City Hall, San Francisco

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by dkm1981 on December 20, 2011

City Hall is in the Civic Centre area of San Francisco and just to look at the building is worth the journey because it is quite an imposing building that makes for a good photograph.

The Civic Centre is to the South West of the Tenderloin and North of Market Street. It’s very easy to get to wherever in the city you are staying. You can walk within about fifteen minutes from Union Square by going through the Tenderloin District. From Fisherman’s Wharf you can get a bus which costs less than two dollars and there are stops all the way through the area.

Like I said, the building is very grand and imposing – so much so that it takes up two entire city blocks. The building was originally built in the early 1800s although the building that stands there now is an early 1900s replacement after the original was completely destroyed in the 1906 earthquake in the city. The dome is the fifth largest in the world (only 14 inches taller than the United States Capitol) and is modelled on the dome of Les Invalides in Paris.

The grounds around the building are very well planned and presented and add to the grandeur of the place – long sweeping lawns that are perfectly manicured. This is exactly what I expected to see in front of a building that the home of the legislative and executive branches of both the San Francisco government and the county government.

It is a great building to take a picture of and you can do so from any of the intersections around it although you have to consider that the area is a busy tram way and so there will be tramlines in all your pictures. You can go round to the front of the building although it is hard to get far enough away to get the whole building in.

It is possible to go into the building and it is free to do so. If you are interested in a behind the scenes look at the place, you can get a guided tour at 10am, noon and 2pm, Mondays to Fridays. The tour is also free, which is good.

The streets that lead up to the City Hall building are also worth a perusal because there are lots of nice bookshops and coffee houses where you can sit and relax whilst watching the world go by. There are also a series of car showrooms showcasing some of the best cars in the world – my favourite being the Lambourghini showroom which has my dream car on display!
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, California, 94102
(415) 554-4000

© LP 2000-2009