When San Francisco’s original City Hall was left a skeleton of its former self after the 1906 earthquake, the city hired renowned architect Daniel Burnham for the reconstruction. The resurrection of SF’s primary building of governance would parallel the phoenix city’s rise from the literal ashes. Completed in 1915, the new City Hall symbolized, along with the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a San Francisco fully reborn for the new century.
San Francisco City Hall utilizes the Beaux-Arts style correlating to the beautification movement of the time. Guests can enter through entrances on both Van Ness and Polk Street (note the statue of a seated Abe Lincoln along the latter side). An impressive interior awaits, leaving no doubt why so many choose to stage their wedding ceremonies here. Aside from providing governmental services, visitors can also pick up bus passes here.
City Hall is easily accessible at no cost, and it’s rarely crowded, making it a great quick stop for budget-minded history and architecture lovers.