San Francisco City Hall celebrates 100th anniversary

Bay City News
Saturday, June 20, 2015
 San Francisco's City Hall reopens in 1999
The exterior of San Francisco's City Hall is seen Tuesday, Jan. 5, 1999, after a five-year renovation and seismic retrofit. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hundred years after the construction of San Francisco City Hall, the public was invited to attend a centennial celebration Friday night featuring an architectural lightshow, silent disco, beer garden, as well as

live music and food trucks.

Beginning at 6 p.m., Civic Center Plaza, just outside City Hall, was be transformed with a Ferris wheel, a sculpture garden and two stages with live music. The free event went until 11 p.m. and was family-friendly.

According to the Centennial Planning Committee, the centennial celebration aimed to raise $4 million for capital improvements to ensure that City Hall lasts for coming generations.

After the city's original City Hall crumbled in the 1906 earthquake, the doors of the new City Hall building were unlocked on December 28, 1915 by then-mayor James Rolph.

The new building cost $8.8 million and was paid off in 1960, according to San Francisco History Center at the San Francisco Public Library.

The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978, roughly a month before former Supervisor Dan White resigned from office and then shot and killed then-Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk on

November 27. Following Moscone's assassination, Dianne Feinstein was appointed San Francisco's first and so far only female mayor.

In 1996, Willie Brown Jr. was elected, becoming San Francisco's first African-American mayor.

City Hall sustained structural damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, and required roughly $300 million in seismic retrofitting and remodeling. The building reopened to the public in 1999.

In 2011, San Francisco's current mayor, Ed Lee, became the San Francisco's first elected Chinese-American mayor.

City Hall houses the offices of public officials such as the Mayor, members of the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff, and the City Attorney.

There are numerous public events held in the building each week, including the full meeting of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesdays, at which members of the public are given an opportunity to publicly comment on proposed legislation.

Friday's multimedia lightshow, designed by the San Francisco-based Digital Obscura, started at 9:30 p.m. and used City Hall's new LED lighting system to project lights, images and video clips onto the facade of the 100-year-old building.