It was a spur of moment type of thing, I put on my sweaters, scarf, hat, camera, and headed to a place I been waiting to see again for a while.

When I arrived at Legion of Honor in San Francisco, I smiled.

This was the first museum I visited in 1997 when I first arrived in America. My mother was an art student then. She would bring me along with her to the art classes held here at Legion of Honor. I spent hours wondering around the museum: upstairs, downstairs, east, west, inside, outside, dark corners, bright hall ways and all. The time has passed by, but when I returned again, this time in 2012, I felt happy and relieved that the museum still looks the same: glorious and majestic.

California Palace of the Legion of the Honor was a gift from Alma de Bretteville Spreckels. Alma persuaded her husband, sugar and horse breeding business giant Adolph B. Spreckels, to build this museum after falling in love with the French Pavilion exhibition at San Francisco’s Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. If you are wondering why this building looks kind of familiar, you are not crazy. The French Pavilion exhibition that Lady Alma fell in love with, was a replica of Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris, so that is why this museum has reminiscence of the famous landmark. (I want to know how and what Alma did to persuade her husband…its a lot of $$ to do this)

Although I was shivering under the freezing weather (I forgot to bring my gloves and I underestimated the cold weather), I enjoyed walking around the museum when it is long after closing hours with not a hint of human being can be seen around.

The darkness, the silence, and melancholy from the surrounding “forests” made this museum stands out even more. Not to mention their superb lighting for the building, that made photographing so much easier. Honestly, no matter how you take pictures here at night, nothing can go wrong.

The gate leading to the inside of the museum may be closed after dark, but I find my ways to enjoy the time I would otherwise have not been able to if I came during day time.

Have you ever visited a museum after closing hours? Tired of trying to get that “perfect” shot among the crowds during the day? May be it is time to visit the museum after dark.

*Stay tuned for more Museums After Dark!

For More Information About Legion of Honor

Address: 100 34th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121 (surrounded by a golf course!)

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 9:30am – 5:15pm

Free Admission Day: First Tuesday of Every Month! (Not including special exhibition)

Public Transportation: Muni Buses #1 and #18.