UNDER THE DOME – Fabulous 100th Anniversary Party at Westfield San Francisco Centre

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Starting as a native San Franciscan, “Once upon a time” – on Market Street near Powell, there was this great shopping mall within a single store known as The Emporium. A miraculous glass dome hovered above its open floors – a multi-paned / multi-paneled arched wonder that bathed the consumers below in totally-free, totally-powerful solar energy. The term “fire sale” could have originated under the dome and its site at 865 Market Street (between 4th and 5th Streets). The present dome – now crowning the Westfield San Francisco Centre – was reconstructed in 1908, the original (designed by architect Albert Pissis) having tumbled to smithereens during the 1906 earthquake. The building, then only 10 years old, and the store’s interior were engulfed in the subsequent fires. Only its Market Street Façade remained. This week the Westfield San Francisco Centre threw a perfectly marvelous party to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the reconstruction and re-birth of the dome, a precious and much-visited San Francisco landmark.

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Under the dome, 1905 — Market Street in flames, 1906

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THEN AND NOW, 1908–2008

The dome and rotunda were painted in colors reminiscent of those used in San Francisco in the early 1900s. The interior color palate features hues of white, beige and brown. Actual names of colors are Silver Lining, Timidity and Dawn Mist. The outside is painted a combination of white and beige, using Silver Lining and Timidity. The floors beneath the dome are a combination marble and granite with light beige and chestnut coloring. Actual colors are Tamarin and Cobra Light and have a dignified parchment appearance. The restoration team included design architects RTKL Associates, historic architectural consultants CAREY & CO., and more than 40 individuals doing electrical, sprinkler, metal, framing, painting and plastering. Some of the party-goers may have considered doing the same with “Blue Hpnotiq” cocktails and the many fine wines on hand.

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Kirstie Martinelli, Seán Martinfield, Nicole (Mrs. Vernon) Glenn

DJ for the evening was Michael Addicott, the Dance Collection Manager for PANDORA, radio from the Music Genome Project. Outstanding foods included the Steak Tartar on baguette slices from LarkCreekStake, savory chicken lollipops from Straits Restaurant, and the freshest guacamole from Zazil Restaurant, each located in the Westfield Centre.

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MICHAEL ADDICOTT – DJ

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STEAK TARTAR (LarkCreekStake) — CHICKEN LOLLIPOPS (Straits Restaurant)

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And then it was off to Chazz Palminteri in his brilliant one-man-show, A BRONX TALE, now at the Golden Gate Theatre until October 19th. This weekend will be a busy one at Golden Gate Park. The new CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES opens after a decade’s worth of planning and construction. Across the way at the de Young Museum the magnificent exhibit of American artist DALE CHIHULLY closes on Sunday. Considered the greatest living glass blower in the world, it is the artist’s firtst major exhibition in San Francisco, and includes eleven galleries of new and archival works representing the breadth and scope of Chihully’s creative vision over the last four decades. The de Young Museum is the only venue for this colorful exhibition. On the way home, pick up the ingredients for a “Blue Hpnotiq”. Pour into your shaker 2 ounces of Hpnotiq Liqueur, 1 ounce of Absolut Citron Vodka, and a splash of white cranberry juice. Serve with a twist.

Visit Seán on YouTube:
CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES – A Preview Look with Seán Martinfield
Lorena Feijóo – A Look at “Giselle” with Seán Martinfield
SAMSON & DELILAH – Meet Seán Martinfield

For related articles and interviews:
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DALE CHIHULY – Lighting-Up At The de Young
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See Related: FINE ARTS CRITIC SEAN MARTINFIELD

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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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