Albert Pissis was one of San Francisco's most respected architects from the Gilded Age to the post-fire building boom. To me, he is also one of the era's more quietly fascinating figures in local architecture, described after his death as having been a man of "dominating will power," "naturally reserved," but frank in expressing his opinion, even to "the… Continue reading The mystery of the Gilded Age architect and his artist brother
Let's face it. You can't really lug a serious book about architecture to the beach, or even on the bus. Typically they are either hefty, hardback tomes, made even heavier by glossy, full-color pages of photography of the work being discussed, or they can venture into dry, academic treatises that often aren't really fun to… Continue reading Some good architecture reads for spring
The owners of the once-stately Hibernia Bank building in the heart of the Tenderloin were dismayed to see the granite base of the dome defaced with a massive graffiti tag just a few months ago. See a photo of the big tag here. But the new owners, who, like the bank's original founders, hale from the old… Continue reading Hibernia Bank dome graffiti-free again!
Every December, when people are looking for ways to evoke that holiday spirit, many families pile up in cars and drive to their favorite Bay Area neighborhood, famous for over-the-top displays. Or they traipse to Union Square together, to check out the huge windows at Macy's, Saks 5th Avenue, and Neiman Marcus, where some, like Carl Nolte of the San Francisco Chronicle, fondly remember… Continue reading Deco the halls: SF skyscrapers jazz it up