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Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.
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The most beautiful SF interiors

It’s what’s on the inside that counts

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Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.
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We asked Curbed SF readers to nominate buildings with the most beautiful interiors, posing the question, “What interior spaces make you say, ‘whoa’?”

The readers’ picks that rolled in didn’t disappoint, from hotels to churches to bathrooms. And one thing we learned is that a trip to the dentist office is made a little less painful by the awe-inspiring decor of one Art Deco structure.

And now, the most beautiful interiors in San Francisco, as chosen by Curbed SF readers, listed in order from west to east, as well as a few places selected by our editorial staff.

This is by no means a complete list, so please keep the conversation going by sharing your favorite interiors in the comments section. We will continue to update with more spacious beauty as you give it to us.

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1. The Salon Doré at the Legion of Honor

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100 34th Ave
San Francisco, CA
(415) 750-3600
Visit Website

The best example of French Neoclassical interior architecture in the United States, the Salon Doré (which moved from the Hôtel de La Trémoille in France) at the Legion of Honor is possibly the most gorgeous room in all of San Francisco.

The interior of the Salon Dore at the Legion of Honor. There are multiple chairs, a chandelier, mirrors, and walls with inlaid design. Photo by Brock Keeling

2. Holy Virgin Cathedral

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6210 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 221-3255
Visit Website

Also known as the Joy of All Who Sorrow, this Russian Orthodox Church is one of the largest of its kind outside of Russia. The interior features vibrant mosaics, detailed religious paintings, and a crystal chandelier.

The interior of the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco. The walls are decorated with colorful inlaid design. The altar has multiple planters with flowers. Photo by David Yu

3. Conservatory of Flowers

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100 J F Kennedy Dr
San Francisco, CA
(415) 831-2090
Visit Website

Ever since 1879, the conservatory of flora has dazzled many with hundreds of species of flowers and plants. This Victorian-era beauty has been promoting flower power well before the hippies and their patchouli-laced summer of love.

The interior of the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. There is a pond with lily pads. The ceiling is domed and glass. Photo by Katie Loehr

4. Rossi Pool

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600 Arguello Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 666-7014
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Built in 1956 by H.C. Baumann, this space was designed in the modernist style with Art Deco details. Most noteworthy is the ceiling with exposed beams and detailing.

5. San Francisco Columbarium and Funeral Home

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One Loraine Ct
San Francisco, CA
(415) 771-0717
Visit Website

Inspired by the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, architect Bernard J.S. Cahill designed this gorgeous ode to the deceased resulting in a structure that’s beautiful inside and out. The eight rooms on the ground floor bear the names of the mythological winds. Six of the ground floor rooms boast stunning stained glass windows.er in design. A home for the dearly departed has never looked so alive.

6. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption

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1111 Gough St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 567-2020
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Loving rechristened Our Lady of Maytag by locals, due to its washing machine agitator-like exterior, the interiors merit just as much fanfare. Built well before the advent of social media, this midcentury-modern church is blessed with many Instagrammable moments.

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7. Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall

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201 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA
(415) 864-6000
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According to Curbed SF reader Loop Seven, “It’s not ornate and likely considered unremarkable but I think it really captures late 1970s design.” Indeed. Opening at the start of 1980, the Hayes Valley behemoth, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Pietro Belluschi exemplifies modernist ’70s style. The addition of the Fratelli Ruffatti electro-pneumatic pipe organ, boasting 147 ranks, was added in 1984. It later underwent a major acoustic overhaul in 1992, resulting in the look we see today.

#Symphony #SanFrancisco

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8. San Francisco City Hall

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1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-4000
Visit Website

The backdrop for many weddings, the Beaux-Arts building, designed by Arthur Brown and John Bakewell (War Memorial Opera House, Temple Emanu-El), has existed since 1915 (an earlier version was leveled by the 1906 earthquake). Its regal dome is the fifth largest in the world—and the grand staircase puts others to shame. (Psst: The 45 steps making up the staircase are named for Charlotte Shultz, the city’s chief of protocol.)

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9. Grace Cathedral

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1100 California St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 749-6300

Taking almost 40 years to finish, this circa-1964 gem atop Nob Hill is a celebration of French Gothic revival. Soaring ceilings, sweeping arches, tall stained glass windows, and more give this church a holier than thou look that brings tears to the eye. According to Grace Cathedral’s website, “The cruciform plan, twin towers, central fleche and polygonal apse are all French in origin, with the cathedrals of Amiens, Paris (Notre Dame), Beauvais and Chartres being principal influences.”

The interior of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. There are pews, stained glass, and arched ceilings with exposed beams. Photo by Justin Kern

10. The Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse

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950 Mason St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 772-5000
Visit Website

There are many stunning rooms inside the grande dame of San Francisco hotels, but the penthouse is the best. Clocking in at 6,000 square feet, it rents for $18,000 a night. Created in the 1920s by American archeologist and art historian Arthur Upham Pope, the penthouse maintains the majority of its original charm—e.g., the vaulted billiards room that's entirely covered in floor-to-ceiling Persian tiles—even though it underwent an extensive remodel by Alexandra Champalimaud, principal of Champalimaud Design, in 2010. 

The interior of the Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse. There is a billiard table, chairs, and lamps. The walls have an inlaid design. Photo by Patricia Chang

11. Alexandra’s at Westin St. Francis

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335 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 397-7000
Visit Website

Atop the famed Westin St. Francis in Union Square, Alexandra’s is located on the 32nd floor of the Tower Building, with floor-to-ceiling windows boasting skyline views of San Francisco, including Coit Tower and both the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.

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12. 450 Sutter Medical/Dental Building

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450 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 421-7221
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“Next to the lead garden court in the Palace, 450 Sutter’s Mayan Deco facade and lobby are memorable, singular and spectacular,” says reader AngelusLiving. “Unfortunately, my dentist was in this building when I was a kid, so it was all a bitter-sweet experience when I visited.”

13. Westfield San Francisco Centre

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865 Market St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 512-6776
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The renovation of the Westfield San Francisco Centre was well worth the wait. The top floor of the mall features a restored dome as well as a lounge area to relax after swiping your credit card one too many times.

A post shared by Sam Malythai (@sam_malythai) on

14. Vesuvio Cafe

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255 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA
(415) 362-3370
Visit Website

Tiffany-style and antique gas lamps, woodwork, mezzanine seating, and historic photos galore—at this North Beach institution, more is more. Before the antique trend came (and went) inside many newfangled craft cocktail bars, this institution was serving up ye ole style in the form of casual, mish-mash maximalism.

The interior of the Vesuvio Cafe in San Francisco. There is a stained glass window with the words: Yosemite Lager. There are many works of art and photos on the walls. Photo by Kent Kanouse

15. V. C. Morris Gift Shop/Isaia

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140 Maiden Ln
San Francisco, CA 94108

The famed architect used the Maiden Lane space as a prototype for the famous circular ramp he built at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1952. Other highlights include the wooden cabinetry and built-ins and the large roof skylight and white Plexiglass circles, which diffuse light into the store. The San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission landmarked the interior in 2016, one of a few interiors to be bestowed with the honor.

Originally known as the V.C. Morris Gift Shop, it reopened in 2016 as a mens Italian clothing store.

16. Wells Fargo Bank

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1 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94104

If there’s a coffered ceiling as nice as the one found inside the One Montgomery Wells Fargo branch, we have yet to see it. Lovely.

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17. Mechanics' Institute

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57 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 393-0101
Visit Website

In addition to housing the oldest continuously operating chess club in the United States, the Mechanics' Institute, a nine-story landmark building in the Financial District, also boasts one of the chicest stairwells in the city. So much so, in fact, that’s it all over the library’s Instagram page.

18. Merchant Exchange Building

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465 California St
San Francisco, CA

The lobby of the Merchant Exchange Building—the preface to the Julia Morgan Ballroom, if you will—is a sight unto itself. Morgan designed the hall's marble Ionic columns, coffered ceiling, and vaulted skylights. The famed architect also commissioned maritime artist William Coulter to paint the hall's five murals.

19. Julia Morgan Ballroom

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465 California St
San Francisco, CA

The coffered ceiling and patterned carpet—a match made in interior design heaven. Julia Morgan’s titular ballroom is the place to get hitched for those with an eye on decor. Of special note is the 15-foot-tall, hand-carved stone fireplace. Glorious.

20. Palace Hotel’s Garden Court

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2 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 512-1111
Visit Website

Hosting many swank soirees and international treaties, the Palace Hotel’s Garden Court was declared a San Francisco Landmark in 1969. It was also featured in the final scene of David Fincher’s The Game. But above all else, it’s quite the stunner. The beautiful glass ceiling surrounded by lush plants make it one of the city’s most important and iconic interiors.

21. City Club of San Francisco

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155 Sansome St Fl 10
San Francisco, CA
(415) 362-2480
Visit Website

Punctuating this tony private club in the heart of the Financial District is Diego Rivera’s The Allegory of California, a large mural that flanks the staircase.

22. 140 New Montgomery (PacBell Building)

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140 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA

Numerous businesses call this place home, including Yelp. And many of you gave this 1925 Art Deco structure five stars when it comes to the interior lobby.

The building was designed by architect Timothy Pflueger, whose work includes some of San Francisco's only Art Deco architecture. When Pflueger designed 140 New Montgomery, he had just completed the Castro Theater. He used influences from Asia, such as the lobby adapted from a Chinese brocade, and from the Sierra Mountains. From ornate ventilation grates to dark marble walls, it would be a shame for passersby not to sneak a peek.

23. Ferry Building Marketplace

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249 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 740-7961
Visit Website

Mimicking a busy street, the Ferry Building interior dazzles with repeating arches and overhead skylights.

The interior of the Ferry Building Marketplace. The ceiling is high and arched. Thee are many people walking in the main aisle. There is a skylight running along the ceiling. Photo by Worayoot Pechsuwanrungsee/Shutterstock

24. Grand hall inside the Transbay Transit Center

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425 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

The park atop the Transbay Transit Center gets more love, but you shouldn’t sleep on the grand hall of the city’s newest public transportation behemoth. The cavernous hall is illuminated by a massive skylight and a colorful terrazzo floor with butterflies, flowers, and a sundry of shapes designed by local artist Julie Chang. Don’t miss Jenny Holzer’s White Light, the text-centric artist’s 16-foot-tall and 182-foot-long LED piece scrolling above.

25. U.S. Post Office

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180 Steuart St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 896-0762
Visit Website

The sea-green Art Deco post office near the Embarcadero features 27 murals, all part of Anton Refregier's History of California (1941-48).

A post shared by Dena Kefallinos (@d_kefa) on

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1. The Salon Doré at the Legion of Honor

100 34th Ave, San Francisco, CA
The interior of the Salon Dore at the Legion of Honor. There are multiple chairs, a chandelier, mirrors, and walls with inlaid design. Photo by Brock Keeling

The best example of French Neoclassical interior architecture in the United States, the Salon Doré (which moved from the Hôtel de La Trémoille in France) at the Legion of Honor is possibly the most gorgeous room in all of San Francisco.

100 34th Ave
San Francisco, CA

2. Holy Virgin Cathedral

6210 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121
The interior of the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco. The walls are decorated with colorful inlaid design. The altar has multiple planters with flowers. Photo by David Yu

Also known as the Joy of All Who Sorrow, this Russian Orthodox Church is one of the largest of its kind outside of Russia. The interior features vibrant mosaics, detailed religious paintings, and a crystal chandelier.

6210 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94121

3. Conservatory of Flowers

100 J F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA
The interior of the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. There is a pond with lily pads. The ceiling is domed and glass. Photo by Katie Loehr

Ever since 1879, the conservatory of flora has dazzled many with hundreds of species of flowers and plants. This Victorian-era beauty has been promoting flower power well before the hippies and their patchouli-laced summer of love.

100 J F Kennedy Dr
San Francisco, CA

4. Rossi Pool

600 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

Built in 1956 by H.C. Baumann, this space was designed in the modernist style with Art Deco details. Most noteworthy is the ceiling with exposed beams and detailing.

600 Arguello Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

5. San Francisco Columbarium and Funeral Home

One Loraine Ct, San Francisco, CA

Inspired by the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, architect Bernard J.S. Cahill designed this gorgeous ode to the deceased resulting in a structure that’s beautiful inside and out. The eight rooms on the ground floor bear the names of the mythological winds. Six of the ground floor rooms boast stunning stained glass windows.er in design. A home for the dearly departed has never looked so alive.

One Loraine Ct
San Francisco, CA

6. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption

1111 Gough St, San Francisco, CA

Loving rechristened Our Lady of Maytag by locals, due to its washing machine agitator-like exterior, the interiors merit just as much fanfare. Built well before the advent of social media, this midcentury-modern church is blessed with many Instagrammable moments.

1111 Gough St
San Francisco, CA

7. Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA

According to Curbed SF reader Loop Seven, “It’s not ornate and likely considered unremarkable but I think it really captures late 1970s design.” Indeed. Opening at the start of 1980, the Hayes Valley behemoth, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Pietro Belluschi exemplifies modernist ’70s style. The addition of the Fratelli Ruffatti electro-pneumatic pipe organ, boasting 147 ranks, was added in 1984. It later underwent a major acoustic overhaul in 1992, resulting in the look we see today.

201 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA

8. San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

The backdrop for many weddings, the Beaux-Arts building, designed by Arthur Brown and John Bakewell (War Memorial Opera House, Temple Emanu-El), has existed since 1915 (an earlier version was leveled by the 1906 earthquake). Its regal dome is the fifth largest in the world—and the grand staircase puts others to shame. (Psst: The 45 steps making up the staircase are named for Charlotte Shultz, the city’s chief of protocol.)

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl
San Francisco, CA 94102

9. Grace Cathedral

1100 California St, San Francisco, CA
The interior of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. There are pews, stained glass, and arched ceilings with exposed beams. Photo by Justin Kern

Taking almost 40 years to finish, this circa-1964 gem atop Nob Hill is a celebration of French Gothic revival. Soaring ceilings, sweeping arches, tall stained glass windows, and more give this church a holier than thou look that brings tears to the eye. According to Grace Cathedral’s website, “The cruciform plan, twin towers, central fleche and polygonal apse are all French in origin, with the cathedrals of Amiens, Paris (Notre Dame), Beauvais and Chartres being principal influences.”

1100 California St
San Francisco, CA

10. The Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse

950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
The interior of the Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse. There is a billiard table, chairs, and lamps. The walls have an inlaid design. Photo by Patricia Chang

There are many stunning rooms inside the grande dame of San Francisco hotels, but the penthouse is the best. Clocking in at 6,000 square feet, it rents for $18,000 a night. Created in the 1920s by American archeologist and art historian Arthur Upham Pope, the penthouse maintains the majority of its original charm—e.g., the vaulted billiards room that's entirely covered in floor-to-ceiling Persian tiles—even though it underwent an extensive remodel by Alexandra Champalimaud, principal of Champalimaud Design, in 2010. 

950 Mason St
San Francisco, CA

11. Alexandra’s at Westin St. Francis

335 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Atop the famed Westin St. Francis in Union Square, Alexandra’s is located on the 32nd floor of the Tower Building, with floor-to-ceiling windows boasting skyline views of San Francisco, including Coit Tower and both the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.

335 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94102

12. 450 Sutter Medical/Dental Building

450 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA

“Next to the lead garden court in the Palace, 450 Sutter’s Mayan Deco facade and lobby are memorable, singular and spectacular,” says reader AngelusLiving. “Unfortunately, my dentist was in this building when I was a kid, so it was all a bitter-sweet experience when I visited.”

450 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA

13. Westfield San Francisco Centre

865 Market St, San Francisco, CA

The renovation of the Westfield San Francisco Centre was well worth the wait. The top floor of the mall features a restored dome as well as a lounge area to relax after swiping your credit card one too many times.

865 Market St
San Francisco, CA

14. Vesuvio Cafe

255 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA
The interior of the Vesuvio Cafe in San Francisco. There is a stained glass window with the words: Yosemite Lager. There are many works of art and photos on the walls. Photo by Kent Kanouse

Tiffany-style and antique gas lamps, woodwork, mezzanine seating, and historic photos galore—at this North Beach institution, more is more. Before the antique trend came (and went) inside many newfangled craft cocktail bars, this institution was serving up ye ole style in the form of casual, mish-mash maximalism.

255 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA

15. V. C. Morris Gift Shop/Isaia

140 Maiden Ln, San Francisco, CA 94108

The famed architect used the Maiden Lane space as a prototype for the famous circular ramp he built at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1952. Other highlights include the wooden cabinetry and built-ins and the large roof skylight and white Plexiglass circles, which diffuse light into the store. The San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission landmarked the interior in 2016, one of a few interiors to be bestowed with the honor.

Originally known as the V.C. Morris Gift Shop, it reopened in 2016 as a mens Italian clothing store.

140 Maiden Ln
San Francisco, CA 94108

16. Wells Fargo Bank

1 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94104

If there’s a coffered ceiling as nice as the one found inside the One Montgomery Wells Fargo branch, we have yet to see it. Lovely.

1 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94104

17. Mechanics' Institute

57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104

In addition to housing the oldest continuously operating chess club in the United States, the Mechanics' Institute, a nine-story landmark building in the Financial District, also boasts one of the chicest stairwells in the city. So much so, in fact, that’s it all over the library’s Instagram page.

57 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94104

18. Merchant Exchange Building

465 California St, San Francisco, CA

The lobby of the Merchant Exchange Building—the preface to the Julia Morgan Ballroom, if you will—is a sight unto itself. Morgan designed the hall's marble Ionic columns, coffered ceiling, and vaulted skylights. The famed architect also commissioned maritime artist William Coulter to paint the hall's five murals.

465 California St
San Francisco, CA

19. Julia Morgan Ballroom

465 California St, San Francisco, CA

The coffered ceiling and patterned carpet—a match made in interior design heaven. Julia Morgan’s titular ballroom is the place to get hitched for those with an eye on decor. Of special note is the 15-foot-tall, hand-carved stone fireplace. Glorious.

465 California St
San Francisco, CA

20. Palace Hotel’s Garden Court

2 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA

Hosting many swank soirees and international treaties, the Palace Hotel’s Garden Court was declared a San Francisco Landmark in 1969. It was also featured in the final scene of David Fincher’s The Game. But above all else, it’s quite the stunner. The beautiful glass ceiling surrounded by lush plants make it one of the city’s most important and iconic interiors.

2 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA

21. City Club of San Francisco

155 Sansome St Fl 10, San Francisco, CA

Punctuating this tony private club in the heart of the Financial District is Diego Rivera’s The Allegory of California, a large mural that flanks the staircase.

155 Sansome St Fl 10
San Francisco, CA

22. 140 New Montgomery (PacBell Building)

140 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA

Numerous businesses call this place home, including Yelp. And many of you gave this 1925 Art Deco structure five stars when it comes to the interior lobby.

The building was designed by architect Timothy Pflueger, whose work includes some of San Francisco's only Art Deco architecture. When Pflueger designed 140 New Montgomery, he had just completed the Castro Theater. He used influences from Asia, such as the lobby adapted from a Chinese brocade, and from the Sierra Mountains. From ornate ventilation grates to dark marble walls, it would be a shame for passersby not to sneak a peek.

140 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA

23. Ferry Building Marketplace

249 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105
The interior of the Ferry Building Marketplace. The ceiling is high and arched. Thee are many people walking in the main aisle. There is a skylight running along the ceiling. Photo by Worayoot Pechsuwanrungsee/Shutterstock

Mimicking a busy street, the Ferry Building interior dazzles with repeating arches and overhead skylights.

249 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

24. Grand hall inside the Transbay Transit Center

425 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105

The park atop the Transbay Transit Center gets more love, but you shouldn’t sleep on the grand hall of the city’s newest public transportation behemoth. The cavernous hall is illuminated by a massive skylight and a colorful terrazzo floor with butterflies, flowers, and a sundry of shapes designed by local artist Julie Chang. Don’t miss Jenny Holzer’s White Light, the text-centric artist’s 16-foot-tall and 182-foot-long LED piece scrolling above.

425 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

25. U.S. Post Office

180 Steuart St, San Francisco, CA

The sea-green Art Deco post office near the Embarcadero features 27 murals, all part of Anton Refregier's History of California (1941-48).

180 Steuart St
San Francisco, CA