I am obsessed with church architecture. My faithful readers probably already know that. But I haven’t shown any recently. Well, I’m gonna make up for it now. I went out today to photograph seven historic churches in San Francisco.
Going out to photograph landmarks all over the city is difficult. I normally take the bus around town, but today I drove since I had great distances to cover. This means that I parked illegally everywhere I went, cab drivers yelled at me, and I got stuck in Giants traffic. But it was all worth it to show you these amazing feats of architecture.
Ever since I saw Vertigo, I have made a point to see other movies and tv shows that are filmed here. This church, Saints Peter and Paul, was featured in the movie Dirty Harry. Remember the scene where Harry and the other guy are waiting for the Scorpio Killer because they think his next victim will be a catholic priest?
I was reading about all the cathedrals I visited and found out that several of them were damaged in the earthquake of 1906. Most of these churches were built in the 1800’s when San Francisco was still growing. The churches that were damaged in 1906 include Saint Dominic’s and Saint Ignatius. Both churches were restored. But then when the second major earthquake hit in 1989, several of these buildings were determined to be seismically unstable.
Most of the time, when a religious facility is found to be unstable, the congregation raises money to fix it and make it “earthquake-proof”. Saint Dominic’s now has flying buttresses to keep it stable. But one church was not so lucky. Saint Joseph’s members could not raise the money to restore the church so the building was condemned. It now stands empty, run down, and ugly.
Then three years ago, someone bought the church with the intention of fixing it up and turning it into office buildings. The owner promises that he’s going to keep it looking like a church on the outside so we can all enjoy it, but I’m still a little sad about this fate. I want him to fix it up and restore it as a church. But on the other hand, it would be awfully cool to work there! Here’s a link to the full article in the SF Chronicle.
So I hope you enjoyed this religious tour of San Francisco. I certainly did!
Holy Virgin Cathedral. 27th and Geary Blvd. www.sfsobor.com
Saint Ignatius Church. On USF campus at Parker and Bush. http://stignatiussf.org
Saint Dominic’s Church. Bush and Filmore. www.stdominics.org
Saints Peter and Paul. Filbert and Powell. www.stspeterpaul.san-francisco.ca.us
Trinity Episcopal Church. Bush and Gough. http://sftrinityepiscopalchurch.wordpress.com
Saint Joseph’s. 10th and Howard. www.noehill.com/sf/landmarks/sf120.asp
Saint Patrick’s. 4th and Mission. http://www.stpatricksf.org