Newsletter | May/Jun 2006

Architectural Tour of the de Young Museum

Friday, June 23 April 2006

Patricia M. Lacson, de Young Administrator

5:00-5:30 PM: Purchase museum entry tickets, $10. No additional tour charge
5:30 PM: Tour starts

de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA
Tour will start at the Wilsey Court, main gathering space on the first floor


The OWA is delighted to coordinate an architectural tour of the new de Young Museum specifically for our May program. One of the tour guides will be Patricia Lacson, a de Young administrator whose specialty is the architecture and operations of the museum. The museum stays open until 8:45 and runs special events on Friday nights which participants are free to enjoy after the tour.

About the de Young

Founded in 1895 in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years.

On October 15, 2005, the de Young Museum re-opened in a state-of-the-art new facility that integrates art, architecture and the natural landscape in one multi-faceted destination that will inspire audiences from around the world. Designed by the renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects in San Francisc and built by Swinerton Builders, the new 293,000 sf de Young provides San Francisco with a landmark art museum to showcase the museum's priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.

About the Building Construction

Constructed of warm, natural materials including copper, stone, wood and glass, the new de Young will blend with and complement its natural surroundings. Ribbons of windows will erase the boundary between the museum interior and the lush natural environment outside, and four public entrances will segue naturally from the park's pathways, welcoming visitors from all directions.

The building's dramatic copper facade will be perforated and textured to replicate the impression made by light filtering through a tree canopy, creating an artistic abstraction on the exterior of the museum that resonates with the de Young's tree-filled park setting. The building's copper skin, chosen for its changeable quality through oxidation, will assume a rich patina over time that will blend gracefully with the surrounding natural environment.

The northeast corner of the building features a 144-foot education tower that gently spirals from the ground floor and aligns at the top with the grid formed by the streets of the Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods surrounding the park. A public observation floor will offer panoramic views of the entire Bay Area.

Garden as viewed from tower

About the Landscape Design

The outdoor environment of the new de Young, designed by Walter Hood, of Hood Design in Oakland features a public sculpture garden and terrace beneath a cantilevered roof; a children's garden; and landscaping that creates an organic link between the building and the surrounding environment on all four sides. The landscape design integrates historic elements from the old de Young--including the sphinx sculptures, the Pool of Enchantment, and the original palm trees--as well as sandstone, redwood, ferns and other plants and materials relevant to the site, creating a museum that will be permeable, open and inviting to the public.

About the architectural guide, Patricia Lacson

Appointed in July 2005, Ms. Lacson is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the de Young Museum, located in Golden Gate Park. She was also responsible for the planning of all non-art aspects that were critical to the successful, on-time opening of the museum in October 2005.

Associated with the Fine Arts Museums since 1992, Ms. Lacson was the Project Manager for the rebuilding of the de Young Museum. She was also the Project Manager for the renovation, expansion and seismic upgrade of the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park which reopened to the public in 1995.

Ms. Lacson received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in 1982. She is a member of the International Association of Museum Facility Administrators and SPUR.


Parking is available in the new Music Concourse Garage. Access to the north entrance of the Music Concourse Parking is from Fulton St. at 10th Ave. Access to the south entrance is at Concourse Dr. and Martin Luther King Dr. inside the park.

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