I have some more photos from San Francisco for you today. (Told you I had a lot!)
Patterned on an eighteenth-century engraving by Giovanni Piranesi entitled The Isle of the Dead, the Palace of Fine Arts was designed by Bernard Maybeck for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. Originally one of many fantasy monuments, the neoclassical-style Palace was the centerpiece of the Exposition.
The dome of the rotunda is surrounded by a classical frieze and an octagonal arcade. There is also an open peristyle of Corinthian columns, flanked by a beautifully landscaped lagoon.
Because it was built as part of the Exposition, the Palace was not intended to last. However, the city of San Francisco developed such a love for the monument that it was preserved. It required a large amount of upkeep, and by the 1950's it became obvious that the original construction would not last. A group of influential San Franciscans, including former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, banded together to collect donations for reconstruction of the Palace, which began in 1964. Today, the Palace of Fine Arts remains as a beautiful attraction for tourists and San Franciscans alike.