Hallidie: The Man, the Building, & the Restoration | Mechanics' Institute

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Hallidie: The Man, the Building, & the Restoration
With Taryn Edwards, Rick Evans, and Bruce Albert

Photograph of the Hallidie Building

Join MI historian and librarian Taryn Edwards, architectural tour guide Rick Evans, and Hallidie building restoration Project Manager Bruce Albert, Principal, The Albert Group, LCC in a discussion about Hallidie, his namesake building, and its extraordinary renovation. Moderated by Ralph Lewin, Mechanics’ Institute Executive Director.

Most San Franciscans have walked by Willis Polk's seven-story glass-clad blue and gold masterpiece on Sutter Street without giving a thought to the man for whom it is named.

Andrew Smith Hallidie arrived in California during the Gold Rush and quickly rose to meet the challenges of the frontier by using his gumption and father’s patented wire rope to build bridges, ore transportation systems, and most famously the San Francisco cable car. By the end of his life in 1900, Hallidie was a leader of the state’s industrial endeavors and a champion of the region’s libraries and educational institutions. Hired by the University of California to commemorate Hallidie's extraordinary achievements, Willis Polk created an architectural tour de force that was recently renovated by Page & Turnbull.


Taryn Edwards is Librarian and Strategic Partnerships Manager for the Mechanics’ Institute of San Francisco. She spends a lot of private time digging up history of the place and people associated with it. She is fascinated by the “mechanics” of writing in the digital age: how authors and historians manage their research, design their project’s structure, and use technology to supplement their workflow. She lives in the beautiful East Bay with her husband, daughter, and two energetic dogs.

Rick Evans is celebrating his 9th year as owner/operator of the very popular San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour ArchitectureSF.com, which highlights the architectural gems and the urban plan of the city’s Financial District and SOMA neighborhood. A city dweller of San Francisco since 1994, Rick has always been fascinated with the city’s architecture and continues to study and research the incredible feats of engineering, from the minute to the massive. Currently he is working on a book to highlight the buildings and career of Willis Polk who he considers to be the “Master Architect” of San Francisco.

Bruce Albert is a graduate of the School of Architecture at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. A licensed architect in the state of California, he also holds an NCARB certificate. He practiced architecture for ten years, specializing in the construction administration of commercial, medical and renovation projects.

Mr. Albert left the architectural profession in 1985 to devote his efforts toward management of projects for development firms. He received his license as a general contractor and in 1987, he co-founded The Albert Group to provide consulting owner representation and project and construction management services. His experience includes new construction as well as the renovation of commercial, retail and multi-family projects.

Mr. Albert is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR). He has completed additional course work in construction management and construction law at Harvard University and the University of California.


Hallidie Buiilding photo by Keith Baker.


Mechanics' Institute Members Free
AIA SF Members Free
Public $15
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4th Floor Meeting Room
Pam Troy - 415-393-0116
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0101.

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