Uncovering a red brick beauty

At Pine and Steiner, the new home of the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation.

After a year behind scaffolding and decades under paint, the red brick beauty of a building at Steiner and Pine was unveiled Wednesday afternoon when the scaffolding came down.

Inside it houses the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation. But it’s the outside that commands attention, now returned to its original appearance in 1897 when the building was built for the telephone company. It’s been sitting empty for years, and at one point hospital leaders considered selling it to nearby St. Dominic’s Church. Instead they decided to create a home for the foundation and other administrative offices. When rebuilding began early last year, it was unclear how extensive the restoration would be, and the plans assumed the brick building would be painted once again.

“It was a good surprise,” says Eric Stein, the hospital’s director of space and property management. “It’s beautiful brick. It was meant to be exposed.”