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How San Francisco might have been; exhibition of visionary architecture opens this month.

The 3600 view from Twin Peaks so impressed urban planner Daniel Burnham that in 1904, when he was asked to redesign San Francisco's streets, parks, and waterfront, he established his workspace near this extraordinary vantage point. From there, he envisioned San Francisco as a sort of Paris of the West-with radial boulevards, classical monuments, and a picturesque new open space larger than Golden Gate Park. You can see the city's geographic possibilities as he did (try to ignore such additions as the Bay Bridge and the densely developed high-rise downtown) by walking up a short trail from the Twin Peaks parking lot to the summit. And you can see Burnham's scheme never realized because of the earthquake and fire of 1906-in a major architectural exhibition running from June 14 through August 26 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (at Van Ness Avenue and McAllister Street, open 10 to 5 Tuesdays through Fridays, to 9 Thursdays, I I to 5 weekends). Titled Visionary San Francisco, the exhibition comprises both historical and contemporary works: paintings, drawings, photographs, and models. In addition to the Burnham Plan, the historical section contains proposals for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition; skyscraper, airport, and bridge ideas from the 1920s (someone even suggested putting a landing field over one of the piers south of the Ferry Building); and post-World War 11 plans for the Golden Gateway, the Embarcadero, and the still-unrealized Yerba Buena Gardens project. For the contemporary section, the museum commissioned teams of writers and designers to collaborate on creating new urban visions. According to curator Paolo Polledri, the show's purpose is to help San Francisco once again imagine its future. The museum is also holding a day-long symposium on this subject June 30 on the ground floor in Herbst Theatre; for details, call (415) 863-8800. 1-1
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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1990
Words:302
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