Lot 94 of 221:
Designs for PPIE "Joy Zone" buildings  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$10,800
$10,000 - $15,000

Archive of approximately 135 pencil-drawn preliminary architectural sketches for concessions, exhibits and rides in the “Joy Zone” at the P.P.I.E.

Symmes, Edward J.

San Francisco




Pencil sketches on paper, 9 are colored. Most on thin standard-size typing paper headed “Panama-Pacific International Exposition Division of Works”; some on plain or tracing paper of various sizes, a few folding. 

Important working archive of preliminary and more finished sketches of various buildings and concessions planned for the carnival-like “Joy Zone” at the Panama Pacific International Exposition. The drawings reveal much of a hitherto relatively unstudied aspect of the Exposition, the process behind the designing of the concessions and booths which provided the entertainment and nourishment for the thousands of daily visitors. The drawings are by or were conducted under the supervision of Edwin J. Symmes, a 1909 graduate of the University of California. The architecture of the Joy Zone, and Symmes role in it, was addressed by Laura Ackley in a study published by the California Historical Society in 2015, “San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915”  - “Concessionaires were allowed to retain their own architects as long as they cooperated with the Exposition’s Department of Architecture. Some hired ‘starchitects’ for their buildings. Ghirardelli and Welch’s used Bakewell & Brown, and M.A. Gunst & Co. smoke shop employed Ward & Blohme. However, a great deal of the work was assigned to the Exposition’s in-house stable of designers. Edwin J. Symmes, who had worked previously with Bliss & Faville, coordinated with the external architects and personally designed the elaborate Tehuantepec Village and the Carousel building on the Zone, the Carnation Condensery and Muller-Luxus Café near the Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon, and the Desmond Supply Company’s Garden and Festival Inns in the South Gardens.” Among the many drawings in the present archive is the Building for the Baldwin Jewel Company; Candy Floss No. 1; Oriental Village; the Telephone Co.; Orange Blossom Booth; Temple of Palmistry; the booth for the Certificates of Visitation; and many others. Many are relatively small, but a some are full page or fold out. The archive has descended in the family of Edwin Symmes until this time.

Lot Amendments

Some moderate wear and edge creasing, very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail.  For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.