Archive for the '94110' Category

New Mission Theater

November 19th, 2016

It is as perilous to design a prominent building in the giddiness of a tech-fueled economy as it is to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You may find yourself with buyers remorse the morning after. This could easily be the case with the New Mission Theater condos – a carnival’s fun house aesthetic on both […]

Multi-Culti Gestures

March 13th, 2016

Norwegian high-pitched roofs, Dutch gables, Russian Orthodox domes, Spanish colonial facades — scores of newcomers have visited upon San Francisco’s skyline the architecture of their homelands. These were built by immigrants, for immigrants, and evinced authentic culture. In contrast, it is downright disingenuous when an institution dons an ethnic pastiche of whatever culture happens to […]

Cultural Expression

January 16th, 2016

Most architects just throw out something in hacienda style when they want to reflect the local culture here in the Mission…

Oops, No Ventilation

November 22nd, 2015

Peeling paint in only some areas of this exterior suggests vapor was gradually making its way through from the inside, loosening the bond between the paint and the wall. Behind the peeling areas you’re likely to find a bathroom, kitchen, or other humid area without a good vent. If this were new, tightly-sealed construction, but still […]

Cheap Bling

November 22nd, 2015

All the gold on this façade was done with one and a half packages of leaf, or about $22. Amazingly thin stuff at around 7-millionths of an inch—the same as gold plate—it’s thin enough sunlight can pass through.

Carving through Nature

October 18th, 2015

The degree of a street grid’s impact on the natural landscape is revealed here. Note the negligible cut-and-fill at Holly Park compared with the grading required closer to Bernal Hill’s slopes. Freeways get the lion’s share of man’s hubris.

Oops — Low Clearance

April 15th, 2013

The building code actually does let you encroach into the public right-of-way.  But the sidewalk here on Ames Alley is narrower than the bay above, and at 11′-4″, this bay is two inches shorter than your typical mid-sized rent-a-van.


March 22nd, 2013

The very normal-sized side door to this apartment house on Church is given proper entry status by an enormously over-proportioned broken pediment.  Most delightful is how the thing weighs so heavily on the doorway it actually crops off the top of the door within. The architect might have squeezed a normal pediment at the conventional […]

Ironic Façade

November 6th, 2012

Perched on Dolores at Cesar Chavez is a house with the kind of cardboard cornice you see everywhere. But the fun thing about this one is the shamelessness of its pretense. On the south end, an ornamental bracket props up the unapologetically decorative end of the sham. The longer you look at this façade, though, […]

Perspective Trick

March 20th, 2011

This English Gothic church seems to use the Rennaisance technique of perspective distortion to enhance its presence on Church Street.