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V.C. Morris Gift Shop

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Frank Lloyd Wright
location California, San Francisco
function gallery, museum
contributed by haveacupoftea

Originally designed as the V.C Morris Gift Shop, Frank Lloyd Wright's only San Francisco building now houses the Xanadu Gallery. Officially the building was designed in 1948, and incorporates the now legendary spiral ramp theme which Wright had already designed for the Guggenheim Museum, though that project wasn't finished until 1959, shortly after his death. The controversy around the Guggenheim stemmed partly from the spiral ramp, though in the smaller, more intimate scale of the V.C. Morris Gift Store it seems to have won over the public at once. The street entrance is an updated Romanesque arch, which according to Wright beckons the passerby in rather than vulgarly displaying its merchandise on the sidewalk. The arch gives way to a glass tunnel atrium, then on to the spiraling interior. The entire space seems to rotate beneath the luminous bubbles of the cast white plastic ceiling (text from project's website).

Mkannard says:
I sketched this building in 1997 while working in the San Francisco area. I stumbled upon it while exploring the streets of SF. I didn't know its significance or who the designer was until after I made the sketch but recognized its unique character just from 'gut feeling'.
This building is often written about as a precursor of the Guggenheim, with a small insert photo on the page about that museum. In my opinion, it is infinity better than the Gugenheim. I think that as one walks up and down the 360 degree ramp from one floor to another that the proportions are constantly changing and yet perfect at every moment.
Princeton, NJ, United States 16-Sep-11
This building is so easily missed while so centrally located; if you visit SF it'll probably not even be a detour!
Found this video that shows you around :

Brussels, Belgium 11-Jan-10
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V.C. Morris Gift Shop
Maiden Lane 140
United States
Project is public!
Opening hours Tuesday - Saturday: 10.00 - 18.00
How to get there? In a small street on the Eastern side of Union Square, central San Francisco.
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Make a guide yourself
Completion 1950
ArchitectFrank Lloyd Wright
Project ID 5526
Latitude/Longitude 37°47'18N 122°24'21W
Contributed by haveacupoftea
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