When San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts was demolished in 1963, it was rebuilt with modern construction materials over the next decade, to the same design. The only parts reused were in the exhibition hall which was rebuilt on its 1915 steel frame, and retains some of the original fireplaces and doors.
The Palace of Fine Arts was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal. Designed by architect Bernard Maybeck to resemble faux ruins inspired by Roman and Greek architecture, the Palace of Fine Arts was one of eleven exhibition palaces constructed for the event.
None of the structures were intended to be retained after the exposition, but such was the appeal of the Palace of Fine Art’s magnificent structures, it was saved from demolition. But the lack of durability in its construction materials, for the most part plaster-covered timber, saw a progressive decline in its condition until it could no longer be economically maintained and demolition was the only option.