An Elegant Space Fallen from Grace @ the Westfield San Francisco’s Rotunda

I used to praise the beautifully preserved rotunda and the space underneath it at the San Francisco Westfield Mall. It was amazing how the construction of this massive downtown mall managed to preserve the rotunda and how it generously provided a quiet and somewhat meditating space that was free of shopping activities. I thought maybe the developer cut a sweet deal with the city to provide this space in return for something lucrative.

But after my recent visit, I guess it wasn’t the case for this “privately-owned private” space. The space has been turned into a café area run by Le Boulange which is now a Starbuck-ized franchise. The transparent glass on the rotunda has been covered to make it into a background for some laser or light show. As a result, the original kind of larger-than-life experience has been ill-transformed into another shopping square footage filled with a sense of cheap and low-taste. In the end, the Westfield San Francisco is just another mall.

the sun-lit space before the conversion

the sun-lit rotunda before the conversion

856 market st, san Francisco – 3:03pm, nov 25, 2012


4 thoughts on “An Elegant Space Fallen from Grace @ the Westfield San Francisco’s Rotunda

  1. savvydan says:

    This space has been one of my favorites. I had no idea it had changed. I wish you had posted pictures of how it looks with the cafe. I will be there and see for myself today. I hope it is not too sad. It was so nice to sit there. Quiet, peaceful, almost sacred. A wonderful contrast to the hyper-commercialism all around. Nice blog.

    • kam says:

      Thanks for the note. Indeed it was a space for people to chill out when the crazy shopping was happening in the rest of the mall. Hope you had a nice visit.

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