Sometimes an architect's job is to hide the past. For example, to turn an elementary school into a retirement home. Or to turn a craptastic shack into a beautiful home.
But other times, letting the history of a building shine through is an asset. Case in point: One Grant Avenue in downtown San Francisco. This building clearly had a life long before it was turned into an Armani store.
It began its existence as the Savings Union Bank back in 1911, as the city was getting back on its feet after the Great Earthquake and Fire. Years later, the bank would be absorbed by others and its name passed into history.
Today, the columns and pediments continue to stand strong, as they were intended, to symbolize the eternal strength of the bank that built them. A bank that is now long gone.