Architecture Detour: Palace of Fine Arts - San Francisco

Recently, my niece and I took a trip out west to visit colleges (she's only a high school junior, but ambitious and she's planning ahead), and as I anticipated, it turned out to be a wonderful architectural journey as well. I wanted to share photos of one of the most beautiful venues I've ever seen - the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

A few years ago as I passed this magnificent structure on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Good thing I wasn't driving! I knew when I returned to the city, I'd have to go back and spend some time.

The Palace of Fine Arts was built for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition with Bernard Maybeck as architect. As exposition buildings were only supposed to be built to last one year, the columns and rotunda of the Palace were framed with wood and covered with plaster and fiber material. However, there was a move to preserve the palace, and it was the only building to remain from the Exposition.

Reconstruction began in 1964 and improvements are still being made today. See my photos below. (Click on the slideshow to enlarge.)