The Palace of Fine Arts (Bay and Lyon Sts., 415/567-6642, www.palaceoffinearts.org ) was originally meant to be nothing but a temporary structure—part of the Panama Pacific Exposition in 1915. But the lovely structure won the hearts of San Franciscans, and a fund was started to preserve the Palace beyond the Exposition.
Through the first half of the 20th century efforts could not keep it from crumbling, but in the 1960s and ’70s, serious rebuilding work took place, and today the Palace of Fine Arts stands proud and strong and beautiful.
It houses the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, which hosts events nearly every day, from beauty pageants to conferences on the future of artificial intelligence. It also houses the Exploratorium .