Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall is the concert hall component of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, California; the 2,743-seat hall was completed in 1980 at a cost of US$28 million to give the San Francisco Symphony a permanent home. The symphony shared the neighboring War Memorial Opera House with the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet; the construction of Davies Hall allowed the symphony to expand to a year-round schedule. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Pietro Belluschi along with acoustical consultants Bolt and Newman, its modern design is visually elegant both inside and out. A “cloud” of movable convex acrylic reflecting panels over the stage enables the acoustic space to be adjusted to suit the size of the orchestra and audience, while adjustable fabric banners around the auditorium can alter the reverberation time from one to two-and-one-half seconds. Architects created acoustic isolation of the performance space by constructing a building within a building.
The outer building uses one inch thick structural glass as a curtain wall, with the next structural wall forming the back wall of the lobby spaces. Passing through a door leads to a hallway, bounded on one side by the lobby wall and on the other by the structural wall of the inner building; this continuous hallway acts as an acoustical isolator and is surfaced with sound absorbing material. However, the hall's large volume and seating capacity resulted in less than ideal results. Kirkegaard Associates completed acoustical renovations in 1992 at a cost of $10 million which resulted in substantial improvement; the modifications included:narrowing and shaping the walls above the stage to reduce the volume of space and increase useful reflections, replacing the cloud of reflector discs with a more effective array of curved rectangular panels covering a larger area and now computer adjustable, moving the walls of the floor-level seating inward to make the audience area narrower and more rectangular, adding aisles to replace the former continental seating, adding diffusing elements in various parts of the hall, increasing the “rake” of the floor seating to provide better sightlines.
In addition, the firm installed risers on the stage allowing musicians to both see and hear each other better. These and other improvements enhanced not only the acoustics but the hall's beauty; the Fratelli Ruffatti electro-pneumatic pipe organ with 147 ranks was added in 1984. It is designed to accommodate repertory from the pre-baroque to the present; the console can be electronically reprogrammed to correspond to the two major schools of organ keyboard organization, the German and the French. The console is mobile and can be placed where appropriate to the program or stored off-stage when not in use. In addition to the concert hall itself, an adjoining building contains the Harold L. Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall, comprising three separate rehearsal spaces; the largest of these was designed to be the same size as the stage of the Opera House across the street to accommodate Opera and Ballet rehearsals. Davies Hall contains offices for symphony staff, a music library, dressing rooms, a recreation room and lockers for Symphony musicians, the Wattis Room, a private dining room for major donors.
A proposed recital hall was never built. A Henry Moore bronze sculpture, Large Four Piece Reclining Figure 1972–73, is displayed outside the hall at the corner of Grove Street and Van Ness Avenue. Davies Hall occasionally hosts non-orchestral performances by contemporary musicians. In 1980, Paul Goldberger of The New York Times called the hall "a building utterly confused about style, a poor hybrid that has neither the verve of one aspect of the city's identity nor the powerful tradition of another." List of concert halls Robert Commanday. "Davies Hall Renovation Applauded - Symphony Opens With Glorious Sound". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2007-01-28. Jesse Hamlin. "'Sound clouds' make beautiful music". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-01-28. "The Davies Symphony Acoustical Canopy Control System". Panoscan. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-01-28. "Davies Symphony Hall Fact Sheet". San Francisco Symphony. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11.
Retrieved 2007-01-28. Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall at the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall Panoramic view Davies Symphony Hall
California Public Utilities Commission
The California Public Utilities Commission is a regulatory agency that regulates owned public utilities in the state of California, including electric power, telecommunications, natural gas and water companies. In addition, the CPUC regulates common carriers, including household goods movers, passenger transportation companies such as limousine services, rail crossing safety; the CPUC has headquarters in the Civic Center district of San Francisco, field offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento. On April 1, 1878, the California Office of the Commissioner of Transportation was created. During the 19th century, public concerns over the unbridled power of the Southern Pacific Railroad grew to the point that a three-member Railroad Commission was established to approve transportation prices. However, the Southern Pacific dominated this commission to its advantage, public outrage re-ignited; as experience with public regulation grew, other common utilities were brought under the oversight of the Railroad Commission.
On March 3, 1879 the California Constitution was adopted by constitutional convention and was ratified by the electorate on May 7, 1879, included provisions relating to Railroad Commissioners in article XII. On April 15, 1880 the Board of Railroad Commissioners was created. On March 20, 1909 the Railroad Commission of the State of California replaced these other entities. On February 9, 1911 the California Legislature passed the Railroad Commission Act reorganizing the Railroad Commission. On March 24, 1911 the California Legislature proposed a constitutional amendment giving it constitutional status, ratified by the electorate on October 10, 1911. On June 16, 1945 a constitutional amendment was proposed by the legislature to rename the Railroad Commission as the California Public Utilities Commission, ratified by the electorate on November 5, 1946; as a result of the amendment, the Constitution of California declares that the Public Utilities Code is the highest law in the state, that the legislature has unlimited authority to regulate public utilities under the Public Utilities Code, that its provisions override any conflicting provision of the State Constitution which deals with the subject of regulation of public utilities.
In October 2014, Commission President Michael Peevey decided to step down at the upcoming end of his second six-year term in December. Controversy was swirling around the agency at the time, for apparent cozy relationships with Pacific Gas & Electric, a utility whose gas line exploded in San Bruno killing eight people in 2010, his home in the Los Angeles suburb of La Cañada Flintridge was searched by criminal investigators in January 2015. Five commissioners each serve staggered six-year terms as the governing body of the agency. Commissioners must be confirmed by the California State Senate; the CPUC meets publicly to carry out the business of the agency, which may include the adoption of utility rate changes, rules on safety and service standards, implementation of conservation programs, investigation into unlawful or anticompetitive practices by regulated utilities and intervention into federal proceedings which affect California ratepayers. As of January 2015, the current commissioners are: President Michael Picker, Carla J. Peterman Liane M. Randolph Clifford Rechtschaffen Martha Guzman Aceves Some regulatory laws are implemented by the California State Legislature through the passage of laws.
These laws reside in the California Public Utilities Code. The CPUC Headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento and the CPUC employs 1000 including judges, analysts, lawyers and support; the CPUC does not regulate the rates of utilities and common carriers operated by government agencies. Thus, such organizations as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit, other municipally operated utilities or common carriers are not subject to rate regulation or tariff schedule filing with the CPUC. However, all municipal utilities and carriers in California must follow Public Utilities provisions on holding hearings and obtaining public input before raising rates or changing terms of service, municipal utility customers have means of appeal of potential disconnections. Additionally, the CPUC has jurisdiction over components of the safety operations of government run utilities and common carriers; the CPUC regulates investor-owned electric and gas utilities within the state of California, including Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric.
Among its stated goals for energy regulation are to establish service standards and safety rules, authorize utility rate changes, oversee markets to inhibit anti-competitive activity, prosecute unlawful utility marketing and billing activities, govern business relationships between utilities and their affiliates, resolve complaints by customers against utilities, implement energy efficiency and conservation programs and programs for the low-income and disabled, oversee the merger and restructure of utility corporations, enforce the California Environmental Quality Act for utility construction. The California Solar Initiative is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission and provides incentives for solar system installations to customers of the state’s three investor-owned utilities: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric; the CSI program provides upfront incentives for solar systems installed on existing residential homes, as well as existing and ne
Brooks Hall is a disused 90,000 sq ft event space underneath the southern half of Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco. It was built in late 1950s for the cost of $4,500,000, dedicated on April 11, 1958, it was named after Thomas A. Brooks, a chief administrative officer of city and county of San Francisco, who retired the same year the building was dedicated; the concept of an exhibition space under Civic Center Plaza was advanced in a 1953 report written by city planners which called for the first reinvention of Civic Center since the original 1911 design and predicted what would become Moscone Center. Funding for the project was provided through $3M authorized by Measure A, passed by San Francisco voters in November 1954, planning for the new space began in 1956. Excavation for the site began on September 17, 1956, citizens were encouraged to take plants from Civic Center Plaza for their personal use; the discovery of prior paving and building foundations on the site slowed construction, scheduled to take 18 months after excavation was to be completed in February 1957, Mayor George Christopher presided over the dedication ceremony on April 11, 1958, when the exhibition space was dedicated for Brooks.
During construction, the local press dubbed the new space "Mole Hall" or "Gopher Palace", nicknames that profoundly irritated Mayor Christopher and which made headlines from coast to coast. The three-story subterranean parking garage north of Brooks Hall was built starting in 1959. Brooks Hall was built with a tunnel underneath Grove, connecting the exhibition space to its neighbor to the south, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Drainage was one of the major challenges in building the underground space. To keep the site dry, five wells were drilled 50 feet deep along the north and west edges of the site and water was continuously pumped out of the site at a rate of 100 to 300 US gal/min per well; the foundation consists of a large, 3 1⁄2 ft thick concrete slab measuring 287 by 374 feet floating on fill and sand. The overall dimensions of Brooks Hall itself are 284 by 434 feet including mechanical spaces and offices, overall height is 21 ft 6 in, measured floor-to-floor. Inside, the ceiling has a vertical clearance of 14 feet to the floor.
Forced air ventilation is provided. The roof of Brooks Hall is covered with soil varying between 3 and 5 feet deep. A report published in 1998 estimated the weight of Brooks Hall alone may not be sufficient to resist the buoyant uplift without the soil covering; the prime contractor for Brooks Hall was Theo G. Meyer & Sons. J. Brunnier and DeLeuw, Cather & Co. At the opening ceremony, Mayor Christopher bragged the site had been booked for 74 days in 1958, 104 days in 1959, 117 days in 1960. However, just six months after opening, Saul Poliak called Brooks Hall "distressingly inadequate" and had left "San Francisco unprepared for major conventions and exhibitions" while providing some faint comparative praise: "Your chief competitor out here is Los Angeles, of course, right now they’re in worse shape than you are." One of the first shows booked at the new exhibition space was the 1958 American Medical Association convention. For that show, Wallace Laboratories had commissioned artist Salvador Dali for an eye-catching piece to promote its new tranquilizer, Miltown.
The result, Crisalida, a 60-foot long walk-through cocoon-shaped gallery made from parachute silk intended to display the journey from anxiety to calm, made headlines nationally, including coverage in Time. During its operating history, Brooks Hall became home to events such as the Harvest Festival, the San Francisco Gift Show, the West Coast Computer Faire, credited as the first microcomputer convention, which drew 12,700 visitors its first year, it was where Apple hosted the first Macworld convention in 1985, many subsequent ones. Contrary to popular belief, the 1968 Mother of All Demos was not held at Brooks Hall, but in the nearby Civic Auditorium. By October 1958, the original architect/engineer design team had prepared plans to expand the facilities at Brooks Hall with an additional exhibition building to be built in the block west across Polk from the Civic Auditorium. By 1976, according to a proposal submitted to the City, "the existing building does not meet the expectations of today's conventioneer or exhibitor" and a renovation was proposed to update meeting rooms and restrooms."
For instance, the Show Manager's Office was accessed through the vestibule of the men's restroom, which had "excessive odor" due to the use of absorptive grout, a storage space was used for food service, rather than a dedicated kitchen. Before 1981, the auditorium and Brooks Hall were used as the city’s primary convention center.
Minerva Schools at KGI
Minerva Schools at KGI is a university program headquartered in San Francisco, California. It a partnership between the Minerva Project and Keck Graduate Institute, a member of the Claremont University Consortium, it offers both a four-year undergraduate program as well as a master's in science graduate program. The Minerva Project is a for-profit corporation that owns the technology platform the school runs on. Minerva Schools at KGI is a non-profit institution; the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship is a second non-profit arm which provides scholarships for Minerva Schools students, supports the academic research of faculty, awards the Minerva Prize for teaching excellence. In April 2012, Minerva Project received US$25,000,000 in venture funding from Benchmark Capital to create the undergraduate program that would become the Minerva Schools at KGI. Stephen Kosslyn joined Minerva in March 2013 to serve as Founding Dean. Prior to joining Minerva, Kosslyn served as Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and Dean of Social Sciences at Harvard University.
Kosslyn was responsible for hiring the heads of the four colleges in the School of Arts & Science and overseeing the development of Minerva's seminar-based curriculum. In July 2013, Minerva Project partnered with the Keck Graduate Institute to launch the Minerva Schools at KGI. Minerva received WASC regional accreditation for five of its programs: the Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences, the Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Humanities, the Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences, the Bachelor of Science in Computational Sciences, the Bachelor of Science in Business. Minerva admitted its first class in 2014; the school offered places to 69 students, out of 2,464 applications. 29 students matriculated in and granted 69 acceptances resulting in a 2.8% acceptance rate and a 42% yield. Starting in 2016, Minerva expanded into postgraduate education by offering a Master of Science in Decision Analysis. In 2017, the school had a 57 % acceptance yield. Stephen Kosslyn, Founding Dean Emeritus, was responsible for hiring the first four heads of the School of Arts & Science: Dr. Diane F. Halpern as Dean Emerita, Social Sciences Dr. Eric Bonabeau as Dean Emerita, Computational Sciences Dr. James D.
Sterling as Dean Emerita, Natural Sciences Dr. Daniel Levitin as Dean Emerita, Arts & HumanitiesIn January 2015, Minerva announced the hiring of Dr. Vicki Chandler as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences. Chandler was the Chief Program Officer of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a Professor in the Departments of Plant Sciences and the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona. In January 2018, Chandler was promoted to Chief Academic Officer. In January 2016, Dr. Richard Holman was announced as Dean of the College of Computational Sciences; that same year, in November, the hiring of Dr. Brian Ross as Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Dr. John Percival as Dean of the College of Business was announced. In May 2018, the colleges were group into two divisions: the Division of Arts and Sciences, led by Dr. Ross, the Division of Business and Computational Sciences, led by Dr. Holman. Professors are trained to use the Active Learning Forum. Faculty retain intellectual property rights to their research.
Courses are conducted as online seminars capped at 19 students. Minerva applies a 1972 study; such tasks include working with material, applying it, arguing about it instead of rote memorization. All classes begin with a short quiz and end with a second one in the class, claimed to increase retention; the automated recording of student performance allows tracking of progress. Students take four “Cornerstone Courses” that introduce "Habits of Mind" and "Foundational Concepts" that cut across the sciences and humanities. In a science class, for example, students develop an understanding of the need for controlled experiments. In a humanities class, they learn the classical techniques of rhetoric and develop basic persuasive skills; the curriculum builds from that foundation. Minerva encourages students to use massive open online courses to learn what is taught in first-year courses. According to its Dean of Faculty, Stephen Kosslyn, Minerva has administered CLA+ tests on its own students and these results indicate that its pedagogy is working.
Kossyln writes: "In fall 2016, Minerva freshmen performed in the 95th percentile compared to freshmen at other schools — we are selective, expected a result like this. That same group, when compared to college seniors, performed at the 78th percentile as incoming freshmen. By spring 2017, just 8 months those same Minerva freshmen performed at the 99th percentile when compared to the seniors at all the other institutions, but more than that: Minerva was ranked number 1 of all schools that administered the test." Minerva maintains two residence halls in San Francisco, one in the Nob Hill neighborhood and one on Market Street, as well as ones in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Hyderabad. and London. Minerva has no classroom facilities, since all classes are conducted through an active learning platform developed by the school, where students participate in seminar classes of up to 19 people. Aaron Sankin, "Is the Minerva Project the future of higher education?", The Kernel - the Weekly Magazine from Dailydot.com, week of August 17, 2014, http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/headline-story/9993/what-is-minerva-project/, retrieved 2014-08-27 Levels-of-processing effect Official website
Earl Warren Building
The Earl Warren Building located at 350 McAllister Street in San Francisco, California is the headquarters of the Supreme Court of California. The building was completed in 1922; the Supreme Court first held oral argument in the building in 1923. The building is part of the Ronald M. George State Office Complex along with the Hiram W. Johnson State Office Building; the building's facade features granite and terra-cotta masonry and is done in the Beaux-Arts architectural style. Inside, the courtroom for the Supreme Court is paneled in oak and features a coffered ceiling and a skylight 30 feet in height. A mural above the judges' bench depicts a California landscape. After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the court vacated the building returning in 1999. Emporis
50 United Nations Plaza Federal Office Building (San Francisco)
The 50 United Nations Plaza Federal Office Building is a United States federal building located on United Nations Plaza between Hyde and McAllister Streets in San Francisco, California. The 1936 Neoclassical style building, designed by Arthur Brown, Jr. is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a contributing property to the San Francisco Civic Center Historic District, a National Historic Landmark. In 1906, a major earthquake decimated San Francisco and destroyed more than 28,000 buildings, many as a result of subsequent fires; as the city rebuilt, it adopted a plan for a civic center, first developed in 1899 by English architect B. J. S. Cahill, to consolidate government buildings in a central location; the last building completed for the San Francisco Civic Center, the Federal Building was a critical component of the seven-building complex that included government buildings, a library, an opera house. The Civic Center design incorporates City Beautiful planning, a concept that relies on Beaux Arts design principles and classically inspired, monumental architecture.
San Francisco's Civic Center is one of the nation's most successful examples of the City Beautiful movement. In 1927, the government allocated $2.5 million for the Federal Building's design and construction, although final costs reached a total of $3 million. San Francisco city officials donated a site in 1930. Architect Arthur Brown, Jr. designed the building, constructed between 1934 and 1936, under the auspices of Supervising Architect of the Treasury Louis A. Simon. Brown studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the world's preeminent architectural school, graduating in 1901, he was the sole architect of the Federal Building, as well as the Opera House and Veterans Building, both significant components of the Civic Center. Brown and his partner John Bakewell, Jr. designed City Hall, a 1915 Beaux Arts architectural masterpiece. Located within the Civic Center, the City Hall commission established the partners' careers. In 1975, construction commenced on United Nations Plaza, designed by noted landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and located next to the Federal Building.
The one-acre pedestrian area was named to honor the establishment of the U. N. which occurred in the Veterans Building on June 26, 1945. The Federal Building is a contributing element to the San Francisco Civic Center, which the Secretary of the Interior designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987; the building was vacated in 2007. The U. S. General Services Administration took over the building in 2013 after its renovation; the Federal Building is an excellent example of Second Renaissance Revival architecture, displaying style-defining features such as distinct horizontal divisions, a rusticated base, classical ornamentation including columns on the exterior elevations. The building occupies the block bounded by United Nations Plaza, Hyde, McAllister, Leavenworth streets, it has a rectangular footprint with an interior courtyard that allows natural light into the interior. The six-story steel frame is encased in fireproof concrete with concrete flooring and roof slabs, features that officials and architects agreed were important precautions after the fires resulting from the 1906 earthquake.
The street elevation walls are constructed of brick but faced with granite, with the exception of a section of the McAllister Street elevation, faced in terra cotta. At the first two stories, the granite is rusticated to articulate the base of the building; the upper stories of the south facade, which faces United Nations Plaza, are covered with smooth-faced granite and dominated by a colonnade of detached two-story Doric columns that are aligned with Doric pilasters on the building. A classical balustrade supports the railing between the columns. Fenestration consists of spaced rectangular windows with multi-pane configurations; the attic story is set back from the wall plane of the building and is surrounded by a classical balustrade and topped by a molded cornice. The main entrance, consisting of three arched openings, is located at the center of the south elevation; the central arch is topped by a keystone that contains a medallion with a carved shield motif, while the flanking arches each are topped by a medallion featuring an eagle holding olive branches.
Secondary entrances are located on the southeast and southwest corners of the building, where the meeting points of the exterior walls have been designed as concave arc configurations. Round arches with ornate medallions placed on the keystones mark these entrances, Doric porticos are located above the second story of the corners. Male and female mascarons adorn the exterior; the carvings sport different horticulturally themed headpieces, including corn, cat tails, oak leaves. The hipped roof is covered with light grey lead-coated copper; the main entrance vestibule and first-floor lobby are the most grand and richly detailed interior spaces in the building. The terrazzo flooring features a marble border. Grey marble wainscot, rising to a height of more than twenty-seven feet, covers the walls. Above the wainscot, the cast-stone walls spring into the barrel vaulted ceiling, which features molded hexagonal and diamond-shaped decorative coffers and shell motifs. A detailed cornice and doorway surmounted with a triangular pediment add to the classically inspired design of the entry spaces.
Cast-stone arches separate the first-floor elevator lobby from the corridors. The original bronze elevator doors remain and bronze is used on other historic elements of the elevator lobby, including a mailbox, telephone booths, building directory and bulletin board frames; the lobby leads to an internal
Double L Excentric Gyratory
Double L Excentric Gyratory is a sculpture by American artist George Rickey. There are three editions. One is installed at the intersection of Larking and Fulton streets, outside the Main Library, in San Francisco's Civic Center, in the U. S. state of California. Another is part of the Auckland Art Gallery's International Art Collection; this stainless steel sculpture, dated 1985, measures 7163 x 3543 mm and was gifted by the Edmiston Trust. 1985 in art List of public art in San Francisco George Rickey: Double L Excentric Gyratory II at the Public Art Fund Double L Excentric Gyratory II, 1981 at the Williams College Museum of Art