaluating the damage to the 180,000-sq.-ft. warehouse, which is estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

The warehouse renovation includes the preservation of the 95-year-old building's red brick façade, which remained standing after the fire. However, had the building not recently undergone seismic retrofitting as part of its renovation, the façade probably would have collapsed, said San Francisco Fire Chief Mario Trevino. (BD&C and news wire reports)

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