San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center

Recommended
Flanking a formal courtyard, these twin structures erected in memory of San Francisco's war dead served for decades as the city's center for the performing arts. The 1932 War Memorial Opera House (301 Van Ness Ave.) was the first city-owned opera house in the US. It also hosted the plenary sessions that led to the establishment of the United Nations in 1945. The highly acclaimed San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet perform here in an elegantly appointed 3,176-seat auditorium highlighted by a brilliant 27ft star chandelier. The proscenium, graced by Edgar Walter's gilded relief sculptures of two Amazons astride horses, is backed by a gold brocatelle curtain that weighs more than a ton. Located north of the Opera House, the Veterans Building (401 Van Ness Ave.) is home to city government offices and the intimate 928-seat Herbst Theatre, a venue for recitals, plays, lectures and public readings. The first-floor San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery (open year-round Wed-Sat noon-5pm; Tue by appointment; 415-554-6080; www.sfacgallery.org) showcases work by emerging Bay Area artists.

Useful information

Address : 

401 Van Ness Ave.

Phone:

+1 415-621-6600

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