Other Works in this Series:
New HiberniaSize: 36" x 48"
Medium: Oil on panel
Hahn Collection, San Francisco
The Hibernia was founded in 1859 by Richard Tobin. He was among the men who established The Hibernia Savings and Loan Society in 1859. After just 10 years in San Francisco, Tobin's career was made: Elected the society's attorney, his firm, Tobin & Tobin -- served the organization for 130 years, as it became The Hibernia Bank and was eventually acquired by the old Security Pacific National Bank, (now Bank of America as of 1988). During all those years, The Hibernia Bank remained the firm's principal client. In fact, for a time, the firm's offices were on the second floor of the Bank's headquarters at One Jones Street. A brass plaque at the front door read, "Tobin & Tobin--Attorneys--Up Stairs."
An interesting fact, Dr. Tumblety, also known as "Jack the Ripper", arrived in San Francisco in the early part of 1870 and took rooms at the Occidental Hotel. He opened an office at 20 Montgomery Street, but remained in the city only a few months, leaving in September of the same year. While here he opened an account with the Hibernia Bank and left a considerable amount to his credit in that institution when he went away. This account has never been closed and the bank still has the money in its vaults. This information can be obtained from a past article of the San Francisco Chronicle, dated November 23, 1888. For more info go to: www.casebook.org.
The Hibernia building was gutted in 1906, after the great earthquake and fire, then rebuilt, and became the headquarters of the police chief for a time. For almost a decade the Hibernia has been closed, and it is completely abandoned. "The Hibernia Bank has gone through a series of hands in the past 25 years. As recently as 1987 the bank remained a bank, serving to add foot traffic. After sitting vacant for some time, The Police Department took it over as a Task Force Station, which they operated for several years until a new station opened up nearby. The Hibernia went up for sale, and Thomas Lim is the owner. His organization, the Chinese Cultural and Philosophical Foundation, claimed it would be turning the bank into a Buddhist Temple. It never happened". (Casey Mills, 2005)
The Hibernia Bank is situated in a quiet and decayed area, by which the homeless frequent their daily walks, also by those on route to work. The building's exterior beauty offers a sense of shelter and monumental elegance. It is a loss for the public not to walk inside and enjoy the full beauty it once existed. The Hibernia Bank continues to be abandoned and is a controversial subject. Several articles have been written over the years, and is now in quest for new ownership. It may become a cultural center, a museum complex, a nightclub, or a complete new building - a skyscraper! Hopefully not. I truly wish for the Hibernia to be conserved and be utilized as a museum and library, performing arts center, and to facilitate special events. We shall see what develops. The Hibernia is a deserted masterpiece.
My attempt with New Hibernia, is to present the Hibernia Bank as a contemporary classical architectural beauty, in a frontal perspective, and surrounded by an emerald green sky. The building contains its similar skeleton structure, accentuated by a bright color palette, in an awaken phase welcoming a new-birth.
[ Write a Review for this Work ] [ Return to Gallery ]