De Young Museum
When you approach the de Young Museum, located in Golden Gate Park, it is easy to forget that the museum is one of San Francisco's oldest, having been founded in 1895. The structure that houses it today is a striking contemporary masterpiece designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, clad in copper that will oxidize with age to match the landscape around it. The institution's current home opened in 2005, after its former building was damaged in 1989 in the Loma Prieta earthquake (following the addition of temporary braces, the museum continued to operate in that building for another 10 years). In addition to admiring the architecture, you'll want to see the art inside too, of course. The de Young's permanent collection of 27,000 works spans the globe, with pieces from Africa, Oceania and the Americas; the de Young also hosts significant traveling exhibitions.