I’m not an accomplished photographer. I have taken photos I like, but I’d be the first to admit I’d never win a prize for my compositions. I’m always especially pleased when photos I’ve taken come out, well, better than my usual. A few weeks ago, I found myself in San Francisco with extra time to explore the city. I’ve been there so may times I wasn’t interested in going to the usual tourist attractions. I was thrilled when my friend, whom I was visiting, suggested we explore Civic Centre. Someplace I’ve driven by but hadn’t yet had an opportunity to explore.
City hall, built in 1915, is a beautiful example of classical American Architecture. The ornate dome is one of the tallest in the U.S. Brides love the venue; nearly 2,000 weddings take place in City Hall each year. Get this, in 1954 Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married there. The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake severely damaged the building, which San Francisco voters spent $300 million to restore. To protect against future earthquakes, a genius base isolator system was installed below each support pillar. Wicked cool engineering makes it so, in the event of an earthquake, the entire building, which is separated from the ground, can sway up to 27 inches in any direction.
Inside there are dramatic vignettes. I’m not sure why it’s called Classical American Architecture, maybe because the outside looks kinda Federalist and the inside is bedecked in what looks to me more like Neo-Classic. I’m neither an expert or aficionado when it comes to architecture; regardless, it’s still a beautiful building, inside and out.
(In case you haven’t guessed, I’m quite proud of the Corinthian column photo.)
Across the plaza sits the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, where I had had the pleasure of visiting a couple of years ago. The permanent collections are exquisite and well worth another visit.
I was particularly enchanted with the exquisitely crafted dragons. What’s not to love about mythical creatures who continue to capture the imagination of millions of people all over the world?
I’m glad I had an opportunity to look around the Asian Art Museum once more; otherwise I would have missed this guy. (Another photo I truly like.)