My wife and I where discussing the new Cliff House as well and it seems it is a typical San Francisco "restoration" endeavour. Sure the Pronto Pup wasnt all that scenic but why could they not do a historically accurate restoration of the Cliff House. Why does "restoration" in SF always involve the installation of some ultra modern non historic elements such as the new wing. Good examples are the Cliff House or the retrofitted Asian Art Museum/Library.
Are the old classic buildings that poorly designed from an aesthetic standpoint? Does the installation of exposed steel beams and exposed elevator hydraulics appeal to the senses?
Somehow the SF "bureau Gods" seem to want some hybrid neo futuristic pan classical San Francisco