Photographer's Note

Originally built for The Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915 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.The original columns and Rotunda were framed in wood, and covered with "staff", a mixture of plaster and burlap-type fiber. It was the largest building ever to be made of that material. For the purposes of the exposition,the buildings were supposed to last a year and then collapse readily.The Palace slowly crumbled from the ravages of the weather and ill-use. Finally, the structure had to be fenced off as it was a public hazard.Then, in the late 1950's the rotunda, colonnade and all except the steel framework of the gallery were torn down and replaced with concrete castings.The gallery area now houses the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre and the Exploratorium.

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