A small gem in San Francisco

A few years ago, I discovered a small building, just off Union Square in San Francisco. The only Frank Lloyd Wright building in San Francisco, an small art gallery. A small gem if you ask me.

Eyeing down the street, you would never imagine to find one the 16 buildings by Wright designated by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as “making a significant contribution to American Architecture” (source).

Xanadu Art Gallery | San Francisco | Frank Gehry

When you take a closer look at the facade, it’s clear that this small square brick building is the work of a great architect:

The building houses an Asian art gallery: Xanadu Art Gallery and if you ask the guard nicely, you can take as much pictures as you want.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the building in 1948. Originally it was a V.C. Morris Gift Shop. Once inside I got overwhelmed by the spiral ramp: a stylistic exercise for the ramp in the New York Guggenheim.

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Besides the stairs, I especially liked the glass bulbs of the ceiling:


Walk through the gallery (thank you You Tube!):

Seen from the top of the stairs, the ramp looks like this:

Street address
140 Maiden Lane, San Francisco (California), United States.

More info
Mimoa file and a beautiful article with lots of background info.

4 thoughts on “A small gem in San Francisco

  1. I didn’t know about this spot. I used to live in Wisconsin where his work is everywhere, such a fantastic artist. I’ll have to check this out.

  2. We were fortunate enough to make this same discovery while in San Francisco a couple of years ago. The gallery is a must see for the FLW enthusiast. On a recent trip to CA – in San Luis Obispo we happened to find a building, now used as a doctor’s office, built by Wright. They never fail to amaze.

    1. Hi Francis
      I’m glad you also had the pleasure of discovering this building. I’m just amazed how an architect can teach us so much about how we could/should live and is able to touch people’s hearts. One of my favorite quotes on Wright is the note of Liliane Kaufmann who lived in Fallingwater “Living in a house built by you has been my one education”. I think that pretty much says it all.

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