Francisco' s widest street, Van Ness Avenue, runs straight down the middle
of Civic Center, a Beaux Arts architectural wonder where The City's symphony,
opera and ballet dazzle audiences. One of the area's crown jewels, the
War Memorial Opera House, is one of the world's greatest opera houses.
This gem was designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., who also designed the newly
renovated City Hall, and Coit Tower. The Asian Art Museum is one of the
largest museums in the world devoted exclusively to Asian art with a collection
comprising nearly 15,000 objects spanning 6,000 years of history. The
museum reopened in March 2003 at its new, expanded Civic Center facility.
The main library at Grove and McAllister Streets is one of the greatest
public learning centers in the country and one of the most technologically
advanced in the world. Over one million books, 400 electronic work stations,
a children's discovery center, and special rooms on African American,
Chinese, Filipino American, gay and lesbian works surround a light-filled
atrium. One of The City's major convention venues, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium,
hosts numerous concerts and public events throughout the year.