Laura A. Ackley

San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 is a multiple award-winning account of the city’s greatest World’s Fair. Even as it recovered from the 1906 earthquake, San Francisco hosted the Exposition, becoming a center of beauty and progress. On the city’s northern waterfront, courtyards, formal gardens, and eleven Beaux-Arts palaces made up a miniature city resplendent in Mediterranean hues.  Each palace hosted a thrilling array of exhibits and events that showed off the young century’s achievements and possibilities. Over it all, the forty-three-story Tower of Jewels sparkled with 100,000 cut glass jewels.

This lavishly illustrated volume is as much a triumph as the fair itself. San Francisco’s Jewel City takes readers on an in-depth tour of the PPIE, revealing the dramas of constructing the fair and the displays of culture and industry that awaited within the exposition walls. Along the way, we meet famous (and infamous) visitors, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, and Buffalo Bill Cody. Historian Laura A. Ackley’s compelling text is unparalleled in its breadth of scope and richness of detail, providing social and political context for the fair and offering insight into its legacy today.

Laura Ackley, author of San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915, holds graduate degrees from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the University of California at Berkeley College of Environmental design, as well as an undergraduate degree in architecture from Berkeley. She has worked for such diverse firms as Lucasfilm, Bechtel Engineering, and Autodesk, and taught 3D computer modeling for more than a decade.

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