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City of Paris 1900

Long ago there was the City of Paris Dry Goods Company. It later became the City of Paris, an important department store in San Francisco from 1850 to 1974. The building survived the 1906 earthquake and fire but sustained damage. The interior remodel was redesigned by John Bakewell, Arthur J. Brown and Louis Bourgeois, graduates of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. It was rebuilt with a central, elliptical rotunda that was capped with a stained-glass dome. The skylit dome incorporates the store’s nautical origin and motto, Fluctuat nec mergitur(It floats but never sinks).

Dome SFL B&W

Detail 2

Detail 3

A forty-foot live Christmas tree was placed in the rotunda each year. The front doors of the store were specially designed to be removed and this allowed for an opening large enough for the tree to fit through. The tree was brought in, set up and decorated all in the same night. Staff and their families would help decorate. Scaffolding was placed around the tree to facilitate decorating it. Further reading reveals that the tree would be put outside on the sidewalk on January 2nd and one could walk by it and really get a sense of its size.

People familiar with the store recall the tree as beautiful and have very fond memories of their visits. I recall a similar large tree in the six-story atrium of the Marshall Field’s store in downtown Chicago. This atrium was topped by a Tiffany dome and the tree was known as the “Great Tree”. It was a wondrous sight, particularly to small children. It soared and filled the atrium space vertically. You can see a photo of the atrium here: Marshall Field’s Atrium

Christmas Tree SFL B&W

Christmas Tree in Rotunda SFL

Here are a couple of additional interior images.

Interior 2 City of Paris SFL

Interior City of Paris SFL

What a beauty. It was listed in The National Register of Historic Places as a California Historical Landmark. Alas, this fact and a protracted preservation campaign that went on for several years did not prevent it from being demolished in 1981 by the new owners, Neiman Marcus. The stained-glass dome was restored and preserved by the new owners. It has been reinstalled as part of the store’s entry and Rotunda Restaurant.

The new Neiman Marcus building was designed by postmodernist architect Philip Johnson. I haven’t seen the building in person. I don’t know that I would like seeing the elegant and beautiful dome inside a modern box. What about you?
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See this page for a photo of the current Neiman-Marcus building: California Historical Landmark – Noehill

Read an excerpt from a New York Times article here: NYTimes Excerpt – Review of Neiman Marcus

Wikipedia entry: City of Paris Dry Goods Co.
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In closing, I leave you with these words from Marshall Field & Company:

To do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way;
to do some things better than they were done before – 
The Marshall Field & Company idea.

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K Walsh:

I’ve heard of water issues with this type of plumbing. I agree, Buyer beware. There’s plenty of information available on the web. Here are a couple of sites with information.

http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2015/03/06/kitec-plumbing-in-your-home-will-cost-you.html

http://failures.wikispaces.com/PEX+Plumbing+Failures

According to this write up, the State of California has banned PEX in many building structures. http://www.coengineers.com/preventable-problems-with-pex/

Bear in mind that older homes that have been renovated may have this type of plumbing. Renovated homes are often pretty; Look beyond the surface appearance.

Originally posted on Kathy Della-Nebbia's Blog:

I always say, “hire a professional” and it is very important when hiring a home inspector to check out your potential new home.

I hadn’t heard of Kitec Plumbing a couple of years ago until a trusted home inspector found it in a home that my Buyer Clients were trying to purchase in Burlington.  It was a gorgeous, nine year old town-home in great condition.

kitec plumbing copied from kitecsettlement.com website. Typically orange and/or blue.

What a heart-breaker when the home inspector told us that Kitec Plumbing was found and that it has a high failure rate and was the subject of a class action law-suit.  

My clients were still interested in the property but could not live with the lack of peace of mind that this plumbing would bring. Visions of arriving home to a flood was more than anyone should be expected to endure. Now that the Seller knew about the issue, there…

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K Walsh:

Some things I find difficult to comprehend. This is one of those things.

Originally posted on WTVR.com:

Courtesy of Christy Buck Team at RE/MAX Top Realty

MANVEL, Texas — Looking for a massive fixer-upper property? Then this 46-bedroom, 60,175 square-foot home in

Texas is the home for you.

The brick home, built in 2001, was recently listed for $3.5 million. The home has 46 bedrooms, 26 full bathrooms, a 9-car garage, a spa, an indoor pool and an elevator.

While the home is currently listed at 46 bedrooms, once completed, the home could have as many as 70 bedrooms.

Courtesy of Christy Buck Team at RE/MAX Top Realty

“We have had some inquiries for assisted living,” Mona Miller of the Christy Buck Team at RE/MAX Top Realty in Houston told the Houston Chronicle.

The home, described by Homes of the Rich as ugly and weird, was built 14 years ago by a doctor and his wife. The couple originally planned to use the home…

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Originally posted on CCD Engineering Ltd:

Many homeowners love the industrial style because of its simplicity and boldness but sometimes aren’t sure where to begin, our advice know the basics and then you can transfer the knowledge to other areas of your home. You can find the basic knowledge of the style here: How To create an Industrial Style Kitchen and How to create an Incredible Industrial Style Dining/Living Room. For those looking to jump aboard this stylish trend with a particular room in mind do not worry we will also discuss other rooms as well and give other ideas on how to make it that more special. For today it is all about bathroom examples, using the basic knowledge to create a dynamic industrial bathroom.

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Ah, Spring!

Crocus

K Walsh:

Beautiful church.

Originally posted on Preservation in Pink:

via Instagram

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Winter rails. #presinpink

K Walsh:

Catching up on some internet surfing today. I love this shot, and I have a thing for bridges. Happy New Year, and may 2015 provide you a bridge to something new, something adventuresome, something fun, back to home if that’s where your heart is, and more.

Originally posted on Preservation in Pink:

via Instagram

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