California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894

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The Main Concourse.
The Exposition at night. Few of the surrounding areas were electrified, making the Fair a magical sight after dark.

The California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, commonly referred to as the "Midwinter Exposition" or the "Midwinter Fair", was a World's Fair that operated from January 27 to July 5[1] in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

In 1892, U.S. President Benjamin Harrison appointed M. H. de Young as a national commissioner to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago.

The San Francisco fair was the brainchild of de Young, then editor and sole proprietor of the San Francisco Chronicle. Golden Gate Park Superintendent John McLaren fought against holding the exposition in the park claiming,"the damage to the natural setting would take decades to reverse."[2]

The fair encompassed 200 acres centered on the park's current Music Concourse.[3] More than 100 buildings were erected for the exposition, and more than 2 million people visited.[2] The most enduring legacies are the Palace of Fine Arts, which became the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum (and has been rebuilt in a much different design); and the park's famed Japanese Tea Garden.

The Mission-style Agriculture and Horticulture Building was located just west of the Palace of Fine Arts. The Indian temple-themed Mechanical Arts Building stood on the present-day site of the California Academy of Sciences. The Moorish-style Manufacturers and Liberal Arts Building was located on the east end of the concourse, closest to the Panhandle.[3]


  1. ^ Nevada State Board of World's Fair Commissioners (1895). Report of managing director, Nevada exhibit, Midwinter Fair. J.A. Yerington, managing director. State Print. Office. p. 26. 
  2. ^ a b Crafts, D.S. "The 1894 Midwinter Fair in Golden Gate Park: Unfinished History". FoundSF. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Smith, J. "SF's First World's Fair". Guidelines. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 

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