San Fran Art Deco

(Camera: Yashica FX-3 Super 2000; Film: Ilford HP5)

One of the great joys of having your own darkroom is that you can reach back in time to make a new print from an old negative. I made this photo while visiting San Fransico in 1989, shortly after the big October quake. I was just enjoying the day, wandering around town, when this building caught my eye. I took the shot and carried on without giving it further thought until I encountered the negative 22 years later while organizing my old photos.  I was struck once again by the building’s unique architecture and decided to make this print.

After a little on-line research, I discovered that this beautiful art-deco building was the work of famed architect Timothy Pfleuger. It sits at 450 Sutter Street, in San Francisco’s financial district, and was completed in 1929. The skyscraper remained one of the city’s five tallest buildings until the early 1960s, and is still one of the finest art-deco structures anywhere.

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3 Responses to San Fran Art Deco

  1. brian moore says:

    That’s a very nice photo. I like your choice of angle and the fact that some of the windows have blinds closed and thus reflect differently. Very nice indeed.

    Do you recall the name of the building?

    Also, upper right corner. What is that dark area? Looks almost like a reflection.

    Thank you.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Brian. According to Mr. Google, it’s known as the 450 Sutter Medical Building, though I don’t know if that’s what the locals call it. Maybe someone from the area can chime in.
    The upper right corner is more of the same building (or possibly its neighbour) in shadow. Depending on your monitor, you may not be able to see that — I printed it pretty dark.

  3. Doug says:

    Great photos and so sharp. l have been thinking of buying a Contax camera and a nice Carl Zeiss lens. But after seeing your work l may think about the all Yashica del up.