Unbuilt San Fransisco

AIA San Francisco, Center for Architecture + Design, Environmental Design Archives at UC Berkeley, California Historical Society, SPUR and the San Francisco Public Library are pleased to present Unbuilt San Francisco, a collaborative exhibition on view August – November, 2013.

If San Franciscans like to describe their city as “49 square miles surrounded by reality,” the visionary ideas that were too grandiose for even San Franciscans to consider remain some of the most fantastic designs for any city in the world. Imagine the Ferry Building surrounded by office towers, a grand casino on Alcatraz, the city wrapped in freeways and a subdivision covering flattened hills north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

This ambitious five-venue exhibition and its accompanying programs will provide San Franciscans and Bay Area residents with an opportunity to confront visions for the region that never came to pass. Images include early designs for San Francisco City Hall and other landmarks, neighborhood-scaled plans that were blocked by community activists, and provocative works by architects prodding society to take on challenges such as sea level rise.

Each of the five institutions will display treasures from archival collections, architecture firms and private architectural collections, and host companion programming, panel discussions and lectures.

SPUR and the California Historical Society will celebrate the opening of this exhibition with an opening reception from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Friday, September 6th, which will also include music, performance and art in Annie Alley, a street turned temporary pedestrian plaza.

Exhibition Opening

Event Details:


  • When: 

    Friday, September 6, 2013
    5:00 p.m.

  • Where: 

    Annie Alley
    between 678 and 654 Mission St.
    San Fransisco

  • More information: 

    Event website.

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