We are into the dog days of summer in the East. I’m not sure why they are so named as I can assure you my dog doesn’t like them either. So what’s a girl to do but leave her panting puppy and head west to more temperate weather? Thus, I have spent the past few days basking in the downright cool climate of San Francisco.
My sister and I told our nephew that we would take him anywhere in the continental United States he wanted to go if he made the ninth-grade honor roll. So when he proceeded to do so, we thought he’d choose Cooperstown; instead he chose San Francisco. So far, we have done major touristy things like seeing Tim Lincecum pitch at AT&T Park, visiting Alcatraz and walking Fisherman’s Wharf. Fisherman’s Wharf seems to me to be the Times Square of the West Coast, only with a rather overpowering seafood aroma.
But if you are 14 year-old teenager, it is all exciting, especial Alcatraz and Muir Woods. So for a few days, my sister and I got to see the world through his eyes, which in itself was “awesome.”
In addition to the teenage view, I, of course, had to put on my glass-colored glasses and check out the use of glass in architecture. There are a few things of note about San Francisco:
1. I noticed the architecture of most of the neighborhoods seem more akin to European design than other U.S. cities. Then I remembered that it’s a very environmentally-conscious city. Bikes are everywhere and used prominently for transportation – you see no plastic bags at the supermarket. Indeed, if you want a bag, it will be paper and you will pay extra. So as I bemoaned the lack of major glass outside the financial district, I couldn’t help wonder if this would have been the cityscape of the future had the industry not risen up in opposition to the proposed addendum to the current ASHRAE 189.1. And what a shame it would be because glass really can make a city.
2. San Francisco must have had a love affair with wired glass in its past because there seems to be more of it here in concentration than I have seen elsewhere. Check out this wired glass skylight in the atrium near the elevator in the hotel at which I stayed.
It’s just one of the many examples I saw. Now I know there are fire protection issues with this location but it does be the general question, what happens to old types of glass that are no longer to code? Whether it’s energy or life safety codes, most glass does not get replaced until or unless it breaks. In fact, we are planning a report on just this subject for the September issue.
3. You can also tell that this was a city that Italian stone masons settled. It has some incredible stone and granite work. I felt myself wishing the talented Italian glass artisans had settled here as well.
Before I end today, I would like to take a moment and congratulate the staff of Key Communications. On Friday, we were notified that our Window Film magazine monthly newscast had won first place as best video newscast in the prestigious American Society of Business Press Editors competition. In fact, it’s the second year in a row that Window Film has won this honor. Congratulations to everyone on the team—in particular our video producer Christopher Bunn, Window Film editor Casey Neeley and vice presidents Holly Biller and Tara Taffera who head their respective departments. “Awesome” achievement as well!