Official website: Palace of Fine Arts

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(c) 2009  All photography on this site is considered the intellectual property of Roger Hall.


Palace of Fine Art Photo Gallery

The Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915 was an event dedicated to progress, the celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal, and the rebirth of San Francisco following the disastrous 1906 earthquake. Funds came from six million dollars in donations, five million in state bonds and five million in San Francisco taxes. A nationwide architectural commission conceived of the Exposition as an architectural unit, and Berkeley architect Bernard Maybeck was assigned the task of designing the Palace of Fine Arts.

When the ashes of the Exposition were cleared, all that was left was the Palace of Fine Arts. It was maintained first by the San Francisco Art Association who attempted to raise additional funds for the preservation. After the First World War, the Palace became part of the city park system.

Then, in the late 1950's, a group of dedicated citizens, led by philanthropist Walter S. Johnson, initiated a drive to rescue the Palace from planned demolition and restore it to its former glory. On July 20, 1964, a contract was awarded and the reconstruction began. Workers carefully 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. (Source: Palace of Fine Arts)

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