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Vintage Shots of Frank Lloyd Wright's V.C. Morris Gift Shop Are Like Retro Instagram

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Recently unearthed photos show Frank Loyd Wright's only SF building shortly after opening

Pulled from the USC Digital Libraries, who recently digitized more than 1,300 old images (many of which are of gorgeous Los Angeles), the astounding shots of Frank Lloyd Wright's V.C. Morris Gift Shop in 1949 bring to mind some of the most popular (albeit egregiously used) retro Instagram filters.

In these photos you can see how the gift store looked shortly after opening. You can also see how the noted architect used the Maiden Lane space as a prototype for the famous circular ramp he built at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1952.

Many years later, the shop turned into Xanadu Gallery, which closed in August 2015 after selling the space to an unnamed "high-end designer fashion boutique." The store remains shuttered for now.

The photos of the Frank Loyd Wright-designed landmark were snapped by Fritz Block, German-trained architect and owner of a color slide company. Keep in mind that Block wasn't an expert photog, hence the reason why some of his images are a touch blurry and casually lit. Still, they're all a great peek at a time gone by.

The shot alone of the V.C. Morris Gift Shop's exterior lighting at night is a wonder in and of itself.

Xanadu Gallery

140 Maiden Lane, San Francisco, CA