I never tire of photographing San Francisco City Hall. It’s a beautifully balanced, Beaux-Arts building that sits at the end of a long, tree-lined promenade. It’s dramatic and impressive when photographed at sunrise, when it’s front-lit, and just as impressive at night when it’s lit by LED lights in a variety of color schemes, depending on the occasion.

I read that it was going to be lit up in gold on New Year’s Day night, so I went into the city before the blue hour to catch the building at just the right time. Well, I got lots of photos as the sun went down, the sky got darker, and the building’s lights made it progressively brighter. But … it never turned gold. I guess someone didn’t get the memo.

Nevertheless, it still made for a beautiful photo.

Here’s the building at 4:41 p.m., after the sun had just gone down.

At 5:14, as the lights on the building became more visible.

At 5:45, in the blue hour, when there’s still light in the sky and yet the building’s lights shine brightly. This is the best photo of the day.

Taken from across Polk St. at 5:50 to show the lines of the crosswalk leading to the promenade and building.

I was only mildly disappointed that the building wasn’t lit up gold. It’s always worth photographing, and I imagine I’ll have another chance next year to see what it looks like with gold lighting.