The Legion of Honor's Salon Doré Revamps and Reopens

Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Legion of Honor's Salon Doré needed a facelift.

After eight moves, the French period room was looking tired, says Martin Chapman, curator in charge of European decorative arts and sculpture at the Legion.

Chapman, along with a team of specialists, developed the new direction for the salon, and after being closed for 18 months -- it reopens tomorrow.

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Tourism For Locals: Peeping into Savernack Gallery

Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Be a peeping Tom in this gallery.

There's a gallery in San Francisco's Mission District that is as creative with its exhibition space as it is with the one piece of artwork it puts on display each month.

This gallery has become so exclusive that people line up outside of it to catch a glimpse of the artwork but nobody is allowed to enter at all -- and it's open 24 hours a day.

This is Savernack Gallery, and it is currently reaching iconic status as San Francisco's smallest gallery equipped with its voyeuristic approach that you can only see the art inside through a reverse peephole in the cerulean green tinged door.

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Cottages & Gardens Magazine to Debut San Francisco Edition

Cottages and Gardens Magazine

If you're into gardening and decorating and have a budget that includes buying copper trowels at Sloat, you'll be stoked to know that the upscale home and garden design magazine Cottages & Gardens is about to launch its San Francisco edition, to be called the obvious name of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens.

Set to debut in April, the magazine will cover landscaping and architecture, as well as feature recipes and educational articles.

SFC&G's articles will cover not only San Francisco, but other parts of the Bay Area as well, such as the East Bay, Silicon Valley, Marin County, and Carmel (which is Bay Area only by SFC&G's standards).

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Oakland Span of Bay Bridge to Become Rental House

Categories: Architecture

Bay Bridge House Project
What the house would look like from the inside

When the old eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was demolished, most people probably assumed the remnants would just end up in a scrap yard somewhere. But David Grieshaber wasn't okay with that.

As we told you in November, Grieshaber and his organization, The Bay Bridge House Project, invited architectural students to submit original designs for what they'd like to see done with the Eastern span of the bridge. Although the winning design is awesome (it includes an indoor swimming pool), the BBHP wasn't able to turn it into a reality because it didn't meet the height requirement for buildings in the Bay Area. Instead, the current plan for the 11,000-square foot area is to transform it into a "multi-use space," which would include a caretaker unit, Airbnb apartment, and possibly a museum. "The idea is to build something iconic that looks like the bridge," Grieshaber said.

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Tourism for Locals: Danielle Steel's Hedge-Lined Spreckels' Mansion

Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Steel's bush needs a trim or wax.
There's a house in San Francisco that is shrouded in history and mystique.

Built at the turn of the 20th century, it's an opulent mansion with 55 rooms among three floors -- its contents closely guarded by a massive security barrier.

Seems like the kind of place to be part of a mystery, or romance, novel and how fitting because it's the home of a celebrity author.

Spreckels Mansion is the home of best selling romance author Danielle Steel and she has it surrounded by a massive, approximately 30-foot-high shrub barrier. The hedge itself has its own celebrity status -- caused by a controversy.

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In the Hole: Urban Putt to Open First Indoor Mini-Golf Course in San Francisco

Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Turning the San Francisco skyline into a mini-golf course.

Steve Fox sure knows how to play a mean game of mini golf.

From getting the grip just right on the putter to navigating the obstacles in every hole, mini golf has truly taken over his mind and life. In fact, he and his wife are truly possessed by the sport.

Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Steve Fox holding an unfinished model of the mini-golf version of the Transamerica Pyramid.

"I'm a big mini-golf man and starting in '93, my wife and I would host these mini-golf extravaganzas where people would design golf hole and we'd built them," Fox said. "They become more and more elaborate as time went on. We'd have tubes going through the walls from upstairs to downstairs. I almost destroyed the house many times. It was very much like Burning Man Put Put."

He even quit his job as a professional journalist after 35 years to pursue mini golf full time.

But instead of keeping it be a personal obsession, Fox is turning his passion into San Francisco's first indoor mini-golf course that has interactive kinetic sculptures depicting San Francisco landmarks, history, culture fused with Jules Verne/ Rube Goldberg steam punk. The mini-golf course will also feature an adjoining restaurant and bar area.

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Tourism for Locals: Tuning into San Francisco's T.V. History

Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Tuning into San Francisco history.

While you've been spotting what San Francisco sites were featured on the season premiere of HBO's Looking this past Sunday, we were checking out a local landmark that will probably never be featured on the show, but nonetheless, is key to this drama -- and every other television program in history.

Sitting at 202 Green is a small, historical plaque marking the spot of where television was created.

Yes, t.v. was created right here in San Francisco. It was invented by a man that is probably the most famous inventor you've never heard of: Philo T Farnsworth.

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Tourism for Locals: Storage Takes On New Meaning with Aether SF

Recycled and Re purposed

Although it appears the really, really cold days of winter are winding down, every San Franciscan needs to invest in a warm coat, when our beloved, worn-out SF State or 49er hoodies can't handle it anymore.

So it's time for a little bit of post-holiday retail therapy; and for this week's Tourism for Locals, we're sending you to do a little window shopping at a new building that is local, sleek, and constructed out of old, abandoned shipping containers.

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Tourism for Locals: The Westfield Dome Offers Cultural Viewing in IMAX

Juan De Anda/ SF Weekly
Thunder Dome: SF Ballet edition.

'Tis the season for crowded stores, pushy shoppers, and bell ringers. As much as we love the holidays, they can be overwhelming and drive us away from the festive centers of the city, like Union Square.

But don't scoff and roll your eyes if you are surrounded by this Christmas chaos. if you happen to find yourself waiting in long lines at the Westfield in downtown, then we suggest going to the fourth level of the seven-story mall and enjoy some free ballet under the dome.

The dome at the Westfield's San Francisco Centre is an iconic glass and steel vaulted ceiling, first unveiled in 1896, and sits at the center of the building that was once home to the former Emporium department store.

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Tourism for Locals: L.I.Z. Educates and Entertains Pedestrians

Juan De Anda/ SF Weekly
Taking sound and science to the streets.
Market Street has been getting a lot of attention lately, and not necessarily in a bad way.

Recent efforts by San Francisco city officials and agencies have focused on beautifying and improving this long stretch -- through real estate development (hello, Twitter) to commissioning a New Yoker artist to create Market Street posters for the area.

Now, the Mayor's office has collaborated with the Exploratorium to create the first of a series of areas called Living Innovation Zones. This week, Tourism for Locals is highlighting one of their new the interactive science displays called Whispering Dishes, which was erected this past weekend.

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