Old De Young

Now that the excitement of the opening of the new de Young Museum has cooled a tad, it might be a good time for a moment of nostalgia. The main entrance to the old de Young is shown below. Straight ahead was a large room with high ceilings, popular for events. The Asian Art Museum was housed in a wing to the left. I used to park in the lot to the right, enter by the staff entrance over there, and cut through the darkened museum. It was wonderful to pad across the tile floors in the near dark. Sometimes I would stop briefly to enjoy the de Young’s marvelous Maya stela, its cool limestone fairly glowing amid the old building’s eerie shadows.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go back to that museum. It was, for one thing, earthquake unsafe, and the de Young could not get insurance indemnity to host major shows. Still, I especially loved this space in the early morning before the lights went up.

lobby of old de young building

← Previous post

Next post →


  1. annexensen

    the security people at the front door were always nice there too

  2. I hate the architecture of the new De Young, soo ugly and depressing. Does not rejuvenate and lift the spirits as the old one did. Someone called the new one industrial and brutalist architecture. I think of the new architecture as post apocalyptic.
    The old one was lovely. I miss it so much.