Palace of Fine Arts – Neo-Renaissance.
Palace of fine arts theater is a piece that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the San Francisco it seem to be a portal in time and space. Hence, it is a window to the past, specifically the Roman times.
A post modern Neo – Renaissance located in the San Francisco’s Marina district. Masterfully executed by Bernard Maybeck it is a testament to orthodox tradition of the western civilization in the New World.
Grandeur palace, a pinnacle of western architecture. A stella and a monument in one appearance. Ruin and a triumph, all in one piece. A juxtaposition of classicism onto the most modern day city of the USA. A spectacular challenge to modernism and an honor of the classical tradition. Simply put a work of Neo-Renaissance.
The rotunda bears all the features of classical motive – Corinthian pillars, the rotunda with coffers. amphorae, pilasters, friezes, cornice moldings etc. The only thing that’s different are the proportions.
Atypically tall arches make you feel as if the building is reaching for the skies into the heavens.
How to get to the Palace of fine arts theater from 101
3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA
Parking: you will find plenty of parking around the back of the building
It is very easy to miss the turn from HWY 101 to Palace of fine arts so make sure to slow down and pay attention to the signs. Almost every time we drive to the spot I fear the inevitable – continuing on 101 onto the Golden Gate Bridge. So acquaint yourself with the road map, there will be a huge sign with a turn to the right driving on 101.
Palace of fine arts with kids
There are tons of wild birds hanging out at the man-made pond in front of the palace of fine arts. Dozens of kids are constantly chasing geese, swans and other poultry. This is a great opportunity to feed the fauna… Although do it at your own discretion (I think it might be even illegal).
It’s a great photo-op for family pictures. We saw many families enjoying themselves in this Roman-themed urban park. It’s a photographer’s little heaven and many families have wedding and engagement shoots here.
This Urban park is a place for friends and families.
Walking through purple column arches
Furthermore, we were enjoying yet another outing with our friends we realized something! Palace of fine arts columns and pilasters have a purple tint to them! Yeah how weird?
A bit of history on Palace of fine arts
Here’s a dope quote from the official website
Following the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was inspired to show the world how it had risen from the ashes. So, in 1910, business and civic leaders convened to discuss making the city the site of the century’s first great world’s fair, a grand exposition to honor the completion of the Panama Canal.
In two hours, $4 million was raised and San Francisco beat competitors like New Orleans and Washington, D.C. to host the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Widely considered the most beautiful structure at the exhibition, the Palace of Fine Arts is the work of California architect Bernard Maybeck.
Inspired by a Piranesi engraving that features a Roman ruin reflected in a pool, Maybeck’s masterpiece was the mirror of a ruin that existed not for its own sake but to show “the mortality of grandeur and the vanity of human wishes.” Like other features of the fair, the Palace was meant to come down at the close of the fair.
Venues at the Palace of Fine arts
There are many exhibits and expositions happening at the Neo-Renaissance masterpiece on the weekly basis, so check out their calendar to get more info.
We walked in on one of the modern technology exhibits. Got to see some of the new tech toys and other cool gadgets – it was awesome!
Here’s a little album of our Weekend Afternoon at the Palace of fine arts.