Built on the site of San Francisco's 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition, the Marina District rests on a base of sand and mud dredged from the bottom of the ocean, a landfill specially created as the setting for that year's world's fair. Both the exhibition, which included Bernard Maybeck's spectacular Palace of Fine Arts, and the beautiful residential area that followed were meant to trumpet the rebirth of the city after the catastrophic earthquake of 1906. The Marina Development Corp. purchased the land after the exhibition's temporary buildings were torn down (except for the palace, which was propped up for years, then rebuilt in the '60s), laid out a maze of streets, and carved out 634 lots for residential use. In a twist of fate, however, the instability of the area's landfill underpinnings caused the Marina District to suffer the greatest damage in the city's 1989 quake.

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