In 1919, major portions of the second de Young museum were completed in the Spanish Plateresque style. The central section and the tower were added in 1921, and the west wing in 1925. The original building was deemed unsafe and demolished in 1929. The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake severely damaged the second building and inevitably it was demolished.
On October 15, 2005, the de Young Museum designed by Herzog & de Meuron re-opened its doors in a state-of-the-art new facility. Its perforated copper façade is patterned on the play of light beneath the canopy of trees within the Music Concourse. The new de Young showcases the museum's priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.
The Sphinxes that you see today originally marked the entrance to the Egyptian Building at the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, the first home of the de Young museum.
M.H. de Young
The de Young Museum was created when the Egyptian Revival Fine Arts building of the 1894 Mid Winter Exposition was given to the Park Commission. Micheal de Young, the founder and publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle, led the charge in organizing the public museum which housed 6,000 objects left over from the exposition, his
own collection, as well as thousands of items donated by San Francisco families.