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Rehab set for Frisco's Palace of Fine Arts

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SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 19, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, originally designed to be temporary, is about to undergo the second major rehab in its 90-year history.

The Palace was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. While the rest of the exposition exists only in memory, the Palace, designed by Bernard Maybeck and originally constructed from plaster, chicken wire and hemp, was so admired that it stayed.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a campaign led by the Maybeck Foundation and the city government has raised $12.5 million, enough to start work on a refurbishing. The first step will be dredging the lagoon in the building's heart, which has become a stagnant pond over the years.

The Palace has already been saved twice. In 1915, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, William Randall Hearst's mother, led a campaign to prevent demolition. In the 1960s, a local resident donated $4 million to shore up the building, by that time a ruin.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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