Panama Pacific International Exposition was the 1915 worlds
fair held in San Francisco, California. Taking over three years
to construct, the fair had great economic implications for the
city that had been almost destroyed by the great earthquake
and fire of 1906. The exposition was a tremendous success, and
did much to boost the morale of the entire Bay Area and to help
get San Francisco back up on its feet.
the exposition was a celebration of the completion of the Panama
Canal, and also commemorated the 400th anniversary of the discovering
of the Pacific Ocean by the explorer, Balboa. San Francisco
was only one of many cities hoping to host the PPIE. New Orleans
was its primary rival, but in 1911 after a long competition
of advertising and campaigning, President Taft proclaimed San
Francisco to be the official host city.
There was some initial uncertainty about where exactly to hold
the fair (Golden Gate Park had been the main contender), but
it was later decided to fill in the mud flats at the northern
end of the city, and to build in the location currently known
as the Marina. The 635 acre fair was located between Van Ness
and the Presidio its southern border was Chestnut Street
and its northern edge bordered the Bay.
The tallest most well-recognized building of the PPIE was the
Tower of Jewels. Standing 43
stories tall, the building was covered by more than a hundred
thousand colored glass "jewels" that dangled individually
to shimmer and reflect light as the Pacific breezes moved them.
There were many other palaces, courts, state and foreign buildings
to see at the fair however most of them were made of
a temporary plaster-like material, designed to only last for
the duration of the fair. Luckily, one of the primary exposition
buildings, the Palace of Fine Arts,
was not torn down with the rest of the buildings, and was completely
reconstructed in the 1960's.
The fair ran from February 20th until December 4th, 1915 --
and was widely considered to be a great success.