Palace of Fine Arts in the Presidio, San Francisco Arts

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

San Francisco Arts

San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art
DESCRIPTION: SFMOMA’s architectural design soars within and without. It features a design collection of magnificent hand-written drawings, prints and objects by regional, national, and international artists. The time-based media collection is as cutting edge and greatly benefits from being in the heart America’s media technology center. The painting, sculpture and photographic collections reflect bold range of modern and contemporary art, while serving as a nice foundation for the many exciting exhibitions that visit SFMOMA –they don’t get any better or more diverse. The Research Library contains over 53,000 monographs, exhibition catalogues, other objects and 1,840 periodical titles. The Museum Store has a fantastic collection of art books and gifts. Caffe 5 is a hip place to hang out at lunch time.
ADMISSION: Members Free, General admission $25, Seniors (65 years and older) $22, Ages 19-24 with ID $19, Ages 18 and younger Free
DAYS & HOURS: Galleries Fri-Tue 10a–5p, Thu 10a-9p. Public spaces open at 9a.
ADDRESS: 151 Third Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Montgomery Street Station
PARKING: garage behind the museum
PHONE: 415-357-4000

Contemporary Jewish Museum
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1984, museum presents contemporary perspectives and Jewish views on culture, history, art and ideas. The eye-catching structure is resonant with Jewish ideas, specifically utilizing the highly symbolic Hebrew letters “chet” and “yud,” key letters in the word “L’Chaim” — To Life.
ADMISSION: Adults $10, Ages 65+ and Students w/ID $8, Age 18 and under enter Free; Thursdays after 5p pay $5
DAYS & HOURS: daily, except Wednesday, 11a-5p
ADDRESS: 736 Mission Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Powell Street Station
PARKING: garage on 3rd and Mission Streets
PHONE: 415-344-8800

DESCRIPTION: In 2013, San Francisco built an exquisite palace for Jazz performance and education that surely makes New Yorkers and Chicagoans jealous. The big room is 90 feet x 90 x 40 feet high with steeply raked seating that provides great sight lines for both artists and patrons. Acoustics design and materials were fine tuned for its dimensions as well. During the day, the Jazz Center hosts educational programs for talent young high school musicians. The center is also home to a jazz collective comprising eight of the finest performers/composers at work in jazz today. Launched in 2004 by SFJAZZ in San Francisco, the SFJAZZ Collective has become one of the most exciting and acclaimed groups on the international jazz scene. As soloists, composers, and bandleaders, the SFJAZZ Collective demonstrate that jazz has truly become an international language. Hailing from Ohio, Baltimore, Miami, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and New Zealand, the Collective’s multi-cultural lineup mirrors the explosion of jazz talent around the globe. Murals by Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet in the upstairs lobby present a fictionalized cityscape of important jazz venues across the United States. One mural titled “Jazz and the City,” depicts storied San Francisco jazz clubs of years gone by. Completing the experience, Charles Phan’s South bar 7 grill is located at the SFJAZZ Center. It serves sustainable Mexican small dishes and refreshing tropical cocktails.
ADMISSION: Depending on concert seating, ticket prices range from $25-65
DAYS & HOURS: check website events calendar
ADDRESS: 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: Muni Metro Van Ness Station
PARKING: garages at Grove between Franklin & Gough Streets and McAllister between Polk & Larkin Streets
PHONE: 415-788-7353

Mexican Museum
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1975 by artist, Peter Rodríguez, the museum has a permanent collection of over 12,000 objects that include Pre-Conquest, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican and Latino, and Chicano Art. The museum’s exhibits are hosted in Fort Mason and tour various Bay Area locations until the new building completes in Yerba Buena Arts District. The new architecturally dramic building will increase exhibition space to 63,000 square feet.
ADMISSION: donations gladly accepted
DAYS & HOURS: Coming
ADDRESS: 99 Marina Boulevard at Fort Mason Center, Building D, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: Muni F Line Streetcar to the end of Fisherman’s Wharf
PARKING: on premises
PHONE: 415-202-9700

Asian Art Museum
DESCRIPTION: With so many Asian cultures represented in the city, one should not be surprised that this popular museum is the largest in the West devoted to Asian art. Within its 185,000 square feet, the historical art collection spans 6,000 years and represents cultures throughout Asia. Once you get beyond the exterior of the museum which still reminds you of its roots as the central library, its treasures inside will quickly reinforce that this is a world-class museum with enough unique and celebrated pieces of art to make the Louvre envious. In many ways, the changing exhibits are equally inspiring. The gift shop is a must visit for Asian art collectors. The structure is part of the Civic Center district, one of the nation’s most complete collections of beaux arts buildings set in a formal plan. The museum presents a broad range of special exhibitions and programs designed to reach all levels of education and awareness of art. AsiaAlive, the museum’s signature program, is an ambitious offering of live performances, artist demonstrations, and hands-on activities structured to engage visitors of all ages.
ADMISSION: Adults $10, Seniors with ID $7, College students with ID and Ages 13-17 $6, 12 and under FREE, Thursday evenings after 5p are $5, Target Tuesdays on the first Tuesday of every month are FREE
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sun 10a-5p and Thu until 9p
ADDRESS: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Civic Center Station
PARKING: plenty of garage space in the Civic Center underground plaza
PHONE: 415-581-3500

Museum of Performance and Design
DESCRIPTION: The Museum collects and makes accessible materials about the performing arts, with a special emphasis on documenting and preserving the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich and diverse performing arts heritage from the Gold Rush to the present. The museum produces public and educational programs, provides library services to researchers, and conservation and archival services to performing arts institutions.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Fri 11a-5p,
 Sat 1p-5p
ADDRESS: 401 Van Ness Building, 4th Floor, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: Muni Metro-BART Civic Center Station
PARKING: Civic Center underground parking garage
PHONE: 415-255-4800

de Young Museum
DESCRIPTION: In 2005, this redesigned museum rejoined the city’s pantheon of elegant art venues. The bold new venue specializes in 17th-20th century American art with additional collections in American Sculpture, African Art, Oceanic Art, Textiles, Art of the Americas, and much more; allow extra time to relax in the beautiful, The sculpture garden is filled with captivating odd brown objects that compliment the equally odd design of the museum. You must visit the tower for gorgeous 360 degree views of the city.
ADMISSION: Adults $12, Seniors $9, Ages 13-17 $8, Ages 12 and under Free; special exhibits require a surcharge; First Tuesday of the month Free for Muni riders
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sun 9:30a-5p, 
Fri 9:30a-8:45p
ADDRESS: 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: Muni Metro 9th Ave-Irving Street Station
PARKING: throughout Golden Gate Park, but gets scarce on some days; Concourse Parking Facility is located on Fulton Street at 8th Avenue
PHONE: 415-750-3600

Legion of Honor
DESCRIPTION: It is fitting that this museum looks like a French palace set on a grand estate, contain one of America’s finest collections of European paintings and decorative arts, ancient art from Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, and 18th-Century English and French Porcelain; you can search their massive collection of digital images online which portray the Legion’s permanent collection; given its setting in Lincoln Park, many think of it as San Francisco’s most beautiful public museum. It was featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo movie.
ADMISSION: Adults $10, Age 65+ $7, Ages 12-17 $6, Ages 11 and under enter FREE
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sun 9:30a-5p
ADDRESS: 100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
, San Francisco MAP
PARKING: in front of the museum
PHONE: 415-863-3330

Davies Symphony Hall
DESCRIPTION: In 1980, the San Francisco Symphony moved into this grand symphonic hall seating 2,700 patrons. The San Francisco Symphony has presented more than 200 world premieres, commissioned more than 100 new works, and received 12 awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers for adventurous programming and/or commitment to American music. The hall also hosts critically acclaimed concerts for Jazz, Blues and R&B as well. The Hall, Opera House, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and SF Ballet School have earned a reputation as Lincoln Center of the West. In 1992, the hall was acoustically upgraded to add depth and airiness around string instruments.
BOX OFFICE: Mon-Fri 10a-6p, Sat Noon-6p
ADDRESS: 201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: Muni Metro Van Ness Station
PARKING: garage and paid lots nearby on Grove Street
PHONE: Box Office 415-864-6000

War Memorial Opera House
DESCRIPTION: San Francisco Opera is the second largest opera company in North America and has called this 3,176-seat opera house home since 1932. It is dedicated to veterans of World War I. Heralded for its first-rate productions and roster of international opera stars, the company’s season at least ten operas. It has thrived as a labor of love by thousands of patrons and volunteers over the years and by expanding its outreach programs via training programs and performance opportunities for young artists. Operas like Carmen, MacBeth, Madame Butterfly, and Samson & Delilah have stood the test of time at this distinguished venue.
BOX OFFICE: performance season September-July Mon 10a-5p, Tue-Sat 10a-6p
ADDRESS: 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: Muni Metro Van Ness Station
PARKING: plenty of garage space and paid lots nearby on Grove Street
PHONE: Box Office 415-864-3330

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
DESCRIPTION: This four-story Beaux-Arts auditorium occupies an entire city block with elegance and style. The 7,000-seat auditorium boasts state-of-the-art theatrical equipment and audio system that make it a favorite for touring musical groups. Fans also like its proximity to the Civic Center, BART station and Van Ness Blvd. Bay Area Music Awards (BAMMIES) features a bronze-inscribed Walk Of Fame next to the entrance honoring Bill Graham, Carlos Santana, John Lee Hooker and others.
BOX OFFICE: opens 1 hour before the doors
ADDRESS: 99 Grove Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Civic Center Station
PARKING: garage space in underground plaza
PHONE: Fillmore Box office 415-346-6000

Masonic Auditorium
DESCRIPTION: Opened in 1958, the Memorial Sculpture topping the east end of the California Street wall is dominated by four 12 feet high figures representing branches of our Country’s Armed Forces. Adjoining these, a frieze of 14 smaller marble figures depict a titanic tug-of-war in the global struggle between the forces of good and evil. Inside, 3,165-seat Masons Hall with upgraded acoustics hosts concerts and major speeches with no seat more than 21 rows away from the proscenium stage.
BOX OFFICE: only open during events, check website
ADDRESS: 1111 California Street, San Francisco MAP
TRANSIT: California Street Cable Car
PARKING: 24/7 onsite parking garage
PHONE: 415-776-7000

Orpheum Theatre
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1926 as a showcase for theatre magnate Alexander Pantages, this 2,500-seat ornate 12th century Spanish palace features a protruding balcony that places you close to the stage. Lobby adornments and iconic figures from Spanish folklore line each aisle command your attention as you head towards a seat. An ornate sun with twinkling stars illuminates the auditorium in this in the elaborate cathedral; the Orpheum has featured vaudeville, silent films, motion pictures, musical comedy and other theatrical entertainment; two major renovations have dressed up the theatre and made this San Francisco Historical Landmark suitable for large Broadway productions; part of the SHN theatre group.
BOX OFFICE: Mon 10a-6p, Tue-Sat 10a-8:30p, Sun 11a-6p
ADDRESS: 1192 Market Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Civic Center Station
PARKING: Civic Center Garage at 355 McAllister
PHONE: Box Office 415-551-2000

Golden Gate Theatre
DESCRIPTION: This palatial vaudeville theatre opened in 1922 and has hosted the likes of the Marx Brothers, Frank Sinatra in its heyday. As popular entertainment evolved, the 2,400-seat theatre, with its magnificent stage and acoustics, was badly altered over the years. Fortunately, friends of the theatre removed tons of steel, an escalator, excess plaster and 4,000 square feet of plywood during restoration to its original splendor for live theater. Now touring Broadway blockbusters play at the Golden Gate. It is part of the SHN theatre group.
BOX OFFICE: Mon Noon-6p, Tue-Sat Noon-8:30p, Sun Noon-4p
ADDRESS: 1 Taylor Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Powell Street Station
PARKING: Central Parking at Golden Gate & Jones Garage
PHONE: Box Office 415-551-2000

American Conservatory Theatre
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1965, A.C.T. opened its first San Francisco season at the Geary Theater in 1967. A.C.T. won a Tony Award for outstanding theater performance and training in 1979. In 1996, A.C.T. won the prestigious Jujamcyn Theaters Award. Since the reopening of the American Conservatory Theater from its former Geary Theatre name before 1996, A.C.T. has enjoyed a remarkable period of audience expansion and now serves 3,000 students per year. Danny Glover, Annette Bening, Denzel Washington, and Benjamin Bratt studied and performed here.
BOX OFFICE: Noon to curtain time on performance days and Noon-6p otherwise
ADDRESS: 415 Geary Street, San Francisco MAP

Curran Theatre
DESCRIPTION: With understated elegance throughout, crystal chandeliers, cozy lobby and intimate auditorium, this 1,700-seat theatre is a vibrant example of San Francisco’s rich theatrical and architectural heritage since 1922. Fully restored, the theatre hosts touring Broadway plays. A number of fine restaurants surround this theatre, part of the SHN theatre group.
BOX OFFICE: use the Orpheum Theatre Box Office
ADDRESS: 445 Geary Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Powell Street Station
PARKING: Mason O’Farrell Garage
PHONE: Box Office 415-551-2000

Warfield Theater
DESCRIPTION: Another venue from San Francisco’s grand era of theater built in 1922. Tts austere front belies a flamboyant interior that harbors a 2,250-seat concert venue, restaurant, nightclub and bar. During the Prohibition Era, the theater reportedly operated as a speakeasy. Lenny Kravitz, Joe Cocker and Prince have often performed at this Livenation venue.
BOX OFFICE: Sundays 10a-4p and show nights until the headliner goes on
ADDRESS: 982 Market Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Powell Street Station
PARKING: Taylor Street lot behind The Warfield
PHONE: 415-775-7722

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
DESCRIPTION: Features an incredible diversity of performing art, graphic art and art programs – a real treasure in the community. It emphasizes contemporary art by emerging artists and film festivals. This venue deserves props for its commitment to providing a platform for a diversity of voices, with a special emphasis on those that, for whatever reason, have been marginalized.
BOX OFFICE: Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun Noon-5p, Thu Noon-8p
ADDRESS: 701 Mission Street, San Francisco MAP
RAPID TRANSIT: BART-Muni Metro Powell Street Station
PARKING: garage behind San Francisco Museum of Art on 3rd Street across from Yerba Buena Gardens
PHONE: 415-978-2787

Fillmore Auditorium
DESCRIPTION: In the 1960s, this world famous auditorium hosted Motown acts, Sly & The Family Stone, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Doobie Brothers, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding among others. After falling on years of hard times and closure, Bill Graham’s estate renovated the Fillmore to a better state the the original. Now all manner of musical acts perform here again. Since its acquisition by LiveNation, that entertainment conglomerate has begun calling other theatre-clubs in its stable “Fillmore _________”; no enfants allowed. It seats 1250 guests.
BOX OFFICE: check website
ADDRESS: 1805 Geary Blvd, San Francisco MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: 415-346-6000

Palace of Fine Arts
At first glance you would not guess that this magnificent monument has a troubled history. It was constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition to present works of art. Nine other palaces were constructed for the exhibition as well: Education, Liberal Arts, Manufactures, Varied Industries, Agriculture, Food Products, Transportation, Mines & Metallurgy and Machinery. When the exposition ended, the beloved Greco-Roman palace architecture palace was saved to house touring art exhibits. The other nine palaces were destroyed, enabling residential construction of the Marina District. From 1934-42, the palace hosted 18 indoor tennis courts. During World War II it was used for military truck & jeep storage. From 1947-64, the palace served as a Park Department warehouse, telephone book distribution center, flag & tent storage depot and temporary Fire Department headquarters. Not built of durable materials, the crumbling ruin was torn down in 1964. The beloved structure was rebuilt with permanent materials in 1965, plus a renovated lagoon and meandering walkways. In 1969, the Exhibit Hall became home to the Exploratorium interactive museum. In 1970, the 966-seat Palace of Fine Arts Theater opened as well. In 2013, the Exploratorium closed for its permanent move to the Embarcadero. Today, mature Eucalyptus trees and colorful bushes surround the lagoon, providing ample harbor to swans, ducks, geese, turtles, frogs and raccoons. In addition to hosting art exhibits, small plays and concerts again, the palace is a magnet for locals, tourists and wedding party photographs. The palace is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
BOX OFFICE: check website
ADDRESS: 3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco MAP
PARKING: on premises, but arrive early for concerts
PHONE: 415-563-6504


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