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Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger
     

Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger

by Therese Poletti, Tom Paiva
 
The Castro Theatre, the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Headquarters, 450 Sutter Medico-Dental Buildingthesemasterpieces of San Francisco's Art Deco heritage are the work of one man: Timothy Pflueger. An immigrant's sonwith only a grade-school education, Pflueger began practicing architecture after San Francisco's 1906 earthquake. While his contemporaries looked

Overview

The Castro Theatre, the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Headquarters, 450 Sutter Medico-Dental Buildingthesemasterpieces of San Francisco's Art Deco heritage are the work of one man: Timothy Pflueger. An immigrant's sonwith only a grade-school education, Pflueger began practicing architecture after San Francisco's 1906 earthquake. While his contemporaries looked to Beaux-Arts traditions to rebuild the city, he brought exotic Mayan, Asian, and Egyptian forms to buildings ranging from simple cocktail lounges to the city's first skyscrapers. Pflueger was one of the city's most prolificarchitects during his 40-year career. He designed two major downtown skyscrapers, two stock exchanges, several neighborhood theaters, movie palaces for four smaller cities (including the beloved Paramount in Oakland), some ofthe city's biggest schools, and at least 50 homes. His works include the San Francisco Stock Exchange, the ever-popularTop of the Mark, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and the San Francisco World's Fair. It is a testament to his talentthat many of his buildings still stand and many have been named landmarks.

Therese Poletti tells the fascinating story of Pflueger's life and work in Art Deco San Francisco. In lively detail, she relates how Pflueger built extravagant compositions in metal, concrete, and glass. She also tells the story behind the architecture: Pflueger's commissioning and support of muralist Diego Rivera, his association with photographer Ansel Adams and sculptor Ralph Stackpole, and his childhood friendship turned to adulthood sponsorship with San Francisco Mayor James "Sunny" Rolph Jr. Beautiful archival photography mixes with stunning new photography in this collection of a truly Californian, but ultimately American, story.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

These two books examine America's ongoing love affair with art deco. Architectural photographer Berenholtz's volume is a jewel box of photographs. The details of buildings and close-ups of sculpture and mosaics make it a lovely gift book and a good companion to more documentary volumes on the subject. In several panoramic photographs spread across gatefold pages, Berenholtz captures the telling details of landmarks such as Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building as well as the larger art deco landscape of the city.

In Art Deco San Francisco, journalist Poletti presents the story of architect Timothy Pflueger, detailing the historical background of select work from the designer of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph building in San Francisco and the Paramount Theater in Oakland. Pflueger's creations are well illustrated by photographer Paiva. Although Poletti does not approach the subject with the eye of an architectural historian, the book is nevertheless a useful biography of an art deco architect. Both of these titles are recommended for public libraries and architecture libraries with strong California or New York collections.
—Amy Trendler

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568987569
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press
Publication date:
09/03/2008
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
622,737
Product dimensions:
9.24(w) x 12.16(h) x 1.06(d)

Meet the Author

Therese Poletti has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. She has written for the San Jose Mercury News and currently works for MarketWatch as a technology columnist. She lives in San Francisco.

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