Palace of Fine Arts

san francisco, CA

February 28, 2016

The backstory to this structure is kind of ridiculous. In 1915, architect Bernard Maybeck is commissioned to build the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exhibition, which is kind of like the World's Fair. Taking his inspiration from Roman and Greek architecture, he designs what's supposed to be temporary modern ruins. People like the Palace so much, that they want to keep it.

The Palace of Fine Arts, 1915

The Palace of Fine Arts, 1915

I get why. It's gorgeous. It's also not durable. It was supposed to be temporary, remember? It lasts until about the 1950s, at which point it becomes an eye sore. But folks still aren't willing to let it go. So in 1964, most of the Palace is almost completely demolished, and re-built with concrete and steel beams. It's nearly identical to the original save for some decorative murals in the dome, a bit of flair elsewhere, and a pair or gateways.  It was renovated again in 2008. 

The Palace-- which is way larger in person than it looks in pictures--  is super popular with tourists, and a hotspot for weddings,. It's also the inspiration for a miniature replica that can be seen at Disney's California Adventure.


Images provided by Demetria Lucas D'Oyley. All rights reserved.