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Sketching The Hibernia in San Francisco – a drawing tutorial by Dan Hogman

Artist and architect Dan Hogman sketches the Hibernia bank building, designed by Albert Pissis, credited for introducing Neoclassical architecture to the city with this structure.

by Dan HogmanPublished on : Feb 12, 2020

In this edition of sketching tutorials, Dan Hogman journeys to San Francisco, a city known for its multifarious mix of Victorian, Neoclassical and contemporary architectural history. Hogman observes and freezes in time the Hibernia bank building, one of the oldest architectural gems of the city, located in downtown San Francisco, United States. Designed by French architect Albert Pissis, the structure upon completion was famously, and lovingly called 'The Paragon' by the city’s locals, as they were so smitten by it.

Pissis is credited to introducing this style of architecture to San Francisco through the Hibernia, and also draws from the area’s history and character. Built in 1892 by the Hibernia Savings and Loan Society, the Hibernia is one of the first buildings in San Francisco to lend to the grandiose style of Neoclassical revivalism – from its grand domed entrance to the mammoth colonnade adorning its exterior. Tiffany-style skylights decorate its interiors, flooding the main hall in honey coloured natural light. It greatly contributed to the city’s history and architectural narrative.

Hogman brings to paper the Hibernia’s built character, through bold, straight strokes and detailing out the shadows of the many windows on its outsides. Being one of the only buildings to have survived the 1906 fire and earthquake, the structure was restored within five weeks, to its former grandeur. Sadly, the Hibernia building now is in a dilapidated, unused state, its exterior rotting away from years of neglect.

See the Hibernia bank building etched in ink and paper in the tutorial above, and for more such videos by Dan Hogman click here.

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