Palace Of Fine Arts/Marina

Neighborhood: Marina


The 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition was a momentous occasion for the city of San Francisco. Only a decade removed from the most disastrous earthquake in the state’s history, city officials felt it was the perfect time to showcase what San Francisco had in store for the future. Architect Bernard Maybeck had a brilliant vision for its centerpiece structure: he wanted to invoke the imagery of Roman ruins, creating “a sense of sadness, modified by the feeling that beauty has a soothing influence.”

The Palace was an instant hit with the public (maybe even more than the art it was intended to exhibit). After the fair, admirers begged the city to leave it standing. Since Maybeck had intended it to organically decay and become a ruin in its own right — it was left alone for years. A massive restoration effort in 1962 helped return it to its original glory, a taste of classical architecture that continues to fascinate San Franciscans.

Learn everything about the extravagant 1915 exhibition and the work that went into its preservation as we saunter through the Palace’s grounds. Enjoy Maybeck’s stunning meld of art, architecture and natural features.

Next Tours

  • Saturday, February 4 at 11:00 am given by Paul RobinsonSign Up
  • Saturday, February 11 at 10:00 am given by Bonnie HoughSign Up
  • Wednesday, February 15 at 1:30 pm given by Lawrence ByersSign Up
  • Sunday, February 19 at 11:00 am given by Paul RobinsonSign Up
  • Saturday, February 25 at 10:00 am given by Bonnie HoughSign Up
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Check calendar for schedule


Tour Length: Approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours



Meet at the corner of Bay and Lyon Sts. Public transportation: MUNI lines 28, 30.


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Please note: Private groups tours required for groups of 8 or more.