44/50.- San Francisco, Luxury apartment building


If San Francisco so far appears as a city of diverse districts and neighborhoods it nonetheless has its singularity in North America and the world, a unique character as an urban space. Two things contributed to this distinctiveness of San Francisco: its dramatic natural setting and the barrenness of the land. The grid pattern of streets over steep hills was quickly and practically established before any trees, groves and amenities of modern city planning could be envisioned.

Residential design and building traditions over the course of a century of development passed through an array of cultural changes: from indigenous chaparral and adobe homes to tents and wooden shacks, to prefabricated houses, brick buildings, to embellished palaces and Victorian mansions, to Art Deco apartments buildings and condominiums. This is to me the San Francisco architectural experience, present everywhere in the city, yet probably most noticeable and best exemplified in the Pacific Heights domestic architecture.

Let's start at Van Ness Ave. on California Street, the end of line of our cable car trip. Here is an example of a luxury apartment building.

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