Hotel News San Francisco Starwood Hotels

The Pied Piper returns to Palace Hotel San Francisco

This morning I learned The Pied Piper of Hamelin returned to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, a Starwood Hotels Luxury Collection property. I had not known The Pied Piper moved out of the The Pied Piper Bar & Grill earlier this year.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a painting by Maxfield Parrish that was commissioned for $6,000 by the Palace Hotel for its 1909 reopening after the historic hotel was destroyed in the San Francisco 1906 earthquake.  The painting measures 16 ft. x 6 ft. and for most of the past 104 years has hung behind the bar in the Palace Hotel.

Palace Hotel and W 225

The Pied Piper painting in 2009 in the Palace Hotel bar.

In March 2013 the painting was removed from the Palace Hotel bar to be shipped to Christie auction house as the centerpiece of a May 2013 sale of important American paintings. The owners of the Palace Hotel announced their decision to auction the Maxfield Parrish painting with an estimated value around $3 million and $5 million after the painting was removed on a Friday morning, March 22, 2013.

The public outcry against the sale of the San Francisco icon, including a call from the San Francisco mayor to the hotel owners, resulted in a public reversal of the decision on Monday, March 25.

The owners announced the painting would go to New York for restoration instead of auction.

Yesterday, August 22, the restored Maxfield Parrish painting was reinstalled inside The Pied Piper Bar at the Palace Hotel.

Palace Hotel and W 226

The Pied Piper (2009)

I raise my glass to the owners of the Palace Hotel for making a good decision to keep this treasure where it was meant to be seen.

The Pied Piper Unveiled
The Palace Hotel is pleased to announce that the famous Maxfield Parrish Pied Piper of Hamelin painting will return to the hotel on Thursday, August 22, 2013.  The fully restored painting will be reinstalled, in its original location, behind the renowned Pied Piper Bar and be available for public viewing at 6:00pm on August 22nd.

The Pied Piper Bar & Grill


Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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1 Comment

  • James August 23, 2013

    We were there in June and were surprised to see wood paneling where the painting should have been. It’s really just another nice hotel bar without it (Except for their Ralston Cocktail – my wife can’t visit the city without getting one…or 3).

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