In 1894 a fire destroyed the first of San Francisco’s 3 Cliff Houses. Two years later in 1896, Adolph Sutro built what would become the most iconic of them all. The beautiful 7 story victorian building survived the great quake of 1906 only to burn down in 1907. A year after the fire, construction began and the new Cliff House reopened in 1909. It was constructed with reinforced concrete with a boring neoclassical in design. Over the years the Cliff house has undergone many facelifts but it never came close to its past glory.
In 1977 the National Park Service acquired the Cliff House, making it part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In my opinion it now looks like a bunker but once you step inside you will be treated to world class views, good food and a nice bar.
A Pleasant Surprise
About a month ago I took the painting in to be framed. Before leaving I gave it one last look to make sure there wasn’t anything I forgot… Like maybe signing it? As I held the painting up sun light coming from a large window backlit the canvas making it look like someone flicked a switch inside the Cliff House. I told my framer Tony Baxter what happened and held it up to a window to show him. We both thought that was really cool and nothing more was said about it.
When I returned to pick up the painting I was very happy with the moulding I chose and how it was framed. What I didn’t know was Tony and his assistant Lorrie, figured a way to backlight the painting using very small LEDs and configured a way for me to switch it on and off. The result was amazing and now I’m thinking about other paintings I may want to do that could take advantage of this backlighting.
As much as I would like to keep it, the original is available, as well as canvas giclee prints.