Thursday, May 31, 2007

A New Bay Area Architecture Title

Architecture lovers should check out Architecture of the San Francisco Bay Area: History and Guide, a new survey of Bay Area architecture by local author Mitchell Schwarzer (Professor of Art and Architectural History at California College of the Arts)

Dubbed an “evolved successor” to Architecture and Design: SF, a small traveler's companion published in 1998, this guidebook covers both classic and contemporary architecture of the Bay Area with the author’s unique and unvarnished perspective. His coverage ranges from the sublime – the Phelan Building “could stand-in for the white city that San Francisco was becoming during the City Beautiful Era – to the ridiculous and sublime – the spiral ramp of the Downtown Center Garage designed by George Applegarth “adds enough movement to take the composition from simplicity to sublimity.”

His take on the San Francisco Public Library’s Main Library? Schwarzer remarks that architect James Ingo Freed “compresses and changes the Beaux-Arts classical language of its neighbors” in the Civic Center. He regrets, however, that the building fails “to cohere into a greater whole.” (Please do come and see our building anyhow).

Such is a sampling of Schwarzer’s terse informational gems, which dot his tour of this man-made landscape we call home. A history of the Bay Area and easy to read maps are also included in this colorful pocket tome published by esteemed local publishing house William Stout Publishers.

No comments: