Friday, March 12, 2010

CSI: San Francisco Bathroom

I had occasion recently to visit the bathroom at CSI: San Francisco (otherwise known as Congregation Sherith Israel). The synagogue's building was built in 1904, just before the big SF earthquake of '06. And it survived (whew!). In addition to a beautiful painted dome upstairs, with an organ and some lovely stained-glass work, they also have this nifty ladies' restroom on the ground floor.

As you can see, there is a whole powder room before you even get to the bathroom part of it. Above, you can see the make-up/touch-up area, with a big mirror, curlicue chairs, and bottles of lotion.

There is also a huge couch, a chair, full-length mirror, and fresh orchids. Not too shabby. The major bonus of this set-up, though, is the fact that, when the line gets long, you just wait in here, instead of standing around in the hallway.

In the next room, which is not as big, there are sinks, a stained-glass window, and a baby changing station, cleverly located near the heating unit, which is a good thing, because these big old buildings are hard to keep warm.

In the third section, there are toilet stalls. And the architects somehow managed to cram a significant amount of them into a fairly small space. So even though it's a little cramped, there's enough for everybody. And the doors are even on automatic springed hinges, so they stay open when they're not locked - no guessing or checking under the door to see if someone is in the stall.

I think the details in the whole bathroom are just lovely, like these charming and oh-so-unnecessary embroidered cases for the tissue boxes. Kind of makes you want to blow your nose and wipe that little tear forming at the corner of your eye because it's just so beautiful.

They also have a very nice "modern" bathroom in the building annex next door, but you know, I think this one just has so much charm. It reportedly has had its attention, back in the day. And, as I hear it, the men's loo is not nearly so special. In fact, given that, I think this one makes up for those tricked out men's rooms from the America's Best Restroom competition. No pool tables or shoe-shine stations here. I think the building designers knew where the priorities were when it came to restroom facilities. And I'm all about the powder rooms, so this is going down as one of *my* favorites.

Check it out if you're ever in the area!

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