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  • Nob Hill Masonic Center (map)
Photo of Alan Hess, San Jose Mercury News Architecture Critic and author, lecturing about San Francisco Moderism

6 p.m., 5:30 p.m. doors open
Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California Street
Co-presented with San Francisco Architectural Heritage

San Jose Mercury News Architecture Critic and author Alan Hess will explore the unique Modern architecture of San Francisco and its legacy. “Alan Hess [is] a prominent California architecture critic who has written extensively on roadside strips,” notes the New York Times. As a practicing architect and historian, Hess documents the emerging suburban metropolises of the West. As an architecture critic, he has written a column for the San Jose Mercury News since 1986. Hess has also been active in preservation initiatives for post-war architecture. He received a 1997 Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for his efforts to preserve the country’s first McDonald’s (Downey, 1953) and a 1999 President’s Award from the California Preservation Foundation. Hess has taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc) and UCLA.

About the Nob Hill Masonic Center: In 1947, the California Freemasons purchased the Nob Hill property at 1111 California Street as the site for a new temple. The Modern-style building was formally dedicated on September 29, 1958. Several unique aspects of the building are the Memorial Sculpture topping the east end of the California Street wall. The sculpture is dominated by four huge figures, each 12 feet high, representing branches of our Country’s Armed Forces. Adjoining these a frieze of 14 smaller marble figures depict a titanic tug-of-war in the global struggle between the forces of good and evil. Below this portrayal is a dedicatory inscription, dedicated to Our Masonic Brethren Who Died in the Cause of Freedom. This relief was crafted by renowned California artist Emile Norman.

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