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The Merchants Exchange Building was also home to the "Commercial Club" of San Francisco, where city leaders and businessmen met to socialize and address the issues of the day.
"Sunny Jim" Rolph, the club's president at the time of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, led efforts to rally members to help rebuild San Francisco. Rolph would later go on to serve several terms as the City's Mayor and as Governor of California.
When San Francisco wanted to show the world its restored glory with the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, $4 million ($70 million in today's money) was required to pay for it. City business leaders held a black-tie fundraiser at the Merchants Exchange and raised the entire amount in less than two hours.
Whenever people desired to address the top political and business leaders of California, they came to the Commercial Club. President Theodore Roosevelt, Senator William Jennings Bryan, and more recently, Senator John Kerry, and several diplomats, and world leaders have all come to Commercial Club to discuss the important issues of the day.
In 1995, Clint Reilly purchased the Merchant's Exchange Building, and immediately undertook an extensive effort to restore the old Commercial Club to its former glory
Re-christened the Julia Morgan Ballroom, in honor of one of the Merchants Exchange Building's most famous tenants, the Ballroom is now one of San Francisco's most beautiful and historically unique places to hold events.
Today, the Julia Morgan Ballroom hosts special events of all varieties. From corporate meetings to charitable events and private weddings, the Ballroom offers an elegant environment not found anywhere else.
Past customers have included the Walt Disney Corporation, Industrial Light and Magic, Charles Schwab, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, numerous IPO launch parties, Silicon Valley firms, and countless private parties.