San Francisco City Hall has the fifth highest dome in the world



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City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa |


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City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


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City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


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City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa |


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest, best as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa compete for the World Mayor Award. More


Use
Mayor Monitor to rate the performance of mayors from across the world More


In your opinion: Praise Criticise. Write


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors invites readers to write about the people in their cities. More


City Mayors examines city brands and marketing. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More



City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More


San Francisco City Hall
By Gregor Gosciniak

26 June 2005: Even though San Francisco has less than a million inhabitants, it has one of the biggest and most beautiful city halls in the US, with a dome taller than that of the Capitol in Washington DC. San Francisco City Hall, which opened in 1916 after the old City Hall was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, is one of the best examples of Beaux Arts architecture in the world, and it is considered to have one of the most important interior spaces in the United States.

The Beaux Arts (French for ‘fine art’) style originated in the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Many American architects studied at this architectural school, where they learned about the aesthetic principles of classical design and brought them to the United States. The style combines classical architecture from ancient Greece and Rome with Renaissance ideas. Beaux Arts is characterised by order, symmetry, formal design, grandiosity, and elaborate ornamentation. Due to the size and grandiosity of the buildings, the Beaux Arts style is most commonly used for public buildings like museums, railway stations, libraries, banks, courthouses, and government buildings.

San Francisco City Hall was build by Arthur Brown, who born in 1874. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1896, where he and his future partner, John Bakewell were students under the popular Bay Area architect Bernard Maybeck. Arthur Brown completed his education in Paris where he graduated from L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1901.

San Francisco City Hall was built in the spirit of ‘The City Beautiful’ movement in the early 20th century. Brown’s design for City Hall was inspired by the gilded lead-plated dome and spire of Les Invalides in Paris, where Napoleon was laid to rest in 1861. The construction of San Francisco City Call cost $3.4 million, which is equivalent to some $400 million today. In addition, the city paid $1.4 million for the site. The money was largely raised by issuing a municipal bond. It took only two years for the new City Hall to be built.

The whole of San Francisco’s civic centre is a National Historic Landmark District, of which the City Hall is a major part. The Civic Centre is one of 16 National Historic Landmarks in San Francisco, including the Cable Car, the Presidio and the Old Mint. The exterior of City Hall is made of granite from the foothills of the Sierra. The interior is lavishly finished in California marble, Indiana sandstone and Manchurian oak. Two large open light courts, covered with glass ceilings, are situated on either side of the rotunda. The northern court houses a cafe for visitors and city workers and space for public events. The southern courtyard is home to San Francisco history exhibits.

The dome of San Francisco City Hall is the fifth largest in the world. It was originally covered with gold leaf gilded copper. Since the gilding was applied incorrectly, the copper eventually took on its familiar green patina. Today’s restored finish is gold leaf on a special paint.

The City Hall’s ground floor houses state of the art broadcast studios. On the first floor incorporates the great rotunda and the two light courts, while the second floor includes the Mayor's office, supervisors' chambers and committee meeting rooms. The third floor is used for bigger press conferences and receptions.

San Francisco's National Landmark had to go through a four-year earthquake modernisation project after the earthquake in 1989. The $300 million project was designed to preserve the historic nature of the building, while preventing earthquake damage in the future. Therefore San Francisco City Hall may be the biggest building in the world that is actually not attached to the ground. The modernisation project included separating the structure from its original foundations and leaving it to rest on top of 600 base isolators made of rubber and stainless steel. When the next big quake hits, the isolators will dissipate the tremor's shock waves before they can damage the building and its dome.

In 1978 a tragic event took place in City Hall when former city supervisor Dan White assassinated Mayor Moscone and city supervisor Harvey Milk. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in San Francisco and much has been written about the importance of his election and his death. Many people have been married at San Francisco City Hall. One of the most famous marriages was the one between Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe in 1954. In early 2004, queues of gay and lesbian couples formed outside the City Hall, after Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed same-sex couples to be married by city officials.


Mayor Monitor initially assesses the performance of the mayors of Amsterdam, London and New York City


Mayor Monitor (MM)
City Mayors introduces Mayor Monitor (MM), which allows residents and non-residents to rate the performance of mayors and highlight their ‘best’ and ‘worst’ decisions. Mayor Monitor uses the widely understood one-to-ten rating system, where '1' signifies an extremely poor performance and '10' ‘an outstanding one. In addition to rating mayors’ performances, citizens are invited to highlight city leaders' best and worst decisions while in office.

Over time, Mayor Monitor will provide a valuable track record of mayors’ successes and failures as well as their popularity among residents and a wider public. The results will be published on the City Mayors website and updated monthly.

Mayor Monitor will initially check the mayors of Amsterdam, London and New York City. It will gradually rolled out to cover all the mayors featured by City Mayors.

In order to eliminate multiple, fraudulent and/or organised rating by political foes and friends of mayors, all submissions are processed manually and, if deemed questionable, cross-checked.