After photo by Mister SF.
||Its central plaza
wasn't the only Union Square landmark that
got a makeover in 2002. The Neiman Marcus at
Geary and Stockton Streets went square - real square, man - as part of
a remodeling initiative aimed at increasing the department store's retail
floor space and improving seismic safety. The location is the former site
of San Francisco's beloved City of Paris
department store, which was torn down in the early 1980s to make way for
Neiman Marcus. The City of Paris was an institution rooted in Old San Francisco's
City of Paris Dry Goods Company. The beaux arts building that housed it
was deemed obsolete and incompatible with the requirements of a contemporary
department store. The building was torn down after much of the debate still
familiar today to both developers and preservationists. The 1980 building
was designed by prominent architects Phillip Johnson and John Burgee. Johnson
and Burgee moved the elegant City of Paris skylight
from its original location but incorporated it into the modern structure.
The rotunda restaurant here is the most frequently stated location of the
famous urban legend about a woman who asks what's the charge for the restaurant's
cookie recipe, is told "five," agrees, is charged five hundred dollars,
is refused a refund, then publishes the recipe in the local paper for revenge.