Along with City Hall, the Palace of Fine Arts is celebrating its one-hundredth birthday this year. Among the Palace's many gifts: a complete makeover.
The Palace of Fine Arts was originally built for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, a world fair celebrating both the completion of the Panama Canal and, a continent and a half away, San Francisco's remarkable recovery from the devastating Great Quake of 1906. One hundred years later, the only Exposition structure still standing in her original spot is due for a makeover.
The Palace's complex currently houses a 962-person theater and the warehouse that constituted the Exploratorium's old stomping grounds. Seven groups responded to a Request for Concept Proposals sent out by the SF Recreation and Parks Department last November, with visions for the complex that spanned everything from state-of-the-art gym facilities to large Market Halls, and conference rooms to art galleries. Bladium Sports and Fitness Club suggests a completely revamped indoor space that would feature 3-4 indoor multi-purpose fields and smaller fitness activity rooms, while the Center for Global Arts and Cultures echoes back to the Palace's name with the only fully arts-centric proposal, featuring exhibition pavilions, an international cuisines pavilion, and an arts technology lab.
All seven unique proposals faced off at a public meeting hosted by the SF Recreation and Parks Department on Tuesday, June 23, We just hope that the stunning and iconic landmark gets the birthday gift she deserves.
More information about each proposal can be found here.