San Francisco City Hall - Preservation and Accessibility - AM Musings
 
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San Francisco City Hall Renovated under Mayor Willie Brown
Driving down Hyde Street in the late afternoon, I glimpse San Francisco City Hall.  Most tourists take pictures of the City Hall from the plaza directly in front of the building capturing the dome and full details of the building.  This photo taken a block east at the edge of United Nations Plaza, catches a view of the James Lick/Pioneer Memorial Statue in the foreground. 

In  this light,  the gray granite fades to a gray shroud.  The statue adds perspective, scale and distance,  directing attention to the silhouette of both.  Built after the earthquake of 1906, Former Mayor Willie Brown renovated it in 1998.  He did a great job and the City should be thankful for the sensitive attention to preservation.
  

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Accessible Drinking Fountain
The renovation triggered code upgrades throughout the building including accessibility requirements.  Mock/Wallace partner Ron Wallace was at City Hall to appear before the City Planning Commission.  He sent this photo of an accessible drinking fountain. 

The projecting drinking fountain is an obstruction.  With these metal scrolls extending to the floor, a person with poor vision using a cane could detect the obstruction and walk around it.  If new, the water fountain would probably be recessed into a niche.  In this case, it was probably not possible and the designers came up with this solution.   You probably won't see this solution used in many places, but it works here.




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