The Civic Center is bisected by the broad boulevard of Van Ness Avenue. San Francisco’s Municipal Court Building, the State Building, Asian Art Museum, The Main Library, The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, City Hall, The War Memorial Opera House and the Veterans Building surround Civic Center Plaza. The Civic center is just a short walk away from Union Square and the Cable Car turnaround and is the
center of many cultural events in San Francisco and hosts one of the most upscale shopping areas in America.
War Memorial Opera House President Truman in the War Memorial Opera House signed
both the United Nations charter and the Japanese Peace
San Francisco City Hall The existing City Hall constructed in 1915. The
design was dictated by the artistic genre popular in the early twentieth
Century epitomized by the its academic and eclectic elements, named
for the French art school Beaux-Arts. The dome of this building is
taller than the US Capitol dome and is covered with nearly half a
million dollars of gold leaf.
Asian Art Museum Amazing and ancient art is displayed in the Asian
Art Museum is one of the biggest museums in the world and devotes
itself to the exclusive display of Asian art. The museum has almost
fifteen thousand pieces and these items cover a period of six thousand
San Francisco Main Library The principle library of San Francisco offers
this community one of the foremost community erudition centers in
the United States. This institution is very technically advanced offering
more than four hundred electronic workstations. Patrons here will
find over 1,000,000. This facility also has a children's discovery
center, and quarters for African American, Chinese, Filipino American,
gay and lesbian works that all surround a light-filled atrium.
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium has a seven
thousand-seat auditorium the most modern equipment for theatrical
productions and the highest quality audio system. There are 40 meeting
rooms in this complex as well as a top rate staff for any catering
needs from the most elegant dinner to cocktail party. This auditorium
occupies a square block and sits on the southern side of the Civic
Veteran's Building The Veteran's Building which frequently has a guard
posted outside to make sure you don't photograph the
building without official approval.
French Quarter The cuisine of France and the elegance so typically
associated with the French can be found in the French
Quarter that is located in an area roughly bounded by
Pine Street to the north, Belden Place to the east,
Sutter Street to the south and Claude Lane to the west.
The restaurants, hotels, cafes and other institutions in
this are reflecting the French influence and the landmark
Notre-Dame-des-Victoires can also be found in the French
Quarter. This little neighborhood got its name and
cultural influence, as this was where the first French
settlers established themselves.
It is important to the hotels and restaurants of the area
to preserve The cafes, hotels and restaurants of the
French Quarter today maintain a distinct joy for life
that expresses French enthusiasm and artistic approach to
Union Square The area around Union Square is the center of shopping in
downtown San Francisco. Located close to both cultural
and government institutions this large park offers the
people of San Francisco and the world a great place to
experience the culturally diverse roots of San Francisco
and shop till you drop. Union Square lies inside a
boarder created by Post Street on the north, Stockton
Street on the west, Geary Street on the south and Powell
Street on the west.
The fashion elite loves this area because here they can
find Armani, Dior, Marc Jacobs, and Yves Saint Laurent.
The streets surrounding Union Square also host many fine art galleries that sell expensive works by artists like
Chagall, Picasso as well as modern artists. Flowers will
never be a problem here as the sidewalks have plentiful
flower merchants hawking their wares adding a splash of
color and pleasant aroma to the area. Remember that off
Broadway productions are not limited to New York as both
traveling Broadway and Off-Broadway productions can be
found in this neighborhood. You can sample local theater
The Tenderloin This neighborhood has had a bad reputation for many years. This area with a high priced meaty name is home to some of the most economically depressed citizens of San Francisco. Common sites here can include expensively dressed people shopping for pricey cloths, higher class citizens going to the opera or art gallery, pimps, hookers, drunks, parolees, homeless, derelicts passed out on the streets or people down on their luck. In the same area where you can find the latest Broadway or Off-Broadway plays you can also find porno theaters.
The Tenderloin has taken a turn for the better in recent years with the immigration of a large number of Vietnamese families. If only coincidentally this area has had a noticeable face-lift during this time of immigration and you can find extraordinarily scrumptious sandwiches at the Tenderloin corner markets. Here you will find an experimental theatre, a number of jazz and blues clubs as well as two hundred restaurants and cafes. Numerous bookstores and pool halls are another sign of the rising economy of the Tenderloin.
This will be the only place in the downtown area where you can find
affordable housing. The rough boundaries of the Tenderloin are Market
Street on the south, Post Street on the north and Van Ness Avenue
on the west.