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The seat of the city of San Francisco, the Civic Center reflects true historic essence of the city. The center comprises of a group of various government institutions like the City Hall, the Civic Center Plaza, the United Nations Plaza and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. These buildings of the grand neo-classical style serve as perfect venues for civic initiatives and public gatherings. The City Hall towers the center dome of the main building in the Civic Center, which is also home to the Exposition auditorium and the Main Library. Cultural events and extravaganzas are a regular happening at this grand municipal facility.
The War Memorial & Performing Arts Center is a series of cultural venues that make up the bulk of the Civic Center's events. The center is comprised of such architectural gems as the Veterans Building, the War Memorial Opera House, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall and Harold L. Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall. The Opera House is home to the San Francisco Ballet and the San Francisco Opera, whereas the Veterans Building houses both the Herbst Theatre and Green Room. Check the website for a list of each venue's upcoming events.
Originally named as the San Francisco Civic Auditorium, it was changed to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium as an ode to Bill Graham. The indoor arena has a capacity to hold more than 7,000 people at any given point of time with ease. During shows and game nights, the ambiance is exhilarating with enthusiastic crowds. The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium has been host to many events in the past including the NBA's San Francisco Warriors and concerts by great maestros such as Muse, Tori Amos, Snow Patrol and Snoop Dogg to name a few.
Since 1923, San Francisco Opera has debuted the performances of several well-respected artists including Marie Collier, conductor Silvio Varviso, and director Francis Ford Coppola. Founded by Gaetano Merolo, the War Memorial Opera House, housed in the War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, has been the home of the Opera since 1932. Tours are available only during the opera season. The concert is held on the Sunday following opening night of the Fall Season. San Francisco Opera is the second largest opera company in North America. The Opera's mission is to enrich, be creative and innovative, take leadership and present opera performances of the highest international quality.
At one time this beautiful area in Hayes Valley was scarred by the lanes of the Central Highway. The highway has since been demolished and in its place is Patricia's Green. Renamed for the local community activist Patricia Walkup (it was previously known as Hayes Green), this urban oasis represents many of the ideas that she fought for. With a play area for kids and unique installations of local art put forth by the Hayes Valley Art Coalition, this park delivers a rest from the bustle of the city. Nearby cafes make this neighborhood commons area a fun retreat for the day.