The hallmark of a great city has always been a thriving arts scene. San Francisco’s scene has just made a major step in this direction with the topping out (that means the last steel beam has been set in place) of a $193 million performing arts center and residential tower at 200 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. The building was made possible by a gift of $46.4 million from the William K. Bowes Foundation—the largest single gift ever made to a conservatory or music school for a new facility in the United States.
Once open, the Bowes Center will provide housing for 420 students. It will also feature a restaurant with a live performance space, multiple classrooms and rehearsal spaces for ensembles, practice rooms, a recording studio and technology hall, a large observation deck and garden, conference facilities, a student center, and several apartments for visiting artists and faculty. In addition, the new building will include 27 apartments to replace the rent-stabilized residential units that were housed in the previous structure.
But most importantly, the building will boast two concert halls: one at sidewalk level with a gallery wall for passersby to enjoy, and a rooftop concert hall with stunning vistas of San Francisco City Hall, the War Memorial Opera House, and Davies Symphony Hall. Hundreds of concerts will be held at Bowes annually, with over 90% of them free and open to the public.