The San Francisco Centre at Christmas

A rain of lights and christmas wreaths descend from the dome above the San Francisco Centre

The dome arching above the San Francisco Centre is decorated for the holidays. The dome was built in 1908 but was blacked from during World War II and was poorly maintained until the reopening of the centre in September. Its 500,000 pounds of iron arch 98 feet above the fourth floor of the Centre.

Looking straight up at the ceiling of the dome at the San Francisco Centre

I happened to be in the Centre this evening with some friends who wanted to buy some Bose headphones and get some dinner. In the Bose store, we got sucked into an entertaining, if a bit overly-dramatic theatre demo. Suffice it to say, if you don’t have the Bose Lifestyle home entertainment system, you are wallowing in a world without depth or color, shuffling the gray, muted corridors of a wasting, wanting existence. And then came the hard sell. The lights came up and the salesman who introduced the presentation asked each of us (five in the room) personally, “wouldn’t you like to take this system home? How about you?” Well, of course I would like to. It sounded great. I just don’t see the point in dropping $4K on any audio system. I love music, but for that much money I could buy a really nice guitar. My friend Fred, who was there to buy a pair of headphones, said it was as though the entire staff at the store had been trained without even considering that someone might actually come to the store to buy something they actually know and want, rather than have to be dazzled and cajoled into dropping the dough.

Put off by the hard sell, I stepped outside and snapped a couple of pics of the dome. There are a lot of reflective and illuminated surfaces inside the Centre. If I were a real photographer and not just some dude with a point-and-shoot, I would have stayed a bit longer to line up pics of the escalators, shoppers, and architecture.

4 Comments so far

  1. tyler82 (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 2:23 am

    What do you mean “Blacked from WWII?”

    I saw the Christmas dome two weeks ago I could have stared at it for hours if my friends didn’t drag me away. Such an incredible place, I love the Bloomies with all the great SF photography everywhere!!

  2. Bill Logan (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 3:18 am

    “Blacked out”–although I hadn’t thought that lasted until the re-opening, but my memories of the old Emporium are dim.

    I had hoped that they would have a Christmas tree under the dome, as in the old Emporium.

  3. Jason (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 11:34 am

    I thought the dome was just blacked out *DURING* WWII?

  4. DavidK (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 12:25 pm

    Yeah, wtf do I know? I misread some of the history on the dome.

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