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Local Knowledge: Palace of Fine Arts

After the 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed most of the city, San Francisco wanted to show the world that it could rise from the ashes. In 1910, the Palace of Fine arts was constructed for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the World’s Fair celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal. The original purpose of the Palace was to host art exhibitions during the fair. The Rotunda we know today was only 1 of 10 places used for the exhibition. All 9 of the other locations constructed were demolished after the the exhibition.

The palace has been saved from demolition multiple times, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. It is among the most popular tourist destinations in San Francisco, seeing over 1.5 million people visit annually.

There has recently been much debate as to what should go in the Palace of Fine Arts now that The Exploratorium has moved locations. The SF Parks and Recreation department is currently accepting applications for new tenants for the space. Priorities for the space have been set by department to include more public access, performance space, and dining. A tenant won’t be chosen until 2016, but what would YOU like to see in the Palace?

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