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Cityscapes: SF's Buildings

The San Francisco Chronicle boasts one of our nation's best architecture critics in John King. We happy citizens of the City by the Bay look out for his column in each Tuesday's paper, though his short addition to the Sunday edition—CItyscapes—is often just as rewarding. Heyday Books in Berkeley, California, has seen fit to print a pocket-sized edition of the best of those short pieces aptly titled Cityscapes: San Francisco and Its Buildings. Here we get 50 doses of the wit, wonder, and historical accumen King distills each week for the paper. The avid city-walker turns his attentions to iconic structures like the Transamerica Pyramid and neighborhood treasures such as Pacifc Primary School with equal aplomb. Call it a guidebook for locals, Cityscapes takes in the great breadth of San Francisco's built landscape and in it finds joy, beauty, and the great dynamic thrum that marks one of the world's most vital cities.  

The inclusion of the Lakeside Medical Center, an off-the-beaten track structure marked by its "streamlined exclamation point," in Cityscapes tells you all you need to know about King as a critic on the lookout not for icons but for the landmarks by which citizens navigate their city. Lakeside is a small neighborhood and this is certainly what you'll remember most about it. It's about time this retro tower, which King calls "a cross between a tower and a marquee," gets its due.

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