Exposition of 1915

greenspun.com : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

I recently went to The Presidio Visitors Center and came across the incredible miniture full-scale model of the Exposition of 1915. Truly amazing! Why is the Palace of Fine Arts the only building to have survived until today?

-- Sarah Thomas (Imset1@aol.com), October 16, 2001


The buildings of the Exposition were meant to be temporary, so they were covered with a material called "staff", a mixture of plaster and burlap. The city wanted to develop the Marina area after the exposition closed, so most of the buildings were torn down or hauled away. Sentimental people liked the Palace, so it was saved, but it deteriorated quickly. In the early 1960's, it was rebuilt in concrete.

-- Joe Thompson (cable_car_guy@hotmail.com), October 16, 2001.

Some of the buildings were moved to other locations. A part of the Japanese exhibit ended up in Belmont on the hill that overlooks Hillsdale. It is the core of a restaurant now called The Vans. Another larger building was barged down the bay and located on a slough east of the old Bayshore hwy between Belmont and San Carlos. It sat out there by itself for decades before bay side progress caught up with it. It was rumored to have been a speakeasy/bordello during prohibition. I can also vaguely remember some connection between that and the Sea Scouts. Anybody know about that?

-- Don Martinich (dutchm@dcn.davis.ca.us), October 17, 2001.

There is a nice site at:


-- Bob Verbrugge (bob_verbrugge@compuserve.com), October 17, 2001.

And here's a page on my own website where you can see snapshots from a Fatty Arbuckle movie that was filmed at the exposition: Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco.

Scott Trimble
Pacific Northwest Movies

-- Scott Trimble (stst@stst.net), October 30, 2001.

Hey, Scott! Did you read that crazy biography of Mable Normand written by her nephew (?) Stephen Normand? It was crazy/funny in how it deadpan reported the people who were still trying to contact her spirit, wearing her clothes, etc.

-- Rosa Debonneheure (rosadebon@yahoo.com), October 30, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ