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The City Club of San Francisco
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The City Club of San Francisco
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155 Sansome Street (10th Floor)
San Francisco, California
United States

cschuster's picture

Sr. Contributor

If you want art deco, the City Club has got your art deco.

The City Club occupies the top four floors of the former Stock Exchange Tower, a batcave for super duper stock traders working across the street at the now defunct Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. Sure, New York (and a nap) might be what comes to your layperson mind if someone starts telling you about derivatives, dividends, or all-share mergers. But the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange in San Francisco and Los Angeles had its thriving moment in the spotlight of American finance. At its peak, six times larger than the wounded exchange in Gotham that limped through the 1930s. The Pacific Coast Exchange performed so well leading into and throughout the Great Depression that SF brokers could indulge by commissioning both an ornate stock exchange and separate office space. Masters of capital and industry need somewhere to kick back and relax in the glowing glamor of their own brilliance, after all.

Once the office building was constructed in the early '30s, the next step was decorating. More important, perhaps, than anything else was that the look tell everyone, "We are important, we are men, we are the best." The architect got some of California's best artists together to make that happen, decorating the hell out of stairways and wall spaces with all manner of artistic eye candy. Stock brokers in San Francisco wanted to rub their success in faces far and wide. If you're looking to see the fresh frescoes and sick sculptures that got that message to the masses (or, rather, the stock brokers' upper crust friends, colleagues, and clients) then just head up to the Tower's 10th floor. Politely ask the receptionist for a self-guided tour and you'll get the hook up.