Palace of Fine Arts


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Local architect Bernard Maybeck's pièce de résistance, the Palace is a neo-classical domed rotunda supported by a curved colonnade topped with friezes and statues of weeping women, and flanked by a pond alive with ducks, swans and lily pads. Initially designed only as a temporary structure, it's been repeatedly saved by generations of San Franciscans, and has served as everything from a tennis centre to a motor pool for dignitaries assisting in the creation of the United Nations after World War II - as it fell into neglect and disrepair, it even served as a telephone-book distribution centre and the Fire Department headquarters. The original building was demolished in 1964 - only the shell of the rotunda remained - then reconstructed at ten times the original cost. The Palace is currently in the final phases of a $21 million renovation that aims to create an aeration system for the lagoon and restore the surrounding landscape, with work due for completion in 2009.

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Palace of Fine Arts details

Lyon Street,
at Bay Street

Area San Francisco

Transport Bus 28, 30, 43, 76 .

Telephone 563 6504

Palace of Fine Arts website

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