Tuesday, August 25, 2009
GOTHIC ARCHES - "Cities"
This week the theme for Gothic Arches was "Cities-make an arch showing your favorite city or a special place that tugs at your heartstrings"-this was a challenge for me. I LOVE San Francisco; this city holds a very special place in my heart. I looked and looked at vintage images of the city and, because so many old photos are about the 1906 earthquake, I chose to use one of my favorite landmarks in SF (and there are SO many there) on my arch. I found a copy of a hand-colored 1915 photo of this landmark, and started with that to create my arch. You can see more detail if you click on the photo of the arch.
The Palace of Fine Arts was built out of wood, plaster, and burlap fiber, one building of many exquisite ones, for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, a World's Fair held near the Marina in San Francisco. There were many elaborate structures created for this exposition which celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal and showcased San Francisco's recovery from the huge earthquake and fire of 1906, but the buildings were only meant to be temporary, and most were torn down after the fair was over. Looking at old photos, this was a very, very elaborate event, and I find it sad that most of the fair buildings were demolished. The Palace of Fine Arts was only one of two remaining buildings not destroyed. It fell into disrepair over the years, and I remember it was not safe to walk near the Palace of Fine Arts in the early 1960s when I lived there as a child. It was cordoned off, and we had to look at the Palace from a distance across the lagoon. The Palace of Fine Arts was saved and refurbished during the 1960's and then was renovated again and seismically retrofitted early this year (2009). Fascinating information about this beautiful structure can be found here and here.
I'm including photos below, the first one taken in 1915, the second a photo from Wikipedia taken in 2004, and then a photo I took when I was there just a few days ago, for comparison. Can you tell why I'm so fond of vintage things? Isn't it beautiful?!!!