The Reid Brothers



James and Merritt Reid - Architect & Engineer, November 1910 -

The Reid Brothers

James and Merritt Reid, Canadians by birth, came to the West Coast via Illinois late in the 19th century and became two of the most prominent architects in San Francisco.

In the "City Beautiful" period, their firm created a number of San Francisco landmarks: the Fairmont Hotel, the Call/Spreckels building, the Geneva Car Barn, and the First Congregational Church.

Some notable Reid Brothers structures in the western neighborhoods include the 1909 Cliff House, the Coliseum Theater, the Alexandria Theater, the Balboa Theater, the Caretaker's Cottage in Golden Gate Park beside the Murphy windmill, and the Music Stand, also in Golden Gate Park.

One interesting Reid-designed structure planned for, but never built in, Golden Gate Park was the Stadium at the Polo Fields. Planned as "the largest stadium in the world," the Park Commission put up $5,000 to begin the enormous coliseum in 1908. The plan was dropped aside from a strangely distant stand of concrete bleachers on the north side. Golden Gate Park was spared from a huge concrete sports stadium until Kezar Stadium went up.

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Page updated 11 June 2008