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Surprising Architectural Find in San Francisco

Before spending a long weekend in San Francisco I clicked around on the internet for interesting tidbits on places to see or eat.  I printed a couple of maps from MapQuest with notes.  Note: my notes are gibberish.  I scribble them in barely detectable esoteric shorthand known to me at the time but forgotten if too much time passes.  I checked my notes one morning and reminded my husband we had to got to 140 Maiden Lane, “Oh, just some Frank Lloyd Wright building – the pre-cursor to the Guggenheim, his study.”  (Jeff was a FLW fan long before me.)

So while trudging up and down the streets we came upon the very narrow Maiden Lane wondering how and where there was going to be something reminiscent of the Guggenheim in New York City.Frank Lloyd Wright gift shopPhoto via Pinterest

I get the FLW part but this looked nothing like the Guggenheim until I walked through his famous squeeze and squirt entrance.  It is how he introduces a building.  The entrance ceiling is low and narrow causing collection and pause before entering the main area with a much higher ceiling and vast open space.  It really is a fabulous way to create an entrance.  To many architects, this is a no-brainer… now.

Currently it houses the Xanadu Gallery – now closed.  They were very kind about letting architecture buffs in for a look.  In FLW lore it is know as the V.C. Morris Gift Shop.  Once inside one understands the progression.

via Wikipedia Commons

Sometimes we specifically look for FLW buildings other times they find us.  What to you search for on vacation?


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