Cityscapes: San Francisco and Its Buildings (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The follow-up to Pulitzer Prize finalist John King's Cityscapes. Part pocket guide, part history, and part architectural primer, the companion piece to urban design critic John King's Cityscapes: San Francisco and Its Buildings contains all of the wit and wonder of the first installment. In epigrammatic prose and with detailed full-color photographs, King highlights fifty structures that tell the story of San Francisco through architecture. Included are emblematic buildings such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, and the Palace of Fine Arts; but King pays just as close attention to less celebrated structures that embody the politics, architectural fads, and cultural values of the eras in which they were conceived. A fresh take on the familiar, Cityscapes 2 shows us how to read the structures around us as signposts and translations for the story of a multilayered and ever-changing city. The following author biography is for a different John King.

— Jesse


Buildings in cities are remarkable things: they provide not only shelter but touchstones of reference and recall, a language that shapes our sense of place as well as the skyline. In sparkling prose and with full-color photography, Cityscapes looks at fifty buildings that convey a distinct slice of San Francisco. These are the buildings that are defined by bold visual moves and the ones that offer tactile delight. These are the structures you notice every time you pass by, and the ones that escape notice until the light hits them a certain way. Included are some of San Francisco's most familiar buildings and works by some of architecture's biggest names--but also plenty of buildings that are often ignored yet add a unique texture to this fabled place. An outgrowth of "Cityscape," a weekly column that debuted in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009, Cityscapes is part history, part guidebook, and part architectural primer. And the points it makes about specific buildings convey something true to all great cities--that every building shines in its own way as a distinctive piece in a much larger puzzle, one still being assembled before our eyes.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781597141543
ISBN-10: 1597141542
Publisher: Heyday Books
Publication Date: May 1st, 2011
Pages: 128
Language: English