Wednesday, December 15, 2010

San Francisco (1961)


Thanks to our good friends over at Oddball Film & Video, there is this amazing color Cinemascope film in circulation over at YouTube. Small thrills abound! For example you can see my childhood favorite, Alioto's Hofbrau, at 1:42 in the clip. One of the more interesting segments (to the architecture fan in me, at least) is about 4:36 into the clip where the pavilion building at One Bush Street is revealed to be a Bank of American branch. The Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill designed Internationalist icon (again, to me) was built in 1959 and this is the earliest I have seen of how the pavilion was used. It is currently home to E*TRADE, although I am still holding out hope that one day I can open my fancy "Four Seasons" (NYC eatery) inspired restaurant in that space. OK, I am only half-kidding.

What really strikes me about this film is not so much what has changed in the past 50 odd years, but rather how many recognizable landmarks, buildings, etc. are still part of the fabric of contemporary San Francisco. We can mourn the loss of the Transbay Terminal (birthplace of many an embarrassing white-boy blues anthem, including at least one of my own) but take some degree of refuge in the fact that compared to so many US Cities, many of San Francisco's landmarks are still living and breathing entities. Now if you excuse me, I have an appointment with my lawyer downtown in The Flood Building...

2 comments:

skorpeo said...

I agree, it's fantastic to see a lot of the old landmarks; Trader Sam's, and the E*Trade building (which used to be a Sharper Image before they went belly-up.) I also like seeing the wall in front, that's now the "Bike Messenger" wall, and the individuals don't look nearly as stylish as those do in that film...!

Nick Rossi said...

Yes, the shot of the "bike messenger wall" is fairly amusing to those of us that only know it in its current incarnation.