At a glance


California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105


$5 General Admission
Free for CHS and Heyday Members


Thursday, December 4
6:00 - 8:00 PM

5:45: Doors Open
6:00: Reception
6:45: Lecture
7:15: Book signing

Contact info




  • RSVP Needed
  • Near BART
  • Near MUNI
  • Indoors

Share This Event

< Back To All Events

Book Launch Event: San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915

California Historical Society
Dec 04, 06:00PM – 08:00PM

This “Whirlwind Tour of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition” will take the audience on an amazing tour of the Fair from its original concept in 1904 through its development and all the way to its gala opening in February 1915. We’ll peek inside the gorgeous exhibit “Palaces” for a look at just a few of the wonders therein, and finish with some of the attractions on the Joy Zone, the PPIE’s midway. Illustrated with dozens of amazing photos, lantern slides, postcards, souvenirs and panoramas, this Whirlwind Tour appeals to any audience with an interest in history.

About the author
Laura Ackley holds graduate degrees in Architecture from Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley. Her interest in the Panama Pacific International Exposition was captured by a Cultural Landscapes course during her undergraduate years. Laura has published a number of articles on the Bay Area special effects and animation industries and has taught 3D computer modeling and animation for more than a decade. She lives in Marin County with her husband Sander and Murphy, their Scottish Fold cat.

About the book
2015 marks the centennial year of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, when host city San Francisco emerged from the ashes of earthquake and fire as a center of beauty and progress. This lavishly illustrated volume is as much a triumph as the fair itself. San Francisco’s Jewel City takes readers on an in-depth tour of the PPIE, revealing the dramas of constructing the fair and the displays of culture and industry that awaited within the exposition walls: electrical home appliances, rides in a homemade airplane, a world tour of twenty-one international pavilions, luminous radium crystals, and, of course, a model of the world-changing Panama Canal. Along the way, we meet famous (and infamous) visitors, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, and Buffalo Bill Cody. Historian Laura Ackley’s compelling text is unparalleled in its breadth of scope and richness of detail, providing social and political context for the fair and offering insight into its legacy today.

Similar Events

City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World’s Fair

Feb 21, 2015 to Jan 10, 2016
Palace of Fine Arts
After the fair closed, this ephemeral “city within a city” was all but erased from the landscape. The only building saved from demolition—and still standing in its original location—was the Palace of Fine Arts. Repaired in the 1930s, reconstructed in the 1960s, and recently restored, this beloved city landmark is one of architect Bernard Maybeck’s San Francisco masterworks.
Learn More
San Francisco's Jewel City

Jewel City: Marin Launch Party

Dec 08, 06:00PM – 08:00PM
Heyday Books
This "Whirlwind Tour of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition" will take the audience on an amazing tour of the Fair from its original concept in 1904 through its development and all the way to its gala opening in February 1915.
Learn More

Fair, Please! Streetcars to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition

Feb 01, 2015 to Nov 01, 2015
Market Street Railway
Come see how the Municipal Railway continues to benefit San Francisco as a result of the groundwork laid as we bring you “Streetcars to the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition”!
Learn More

Community Day at the Palace of Fine Arts

Feb 21, 12:00PM – 05:00PM
This day-long community event will honor the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and will kick-off a year of Centennial events.
Learn More