Tad Taube Supports Centennial Celebration of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition
Taube Philanthropies' involvement in The Bay Lights inspired new support for lighting the Ferry Building and Palace of Fine Arts
After Tad Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies, launched a $2 million matching grant that successfully incentivized the financial support necessary to keep the inspiring Bay Lights sculpture on the Bay Bridge shining, Taube provided major funding for the centennial lights celebration of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE100), which kicked off on March 3, 2015.
As of that date, one of San Francisco's most treasured landmarks – the Ferry Building – is once again adorned in lights with the numbers "1915" boldly illuminated on its tower.
Several hundred World's Fair admirers, dignitaries and historians, many dressed in 1915 attire, were entertained by San Francisco ragtime singers as the Ferry Building Tower was relit to appear as fairgoers would have seen it in 1915 when arriving in San Francisco – many by ferry – to attend the World's Fair. Taube joined San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Chief of Protocol Charlotte Shultz, and Donna Ewald Huggins to turn on the lights.
The lights will illuminate the Ferry Building tower from March 3 through December 4, the day the World's Fair closed a century ago.
"The 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition — which was a citywide commemoration that put San Francisco on the world map — is cause for celebration, and we are doing just that with light and splendor across our beautiful city," Taube said. "Our work with Bay Lights inspired us to also become involved in the Centennial festivities of lighting the Ferry Building and Palace of Fine Arts."
The World's Fair celebrated San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake and its emergence as a center of world trade. Built in 1898, the Ferry Building was one of the few structures that amazingly did not suffer seriously damage during the 1906 earthquake. In 1915, the Ferry Building served as a vital transportation hub, helping welcome more than 19 million people who came to San Francisco to attend the World's Fair. Throughout the Exposition, its tower was festooned with lights and a beacon proclaiming "1915" to visitors on both sides of the Bay.
On February 28-March 1, in conjunction with the February 20 centennial anniversary of the 1915 World's Fair opening, a yearlong centennial celebration began with the official reopening of the doors of the Palace of Fine Arts to the public during PPIE100 Community Day, which drew more than 10,000 visitors. One of the features was the special colored illumination of the Palace Rotunda, which was also supported by Taube and the Friend Family.
Inside the Palace, which is open to the public throughout the year, is Innovation Hangar, a unique social innovation space designed to be a place where thinkers, doers and critics can come together under one roof to facilitate connections, ideas and investments in a way that simply cannot happen in the virtual world.
A few blocks from the Ferry Building, visitors can also experience the history of the World's Fair with the California Historical Society's City Rising exhibition at its 678 Mission Street headquarters. Open through January 2016, the exhibition is a stunning jewel-box show, highlighting the Fair's history, beauty and complexity, and including artifacts, memorabilia and film from the World's Fair.
The Bay Lights Update
The Bay Lights, the monumental LED structure, currently lighting up the Bay Bridge, will experience its own "goodbye-for-now" ceremonies later this week, to allow for maintenance of the cables. Thanks to generous private donors and an agreement between the nonprofit Illuminate the Arts and Bay Bridge officials, the artwork will be reinstalled permanently in February 2016.