The Park Emergency Hospital

 Posted by on August 29, 2016  Comments Off on The Park Emergency Hospital
Aug 292016
 
The Park Emergency Hospital

811 Stanyan Golden Gate Park The Park Emergency Hospital is part of a system of Emergency Hospitals that existed in San Francisco during the early 1900s.  There were four of them.  Park, Central (in Civic Center and still functioning), Alemany and Harbor (since torn down). This particular hospital has been designated City Landmark #201. Built in 1902, at a cost of $8488, it functioned as a hospital until 1978.  It remained an ambulance station until 1991, and it now serves as offices for the Rec and Park District. The architect was Newton J. Tharp.  The San Francisco ran his obituary on Continue Reading

Anima by Jim Sanborn

 Posted by on August 24, 2016  Comments Off on Anima by Jim Sanborn
Aug 242016
 
Anima by Jim Sanborn

1700 Owens Street Mission Bay, San Francisco This piece, in Mission Bay, is titled Anima, and is by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn (1945 – ). Sanborn is best known for creating the encrypted Kryptos sculpture at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, a piece of work that has captured the imagination of cryptologists around the world for years. He attended Randolph-Macon College, receiving a degree in paleontology, fine arts, and social anthropology in 1968, followed by a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the Pratt Institute in 1971. He taught at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, and then for nine years was Continue Reading

Central Emergency and Detention Hospital

 Posted by on August 23, 2016  Comments Off on Central Emergency and Detention Hospital
Aug 232016
 
Central Emergency and Detention Hospital

50 Dr. Tom Waddell Place previously 50 Lech Walesa previously 50 Ivy In the alley, somewhat behind the Public Health Building that dominates the corner of Polk and Grove in San Francisco’s Civic Center is a small building that was once the Central Emergency and Detention Hospital. According to the 1918 Municipal Record Volume 11 the building included a court room, and also housed the Social Services Department of the Public Health Department. The architect is not known, although it was most likely a city architect. The contractor was Anderson and Ringrose, they were paid $78,140 for their work.  Other Continue Reading

Overflow X

 Posted by on August 19, 2016  Comments Off on Overflow X
Aug 192016
 
Overflow X

1500 Owens Street Mission Bay, San Francisco Overflow X  is a stainless steel sculpture by Jaume Plensa. Jaume Plensa was born in 1955 in Barcelona, where he studied at the Llotja School of Art and Design and at the Sant Jordi School of Fine Art. He has been a teacher at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and regularly cooperates with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a guest professor. This particular design is not new.  Plensa has been utilizing the seated figure created from letters in various installations around the world.  They range in Continue Reading

Elevators and Marine Engines

 Posted by on August 18, 2016  Comments Off on Elevators and Marine Engines
Aug 182016
 
Elevators and Marine Engines

235 First Street Foundry Square This wonderful building, sitting amongst all of the surrounding high-rises brings joy to the eye and a question to the mind. The City of San Francisco has labeled this the H.N. Cook Belting Company designed by Ward and Blohme.  However the American Architect and Architecture Magazine, Volume 113 disputes that fact with this photograph. The photo was accompanied by a full length article in the January to June 1918 issue. The Western Architecture and Engineering Magazine – Volume 40-41 states that the building is the home to the B.C. Van Emon Elevator Company. This 1915 Continue Reading

The Metropolitan Laundry Company

 Posted by on August 15, 2016  Comments Off on The Metropolitan Laundry Company
Aug 152016
 
The Metropolitan Laundry Company

7 Heron South of Market, San Francisco The lovely trumpet vine on this building is hiding a lot of the detail of the brick work, but the buildings history is the real charm. Built around 1907, this was once part of the Metropolitan Laundry Company and Power Plant. According to the January 8, 1910 Journal of Electricity, this was a modern, cutting edge plant. It was touted as the largest and most up-to-date in the U.S. The whole laundry facility was housed in two buildings and covered an acre of land. The second building, at the corner of Berwick and Harrison, is Continue Reading

The Bethlehem Steel Building

 Posted by on August 12, 2016  Comments Off on The Bethlehem Steel Building
Aug 122016
 
The Bethlehem Steel Building

Pier 70 Dog Patch The Bethlehem Steel Office Building, also known as Building 101, was designed by San Francisco architect Fredrick H. Meyer. The building anchors Pier 70, sitting at its entry on the corner of Illinois and 20th Street. Built in 1917, the building is Classical Revival in style. The three story building consists of 56,268 square feet. There is an iron perimeter fence framing the entrance to the building that originally extended down both 20th and Illinois Streets. Building 101 was designed as a new main office building in 1917, at this point Bethlehem Steel was growing by leaps and bounds Continue Reading

1176 Harrison

 Posted by on August 10, 2016  Comments Off on 1176 Harrison
Aug 102016
 
1176 Harrison

This 9,796 square-foot building is actually two: the east section was constructed in 1912 and the west section was constructed in 1929. The buildings were unified by the present façade in 1929, This 1-story, steel and reinforced concrete industrial building was designed in the Art Moderne style. The interesting architectural details include an incised sign that reads “San Francisco Galvanizing Works,” concrete beltcourses, a stepped recessed bay, galvanized metal rivets, and a parapet. Like its neighbor at 1140 Harrison it to sits in the Western SOMA Light Industrial and Residential Historic District.  Also likes it neighbor it is historically significant due to Continue Reading

1140 Harrison Street

 Posted by on August 4, 2016  Comments Off on 1140 Harrison Street
Aug 042016
 
1140 Harrison Street

This nondescript industrial building is about to be torn down for a giant condominium project.  I thought it time to get it documented before it disappeared. Part of the SOMA Light Industrial and Residential Historic District, the building has been marked historical due to its age, but that does not prevent it from being torn down, it is simply a designation. Built in 1907, the building is a 75,625 square-feet, 1-story, brick masonry industrial building in a modified Renaissance Revival style. The rectangular-plan building, clad in smooth stucco on the primary façade and brick on the secondary facade, is capped by Continue Reading

Lily Pond

 Posted by on July 21, 2016  Comments Off on Lily Pond
Jul 212016
 
Lily Pond

125 W. Fullerton Parkway Lincoln Park Chicago, Illinois Chicago’s official motto is “Urbs in Horto,” which translates to “City in a Garden”, much of the garden aspects of this town can be attributed to Alfred Caldwell and his mentor Jens Jensen. Lily Pond is the work of Alfred Caldwell. During the depression, Caldwell worked on and off for the Chicago Park District. It was a tumultuous relationship, but it was also steady work. In 1936, under the guise of the Park District and with WPA money Caldwell designed the Lily Pool. Caldwell suggested that “besides being a nature garden,” the Continue Reading

Boulder Man

 Posted by on July 19, 2016  Comments Off on Boulder Man
Jul 192016
 
Boulder Man

951 Chicago Avenue Oak Park, Chicago On the piers flanking the entry to Frank Lloyd Wrights 1898 architectural studio in Oak Park, Illinois, sit these two pieces, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and executed by Richard Bock. “Boulder Man” is the most valuable of Richard Bock’s work.  He originally designed and modeled the piece to top a gate post.  The body, apparently half buried in the earth is stunning from every angle.  These sculptures are reproductions.  They were re-created from photographs.  The originals had disintegrated beyond repair, the replicas were done during the 1980s restoration of Frank Lloyd Wrights home Continue Reading

Standing Lincoln

 Posted by on July 17, 2016  Comments Off on Standing Lincoln
Jul 172016
 
Standing Lincoln

Off N. Lake Shore Drive near W. North Avenue Chicago This is one of the two sculptures in Lincoln Park that were bequeathed to Chicago upon the death of lumberman Eli Bates. This 12 foot tall figure known as the “Standing Lincoln” was the first of Saint-Gaudens’ statues of Lincoln. He received the commission for this monument in 1884 and began work the following year. Lincoln had made quite an impression on Saint-Gaudens when he saw Lincoln in 1860 . “Lincoln stood tall in the carriage, his dark uncovered head bent in contemplative acknowledgement of the waiting people, and the Continue Reading

Shakespeare in Chicago

 Posted by on July 16, 2016  Comments Off on Shakespeare in Chicago
Jul 162016
 
Shakespeare in Chicago

N. Lincoln Parkway West and W. Belden Avenue Chicago According to the Chicago Parks Department: “When Samuel Johnston, a successful north side businessman, died in 1886, he left a sizeable gift in his will for several charities as well as money for a memorial to William Shakespeare in Lincoln Park. A competition was held to select a sculptor. The winner was a Columbia University graduate, William Ordway Partridge (1861–1930), who had studied sculpture in France and Italy after a short stint as an actor. This commission presented a unique challenge for Partridge since the only known portraits of William Shakespeare Continue Reading

Eli Bates Fountain

 Posted by on July 15, 2016  Comments Off on Eli Bates Fountain
Jul 152016
 
Eli Bates Fountain

This whimsical fountain is known as both the Eli Bates Fountain and “Storks at Play”. Eli Bates was a Chicago lumberman who died in 1881. He bequeathed a fund for the commission of Standing Lincoln, also by Saint-Gaudens, and this fountain, both to be placed in Lincoln Park. Installed in 1887 it was a joint collaboration between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his student Frederick W. MacMonnies The figures for the fountain were cast by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company of New York. Augustus Saint-Gaudens has been in this site before, you can read about him here. In 1880 MacMonnies began an apprenticeship Continue Reading

Columbus Circle

 Posted by on July 14, 2016  Comments Off on Columbus Circle
Jul 142016
 
Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle In front of Union Station Washington D.C. The fountain, which was co-created by Lorado Taft and architect Daniel Burnham, was influenced by a fountain designed by Frederick MacMonnies that was displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. MacMonnies work depicted a figure of Columbia sitting on a ship with a figure of Fame standing on a ship prow holding a trumpet and a representational figure of Time dominating the stern. With this sculpture Lorado Taft has Columbus standing, arms crossed, facing the Capitol. He is flanked by an American Indian, representing the “New World” facing Continue Reading

Fountain of Time

 Posted by on July 11, 2016  Comments Off on Fountain of Time
Jul 112016
 
Fountain of Time

6000 Cottage Grove Avenue Chicago, Illinois Fountain of Time, or simply Time, is a 126 foot long sculpture by Lorado Taft, within Washington Park in Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture was inspired by Henry Austin Dobson’s poem, “Paradox of Time”. “Time goes, you say? Ah no, Alas, time stays, we go”. The sculpture includes Father Time, hooded and carrying a scythe. He watches over a parade of 100 figures showing humanity at various stages of life.   Although most of the figures are generic Taft included himself, with one of his assistants following him, along the west side of the sculpture. He is Continue Reading

Fountain of the Great Lakes

 Posted by on July 9, 2016  Comments Off on Fountain of the Great Lakes
Jul 092016
 
Fountain of the Great Lakes

Nichols Bridgeway Off E. Jackson and South Michigan Avenue Chicago Fountain of the Great Lakes or Spirit of the Great Lakes Fountain is an allegorical sculpture by Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The fountain was moved to this spot in the 1960s. Created between 1907-1913, the bronze fountain depicts five women arranged so that the water flows through them in the same way water passes through the Great Lakes. The fountain is Taft’s response to Daniel Burnham’s complaint at the Columbian Exposition in 1893 that the sculptors charged with ornamenting the fairgrounds failed to produce anything that Continue Reading

Eternal Silence

 Posted by on July 9, 2016  Comments Off on Eternal Silence
Jul 092016
 
Eternal Silence

  The Eternal Silence, (also called Eternal Silence or Statue of Death)  marks the grave of Dexter Graves, who led a group of thirteen families that moved from Ohio to Chicago in 1831, making them some of Chicago’s earliest settlers. Graves died in 1844, seventy-five years before the creation of the statue, and sixteen years before Graceland Cemetery was founded; his body was presumably moved to Graceland from the old City Cemetery.  The funds for the monument were provided in the will of his son, Henry, who died in 1907. The will provided $250,000 for a Graves family mausoleum, they received the Continue Reading

Adam’s Memorial

 Posted by on July 9, 2016  Comments Off on Adam’s Memorial
Jul 092016
 
Adam's Memorial

Section E Rock Creek Cemetery Washington D.C. I visit the Adams Memorial whenever I am in Washington D.C. This hauntingly beautiful sculpture is one I can never tire of.  It is by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The Smithsonian probably writes about it best: Marion Hooper “Clover” Adams, wife of the writer Henry Adams, committed suicide in 1885 by drinking chemicals used to develop photographs. Adams, who steadfastly refused to discuss his wife’s death, commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create a memorial that would express the Buddhist idea of nirvana, a state of being beyond joy and sorrow. In Adams’s circle of artists Continue Reading

Clara Porset

 Posted by on July 7, 2016  Comments Off on Clara Porset
Jul 072016
 
Clara Porset

Nespresso is running an ad for Cuban Coffee. On Sunday June 26, 2016, they took out a full page ad using Hemingway’s home in Havana as the perfect backdrop. There in the photo were two exquisite Clara Porset chairs. I thought it time to talk about her. Clara María del Carmen Magdalena Porset y Dumás was born in Matanzas, Cuba on May 25, 1895. Born into wealth she had the luxury to be educated in New York at Columbia University’s School of Fine Arts, as well as in Paris, where she attended classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the Continue Reading

Casa de Velazquez

 Posted by on July 7, 2016  Comments Off on Casa de Velazquez
Jul 072016
 
Casa de Velazquez

Parque Cespedes Santiago de Cuba Diego Valazquez was the first governor of Cuba.  He was a cruel despot by all accounts, but his home, built in 1515 still stands as the oldest colonial-era house on the island. The home is of the Mudéjar style (or Hispanic-Moorish).  This style is characterized by its balconies, carved ceilings and the intricate geometric patterns found in the tile, metalwork and even the furniture. The one outstanding characteristic of the Velazquez house are its celosos.  They greet you at the front door, covering the second floor balcony, and then are found throughout the house screening Continue Reading

Parque del Ajedrez or Chess Park

 Posted by on July 6, 2016  Comments Off on Parque del Ajedrez or Chess Park
Jul 062016
 
Parque del Ajedrez or Chess Park

Santo Tomás and Enramada Streets Santiago de Cuba This small corner park was designed by American architect Walter Betancourt. Betancourt was born in 1932 in New York, son of Cuban parents that had escaped to Florida during the Cuban War for Independence. As a child of Cubans, Betancourt vacationed often in Cuba. After graduating with a degree in Architecture in 1956 from the University of Virginia, Betancourt entered the US Navy where he served, coincidentally enough, at Guantanamo.  Significantly, Betancourt was in Cuba during the July 26th coup attempt on the Moncada Barracks by Fidel Castro. After leaving the military Betancourt moved Continue Reading

The Mosaics of the Marquette

 Posted by on June 23, 2016  Comments Off on The Mosaics of the Marquette
Jun 232016
 
The Mosaics of the Marquette

The Marquette Building 140 South Dearborn Chicago This spectacular, and difficult to photograph, mosaic is in the rotund of the Marquette building.  Designed by J.A. Holler of the Tiffany Company it depicts the Mississippi voyage of Louis Jolliet and Father Marquette. Louis Tiffany was the son of jeweler Charles Tiffany. His career took off after the display of his mosaics in the chapel at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, also known as the Worlds Fair in Chicago. Jacob Adolph Holzer was a Swiss artist who worked for Tiffany as chief designer and art director,  he was responsible for the design and execution Continue Reading

The Marquette Building

 Posted by on June 19, 2016  Comments Off on The Marquette Building
Jun 192016
 
The Marquette Building

The Marquette Building 140 South Dearborn Chicago   These four bronze plaques sit above the entry doors of the Marquette Building in Chicago.  They were done in 1895 by Henry MacNeil (1866-1947).  At the time MacNeil shared a studio in the building with painter Charles F. Browne. Louis Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, were the first non-Natives to explore and map the Mississippi River in 1673. The four bronze plaques are the story of their journey. They depict the launching of the canoes, the meeting of the Michigamea Indians, the arriving at the Chicago River and finally the interring Continue Reading

The Lost Art of Leo Lentelli

 Posted by on May 9, 2016  1 Response »
May 092016
 
The Lost Art of Leo Lentelli

San Francisco Main Library Now the Asian Art Museum Sometime between 1915 and 1917, Leo Lentelli was commissioned to design five large sculptures for the facade of the Main Public Library, now the Asian Art Museum. In a March 1918 article titled “An Expression of Decorative Sculpture – Leo Lentelli,” published in The Architect and Engineer, Sadakichi Hartmann boldly stated that the five figures were “by far the most important work Lentelli has as yet attempted.” The sculptures, which represent Art, Literature, Philosophy, Science and Law, are 7-feet 8-inch high cement figures once set atop granite pedestals and originally sat Continue Reading

St. Josephs of San Francisco

 Posted by on May 9, 2016  Comments Off on St. Josephs of San Francisco
May 092016
 
St. Josephs of San Francisco

1401 Howard at 10th SOMA St Joseph’s Church was founded, at 10th and Howard, in 1861, by Archbishop Joseph Alemany. The church, home to over 300 mostly Irish families, was destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. The church we see today was constructed in 1913. By that time, the Irish of the neighborhood had moved away and the church welcomed families from Latin America, the Philippines and the Pacific Islands. By 1980 St. Joseph’s was the largest Filipino parish in the US. The church building was designed by San Francisco architect John J. Foley in the Romanesque Revival style. Continue Reading

Moya del Pina at Acme Brewery

 Posted by on April 25, 2016  1 Response »
Apr 252016
 
Moya del Pina at Acme Brewery

The Boardroom at the old Acme Brewing Company 762 Fulton Western Addition Moya del Pina is responsible for these murals at the Acme Brewery murals in He completed them inn November 1935 between commissions at Coit Tower for the Public Works of Art Project  (PWAP) in 1934, and a series of Bay Area Post Office murals completed for the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture from 1936-1941.   The 1936, Volume 12, of the California Art Research said of these murals: “The manner in which Moya del Pino has handled his frescoes gives a now dignity to the brewery Continue Reading

The Acme Brewing Company in San Francisco

 Posted by on April 25, 2016  Comments Off on The Acme Brewing Company in San Francisco
Apr 252016
 
The Acme Brewing Company in San Francisco

762 Fulton Western Addition On March 12, 1917, the San Francisco Call-Bulletin reported: “Six San Francisco breweries, facing financial loss, or insolvency, through proposed legislation regulating manufacture of maltuous drinks, have pooled their interests into one association for the manufacture and distribution of beers and malts. The body is to be known as the Acme-National Brewing Company. J.P. Rettenmayer, president of the Acme Brewing Company and head of the State Brewers’ Association, is president of the consolidated companies. The breweries included in the merger are: National Brewing Company, Henry Weinhard Brewery, Claus Wreden Brewing Company, Union Brewing and Malting Company, Continue Reading

John Park WPA Murals

 Posted by on April 20, 2016  1 Response »
Apr 202016
 
John Park WPA Murals

John Muir Elementary 380 Webster Hayes Valley As you enter John Muir Elementary school you are greeted with three lunettes.  In the lunettes are WPA murals by artist David Park.  These murals were done in 1934, the same year that park joined the WPA.  These three are painted in the Socialist Realism style. The three murals are titled Man in Art, Man in Nature and Man in Industry.  There are very few David Park murals left, making these in the school a San Francisco treasure. David Park (1911-1960) was a painter and a pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative School Continue Reading

John Muir Elementary School

 Posted by on April 20, 2016  Comments Off on John Muir Elementary School
Apr 202016
 
John Muir Elementary School

John Muir Elementary School 380 Webster Hayes Valley In the ten years between 1920 and 1930 San Francisco erected 49 new school buildings, with a 50th approved in 1931. This was all accomplished just 80 years after the birth of the San Francisco School System. These 50 school buildings represented an investment, at that time, of $17,418,814. The 1931 Report of the Superintendent showed that the forty-seven schools had an enrollment of 42,976 students, and an additional 4000 to be enrolled when the remaining three, still under construction at the time of the report, were to open. At that time Continue Reading