The Scintillator, Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Courtesy Ron Plain.

Jewel City Rebus (Subframe #01)

In this guest post, we introduce Tony Gannon of Subframe and the first episode of a podcast exploring the Panama Pacific International Exposition and its place in the history of San Francisco and the country.

Subframe is cinematically-driven storytelling, drawing on elements and themes from history, literature, science, technology, as well as the world around us. We like to think of ourselves as time traveling documentarians bringing stories from afar, packaged with a stylish bow. At our best, we’re both entertaining audiences while also giving them something to think about. Our partnership with the California Historical Society has provided us with a unique platform to delve into California’s rich history, something we are really excited about and that we want to share with as many people as possible.

We begin each episode with research – mostly reading whatever we can get our hands on. With the help of experts in the field, we hope to weave together a unique perspective through cinematic storytelling, appealing to the novice as well as the expert. The cinematic component is a great challenge: making history come alive implementing what we’ve learned as audio/visual storytellers in an audio-only format. With backgrounds in film editing, this ... Read More >

San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts. Photographer: Jesse B. Cook. Courtesy California Historical Society.

The Temple

This essay is excerpted with permission from Gary Kamiya’s excellent book Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco (Bloomsbury, 2013). To learn more about the architectural legacy of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, visit the California Historical Society on Wednesday, April 22 for Inventiveness and Innovation: Contemporary Architects and the Influence and Impacts of Architecture and Architects of the 1915 World’s Faira panel discussion with Hans Baldauf of BCV Architects, Marc L’Italien of EHDD, and Jay Turnbull of Page Turnbull, moderated by John King, urban design critic at the San Francisco Chronicle. ... Read More >

On this day – April 13

On the evening of April 13, 1915 the Panama-Pacific International Exposition celebrated “Illumination Night” in honor of Walter D’Arcy Ryan – the founder and first director of General Electric’s Illuminating Engineering Laboratory whose visionary lighting would become one of the most enduring memories of the PPIE. ... Read More >