pacbellBay seniors sinking into depression as each new vapid skyscraper rises in the city will find an antidote at 140 New Montgomery, popularly known as the PacBell Building. Its 26 art deco stories with six acres of terra cotta ornamentation on top was the first high rise south of Market when it was built in1926. Its celebrated architect Timothy Pfleuger was also responsible for the art deco grandeur of Oakland’s Paramount Theater. What makes this  architectural eye candy is its brilliant restored lobby with glossy black metalwork, ornate chandeliers and ceilings adapted from Chinese brocade (why not?). On either side of the building are two elegantly designed 21st century restaurants – Trou Normand and Mourad from the people who created the legendary Aziza – proof that SF designers succeed best on a small scale.

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