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SF's Palace Of Fine Arts Turned Into A Gym Or Hotel? Neighbors Concerned Over Cultural Center's Future

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Its giant columns have delighted San Franciscans for 100 years, but now some worry about the Palace of Fine Arts' future.

"It's like a lot of other things in the city -- everything just keeps changing," said concerned resident Julian Deamicis.

Seven developers, each competing, convinced their unique vision for the Palace is the best.

On Tuesday night, they showed their plans to the biggest critic -- the neighborhood.

"I want it to be arts, I want it to be community," said neighbor Terumi Stephens.

Newton Kindlund, who also lives in the area, agrees. "I would not want it to become a gym or hotel."

But that could happen.

A restaurant, hotel, even a 150,000 square foot public-private gym, are all on the table.

Although people say a gym in the Palace of Fine Arts doesn't feel right, San Francisco Rec & Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg says that's exactly what it used to be. And it has onlookers worried.

"It's just more money coming in and taking over," Deamicis said. "We really need more culture."

Many people agreed with that sentiment Tuesday night. The loudest applause came for keeping the Palace of Fine Arts in the business of fine arts.

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