Palace of Fine Arts is at Palace Dr. and Lyon St., at the w. end of the Marina District. It is the last remaining structure associated with the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, and the only one located at its original site. The design of this classically elegant building took its inspiration from ancient Greek and Roman architecture. After the exposition ended the palace functioned as a World War II storage facility for trucks and jeeps, a city Parks Department warehouse and a temporary fire department headquarters. The crumbling structure was demolished in 1964 and reconstructed right down to the original sculptures, ornamental urns, friezes and carved decorations that collectively symbolize Greek culture.
Built around an artificial lagoon, the palace complex is made up of a domed, colonnaded pergola flanked by rows of Corinthian columns. Walkways wind beneath the dome and around the lagoon, which not only provides a mirrored surface to reflect the grand architecture but offers a home for ducks, swans and migrating waterfowl. Inside is the 962-seat Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.