Meet at the Rincon Center in San Francisco. Your guide – an art historian, vintage enthusiast and Art Deco expert – will tell you all about this building complex, which was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood in the Streamline Moderne style. Step inside and learn why dolphin friezes adorn the doorways and windows, and inside, admire watercolor murals depicting California’s history.
Then, head to the Stock Exchange Tower on Sansome Street. This historical building opened in 1930 and was designed by Timothy Pflueger, a prominent architect and interior designer. A San Francisco native, he also designed the luxurious cocktail lounge inside Top of the Mark at the exclusive Mark Hopkins Hotel, the patent leather bar at the Westin St Francis Hotel and the Cirque Room at The Fairmont Hotel.
While sitting on the steps of the Pacific Exchange, your guide will hand out tour notes including photos and addresses of other hidden art and architectural treasures that you can visit later.
Then, hike up Sutter Street to visit another Art Deco gem of Pflueger’s: the 450 Sutter Medical Building. This spectacular tower is world renowned for its unique neo-Mayan design elements.
Lastly, head to the lobby of the St Francis Hotel in Union Square, where you’ll see Ansel Adam’s stunning photographs of Pflueger’s interior design of the famed patent leather bar. Your tour concludes here, where you are free to stay and enjoy a drink at the bar or carry on to find other art deco gems on your map.