In the aftermath of the Great Quake of 1906, Maud Flood’s monumental home on Nob Hill was destroyed by fire. She fled San Francisco with her two children and told her husband that she was fearful of living in a city where such devastation could strike so suddenly. James Leary Flood reassured his wife, saying, “I will build you a house of marble on a hill of granite.” And that is precisely what he did.
He found the perfect spot (buying and moving a home already there), hired renowned architects Bliss & Faville, began construction in 1912 and three years later moved his family in, just in time to enjoy the panoramic view overlooking the 1915 Panama-Pacific World Exposition which filled the land below stretching to the Bay.
Flood’s fortune was inherited from his father, James Clair Flood, who had purchased a supposedly worthless Nevada mine in the 1870’s. The mine contained veins of gold and silver worth over 300 million dollars. That estate enabled James Leary Flood to build his magnificent mansion.
After her husband’s death, Maud Flood gave her home to the Religious of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic order dedicated to education and service to the community. The Flood Mansion is now part of the Broadway campus of Schools of the Sacred Heart. It remains one of the most beautiful examples of domestic architecture in the United States.