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The Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
San Francisco, California, U. S. A.
February 20 to December 4, 1915
Main Entrance, Tower of Jewels and Main Exposition Palaces, Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915. Feb. 20th to Dec. 4th.
The completion of the Panama Canal being an accomplishment affecting the interests of every civilized nation, the celebration thereof naturally suggested was a great Universal Exposition in which all nations should participate under the auspices of the United States. Congress designated San Francisco as the place for such an Exposition and entrusted to that city and to the State of California the responsibility of providing for the reception of the nations of the world and for displaying the exhibits which should best demonstrate their achievements.
This responsibility was gladly accepted by San Francisco and California and the work of carrying out the duty to the nation was begun immediately.
In the space of a few days a fund approximating $20.000.000 was raised by the citizens of San Francisco, the municipality and the State Legislature. The fifty-eight counties of California raised several million dollars additional for their individual displays, which are on an elaborate scale. This was added to by the majority of states throughout the Union and was also materially augmented by liberal amounts from foreign countries the world over. It has been conservatively estimated that the grand total represents an expenditure exceeding $50,000,000.
In magnificence and splendor, number of palaces, beauty of grounds, number and quality of exhibits, diversity of interest, completeness of detail and hugeness of the whole this is an exposition adequate to the event it celebrates. It will have great and lasting effect upon the trade relationships and commercial activity of all countries.
The Exposition site combines to an extraordinary degree the qualities of beauty, adaptability and convenience. It is a natural amphitheatre, fronting on the wonderful island-dotted Bay of San Francisco just inside the famous Golden Gate. Towering, wooded heights flank it at each end, while at its back the hills roll up sharply. All this is in the very heart of the very best residential district of San Francisco and within fifteen minutes street car ride from the Civic Center.
The view facing north is across the sparkling waters of the Bay - a land-locked harbor which resembles a great mountain lake more than an arm of the sea. It is rimmed by mountains, with haughty Tamalpais towering overall. Under the turquoise California sky, drenched with sunshine and color, it is a scene at once exquisitely beautiful and solemnly majestic.
Passing through the main gate on the city side the visitor enters the great South Garden. 3000 feet in length, on the right extremity of which can be seen the beautiful Festival Hall. To the extreme left is the Palace of Horticulture. Immediately in front is the "Tower of Jewels." This great garden, a marvel of landscape engineering skill, is but one side of a magic carpet on which these beautiful palaces are set, the 300-foot wide "Marina" and its grand esplanade, with its horticultural splendors, forming the other side, the pattern threading its winding way through the various courts and recesses over the entire grounds, forming a correlated whole which, for wondrous beauty, has never been equaled.
One of the most attractive and beautiful features of this Exposition is the electrical illumination. By an entirely new system of flood lighting a soft, restful, yet perfect light pervades the courts at night, revealing in wonderful clearness the facades and walls of the palaces and the natural colors of the shrubbery and flowers. By peculiar and novel lighting devices the statuary and mural paintings are made to appear with even heightened effect. Concealed batteries project powerful yet softened rays of light that cause tens of thousands of specially prepared glass "jewels" hung tremulously upon the towers, to flash and scintillate like great diamonds, emeralds and rubies. At a point on the bay shore the wonderful scintillator weaves in the night sky auroras of ever-changing colors and wonderful and never to be forgotten.
Copyright 1915, C. T. Co., Chicago, Artgravure.