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Palace of Fine Arts

Where was the first world’s fair of the twentieth century held? San Francisco! The Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915 ran for nine months and hosted over 18 million visitors. In order to create its fairgrounds, over 600 acres of bay marsh were filled-in to create new land!

Today, the area is a residential neighborhood with one graceful curiosity along the waterfront, the Palace of Fine Arts. Originally, it was one of the eleven “palaces” that were fashioned for the Panama Pacific International Exposition in order to showcase exhibits from all over the world.

Architect Bernard R. Maybeck, designed the pavillion site with a domed-rotunda, a colonnade topped with statues of weeping maidens, a reflecting pool, and an exhibition hall. The Palace was to appear as a modern Greco-Roman ruin and then disappear quietly at the end. Like most of the fair’s creations, it was all constructed of wood and steel framing and finished with plaster and chicken wire!