111 Ellis Street

San Francisco


5,000 Square Feet


Cortland Morgan Architects


The 111 Ellis Street building is a fixture downtown and in recent San Francisco music history.

It was one of the first buildings erected after the 1906 earthquake, and has been owned by the same family (The Mitchells) ever since. After the 1989 earthquake, the building sustained major damage and required a full retrofit. In parallel with the seismic work, Rasputin’s Records remodeled the building to be the only import record store in the financial district. In the era before streaming, this was a main attraction for people looking for rare and imported records and CDs (remember those?!). The location was ideal for people working downtown who wanted to stay up on world music trends and collectible records.

GCI was approached by one of our longtime partners to work with the Mitchell Family Trust to take the 90’s-era retail storefront of the building and bring it back to its original design — reminiscent of the era the building was built in. The project involved wood window elements, trim detailing that recalls an earlier time, and restoration of the brick exterior.

Along with this effort, there were substantial waterproofing issues that required a full structural restoration of the basement slab and the sidewalk along Ellis Street. The Powell Street entry was also reworked to continue with the paver elements that contribute to the Cable Car turnaround just South of the building, which is visited by travelers all over the world.

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