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New Bird's-Eye View of San Francisco

September 15, 1996

San Francisco tourists will get a new 360-degree view of the skyline starting at 5 p.m. Friday when One Embarcadero Center opens its rooftop SkyDeck.

The wrap-around observatory is on the 41st floor of the office tower, which occupies a square block in the city's financial district, bounded by Sacramento, Clay, Battery and Front streets. The north and south sides will be open-roofed; the east and west sides will be glassed in.

On a clear day, visitors can spot the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, City Hall, Alcatraz Island, Berkeley and Sausalito, among other sites, from their 565-foot-high perch.

The SkyDeck will have kiosks where visitors can touch computer screens to learn about San Francisco's history, including the 1906 earthquake; commerce and trade; cable cars and other transportation; the "Beat" and flower-power movements; the waterfront; and minority communities.

The facility will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays, open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on other weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. It will also be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission: $4 general; $3.50 seniors and students 13-17; $3 children 5-12; and free for children under 5. Information: (800) 733-6318.

Meanwhile, San Francisco's longest-running 360-degree view--albeit indoors--will reopen Monday after a three-month, $1.2 million renovation. The Top of the Mark lounge, at the Mark Hopkins Inter-Continental Hotel since 1939, has added a dance floor, moved its bar to a corner overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and will feature music seven nights a week. The hotel is at Number One Nob Hill.

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