History of the Building

Generalkonsulat Gebäude San Francisco

Generalkonsulat San Francisco, © Generalkonsulat San Francisco


Brief history of the Building that houses the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco

Matson-Roth Houses, built 1918 and circa 1924.

Architect: Walter Bliss

This sophisticated pair of orange brick Georgian Revival townhouses forms a U that shelters an elegant court. The two houses were built by the widow of Swedish-born shipping magnate William Matson. Matson forged a great shipping company, Matson Navigation, and also developed California oil fields and had extensive investments in Hawaii.

After his death in 1917, Mrs. Matson built 1960 Jackson Street, the larger house to the left of the court for herself. About 1924, she built 1950 Jackson Street, on the right of the court, for her daughter and son-in-law Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth.

Following Mrs. Matson's death and the Roths' purchase of Filoli, the William Burn estate on the San Mateo Peninsula, the twin houses were sold. For some time they housed the Swedish Consulate. In 1987 they were bought by the German Government, restored to their old splendor, and adapted for the German Consulate.

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