San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis, one of 11 Marriott Hotels in the City opened on October 17, 1989, the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake, which was a biggie at 6.9.
At 5:04 PM, just minutes before the scheduled start of game three of the World Series (SF Giants v. Oakland As), the earth moved, and the new hotel swayed like a tree in a windstorm. Reportedly, all the glassware above the bar at the 39th-floor view lounge (pictured here) crashed to the floor. Staff joked that this was the first hotel ever to open at nine and close at five the same day.
Local lore has it that Chronicle columnist Herb Caen came up with the jukebox name after comparing the hotel’s shape to the iconic music player. He also complained that reflections from the hotel’s windows blinded him in his nearby office.
We have Anthony J. Lumsden of DMJM Architects to thank for the building’s overall “sculptural/futuristic” design. DMJM was acquired by AECOM in 1985.
The Moscone Convention Center (600,000+ sq. ft. and 1 million+ visitors/year) opened in 1981, a mere two blocks away. Moscone Center is probably one of the main reasons for the Marriott Marquis being where it is. Close to 3 million convention delegates stay in SF hotels each year. Convention/meeting related spending amounts to $2 billion per year.
Coming in 2022 – Celebratory Books:
Each iconic building is a celebrity with its own story of conception and birth, including gestational challenges, and how after delivery it grew to fit in with a city’s family of structures. The Lisa Movement is excited to announce we are in the process of creating celebratory books to share the stories of these distinguished city residents.