Albert Pissis was born in Guaymas, Mexico in April 1852 - about a generation before Walter Bliss. His mother was Mexican, his father an immigrant French Physician who took his family to San Francisco in 1858.
Pissis' career began with a short apprenticeship with William Mooser, before attending the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, apparently the first Californian to do so. He returned to San Francisco in 1880 and for the first few years he designed homes in the fashionable Eastlake and Queen Anne styles of the day. But eventually he became the champion of Classicism, designing a number of significant buildings both before and after 1906.
He was, by all accounts a critical fellow, even of his own works, and had little use for the modern architects of the day, like Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Flood Building
LIke its neighbor, the Bank of Italy building, the Flood Building stands at the foot of Powell Street, where it meets Market. Making it perhaps the most recognizable of Pissis' works.
It was built in 1904 by James L. Flood in memory of his father, James Clair Flood, who made the family fortune thru investments in the Comstock mines. Although gutted by the 1906 fire, it survived, in large measure because of its relatively modern steel frame construction.
Nearly demolished in the late 1930's, it was taken over by the military during WWII.
The current generation of the Flood family, which still owns the building, has acquired quality retail tenants for the street level, and the upper floors provide office space for doctors, dentists, etc.