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Early Plans Considered Other Sites for the Panama Pacific International Exposition

Welcome to Curbed's ongoing series titled Hidden History, where Curbed highlights a Bay Area location with a secret past. Maybe it's no longer there, maybe it's been converted into something else, but each spot holds a place in Bay Area history - even if not many people know it. Have a suggestion or know a place with a secret history? The tipline's always open or you can leave a comment after the jump.


Other sites considered for the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915 (click to enlarge) [Photo: SF Chronicle via ProQuest]

Back in 1915 San Francisco hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal and showcase of the rebuilding of the city after the 1906 earthquake. The massive fair was located along the Marina up to the Presidio, but other sites around the city were originally considered.

The executive committee considered additional sites outside of the city, including Tanforan in San Mateo County, the Oakland Harbor, and Goat Island, but eventually decided to stay within city limits. The city sites considered were Golden Gate Park between 20th Ave and Ocean Beach, Lake Merced, the Bayview, the waterfront between Telegraph Hill and Rincon Hill, and the "Harbor View" site in the Marina that was ultimately chosen.


The SFPL has a great interactive map with more info on all the "Harbor View" Marina site (click to enlarge) [Photo: SFPL]

Though some of the other sites had considerably more open space to build on, the Harbor View area eventually won out due to its accessibility to transit for both locals and visitors alike.

· Many claims are made for sites [SF Chronicle via ProQuest]
· Panama-Pacific International Exposition [SFPL]

Lake Merced

, San Francisco, CA 94132