Mayor Lee Announces Year-Long Exhibits & Programs at Palace of Fine Arts to Commemorate the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131
Recreation and Park Department, 415-831-2796


California Historical Society, Maybeck Foundation & Innovation Hangar to Partner to Offer Exhibits & Programs Focusing on Then, Now & Tomorrow

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the Palace of Fine Arts will host a year-long series of events and programs to commemorate the 2015 Centennial of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE). The California Historical Society (CHS), Maybeck Foundation and Innovation Hangar are partnering with the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) to recapture the zeitgeist of the PPIE. Beginning this fall, exhibits focusing on the theme of Then, Now and Tomorrow will provide an opportunity to reflect on San Francisco today and imagine the San Francisco of the future.

“All cities have moments – defining moments – which forever change the image and nature of that city, and for San Francisco, the success of the 1915 World Fair marked a prosperous new beginning after the horrific experiences of 1906,” said Mayor Lee. “I am thrilled that these exhibits will be a part of our citywide celebration of 1915. It’s a uniquely San Francisco way to celebrate a centennial – to focus on then, now and the future. ”

“We are truly honored to partner with Recreation and Park to lead the Palace of Fine Arts’ celebration of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition,” said CHS Executive Director Dr. Anthea Hartig. “The exhibitions, events and programs at the Palace will bring to life San Francisco’s transformation from a city devastated by earthquake and fire to an economic powerhouse poised to lead a social and cultural revolution.”

The Maybeck Foundation honors the legacy of famed architect Bernard Maybeck, whose vision created the Palace of Fine Arts. Critics hailed his innovative style as the perfect marriage of architecture and nature. With the help of more than 1,200 donors, the Maybeck Foundation and the Recreation and Park Department joined together to successfully complete a $21 million restoration of the Palace in 2010. The Foundation continues its partnership with RPD through leadership of a team of experts who are conducting engineering, environmental, and economic studies of the Palace Gallery Building in preparation for the public process that will result in the selection of a long-term tenant.

Innovation Hangar will be the host tenant in Exhibition Hall at the Palace of Fine Arts during the PPIE celebration. Innovation Hangar is planning a unique offering of celebratory programs that will include a living classroom offering a window into entrepreneurship and innovation from the time of the PPIE through today. The PPIE oriented programming will also feature a series of curated rotating exhibitions and showcase the Smithsonian Institute’s exhibit Innovation and Invention at Play. The programming will also include a K-12 curriculum for students to learn and implement social innovation through project based learning. Preliminary programming sponsors include The Smithsonian, Maker Faire, Kaboom!, Stanford d. school and ThinkFun.

CHS, Maybeck and Innovation Hangar are collaborating with numerous other cultural organizations to bring life to PPIE celebrations including the Presidio Trust, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the Exploratorium, the Palace of Fine Arts Theater League, San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association (SPUR), Mechanics Institute, San Francisco Public Library, World Arts West and Heyday Books.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the California Historical Society, the Maybeck Foundation and The Innovation Hangar,” said RPD General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “As stewards of these important landmarks we strive to honor their history every day and look forward to celebrating it with all of San Francisco.” The official kick-off of the Palace’s PPIE celebration will occur during the weekend of February 20, 2015, the actual date and place the PPIE opened in 1915.

About Innovation Hangar: The Innovation Hangar, an initiative accelerating late stage social innovation and innovation education, will be providing programming in the Palace of Fine Arts beginning in the Fall of 2014 continuing on throughout the duration of the celebration of the PPIE. The Innovation Hangar is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs achieve the scale so elusive in social impact innovation, as well as to help students to acquire the skills necessary to
become impactful entrepreneurs. The Hangar initiatives include The Garages (Entrepreneur Showcase), The Stage, The New Classroom (K-12 Entrepreneurship Curricula), and The Crows Nest (Public Access and Invention at Play). The Innovation Hangar is a partner in the PPIE celebration providing a window into the Bay Area’s significant history and record of innovation and entrepreneurship.

About California Historical Society: The California Historical Society is a 142-year-old, non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. We hold one of the top research collections on California history, which includes over 35,000 volumes of books and pamphlets, more than 4,000 manuscript collections, and about 500,000 photographs documenting California’s
social, cultural, economic, and political history and development, including some of the most cherished and valuable documents and images of California’s past. For more information, go to:

About the Maybeck Foundation: The Maybeck Foundation is dedicated to advancing, through preservation and education, the legacy of master architect Bernard Maybeck, go to: