Joe Cianciotto here. Thanks for visiting my blog. I live in San Francisco, and the city has a lot of historic architectural sites. Many of these sites are concentrated in the Civic Center, which lies north of Market Street.
The current City Hall, which lies at the heart of the Civic Center, was finished in 1915, less than a decade after the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906. San Francisco’s City Hall can be described as a Beaux-Arts building that reflects the neoclassical training of its architects, and is considered the epitome of the City Beautiful movement. Over the past century, it has been the site of many historic events, such as the wedding of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. On a darker note, it was also the site of the double murder of former Mayor George Moscone and LGBT pioneer Harvey Milk. It has been extensively retrofitted to survive major earthquakes, and was, for a time, the largest base-isolated structure.
One could spot the Asian Art Museum while walking down Larkin Street. Originally used as the home of the San Francisco Public Library, the building is another Beaux-Arts structure that was built after the 1906 earthquake. Recent renovations have added an indoor court with skylights, providing a striking center of attraction to the building. Some walls were also removed to make movement easier and to create more space for artwork. Among the visitors to the Asian Art Museum are the Dalai Lama, who opened an exhibition on wisdom and compassion in 1991.
Going back to City Hall and crossing over Van Ness Avenue, one cannot miss the massive War Memorial Opera House. Since opening in 1932, it has been the home of the San Francisco Opera. The building is a muted tribute to those who fought in the First World War, and is also a prime example of Beaux-Arts architecture. In 1945, the first United Nations Conference was held inside the cavernous theater, and in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco was signed between the United States and Japan, officially ending the Second World War.
Finally, also along Van Ness Avenue is the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. The home of the San Francisco Symphony since 1980, the main auditorium seats more than 2,740 people and features computer-adjustable acoustical reflectors. The hallway leading into the auditorium itself also acts as an acoustical isolator, while adjustable fabric banners arranged around the the auditorium can change the reverberation time according to the desire of the conductor and sound engineers. It is considered one of the most beautiful music venues on the West Coast.