Not quite on the regular tourist trail definitely worth every step getting there!

A visit to the San Francisco City Hall was definitely an architectural highlight of my visit to the city. Commanding an imposing presence with its stately Beaux-Arts style architecture, this stunning building is the centerpiece in SF’s Civic Center.

I went there to check out the San Francisco City Museum but turns out that it has moved elsewhere. They do welcome visitors unlike the public buildings in Manila which are heavily fortified and for most part, lack half the aesthetic qualities of this building.

How do you instill civic pride among the citizens?

Upon entry, one is immediately drawn to the huge expanse and soaring interior of the structure.  The city government provides for a free (and may I add, superb!) guided tours inside. I was lucky enough to chance upon a tour by one of the volunteers- a very pleasant old gentleman whose names escapes my memory.

The tour led us to the various rooms and discussed about the overall history of the building. Did you know that SF once had a gay mayor who was assassinated inside the building?

Compelling stories indeed.

SF City hall in miniature.

Looking down from the grand staircase. When I arrived, there was a wedding shoot, I would not actually be surprised if this place turned out to be most popular place to get married, I mean, apart from the obvious required legalities involving civil rites, who wouldn’t want to have their wedding photos taken with such rich, cathedral-like interiors?

A worms eye view of the  is soaring dome ,supposed to be higher than that one of the US Capitol in Washington D.C.

Ever on the prowl for Filipiniana, I spot this little remnant of Manila in the adjacent room to the Mayor’s office.  Cool. Maybe our city hall officials can learn a thing or two in terms a urban management from our sister-city across the Pacific?

Finally, at the end of the tour,  our guide suggests that we watch the city council in action and I sneak inside this ornate chamber,  slip our guide a $3.00 tip and just suck in the finely carved panels in the ceiling.

A great tour indeed.

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