City Hall : Michelin's recommendations
Testament to San Francisco's civic pride, this monumental Beaux-Arts edifice, crowned by a magnificent dome, is considered by many to be San Francisco's most beautiful building. Designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., a graduate of the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, the building was completed in 1915 under the stewardship of populist mayor James Rolph, who had vowed to rid the city government of the corruption that contributed to the demise of the first City Hall.The massive, four-story building occupies a rectangle covering two city blocks. Its splendid dome, trimmed with gold leaf, rises to a height of 307ft, about 13ft taller than the US Capitol Building in Washington DC. On the Van Ness Avenue facade, handsome Atlas-like telamones support the entrance. Doric pillars and colonnades along the porticoes, facades and dome reinforce the Classical idiom.Inside, a grand ceremonial marble staircase ascends to a spec-tacular, 181ft open rotunda, its east-facing section flanked by city government offices arranged according to bureaucratic hierarchy. The office of the mayor occupies the space directly beneath the central pediment on the Polk Street facade, with a balcony facing east onto Civic Center Plaza. Two grand public courts, skylit and with marble walls, extend from either side of the rotunda.