Palace Of Fine Arts

The idea for the Palace of Fine Arts came in 1910 when business and civic leaders came together to discuss making the city the site of the first world’s fair of the 20th century. This fair represented the exposition to honor the completion of the Panama Canal. In two hours, $4 million were raised which allowed San Francisco to host the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The Palace of Fine Arts is the work of the architect, Bernard Maybeck. Maybeck intended to make the structure mirror a ruin that was inspired by a Piranesi engraving that features a Roman ruin reflected in a swimming pool. Maybeck designed the structure for it to eventually fall into literal ruin. For a while, it did until Assemblyman Caspar Weinberger led the effort to restore the Palace. It was completely restored and opened in 1970 with the efforts by Walter Johnson and the Palace of Fine Arts League.