Events Calendar


Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 6:00pm
Women, the City, and the 1915 World's Fair

Free for CHS Members; $5 General Admission


Join us for a panel discussion examining the complicated politics around women and gender in 1915 San Francisco and at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Panelists: Sarah J. Moore, Professor of Art History at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and author of John White Alexander and the Search for National Identity: Cosmopolitan American Art, 1880–1915; Abigail Markwyn, associate professor of history at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and author of Empress San Francisco: the Pacific Rim, the Great West, and California at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and co-editor of Gendering the Fair: Histories of Women and Gender at World's Fairs; Jessica Ellen Sewell, Associate Professor and Head of the Urban Planning and Design Department at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University and author of Women and the Everyday City: Public Space in San Francisco, 1890-1915. Moderator: Robert W. Cherny, professor emeritus of history at San Francisco State University.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 4:00pm
The California Irish in 1915 San Francisco

Free Admission


In partnership with the Irish American Crossroads Festival, we present an evening exploring the Irish presence in 1915 San Francisco and at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. We begin at 4pm with a call to community members to bring their photo albums and ephemera connecting their family's history to early San Francisco and the fair. Enjoy a light reception and share and hear stories of 1915 San Francisco. At 6pm, attend a discussion with Elizabeth Creely, author and local historian, and others examining the Irish presence in San Francisco and at the 1915 World's Fair. More details to come.

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Third Thursday

Join us for extended California Historical Society gallery hours from 5:00pm – 8:00pm. At 5:15, 6:15, and 7:15 pm, enjoy special docent-led tours of the new exhibition City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World's Fair. Take a journey inside the exposition to see what fairgoers would have encountered 100 years ago in the grand palaces, exotic foreign pavilions, and the amusement midway known as the Joy Zone.

Yerba Buena Third Thursdays is a monthly outing of art, performance, music, and drinks in the Yerba Buena neighborhood in the heart of downtown San Francisco. For information on other participating venues, visit

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 6:00pm
Inventiveness and Innovation: Contemporary architects discuss the Influence and Impacts of Architecture and Architects of the 1915 World's Fair


Join us for this panel discussion exploring the continued impact of the visionary Panama-Pacific International Exposition architects, including Bernard Maybeck and Willis Polk. Can their ideals and vision still be seen today? What is the relevancy of their extant work in today's context and the lessons we can take from that? How do the challenges of then and now compare? How do we look at public space differently for audiences today? John King, the San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic, will moderate this discussion. He is joined by Hans Baldauf of BCV Architects, Marc L'Italien of EHDD, and Jay Turnbull of Page Turnbull.

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 6:00 – 8:00pm
African Americans in San Francisco: Before, During, and After the 1915 World's Fair

Free for CHS and MoAD Members; $5 General Admission


Learn about the experiences, successes, and struggles of African Americans before, during, and in the decades following the World's Fair of 1915. Panelist details to come.

In partnership with Museum of African Diaspora

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Labor in San Francisco Before and After 1915

Free for CHS and Shaping San Francisco Members; $5 General Admission


Sixty years after "the world rushed in" to California seeking gold in 1849, the working men and women of San Francisco responded to the disaster of 1906 by rebuilding their city in record time. Join us for a panel discussion on the city's distinctive labor and working class history from the "Gay 90s" to the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition and beyond to the "Roaring 20s." Panelists: Barbara Berglund is the Historian for the Presidio Trust. She is the author of Making San Francisco American: Cultural Frontiers in the American West. Chris Carlsson, co-director of the multimedia history project Shaping San Francisco (historical archive at, is a writer, publisher, editor, and community organizer. He has written two books, After the Deluge and Nowtopia. Susan Englander is on the faculty of San Francisco State University (SFSU) and currently teaches the US History survey, US Legal and Constitutional History, and will be teaching Disability History. Bill Issel, professor of history emeritus at San Francisco State University, is co-author of San Francisco, 1865-1932: Politics, Power and Urban Development and author of two books on labor, business, religion, and politics in the city.

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 6:00pm
The Coney Island of the West: Alameda's Neptune Beach from the 1870s to the 1930s

Free for CHS Members, $5 General Admission


Learn about Alameda's Neptune Beach, the "Coney Island of the West," and it's history as a pivotal attraction after the close of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos, co-publishers of the Alameda Sun and co-authors of East Bay Then & Now and Lost Los Angeles, will present on west Alameda's bathing and beach resorts that established the Island City's recreational character beginning in the 1870s.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 6:00pm
Transformations in SF Public Transit—Then, Now, Tomorrow

Free for CHS Members, $5 General Admission


The Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) celebrated the emergence of San Francisco from the devastation of the 1906 earthquake and fire, launching it as the most modern city in the world, an economic gateway between the United States, the Pacific, and Europe, and a cultural center. The Palace of Fine Arts and the Civic Auditorium are lasting monuments to the PPIE. An artistic and programmatic success, the exposition's financial success was dependent on its transportation system. Learn how PPIE infrastructure improvements have served San Franciscans every day for the past 100 years and how these arteries are being transformed today to serve us during the next century: Central Subway, Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit, and E-Embarcadero Streetcars to Fort Mason.

Panelists include: Grant Ute, historian and author of San Francisco Municipal Railway, Alameda by Rails, and San Francisco's Market Street Railway; Michael Schwartz, Senior Transportation Planner, San Francisco County Transportation Authority; and Tilly Chang, Executive Director, San Francisco County Transportation Authority. Greg King, Environmental Manager for Parsons Corp., will moderate.

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