Union Square is San Francisco's premier shopping district, situated in the heart of the city, just to the southwest of the Financial District, between Geary, Post, Powell and Stockton streets. This is the place to shop, with upscale boutiques and department stores and prestigious national and international retailers jockeying for position around the square, among them the likes of Tiffany’s, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Christian Dior, Cartier, Gumps, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Nordstrom...
Exploring Union Square
In addition to shopping, there are the 2.6-acre Union Square Park at the center of the square, with the 97-foot bronze Dewey Monument; the maple-tree-lined Maiden Lane, a pedestrian street that dashes off eastward from the square, between Post and Geary, crammed with shops, boutiques, galleries and cafés; and the elegant Westin St Francis Hotel, located on the square itself, on Powell Street, built in 1904 in the Renaissance and Baroque Revival style and claiming among its guests celebrities and dignitaries from around the world.
Also, just to the west of Union Square lies San Francisco’s vibrant theater district, with no fewer than ten venues, notable among them the grand Geary Theater, dating from 1909, and the Curran Theatre with its Romanesque arches, dating from 1922.
The Civic Center is a triangular tract situated just southeast of Union Square and east of SoMa, described by Market Street and Van Ness and Golden Gate avenues. This is where San Francisco's City Hall and local government offices are located, housed in a group of Beaux Arts-style buildings that are among the finest examples of that style of architecture in the US. City Hall is particularly fascinating, crowned with a massive 307-foot dome that is more than 13 feet taller than the one on the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Besides City Hall, the Civic Center is home to the world-renowned San Francisco Opera, the second largest opera venue in the nation, with a 3,146-seat capacity; and the San Francisco Ballet, notable as the oldest ballet company in the country, where the very first American productions of the Nutcracker and Swan Lake were performed. Also at the Civic Center is the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, home to the San Francisco Symphony.
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