Mary Jo Manzanares

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

In the middle of San Francisco’s Walter S. Johnson Park, sits the Palace of Fine Arts, an easily recognizable piece of San Francisco architecture. You’ve likely seen it in many photographs, with attractive shots both by day and by night.

The Palace was designed as part of the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, an event hosted by San Francisco to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. It was also seen as an opportunity for San Francisco to rise from the ashes of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire.

The Palace of Fine Arts today features a performing theater, and has been the site of many televised events, including the 1976 Presidential Debate, as well as a variety of concerts, lectures, and corporate events.

It’s also home to the Exploratorium, a museum founded by Dr. Frank Oppenheimer of the Manhattan Project. This museum of science, art, and human perceptions hosts an array of hands-on exhibits focusing on science, nature, art, and technology. It’s a great stop for kids of all ages, engaging them in some amazing ways, and draw lots of visitors to the city as well as local kids on field trips.

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