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San Francisco City Hall - Pahavit's Universe

pahavit
Date: 4-11-2015 12:23 AM
Subject: San Francisco City Hall
Security: Public
Tags:city hall, clock, field trip, light, san francisco, statue
San Francisco City Hall


On Monday after doing an errand in San Francisco, D. and I decided to take a guided tour of San Francisco City Hall, a stellar example of the Beaux Arts style of architecture.  Opened in 1915 after the original City Hall was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire, it features magnificent marble staircases, columns and hallways, full of friezes, carvings and statues expressing classical themes and allegorical figures.  It's almost like being inside a palace.  Here are some of the pics I took.


City Hall's dome is the 5th largest dome in the world.





The marble-floored Rotunda.





The looking up into the massive dome.





One of the allegorical figures flanking the dome, Strength.  (The other figures are Equality, Liberty and Learning.)





The architectural details are extremely ornate.





The head of the statue that once sat atop the dome of the old City Hall that was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.  It was found several years ago at an amusement park in Southern California.  No one knows how it wound up there, or where the rest of the statue is.  The head is as tall as I am, and now resides in City Hall's South Light Court.





Bust of Mayor George Christopher.





Bust of Mayor Willie Brown.





The City Supervisors' Chambers are paneled with ornately-carved Manchurian oak.  Because it is a historic building, they cannot use regular fire sprinklers in the chambers because water would damage the wood.  Instead they use special heat-detecting sensors that will directly summon the fire department who then would use fire-suppression chemicals.  This appears to be a housing committee meeting in progress when we visit.





Bust of assassinated Supervisor Harvey Milk.





The frieze above the mayor's suite depicts the allegorical figure of Father Time (holding an hourglass) turning away from a woman representing the past (the fire and destruction of the 1906 earthquake) and facing children holding a torch, representing the hopeful future.





Inside the Mayor's suite, we see a display of gifts given to San Francisco by visiting dignitaries from other countries.  Here is a tea set from The People's Republic of China.





A watercolor portrait of current Mayor Ed Lee.





The view from the Mayor's reception room looks out over Civic Center Plaza toward a public art piece TRUTH.  Inspiration for the Mayor, perhaps? 





An ornate lion decorates a balustrade on the second floor.





A fancy light fixture in the Rotunda.





The Golden Hour.





A second-floor hallway.




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