7 Hammersmith Terrace

Palace of Fine Arts


Bernard Maybeck, the great architect and designer who defined - along with Julia Morgan and a few others - the Craftsman ethos in Bay Area architecture, is responsible for this flight of fancy. Originally built for the 1915 Pacific International Exposition, it has graced San Francisco's Marina District ever since. One of the best examples of the beaux-arts style anywhere, Maybeck's Palace was designed to look like an overgrown, crumbling roman ruin, something that might be discovered by someone on the Grand Tour. Today, the exhibition hall is the home of a children's museum, and the rotunda still stands (although it is, unfortunately, closed right now; the city is restoring it, and I expect it'll be open again in a few months). It's a weird and romantic place to visit, and the spotlights that illuminate particular details make it one of the more dramatic scenes in the city. pictured: I took this shot of the Rotunda a few weeks ago - click the thumbnail for a larger image