“Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”
Columbus Tower is a vision in itself. Located on the outskirts of the Financial District and North Beach, one simply cannot miss this brightly colored copper-green gem that we all know as the Sentinel building. So unique in its structural form and color that one is pleasantly greeted with a site they wouldn’t expect to see.
Built over a 100 years ago, this flatiron style building survived the 1907 earthquake and still stands today as one of the most prominent and recognizable buildings in San Francisco. The first time I saw this building It looked to me like it was taken straight out of an old-fashioned Bohemian French city and I stopped in my tracks to appreciate and admire it.
After the great depression, musicians and artists of the Bohemian movement took up the building. At night when the building is beautifully lit up, you can imagine yourself walking down an old Parisian neighborhood as if in a scene of Moulin Rouge.
It was once the home of a popular speakeasy called Neptune’s Grotto and then later it was turned into a recording studio built in the basement where artists such as the Kingston Trio used it as their home base to record their music. In the early 70’s, the building was bought over by a famous production company called American Zoetrope with relation to the Coppola family. Films such as the Godfather II and III, Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, One From The Heart, The Outsiders, and Dracula were written, sound recorded and edited there. This building has such a rich artistic history which is why I fell in love with its unique beauty.
Now as you walk by the Columbus building you may see what seems to be a European scene with people sitting outside drinking coffee, amaro or wine at the ground floor Italian restaurant. The character and vibe of this historic building inspired me to create this last piece. I played on the word ‘Sentinel’ as I created a more powerful feel in the look while balancing a feminine thread that ran through it. I combined textured fabric and clean linear lines with belled sleeves to represent a bohemian character. Follow me downtown next week as I introduce to you one of my favorite places in San Francisco, Maiden Lane.