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Secrets of the 1920's and 30's - An Art Deco Tour

Trip at a Glance

  • Locations

    San Francisco, California, United States

  • Activities

    Art Walk, Sightseeing, Walking Tour

  • Price
    $40 USD per person
  • Duration

    2-2.5 hours

  • Departure Day(s) and Time(s)

    11:00 AM

  • Starting Location

    Inside the lobby of the old main Post Office, Rincon Center, 101 Misssion Street at Spear and Howard


  • Guests are encouraged to come dressed in swanky period fashion, your guide may be wearing her finest clothes from the era
  • See the hidden gems of 1920's and 30's San Francisco, some you may have walked past before, as your guide is a long term afficianado and authority of Art Deco San Francisco
  • Learn about Timothy Pflueger, one of San Francisco's most prominent, prolific and rescpected architects and designers
  • See watercolor murals painted by Anton Refregier, view sculptures created by Ralph Stackpole, and experience the glamour and opulence of 1920's and 30's design
  • Fun and Interesting Historical Information provided by your knowledgable and entertaining guide.


Trip Info

Hidden in plain sight are some historical gems of the glorious 1920s and 30s. On this historic walking tour you will see just enough architectural and artistic gems to pique your interest to discover more on your own. This walking architecture tour of San Francisco celebrates the 1920′s and 30′s Art Deco & Art Nouveaou styles that beautify our surroundings and make you smile.
We will start inside the lobby of the old main Post Office, Rincon Center, 101 Misssion Street at Spear and Howard, designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood in the Streamline Moderne style. Once inside you will see the 27 watercolor murals painted by the Russian immigrant painter Anton Refregier under the Works Project Administration. Inspired by the work of Diego Rivera, the murals depict the history of California. The exterior of the building is decorated by dolphin friezes above the doorways and windows. We will venture on up to The Stock Exchange Towerlocated at 155 Sansome Street.
The building opened in 1930 and housed the offices of the brokers who worked ‘on the floor’ of the adjacent San Francisco Stock Exchange flanked by two monumental sculptures by sculptor Ralph Stackpole. The tower, was designed by Timothy L. Pflueger a prominent architect, interior designer, architectural lighting designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born in Potrero Hill, Pflueger began working at the age of 11 and when he was 14 he joined an architectural firm and began his career.
In the first half of the 20th century. Pflueger designed some of the leading skyscrapers and movie theaters in the San Francisco bay area, his works featured art by artists such as Ralph Stackpole and Diego Rivera. Pflueger captured the spirit of the times adding a distinct personal flair.
While sitting on the steps of the Pacific Stock exchange your guide will hand out tour notes including photos and addresses of other hidden art and architectural treasures. We then hike up the hill to see another Art Deco gem of Pflueger’s the 450 Sutter Street Medical Building. This spectacular tower is world renowned for its unique neo-Mayan design elements. Our tour ends just down a block to the St. Francis Hotel lobby for a rare chance to see renowned photographer Ansel Adams stunning photographs of Pflueger’s interior design of the famed Patent Leather Bar.


  1. 5 out of 5


    February 2014 I had a private tour. It could not be nicer. A great Thann to thé tour guide

  2. 5 out of 5


    This was a great tour! The guide was the best and very well informed I highly recommend it for anyone visiting SF it will give you a new perspective of the city and its beautiful buildings!

  3. 5 out of 5


    December 2013 We were really impressed with our guide Alice Jurow. She was extremely knowledgeable about Art Deco, architecture and the historical period. She communicated complicated information in an easy to understand manner. She was very personal and flexible. She was a highlight of our trip.

  4. 5 out of 5


    John N October 2014 This is a solid walking tour that features an extremely knowledgeable, very friendly and forthcoming guide who will escort you to places that the average tourist would never see. You begin at an Old Post Office with WPA-style murals, and then proceed through various lobbies of skyscrapers to see unbelievably beautiful murals, decorative patterns and stucco designs. You end up at Union Square, which means you see a good part of the Financial District. For any architecture buff, this is a must see tour.

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