Sketchcrawl at the Palace
Spent this Saturday’s World Wide Sketchcrawl at the Palace of Fine Arts…I have mixed feelings about this monument to industry. It has a kind of artificial atmosphere – like walking through a huge (beautiful) stage set.
Though you have to be impressed with the sheer chutzpa of its’ life cycle! Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Expo, it was part of a 600 acre artificial city that dominated the Marina district for one year. Architect Bernard Maybeck planned from the beginning that the structure would be allowed to fall into disrepair – he felt that every great city needed ruins.
I doubt California will be making that kind of symbolic gesture with public monies any time soon. Subsequent generations have had to raise funds to restore Maybeck’s folly – preserving its idyllic ruined state. It’s main social function today seems be as a backdrop for wedding photos!
On related note, I highly recommend Erik Larson book “The Devil in the White City“. It’s a very engaging history of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and the activity of a serial killer who came to prey on it’s visitors. It’s not about OUR Palace, but story of the rise and fall of the White City must have been similar…