Subject: Re: san francisco question
City of Paris has been gone since 1983. The building got torn down admits much controversy. Nieman-Marcus put up a new building designed by Philip Johnson - not one of his best, but interesting all the same and a better addition than Saks on the opposite corner. Local pressure made Johnson incorporate the famous rotunda from the old City of Paris, which he moved to the front corner. It is a bit strange to enter this very 20th C building directly into a turn of the C rotunda, complete with beautiful leaded glass ceiling that was carefully restored during the reconstruction. The rotunda is one of the finest bell époque structures in the city. They still put up a stunning (but now fake) Christmas tree during the season, and there is a nice restaurant at the top of the rotunda. By the way, it is on top of the corner of the City of Paris that the eavesdropping takes place in Union Square in the wonderful Copola movie The Conversation.

Macy's has recently completed a rather spectacular reconstruction of the facade of their three buildings on the square - making it a unified structure. Very nice. The interior has been redone as well, complete with Lalique cornices. It is grand. They have a 4th building around the corner on Stockton dedicated to men. Saks as well has moved the men to a completely separate structure.

The Galleria is an abomination dedicated totally to overseas tourists. They thankfully only modified the stunning I.Magnin building slightly (owned by Federated now and incorporated into much of Macy's from within).

Gone recently one from the square is of the best men's clothiers in the country: Bullock and Jones. Purchased by Sakes with a promise to leave it intact - only to close it a few months later and retain only the catalogue. It's elegant facade is now being transformed into who- know-what. We hope not a bare concrete scar like the Nike store on the next corner.

Finally, the square itself is shut-off with scaffolding while it is undergoing its first major renovation since the garage went in. If it comes out like the architectural sketches (the result of a competition), it should be wonderful.

Come and enjoy The City!

Howard San Francisco