Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member GeoBrowns
N 37° 48.195 W 122° 26.819
10S E 548683 N 4184129
Quick Description: The Palace of Fine Arts was built for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exhibition. The neoclassical structure was designed
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 10/28/2006 1:34:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMWMC
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Jeremy
Views: 82

Long Description:
The task of creating a Palace of Fine Arts for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition fell to the architect Bernard R. Maybeck. Setting to work on this new project, he chose as his theme a Roman ruin, mutilated and overgrown, in the mood of a Piranesi engraving.

By the closing of the Exposition, on December 4 of the same year, a movement to preserve the Palace was already under way; signatures and money were gathered from the Fine Arts League. But before a restoration could take place, the Palace many different uses. In 1934, eighteen lighted tennis courts were installed and remained there for eight years. During this period, the Palace, without proper maintenance and as a result of vandalism, was gradually crumbling into a genuine ruin. Then during World War II it was requisitioned by the Army for storage of trucks and jeeps. At the end of the war, when the United Nations was created in San Francisco, limousines used by the world's statesmen came from a motor pool there.

In the meantime, from 1947 on, the hall continued to be put to various uses: as a city Park Department warehouse; as a telephone book distribution center; as a flag and tent storage depot; and even as temporary Fire Department headquarters.

The work of demolition and reconstruction began in 1964. The rotunda and the columns were toppled to the ground. Nothing was left but the steel structure of the gallery itself.

By 1966, when 20,000 people visited the unfinished Palace during a public "walk-through," the new structure was close to completion. It had been solidly rebuilt by the best engineers available, the "staff" work being cast, stratified in the casting like stone, and proof against peeling off. A final solution for it's use was presented and in August of 1969, the Park and Recreation Commission formally approved the plan to house a museum.

Starting with a few temporary exhibits, the museum grew rapidly. In 1980, cramped for space by its collection of exhibits, the museum built a mezzanine within the exhibition hall, adding another 15,000 square feet of exhibit space. By 1983, the Exploratorium had more than 500 exhibits on light and color, sound and music, patterns of motion, language, and other natural phenomena.

Over the past decade, Exploratorium has greatly expanded its role in exhibit-based public education, becoming a nucleus for interaction between science, science education, and the public.

The entire history and information can be found here:

Then: 1915

Now taken 10/27/06

Year photo was taken: 1915

Visit Instructions:

To log a visit to each spot you are required to take your own photo. Alternatively you can tell a story about your own experience at the location or any unique information about that location to count as a visit.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Photos Then and Now
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Casper&Aero visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 11/4/2017 Casper&Aero visited it
NCDaywalker visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 10/6/2016 NCDaywalker visited it
Eca_74 visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 2/17/2016 Eca_74 visited it
PalgravePosse visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 10/28/2013 PalgravePosse visited it
petendot visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 9/7/2012 petendot visited it
Les Chnous visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 7/7/2012 Les Chnous visited it
Saureus visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 6/19/2012 Saureus visited it
Queens Blessing visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 12/29/2010 Queens Blessing visited it
dragnwagn8 visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 7/27/2010 dragnwagn8 visited it
lison55 visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 1/12/2010 lison55 visited it
fubarman visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 5/27/2009 fubarman visited it
saopaulo1 visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 3/27/2009 saopaulo1 visited it
ucdvicky visited Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco 12/4/2007 ucdvicky visited it

View all visits/logs