Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014: SF Museum & Historical Society

The Old Mint, 88 Fifth Street at Mission, San Francisco
7:00 Reception 7:30 Lecture
General Admission $10, Seniors, students, K-12 teachers and persons with disabilities $5
SFMHS members: Free

"Building the Panama Pacific International Exposition" Fans of San Francisco history know that the city hosted a spectacular world's fair in 1915, but less well known is the engaging tale of how San Francisco envisioned, won and built the Panama-Pacific International Exposition against long odds. Join architectural historian Laura Ackley for a presentation of the period between 1912 and 1915, after the final site of the exposition had been selected but before construction began. I will describe the challenges of building the fair on a site of which 70 acres was under water at high tide.

The talk will include images of the elaborate exhibit "Palaces," early renderings of the grounds and architecture, along with elements of the fair that were not constructed. I'll discuss how exhibits were selected, the rules governing midway attractions, how the fair was promoted and the ways in which the outbreak of World War I affected the exposition. Progress photographs of construction will culminate in the grand opening day parade and festivities.

The lecture will be illustrated with dramatic and often rare images of the exposition's creation, including viewbooks, panoramas, official photographs, souvenirs, magazine articles, newspaper articles, lantern slides and postcards.

Selected Past Events:


SF Museum & Historical Society
San Francisco Regional MENSA
Daughters of the American Revolution
The Garden Conservancy


Mayflower Society, Redwood Empire Colony
Petaluma Valley Rotary
Seniors in Retirement
Marin History Museum
Wednesday Morning Dialog


Sausalito Historical Society
The Bancroft Library Roundtable
St. Francis Yacht Club
Novato Rotary Club
Mission San Rafael Arcangel
Tam Valley Speaker Series
The Marin Forum
Westerners International SF Corral
Mill Valley Historical Society
San Francisco Postcard Club
Ross Historical Society
Cal Alumni Club of Marin
Cal Alumni Club of Tuolumne County


Marin County Library California Room
Mill Valley Historical Society
San Francisco History Association


California Alumni Association Tuolumne County Annual Meeting
Ross Historical Society
Westerners International SF Corral


St. Francis Yacht Club
Presidio Historical Association
St. Francis Yacht Club
San Francisco Architectural Heritage


St. Francis Yacht Club
San Francisco Postcard Club
St. Francis Yacht Club


Marina Community Association
San Francisco History Association
Westerners International SF Corral
San Francisco Postcard Club


San Francisco History Association
Illuminating Engineering Society Annual Banquet
Presidio of San Francisco, "Panoramic Spectacle" Exhibit


San Francisco Postcard Club


University of California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library Luncheon Series
Laura Ackley
Laura Ackley
Panorama of the PPIE
Panoramic view of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition
Viewbook, Ackley Collection