June 4, 2016

San Francisco. July, 2006

The Palace Hotel, fabled in legend and in song. When I got to SFO a day earlier than my business required, I signed on for a tour of this municipal landmark. And I was not disappointed. We ambled through this Garden Court, through hallways, sample rooms, the kitchen, you-name-it. I learned that the current 1909 structure is built upon the ruins of the earlier 1875 Palace Hotel, destroyed in the great earthquake. (The tour guide was a saucy thing, not one of those starchy New England types who seem imposed upon as they allow you access to homes not their own.) The hotel's Pied Piper bar is home to a beautiful Maxfield Parrish mural of the children's tale. In 2013, the Palace's owners tried to remove the mural to sell it through Christie's auction house for an estimated $5 million. San Franciscans were outraged and protested so powerfully that the greedy owners relented, restored the mural and returned it to its proper place. Phew!

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