"The King's Speech" was a big winner at the 2011 Academy Awards, winning four Oscars including Best Actor and Best Picture. The film depicts the trials and successes of King George VI as he works to overcome a speech impediment that could have prevented him from uniting England during WWII. King George VI was the son of King George V, the namesake of the Greystone Hotel in San Francisco, the King George Hotel. With "The King's Speech" bringing a focus on the history of King George VI, we at Greystone turned our attention to our King George. What is the history of our hotel? How did the King George Hotel come to be? A little history of the creation of the King George Hotel
The King George Hotel was built in 1914, in time for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. The Exposition was a great affair for San Francisco, because less than 10 years before, over 80% of the city had been destroyed by the Great 1906 Earthquake and the fires that followed. The Exposition was a chance for San Francisco to rebuild, and to take in revenue. It is a period that is credited as a time of celebration and reconstruction of the city and its rise from the ashes. All of the visitors to the Exposition needed a place to stay and The King George was built in order to accommodate them. Visitors from around the world were able to enjoy the King George Hotel and newly beautified San Francisco due to the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914. The King George was advertised as being €œAbsolutely Fireproof€ which appealed to many after the devastating earthquake and fire in 1906. The hotel was designed to equip guests in affordable elegance by 1914 standards. The original proprietors had initially had shared baths and large closets (certainly for hotels by today's standards) to accommodate steam trunks. Even today there are many original historical details (but no more shared baths) that make the King George Hotel a charming place to stay in San Francisco.
Greystone Hotels is proud of the rich history of the King George Hotel, and in the history and traditions surrounding its position in the Union Square neighborhood, and we're all glad to see "The King's Speech" as the big winner this year!