San Francisco Points of Interest
The first mass in St. Vincent de Paul Church was celebrated on 26 October 1913 sixteen months before the 1915 opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Because of its proximity to the exposition grounds, the church was nicknamed The Exposition Church.
Buildings on the exposition ground were imposing, but they were not built to last and were demolished after the exposition closed. Only a few buildings associated with the exposition have survived, notably the Palace of Fine Arts and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium which was originally named the Exposition Auditorium.
Architects Frank T. Shea and John O. Lofquist designed the church.
"With its soaring tower, bracketed gambrel roof, and forceful wooden detailing, it looks like a lodge in the Swiss Alps. That is probably what inspired it. Father Ryan, the resident priest at the time, returned from a trip to Switzerland shortly before commissioning Frank Shea to carry out the design."
Source: Historic Walks in San Francisco: 18 Trails Through the City's Past by Rand Richards,Heritage House Publishers, 2002)