The second museum building was also truly the first "de Young" museum. Designed by the great architect Louis Christian Mullgardt (he also did the Infant Shelter/Conservatory of Music building), its facade had an amazing amount of filligreed relief. A mix of Spanish Renaissance Baroque and Cal-Mex stylings with a pink and white color scheme made this "de Young" a lush eyeful. The ornamentation was all stripped away in 1949 because of maintenance issues, leaving the bare, beige walls most visitors remember today.
Yet another new De Young Museum is under construction, towering over the green belt of trees, visible from the unexpected places. Controversial for its size and design (people have called it Mayan-meets-"Star Wars"), its final shape, form, and appraisal are still to come.
Images: 1 & 2) De Young Museum, 1930s (postcard images); 3) De Young Museum under construction, December 2004 (WNP photo)
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Page launched 30 December 2004.