As the Palace of Fine Arts approaches its 100th birthday, it is undergoing a major renovation that will meld its mock-classical design with a more modern vibe. The palace was built as part of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, when it debuted as an art salon. The space has been through several renovations since, including a rebuild in 1965 and a lagoon and walkway renovation in 2009. The exhibit hall—the focus of the current renovation—has housed everything from tennis courts to the Exploratorium, which moved out early last year. Now the nonprofit Innovation Hangar (or iHangar) has taken over the space and employed architect Mark Horton—the same guy who converted that old Crissy Field hangar into a trampoline emporium—to turn the hall into a showcase for the palace's centennial year. iHangar will bring innovation-themed programming to an audience of inventors, entrepreneurs, students, and the public.
The renovation, according to Horton, will add public services, such as a café and bookstore, along with gallery space devoted both to the site's history and the innovations shaping the world today. A public exhibition opening in January will use the space to highlight its past from the Panama Pacific Exposition. There will also be "innovation pods" rented out to organizations or foundations that focus on entrepreneurship. The Maker Faire's administration office is already confirmed as a tenant, and Kaboom, a nonprofit that builds playspaces for children, will have two indoor playgrounds.
· Palace of Fine Arts Gets Contemporary Updates for Centennial [SFGate]
· iHangar [Mark Horton]
· The Presidio: Now with 100% More Bounce [Curbed SF]
· Previous Coverage of the Palace of Fine Arts [Curbed SF]