Virtual Guidebook to The City of San Francisco
Palace of Fine Arts
Marina District, San Francisco California


The Palace of Fine Arts was built as part of the Panama Pacific world's fair in 1915 in an area of swampy pastureland. It was intended to be temporary, and to be demolished along with the rest of the buildings at the end of the exposition. But many people just couldn't bear to see it go, so it was spared the wreckers ball.

The problem was, it was built of lath and plaster and soon began to deteriorate. I remember seeing it, as a child in the 1950's, a picturesque ruin on the verge of collapse. There was a public fund raising drive to rebuild using more durable materials, and it re-opened in 1965.



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The entrance to the Palace of Fine Arts

(March 30, 2001)


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The Palace of Fine Arts, seen from across the lagoon

(March 30, 2001)


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Morning at the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District

(March 30, 2001)


Next Locality: San Francisco Marina