Downtown San Francisco is a feast for the eyes. The architecture here is as diverse as the people, plant and wild life. "The City" with the "C" in City capitalized, according to A Companion to California by James D. Hart, is "the sobriquet of San Francisco popularized from the 1850's when it was by far the largest, most populous, and most substantial urban settlement in the state, but in common use later in the 20th century as well."

Fine examples of Beaux Arts, Art Deco, International, Victorian and other styles are to be found by walking around the City.

Lotta's Fountain
Market Street
The Mechanics Statue, Douglas Tilden, sculptor; Base by Willis Polk, 1894
Flood Building, Market @ Powell, built 1904

You can see this and other memorabilia in the Flood Building lobby. Text next to statuette: "The Maltese Falcon". One of several copies made from the original used in the filming of the classic Humphrey Bogart film. Purchased by John Konstin, owner of John's Grill -- a regular hang-out for author Dashiell Hammett who wrote "The Maltese Falcon" during his tenure as an employee of Pinkerton's Detective Agency located in the Flood Building. Konstin made a gift of this "Falcon" to James Flood.

Mills Building

A superb example of the Chicago School design by the firm of Burnham and Root, The Mills Building was rebuilt and expanded in 1907.


Note the 3 "layers" of the building, like those of an ancient column with a base, center shaft and cornice. This "tripartite" design defines the Chicago School style.

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