News + Events

Tour Day 2016: Exploring Mid-Century Downtown San Francisco

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Saturday, October 8, 2016, 10:00am – 12:00pm

In honor of DOCOMOMO US’s 10th annual tour day, the Northern California Chapter is excited to lead a tour of Modern sites in San Francisco’s downtown financial district. Get to know the buildings that thousands of people pass by every day on a walking tour looking at San Francisco through the lens of modern design history. Starting at Crown Zellerbach Plaza, the tour visits important works of architecture by SOM, Anshen and Allen, and Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons, and the landscape work of Lawrence Halprin and Sasaki, Walker, and Associates. Participants will begin with the city’s first modern skyscrapers from the late 1950s and end with the district-wide planning efforts sponsored by the Redevelopment Agency, including the Embarcadero Center and Golden Gateway.

Start Address: One Bush Plaza

Cost: Free for members of Docomomo US, $15 for the general public

Registration: Purchase advance tickets through Eventbrite

Buy Tickets>>

BART to the Future: A Tour of Modern Transit in the Bay Area

Saturday, October 10, 2015, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Pages from Industrial Design Magazine
As part of DOCOMOMO US Tour Day 2015, the Northern California Chapter of DOCOMOMO will be taking visitors on a tour of the BART system, a modern miracle of urban planning, technological innovation, and cutting edge architectural design. Starting Point: Glen Park BART Station (2901 Diamond Street, SF) at 10:00AM on Saturday, October 10th. Tickets include BART fare for tour travel.

Start Address: Glen Park BART Station

Cost: Free for members of Docomomo US, $20 for the general public

Registration: Tickets through Eventbrite or available at the tour start with advance RSVP to

Buy Tickets>>


Charles Phoenix in Chinatown outside Empress of China Dec 2012_resize Image by Heather David
It’s time to party holiday-style with Charles Phoenix! Join us for cocktails with the Ambassador of Americana after his famous Retro Holiday Slide Show. For those of you unfamiliar with the RHSS, mid-century modern fans will see everything from kitsch Christmas decorations, experiments in his test kitchen of holiday-inspired recipes, and vintage Kodachrome slides of awkward family photos.

This event takes place at the Empress of China Pavilion. Tucked in the heart of Chinatown, this six-story icon was designed by John Campbell and Worley Wong in 1966 and features a pared down Modern facade contrasted with one of the best Chinese kitsch interiors in the Bay Area! Sadly this is the last event to take place at the Empress of China Pavilion before it shuts down forever.

The Retro Holiday Slide Show begins at 6:00PM and our cocktail hour will take place immediately after the slide show around 8PM. While our holiday cocktail hour is free (with cash bar) you can purchase tickets to see the Retro Holiday Slide Show here: Buy Tickets>> We expect that Charles’ slide show will sell out in advance.

Date: Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Time: 8:00PM-9:00PM (after Charles Phoenix’s Retro Holiday Slide Show which starts at 6:00PM)

Location: Empress of China Pavilion Cocktail Lounge (838 Grant Ave. 6th Floor, San Francisco)

Attire: Finest Retro Holiday Chic

Questions? Email us at


Saturday, October 11, 2014, 10:30am – 12:30pm
The end of the Second World War was a pivotal point in the modern history of Daly City. In 1945, San Francisco developer Henry Doelger purchased 1,350 acres of pig farms and cabbage patches from Spring Valley Water Company. Turning a deaf ear to real estate agents who advised against building housing so far away from downtown San Francisco in the “Fog Gap,” Doelger saw opportunity.

Henry and his brother John, armed with the motto of “Come and help me build a city” began building a huge subdivision they called Westlake on the bleak bluffs overlooking the Pacific. Begun In 1948 and not completed until 1962, Westlake was one of the largest private housing developments in California in the 1950s. Doelger also built the infrastructure to service Westlake, including a community center and shopping center. Although derided over the years, along with the rest of Daly City’s post-war development, as “little boxes of ticky tack,” Westlake displays a higher level of design than was typically available in the Post-war suburbs of the merchant builders.

Join the Northern California Chapter of Docomomo US on a driving tour of Daly City, including the houses of Westlake and several mid-century schools designed by Mario Ciampi. A short lecture will be given at the start of the tour, and attendees will stop at multiple points during the driving tour. The tour will end in Pacifica, with an optional group lunch gathering at the Sea Bowl. Vintage cars welcomed.

Start Address: Doelger Senior Center, 101 Lake Merced Blvd, Daly City
Rides available to and from BART or MUNI with advance RSVP to

Cost: Free for members of Docomomo US, $10 for the general public

Registration: Tickets through Eventbrite or available at the tour start with advance RSVP to Also please RSVP if you do not have a car but would like to join us – ride shares are available.

Buy Tickets>>


Thursday, September 11, 2014, 5:30pm

We are excited to announce an upcoming talk with one of the curators for Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism! The talk will start at 5:45 so meet us outside of the main entrance to the Contemporary Jewish Museum at 5:30.

The event is free and will include a ticket to the exhibit. So come on over to get one last look at this amazing exhibit before it closes in October. Please RSVP on our Facebook page or by emailing




DOCOMOMO US/Northern California

P.O. Box 29226
San Francisco, CA 94129-0226


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