Friday, 11 September 2015

San Francisco Art Deco

We were fortunate to have discovered San Francisco City Guides' free tours on our last trip to San Francisco in January this year.  They welcome donations and it's a small price to pay to support this non-profit organization for their quality tours.  We took the Art Deco tour and it was led by a retired architect - an experienced, knowledgeable gentleman who knew what he was talking about.  The two hour tour ran over time but we loved every minute of it. Without someone so knowledgeable, we would have missed many of the locations and features pointed out to us.

The tour started at the "PacBell" Building on New Montgomery Street and finished at 450 Sutter.   Throughout the tour, our guide pointed out art deco features and provided anecdotal and historical information about the buildings.  Here are just some of the highlights of the tour - in between taking photos, I tried to take notes on my phone, but obviously couldn't succeed at both.  I will just let these photos tell the story.  

The "PacBell" Building

Window detail

Impressive lobby inside the PacBell Building 

Ceiling detail

This will join my collection of elevator doors

Seating area in lobby

Art deco decorations

The Shell Building at 100 Bush

Gorgeous entrance and ceiling!

Sculptures beside 155 Sansome

130 Montgomery - one of the smallest art deco buildings in town

Our guide sneaked in this non-art deco building, the chateauesque Hunter Dulin Building at 111 Sutter built in 1927

Mayan Tree of Life at the entrance of 450 Sutter - "Neo-Mayan" art deco designed by Timothy Pfleuger

Ceiling detail

A breathtaking end to the tour! 


  1. Very nice architectural building photos. You seem to be always able to catch the most interesting part of the building.

  2. Thanks, Connie. Actually I probably missed a lot of other interesting features. But I guess the theory "less is more" applies...;-)