Historic Architecture in the San Francisco Area

by | Aug 19, 2019 | Things to Do

The Historic Architecture Around San Francisco   

If you love architecture, check out that of San Francisco and the surrounding areas. Few places in America have the concentration of historic buildings and cultural landmarks of San Francisco. Generations of multiculturalism and a pioneering spirit have led to an incredible resource for architecture. What are some of our favorites?  

2500 Steiner 

Located at 2500 Steiner Street is one of Pacific Heights most iconic buildings. Even if you can’t buy it yourself since the last asking price was somewhere near $9 million, you can admire its architecture from the street.  

The 12-story building was finished in 1927 and features an art deco style façade that was innovative in its day. Today it has been a playground for the rich and famous, including many Washington politicians.  

The Castro Theater 

In the heart of the notable Castro District in San Francisco is the historic Castro Theater. It became a historic landmark in 1976. In 1907, the building was converted from a candymaking factory into a movie theater.  

In the 1970s, iwas a major part of the LGBTQ culture that grew up around the Castro District in San Francisco and in 1981 it became the permanent home for the gay film festival and the non-profit, Frameline, which was developed to support the LGBTQ film industry.  

The Painted Ladies 

More than just the opening of scene from television’s Full House, the Painted Ladies in San Francisco are notable for their close proximity on the sloping hills along with their bright paint jobs.  

You can see these Victorian and Edwardian styles homes from scenic Alamo Square, a landscaped green space in the heart of the bustling city.  

Cathedral of St. Mary’s of the Assumption 

This isn’t just any cathedral. St. Mary’s was commissioned during Vatican II and reflects the modern 70s style associated with the transition from the old-fashioned church to new, progressive ideas. The design was considered very controversial at the time.  

But, the modern aesthetic has made this building one of the most iconic in the country. The sweeping roofline is unlike most churches, even the most modern, and it stands out against the landscape.  

Coit Tower 

On top of Telegraph Hill, this tower, built in 1933, is a fixture in the San Francisco skyline. Visitors can still explore the observation deck to see 380-degree views of the area.  

At the base are murals completed in 1934, which depict depression era San Francisco. As with a lot of art and architecture throughout San Francisco, controversy arose regarding some of the images, but the frescos were open to the public the same year.  

Transamerica Building 

Of course, we couldn’t do a roundup of the architecture around San Francisco without mentioning the Transamerica Building. It stands in the financial district as a futurist monument 48stories tall.  

Confined by zoning, the builders needed to be creative about how they used the lot. The resulting design is a four-sided pyramid that defies conventional architecture. The building also has cameras at the top pointing in all four directions which gives visitors access to a virtual observation deck since they are no longer allowed at the top of the building.  

What are your favorite buildings in San Francisco? To have your own piece of the Bay Area, contact GoPrime today 

 

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