Category: Inspirations: Design

Architectural Ornament in Animal and Bird Forms


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The animals commonly depicted on buildings exemplify desirable human character traits. The majestic lion, a sign of the zodiac and a symbol of the sun and its powers, was associated...

Architectural Ornament in Human Forms


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Do buildings speak to us when we pass them on the street? If so, what do they talk about, and what language do they use? Like humans, buildings talk about...

Life-Savers for Buildings


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Saving people’s lives from the disastrous results of major earthquakes is the most important part of California’s building codes, as indeed it should be. But what about saving the lives...

Bridges to Nowhere – for now


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Pedestrian bridges, often called foot bridges, have been both separate from and part of vehicular bridges. As separate structures they were often constructed in rural or wilderness areas tied to...

San Mateo’s Shoreline Parks


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SHORELINE PARKS, a two-mile stretch along the San Francisco Bay is interrupted by utility towers carrying power lines across the parks’ site and the mound of a capped landfill near...

Mission Bay and San Francisco’s Future


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Preface by Sally B. Woodbridge A comparison of the following two views of Mission Bay makes it clear that the city depicted in the upper one–an engraving of San Francisco...

Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House


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Written by Daniel P. Gregory Throughout his busy career in architecture, which stretched from the early 1930s to the 1980s, Cliff May profited from and contributed to the ebullient spirit...

A Tour of Space(s) between Chicago and San Francisco


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Written By: aZ – “architectural Zealot” I had decided to drive from San Francisco to Chicago with the intention of visiting several monuments of 1970’s “Land Art”, a movement characterized...