"PALACE OF FINE ARTS" Palace of Fine Arts Tip by smschley

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco: 62 reviews and 105 photos


The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 was an event dedicated to progress, the Worlds? fair that celebrated San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake and fire. Funds came from six million dollars in donations, five million in state bonds and five million in San Francisco taxes. The expo lasted for 288 days and the buildings extended about a mile along the shore. The rosy rococo palace is the sole survivor of the many tinted-plaster structures. For purposes of an exposition, the buildings were supposed to last a year and then collapse readily, durability was not a concern.

After the Exposition, 33,000 supportive signatures were gathered, and $350,000 was raised towards the duplication of the Palace in lasting materials. Two World Wars stopped the project from going any further, and the Palace slowly crumbled from the ravages of the weather and ill-use. Finally, the structure had to be fenced off as it was a public hazard

Finally in 1964, a contract was awarded and the reconstruction began. Workers removed original design elements from which molds were made. The rotunda, colonnade and all except the steel framework of the gallery were torn down and replaced with concrete castings. In September, 1967, work was completed of a stripped-down version of Maybeck's original. The addition of the remaining original colonnades was completed in January, 1975. The 1,000-seat theater was added in 1970 and is used for many festivals and events. The massive columns, great rotunda (dedicated to the glory of Greek culture), and swan-filled lagoon have been used in countless fashion layouts and films

Address: 3601 Lyon Street
Directions: (415) 561-0360
Phone: (415) 561-0360
Website: http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 12, 2005
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