The story of the unbuilt magical social club that exists only on paper is typical of the 1920s: it involved oceanfront real estate, a private club seeking out the well-to-do and nouveau riche, beauty queens, suspect business machinations, a grand jury investigation, and an ultimate lack of funds for the oversized ambitions of everyone involved.
The El Rey Theatre, the former movie palace that still towers over Ocean Avenue and parts of Ingleside Terraces, is turning 80 next month. To celebrate the anniversary, the Voice of Pentecost, which bought the building in 1977, is hosting a fund-raiser, and the organizers will be showing the same film that was featured during… Continue reading The El Rey Theatre to come back as a movie palace for a night
Architectural historians are like detectives, sleuthing to figure out what happened at the scene of a crime. They use old photos, blueprints, layers of paint and other materials beneath the surface of remodeled historic buildings, looking for clues of the original architect's intent. They also try and determine what travesties occurred in the name of modernization. So a recent discovery of… Continue reading El Rey Theatre blueprints show what’s missing
Miller & Pflueger's innovative skyscraper 450 Sutter was named to the National Register of Historic Places, as of last month. The stunning Mayan themed 26-story high rise building, completed in 1929, was described in the application as a "masterwork" of noted San Francisco architect, Timothy Pflueger. The listing is on the National Parks Service Web site here.… Continue reading 450 Sutter named to National Register of Historic Places
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