Yesterday, my wife, daughter and I visited the California Palace of The Legion of Honor, one of the two Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. It was the second to last day of a poignant exhibit called: After the Ruins, 1906 and 2006, featuring stunning black-and-white “before” and “after” photos of various locales around the City following the destructive earthquake and during the past few years.
For the price of admission to the Legion –– $10 adults, kids under 12, Free –– we also discovered that we could visit another nearby museum for no additional charge. So we drove a few miles east into Golden Gate Park’s newest and boldest attraction: the De Young Museum, which has been totally renewed and retrofitted to withstand a major quake in the 21st century. So we bought one museum and got one free!
This building, founded in 1895, has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years.
Last October 15, it re-opened in a state-of-the-art new facility, integrating art, architecture and the natural landscape in one multi-faceted destination. Designed by the renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects in SF, the new de Young provided San Francisco with a landmark art museum, a dramatic nine-story tower that looks like a twisted Mayan temple, and a house for the museum’s priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.