Cliff House Project
A Program of Western Neighborhoods Project



Front Beach View Oceanside Interior Floor Plan Newspaper Misc


Concert Hall


Although the above image is on page 31 of Marilyn's book, it likely belongs a few pages earlier chronologically as it is more likely a photo of the earlier structure.

John Hall gives evidence as to why the above photo is NOT of the 1896 structure...

The light shining through the windows is at such an angle that the windows must be along an outside wall. The 1896 Cliff House "Porch" would not allow direct sunlight intrusion to the room except on the west wall with the sun at a very low angle.

Next look at the woodwork in the room. The style of the wood work looks earlier than 1896 to me. The interior doors do not have the same style as the doors on the 1986 Cliff House plans.

There are other minor things that suggest an earlier date. These include the elaborate ceiling painting, and kerosene chandeliers both out of date by 1896.

In addition, count the windows from the sunlight on the floor. There are 3 pairs of windows along the wall. This matches with the paired windows along the south side of the Second Cliff House.
The final point is the room itself with the placement of doors, windows, and fireplace. Note  this photo of the chimney placement in the Second Cliff House. This room doesn't match any room in the floor plans of the 1896 Cliff House. The closest room to this was the third floor (street level) bar room where the fireplace and windows were on the same wall.

I am 99 % positive that the photo is not the 1896 Cliff House.



South Sea Islanders
Porch View


The above image has been attributed to the 1896-1907 Cliff House, but almost certainly depicts the
earlier Cliff House structure, specifically 1888.

  Per John Hall (6/30/2014):  "The “interior” photo is on the balcony of the pre 1894 Cliff House. Note the arches along the back of the below 
photo. They match the arches on the left hand side of the above photo."


Per Frank Sternad (6/30/2014):  "The below 1888 news items likely explain the origin of the natives, three men and three women, rescued by a British transport, wrecked at San Pedro, then sent to SF. The canoe ride exceeded their wildest dreams. Blaisdell credits the photo to Archibald J. McDonald which may or may not coincide with the "MD" at lower left. McDonald was active in SF in 1888."

Daily Alta California - Sept 26 1888

The Los Angeles Times - Oct 11 1888

The San Francisco Examiner - Oct 13 1888

San Francisco Chronicle - Oct 15 1888

The Los Angeles Times - Oct 22 1888



Porch View

Image courtesy of Western Neighborhoods Project / Marilyn Blaisdell Collection



"Thirsty Souls Ask For It Here"
(interpreted from the "South Sea Islander" photo earlier on this page)

menu (perspective removed)


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Believed to be the Cliff House Saloon, 1888
(Click here for a detailed analysis)


After considerable analysis the above photo is believed to date between 1887 (when the canal was built) and Dec 1894 (when the structure was destroyed by fire).  The bridge to Flag Rock is already destroyed.  This image points out structural comparisons.


Description:  "Behrman CH-27 Cliff House veranda (GOGA 34346, Box 8).”
Image courtesy of GGNRA, Park Archive



ebay image