Frank Lloyd Wright San Francisco Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the most prolific and recognized architects in the United States. And it may be surprising for you to learn that the only San Francisco structure with his name on it is a little known art gallery formerly known as the Xanadu Gallery, located a few blocks from Union Square.

Xanadu Gallery is unfortunately now closed — as is the building to the public — but originally it was designed as the VC Morris Gift Shop in 1948. Wright used the VC Morris Gift Shop’s spiral ramp as a physical prototype for one of his most famous architectural feats: the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

The small downtown retail space was listed as number 126 out of 150 favorite US buildings by the American Institute of Architects in 2007. Number five is the Golden Gate Bridge. Thankfully, Wright’s building was designated an official city landmark in 1974 and has been protected from undue tampering ever since.

Frank Lloyd Wright San Francisco 2 Photo: Xanadu Gallery

Frank Lloyd Wright San Francisco 3 Photo: House of Hall/Flickr

Frank Lloyd Wright San Francisco 4 Photo: Library of Congress

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