The Cliff house has changed over the past 150 years and has been reincarnated five times. A prosperous ex-Mormon named Samuel Brannan built the first Cliff House from lumber salvaged from ships that came to San Francisco.

In 1883, Adolph Sutro bought the Cliff house and was not successful in managing it himself. To make it even worse, in 1887 the Cliff House was severely damaged by an explosion caused by dynamite. Sutro decided to rebuild and refurbish The Cliff House, which cost about $75,000. It opened in February of 1896 and served as an elegant site for dining, dancing, and entertainment. The design of it was a French chateau with eight stories, four spires, and an observation tower 200 feet above sea level.

Top: Side view of the Cliff House.
Bottom: The Cliff House has a nice view of the Seal Rocks.

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