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Published on June 18, 2014, in Articles.

The Pan Pacific Exhibition comes to town.

The Palace of Fine Arts isn’t just a pretty face.

This fall, the historic site will once again be a draw for what it offers on the inside with a year-long exhibition to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

“All cities have moments – defining moments – which forever change the image and nature of that city, and for San Francisco, the success of the 1915 World Fair marked a prosperous new beginning after the horrific experiences of 1906,” said Mayor Ed Lee in his announcement of the exhibition Wednesday. “I am thrilled that these exhibits will be a part of our citywide celebration of 1915. It’s a uniquely San Francisco way to celebrate a centennial – to focus on then, now and the future.”

The commemoration, called “Then, Now and Tomorrow,” will feature rotating exhibitions that include the Smithsonian Institute’s exhibit, “Innovation and Invention at Play.”

Coffee was a big deal in SF even in 1915

Coffee was a big deal in SF even in 1915

The city is working with the Maybeck Foundation, the California Historical Society and Innovation Hangar, which will host the project’s Exhibition Hall.

“As stewards of these important landmarks, we strive to honor their history every day and look forward to celebrating it with all of San Francisco,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the city’s Recreation and Park Department, which oversees the Palace of Fine Arts facilities.

The Palace in 1915

The Palace in 1915

While the exhibition will open in the fall, the official kick-off will be held the weekend of Feb. 20, 2015, the actual opening of the Panama-Pacific fair in 1915 at the Palace.

Jill Tucker is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: jtucker@sfchronicle.com, Twitter: @jilltucker

 
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Published on June 10, 2014, in Articles.

PANAMA-CALIFORNIA EXPOSITION ~ SAN DIEGO ~ 1915-1916

San Diego staged this Exposition in 1915 to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. San Diego would be the first American port of call north of the Panama Canal on the Pacific coast. An exposition would call attention to the city and bolster an economy still shaky from the Wall Street panic of 1907. In 1910 San Diego had a population of 39,578, San Diego County 61,665, Los Angeles 319,198, and San Francisco 416,912. San Diego’s scant population, the smallest of any city ever to attempt holding an international exposition, testified to the city’s pluck and vitality. (more…)

 
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Published on June 6, 2014, in Articles.

A Sense of Wonder: The 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair

Introduction

Panama-PosterThink of it – just nine years after the devastating 1906 earthquake, San Francisco staged the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal in August, 1914 and showing more than 18 million visitors from around the world that it remained “the city that knew how.” Understandably, the universal reaction of fair-goers was “a sense of wonder.” (more…)

 
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Published on January 25, 2014, in Articles.

New Proposal for Panama Pacific Exposition Centennial Commemorative Coins

July 25, 2013 By Michael Zielinski

A bill was recently introduced in the House of Representatives which seeks to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue commemorative coins to mark the centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and the Panama Canal. Several details of program would differ from those included in a similarly themed commemorative coin program proposed under two bills introduced in the last Congress. (more…)

 
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Published on January 25, 2014, in Articles.

The first world’s fair recognized by the Bureau of International Expositions was the Great Exhibition of 1851, held in and around a glass structure called the Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde Park. Thirty-two countries participated in the almost six-month-long event, which attracted more than six million visitors. Few souvenirs of the event remain, and even the Crystal Palace is gone (in 1854 it was moved to Sydenham in South London, where it burned to the ground in 1936). (more…)

 
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Published on January 25, 2014, in Articles.

San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition – 1915

The Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) was a world’s fair held in San Francisco, California between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The fair was constructed on a 635 acre (2.6 km²) site in San Francisco, along the northern shore now known as the Marina. Among the exhibits at the Exposition was C. P. Huntington, the first steam locomotive purchased by Southern Pacific Railroad; the locomotive is now on static display at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. A telephone line was also established to New York so people across the continent could hear the Pacific Ocean. (more…)