San Francisco Conservatory’s new Bowes Center points to vision of wide accessibility

Posted on: November 24, 2021

“If any recent building embodies Civic Center in the here and now—both its aspirations and its realities—the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Bowes Center for Performing Arts is the one,” writes John King in Monday’s (11/21) San Francisco Chronicle. “The 12-story addition to Van Ness Avenue commands the corner that’s one block south of City Hall…. There are beds and classrooms for students, but also apartments for … low-income people…. On top is a glassed-in performance space with eye-popping views of the City Hall dome. Down below [are] a restaurant and another performance nook…. Bowes Center signals a major expansion of the Conservatory of Music…. The new structure was driven by a desire to provide housing for roughly 400 of its 480 students, while also raising the school’s visibility. The location … is across from Davies Hall…. The [November] press preview gave a hint of the building’s potential: pianist Garrick Ohlsson and legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma played in the penthouse performance hall…. When Bowes Center fully opens on Feb. 12, 2022 …. nearly all the concerts … will be free to the general public. Civic Center will have a new attraction—and a genuinely accessible one at that.”