Maritime Museum Building Documentary

A Palace for the People” is a video documentary project on the Aquatic Park Building; a newly restored masterpiece of the WPA.  The design and construction of the building, and its decoration by an astonishing group of artists, is a fascinating but little-known chapter in the creative history of San Francisco.

The project is a unique, 3 year, collaboration between documentary producer John Rogers, National Park Service staff at the Maritime Museum, and the Maritime National Park Association.  Funding, so far, has come from small grants from the SF Architectural Heritage Foundation and Tenth St. Media, and generous individual donors.

Two films are being produced: a short documentary for installation in the Maritime Museum and to screen in the Visitors Center, and a longer form documentary for DVD, education, and the web.  The short film will chronicle the history and elucidate the artworks and architecture for the local and international audiences that pass daily through the building. The longer film will explore the history in more detail, and include commentary from multiple critics, artists, and historians.

The project is well on its way, with research and scripts completed, extensive archival photography in hand, and all building interior cinematography complete in beautiful 4K video. Exterior architectural cinematography will be completed in September, then post-production on the shorter video can begin. Post-production funding is desperately needed for editing, music composition, sound mixing, color grading, voice recordings, and further location production for the longer film.

With the restoration of the Aquatic Park Building, many wrongs have finally been righted. Neglect and indifference, have been replaced with a new appreciation for the building and its artworks.  Its murals, sculptures, and mosaics live on as a monument to courage, imagination, craft, and a civic commitment to public.


Total Project Cost: $60,000

Funding Raised: $40,000

Remaining Funding Needed: $20,000