The Palace of Fine Arts History

A brief history of The Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Fine Arts was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition and designed by California architect Bernard Maybeck, it was one of 10 “palaces” built for the exposition and one of the smallest ones. The buildings weren’t intended to be permanent since they were made out of plaster just for the exposition.
While the exposition was still in progress a group of citizens obsessed with its beauty created the Palace Preservation League, specifically to save the Palace of Fine Arts. One of only surviving structures from the exposition, the Fine Arts building is the only one still on its original site.
By the 1950s, was in pretty bad conditions  due to the original structure framed in wood, then covered with “staff,” a mixture of plaster and burlap. In 1964, the original Palace was demolished, leaving only the steel structure of the exhibit hall standing. The buildings were reconstructed in concrete and steel I-beams were placed in the dome of the rotunda. Decorations and sculpture were created anew.
Right now there are two original sculptures still standing here at the Palace, they were inspiation for IAD’s entance mural at the Spring Show, so make sure you stop by today or tomorrow and see this amazing venue and student work.
The rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts as it appeared in 1915The rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts as it appeared in 1915. Photographer unknown.