The Panama-Pacific International Exhibition


PPIE Site Map

Do you know about the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition that took place in San Francisco in 1915? In case you don’t, it was the World’s Fair meant to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and showcase how quickly San Francisco recovered after the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire through a display of arts, architecture, and an entire city playground of attractions.
LED Lapel Pin

LED Lapel Pin

    For the fourth Discover SF! field trip we, the students and leaders, visited the Palace of Fine Arts in beautiful San Francisco. Although it is a reconstruction, the Palace of Fine Arts is the last remaining structure from the 1915 World’s Fair. We visited the City Rising exhibition put on by the California Historical Society in the building. The exhibition included a video graphic and large map that showed how the landscape was laid out and manipulated to create a wide open plane for the fair’s numerous exhibition palaces. The students learned that new technology and innovations like the telephone and airplane, were part of what was celebrated and placed on display at the fair.

Getting started at the Open Art Studio

Keeping with the innovation theme, the next space we visited at the Palace of Fine Arts was the iHangar or Innovation Hanger, where modern-age innovations were on display at the Maker Lab. We saw a 3D printer in action and students made their very own LED lapel pins.
Rotunda panorama

Rotunda panorama

After learning about technology, we ended the day with a discussion about what we learned and a visit to the Open Art Studio where students produced their own art pieces with Artist-in-Residence, April Dawn Parker. The Panama-Pacific International Exhibition is synonymous with San Francisco heritage, for this reason it is being celebrated throughout the city through a multitude of events and programs, including a HistoryPin project through which personal and archival collections have been digitally pinned as a way to curate the images and memories of the fair. You can access the webpage here:

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