Balboa Park History 1926
January 1, 1926, San Diego Union, 6:1-2. American Legion building at northwest corner of Plaza is being reconstructed for Legion activities and will contain one of the finest museums of World War I relics in the west.
January 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Water Section, 3:8. Splendid site afforded County Fair in Balboa Park.
January 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Water Section, 9:3-6. Collections of educational value in San Diego Museum.
January 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Education, 7:4-6. Comprehensive exhibits, outdoor nature studies feature Natural History Museum’s Work, by Clinton Abbott.
January 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Education, 8:1-2. San Diego’s distinctive architecture by Richard S. Requa.
January 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Recreation, 6:1-8. San Diego’s great park system gives chance for variety of recreational and cultural expression.
(Edited in part because of execrable writing.)
San Diego outranks most cities in the United States in area, only five of them including more land within their corporate limits, and it has taken advantage of this to set aside over two dozen parks covering a total of 2,600 acres with the largest, Balboa Park, occupying 1400 acres in the city’s center, thus making easily available to a great proportion of its citizenship an area of great beauty, providing a wide variety of recreation.
Many elements have contributed to make his great park a wonderland of beauty and usefulness, besides its size and location. Its topography, commanding viewpoints seamed by deep canyons, but all intriguing possibilities for artistic landscaping. The prevailing climatic conditions afford the utmost for garden treatment. Its great area has permitted abundant space for golfing, tennis, equestrianship, archery and practically every athletic feature, including a fine stadium that will seat 35,000 people. And last, but far from least, the international exposition which was held in San Diego in 1915 has left a superb and exquisite group of buildings in Spanish-type architecture which are now occupied by, and for, the various cultural activities of the community: the drama, music, art, museum and similar interests, each being splendidly housed within one of more of these beautiful buildings. The zoo, too, now the third largest in the United States, occupies several buildings and about one hundred and fifty acres of park land.
Any attempt to picture the charm of this great park, its buildings, its drives and walks, its gardens, shrubs or trees, or even to pick out its greatest features, would be futile in the extreme because of Balboa Park offers to each individual too wide an appeal and he must, of necessity, center his approbation on one or two details which, like as not, another overlooks entirely in his particular admiration of something else. Six hundred acres, intensively developed in landscaping and architecture, is more than one mind can encompass, even though visited regularly over a long period, for each day brings forth it quota of shrub or flower. Even the architect is contriving his frequent contribution through the courtesy and financial aid of an interested citizenship which is constantly adding to what park officials must do for the upkeep and improvement of this great park.
The main entrance into the park is by way of Laurel Street, which leads to Cabrillo Bridge, whose quarter-mile span connects the Exposition grounds with the western part of the park. From this bridge the view is one of the most delightful to be had in the city. At 112 feet straight below may be seen the lotus pond, where, in season, lotus and pond lilies spring in thousands, casting their reflection upon the quiet bosom of the pond.
To the north, bison and other ruminants are seen grazing in their paddocks at the Zoological garden; to the south are seen the downtown district, the bay, the Silver Strand of Coronado, and the still more distant Coronado Islands of Mexico.
Artists from the west and from the capitals of Europe have visited San Diego so that they might put on canvas the charm that has made this spot a lure to lovers of beauty. Many of these canvases have been admired in the galleries and salons of London, Paris and Rome.
Nowhere in this country has nature so favored the horticulturist, and the profusion of blooms never wanes. The flowers of spring and summer are crowded out by the no less prolific flowers of fall and winter. The procession is endless and is of infinite variety. Stately yuccas from the desert grow among foliage of tropical origin. Manas (?), that germinated beneath the snows of the far north, bind the tall trunks of pines. Hibiscus from the South Seas flaunt their radiance amid roses and lilies, set against a backdrop of graceful palms.
At the east end of the Bridge stands the Administration building. flanked by the majestic tower of the California State Building which houses the Scientific Library, while the Fine Arts Building, with its exhibition galleries and Academy of Fine Arts, faces the California State Building and with it forms a small plaza.
East of these and facing each other on either side of the Prado, or main street, are the Science of Man and Indian Arts Buildings, in which are shown the archaeological anthropological and Indian art exhibits of the San Diego Museum. The buildings form the western wall of the Plaza de Panama, a paved court, where outdoor dancing, fiestas and entertainments are sometimes held.
On the north end of the Plaza and facing the great outdoor organ about two blocks to the south is Balboa Park’s newest jewel, the recently completed Bridges’ Art Gallery. A liberal expenditure of money and of thought on the part of its donor has given San Diego an architectural masterpiece.
At the northwest corner of the Plaza, the American Legion is reconstructing the former Home Economy Building as a site for its activities and for a museum of World War relics.
The Natural History Museums has reserved the Foreign Arts Building, at the southwest corner of the Plaza, to house those exhibits that cannot be accommodated in the former Canadian Building, its present home.
South of the Plaza de Panama, flanked by its graceful peristyle and framing views of the Pacific Ocean, the great Spreckels Organ commemorates the love of John D. and Adolph B. Spreckels for their fellow citizens.
North of the Prado and east of the American Legion Building, a lagoon, with thousands of pond lilies and lotus blossoms, mirrors the lath dome of the Botanical Building, though which bamboo, some nearly 70 feet high, poke their heads. In this building and in its adjoining conservatory tropical plants, that would not thrive even in San Diego’s mild climate, are displayed. Rear exotic and delicate native plans grow here under perfect growing conditions.
The Domestic Art Building, one of the largest and handsomest of the Exposition group, is used for industrial and agricultural shows, the annual County Fair in the fall being the most important.
The San Diego Electric Railway received much favorable comment for its restoration of the colonnade forming the car station and east entrance to the Prado. This entrance building, through which about 90 percent of visitors by trolley enter the Prado, is now one of the most attractive features on the former Exposition grounds.
The Pepper Grove picnic grounds is a popular section of the park. Tables in shaded nooks, drinking fountains, playground equipment and other accessories attract many picnic parties to this spot. San Diego Girl Scouts occupy to buildings in the Pepper Grove, and their activities add to the spirit for which Balboa Park is noted.
The Zoological Society has restored three of the Exposition buildings for administrative, educational and exhibit purposes in connection with a 150-acre tract that they have transformer into an zoological garden. The Society maintains the largest collection of animals, birds and reptiles in the west.
San Diego Boy Scouts occupy a group of replicas of Indian community houses in the Painted Desert at north end of the former Exposition site. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company, who built the Painted Desert, donated the complex to the City of San Diego at the conclusion of the Exposition. The Boy Scouts were chosen as tenants after they promised to take care of buildings and grounds.
To the Board of Park Commissioners and to Park Superintendent John G. Morley is due the credit for handing an park project that includes features seldom found in the parks of other cities. They have promoted the development of the park and encouraged citizens to make the park a cultural center as well as a place for San Diegans and visitors to enjoy.
Because of the Park Board’s hospitable policies, many citizens have given time, energy and money to establish and develop cultural institutions in the park that afford pleasure to thousands of visitors.
January 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Recreation, 7:8. Art building newest jewel in the park.
January 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 20:1-7. Zoological gardens in picturesque stop of city’s great park.
January 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3-4. Dr. Stewart paid tribute to John D. Spreckels at recital yesterday.
January 3, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:1-8, 13:1-2. Daniel Cleveland tells of troubles of early days in San Diego County.
January 3, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:6-7. R. A. Addison says San Diego Zoological Gardens will be finest in United States in another year.
January 3, 1926, San Diego Union, 17:2. Everyday at local zoo is fish day for elephant seals (illus.).
January 3, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 7:1-8. Finished plan made by architect Requa from Miss Amy Lyon’s roughly-drawn suggestion in The Union’s small home plan competition.
January 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 2:3. Dr. H. M. Wegeforth refuses to get excited over Dr. W. H. Raymenton’s verbal attack upon him.
Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth, president of the San Diego Zoological Society, refuses to get excited over a verbal attack made upon him by Dr. W. H. Raymenton, director of education at the zoo.
Dr. Wegeforth declared last night that Reymenton’s declaration that “what the society needs is a president who will carry out the will of the directors,” is entirely uncalled for.
“The board of directors is composed of prominent citizens,” said Dr. Wegeforth, “who would not be dictated to even if I were inclined to try to dictate.”
The annual election of the society is set for next Monday night and Dr. Wegeforth has mailed proxy blanks to the 405 members of the society. He is a candidate for re-election as president, and is not worrying over the result.
Dr. Raymenton started the fight on Dr. Wegeforth because he declares the O’Rourke Zoological Institute is not receiving enough funds for its operation from the zoo gate receipts and other receipts. It is his idea to incorporate the Institute and make it a separate institution from the zoo.
Dr. Wegeforth said last night that the progress made by the zoo is well known and that last year 250,000 persons visited the zoological gardens. He said that all moneys donated to the zoo are spent in improvements, such as are desired by the donors. He expressed the opinion that whatever dissension my have arisen in certain sources soon will be ironed out and the zoo will continue along its successful lines.
Raymenton’s assertion that the “zoo is a public property and not a one-man proposition,” merely caused Dr. Wegeforth to smile.
President Wegeforth is given credit for having built up the zoo through years of hard work without any compensation whatever.
January 9, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1. City Park Board enters Zoo fight; Attorney Higgins to investigate Commission’s jurisdiction, submit report.
The city park commission yesterday entered into the controversy now being waged in zoological circles, and set for City Attorney Higgins, in a effort to ascertain just what jurisdiction the commission has over the zoo.
The city attorney was accompanied to the commission’s rooms by Mayor Bacon. He declined to given an offhand opinion as to the commission’s authority in things zoological, but promised to furnish the commission with a written report within the next few days.
The commissioners said that they had been informed that several people had been bitten by an elephant seal at the zoo, and wanted to know of the commissioners could be held legally responsible for damages.
January 10, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:2-4. San Diego Zoo trains once vicious wolf to take leisurely strolls on end of leash.
January 10, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 7:2-4. The Entrance Hall, by Richard S. Requa.
January 12, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1. Dr. H. M. Wegeforth to head Zoological Society another year; name heads list of five directors when vote cast; report shows 365,043 persons visited park institution in twelve months.
Re-election of Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth, as president of the San Diego Zoological society, was made certain last evening when the annual election of members of the board of directors of the society was held at the zoo’s administration building. Dr. Wegeforth’s name led the list of the directors who were unanimously elected for the ensuing year. Dr. William H. Remington, the sixth nominee, having moved the closing of nominations before his own name was read.
The directors of the society for 1926 are: Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth, Patrick F. O’Rourke, Frank C. Spalding, A. T. Mercier and D. D. Wray.
The meeting was attended by about 25 members of the society, but a great proportion of the membership was represented by proxies. The election was without incident, and followed the reading of the reports submitted by Dr. Wegeforth and the heads of the various departments of the zoo.
In connection with these figures, Dr. Wegeforth said that a count of automobiles parked outside the zoo on weekdays during the year has shown that more than one half of all visitors to the grounds were from without the state.
Dr. Wegeforth also announced that the ground plans for the research building and animal hospital for which Miss Ellen B. Scripps has given $50,000, have been prepared and the preliminary details of the work of construction now are being worked out. This building is to be placed on a plot of mesa ground back of the California Building. The land was given to the Zoo by the Board of Park Commissioners.
Another feature of the report was the statement that more than 2,000 trees have been planted within the confines of the zoo during the last year. These trees are being planted under the supervision of John G. Morley, park superintendent, according to a definite plan of permanent improvements, so that within a few years the grounds will be among the most beautiful sections of the park.
The society last evening endorsed unanimously the action of the Board of Directors in naming several citizens of San Diego as benefactors and patrons of the society. Benefactors are those who have given $10,000 or more to the zoo, and those names last evening were John D. Spreckels, Mrs. Ellen B. Scripps, Patrick F. O’Rourke, Mrs. Patrick P. O’Rourke, Miss Anna Zimmerman. Patrons are those who have given $1,000 to the zoo, and those named last night were John Burnham and Ralph Granger.
The treasurer’s report showed that with construction now underway the zoo has expended at total of $350,000. The indebtedness of the society, which was $26,000 a year ago, has been reduced to $12,000.
Other reports submitted last evening were those of Dr. William H. Remington, director of education, and L. M. Klauber, curator of reptiles.
Following the election of offices, a resolution endorsing the work of Dr. Wegeforth was read from the floor and unanimously adopted by the members.
An announcement of the president, which came as a surprise during the meeting, was his publication of the fact that arrangements have been made to put two sightseeing buses at work in the zoo on a system of roads, which will take visitors to every part of the grounds. Accompanying the buses, will be guides, the entire innovation being designed to make at visit to the zoo an easy as well as a pleasant experience.
January 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:5. W. A. Hammon, head of Public Address Department, San Diego High School, told Kiwanis Club last night that San Diego State College should be located in the northeast corner of Balboa Park.
January 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:8, 2:5-6. Board of Park Commissioners votes to bar college from Balboa Park; teachers’ proposal to place new state institution there causes flare-up from prominent residents.
While members of the Board of Park Commissioners were engaged yesterday in drafting a resolution of unqualified opposition to further encroachment on park lands by institutions that are not essentially park features, a number of well-known citizens, all of whom have shown definite interest in Balboa Park and its increasing beauty and worth, were dictating interviews in which they expressed the same opinion as that carried in the Park Board resolution.
The resolution adopted by the Commissioners referred directly to the proposed plan of allotting a part of the park to the new state college and in passing it — the Commissioners said that they believed they were expressing the views of a majority of the citizens of San Diego. These views, Commissioners declared were summed up in a statement that the people of San Diego wish to see the park remain solely a park and, as such, a magnet for the city’s many visitors and a continuing heritage of beauty for all who may call San Diego their home now and in the future.
The matter was brought before the Commissioners, by E. N. Jones, member of the Board.
“I have been reading where some high school teacher is proposing that a site in the park be given over for a new state college,” he said. “I believe now is a good time to nix this plan in the bud and preserve the park for the people for all time.”
Jones then offered the following resolution, which was unanimously carried:
“Whereas. The Board of Park Commissioners, having observed in The San Diego Union of January 15, 1916 that W. A. Haman, head of the public speaking department of the senior high school, advocates placing the new state college in Balboa Park; now, therefore be it
“Resolved. That the Board of Park Commissioners, believing that they represent the wish of the people of San Diego that park departments lands should be preserved for the use of the public, stands unqualifiedly opposed to any further encroachment upon park lands for institutions which are not essentially park features.”
John Forward, Jr. president of the Board, spoke strongly against the move to cut another slice of the park. Several free sites have been offered for the state college, Forward said, and he expressed belief that some one of these offers be accepted rather than an attempt to take away some of the park.
- Templeton Johnson, another member of the Board, same out strongly against the plan to put the college in the park.
“There must be a line drawn somewhere to stop encroachment on the park,” he said. Johnson produced a plan of Central Park, New York, showing that if the authorities there has permitted it there would be more activities going on in that part than there would be space for. There is a similar danger confronting San Diego, he said.
The opinion of those interviewed by The Union during the day was as emphatic in its unanimous opposition to cutting further into the park. In every instance, those who stood unreservedly for the conservation of the park, expressed their high regard for the officials of the state college and declared that they believed the state college is destined to become on of the most important was well as one of the largest educational institutions in southern California.
The belief in the importance and ultimate size of the college was one of the chief reasons urged against it being placed in the park. It was pointed out repeatedly that while the placing of the first units of the proposed new college in the park would mean comparatively little, the demands of the institution as it expands will have to be met with increased allotments of park land.
But overshadowing even this reason was the universal belief that Balboa Park is a priceless heritage which should be preserved for the citizens of San Diego in all its present extent. Those interviewed stressed, in every case, that fact that Balboa Park is needed and that as the city grows it will be needed more. Its increasing beauty, its charm of hill and valley and level greensward, the opportunities it gives for seclusion from the noise and turmoil of the city, its ideal location — all these thoughts were brought out by the citizens who were interviewed yesterday.
An interesting view of the situation and one which is valuable in that it was expressed by a visitor to San Diego, was that of W. B. George, a prominent Montana man, former state senator, and one of the builders of the fine city of Billings. George has fallen in love with San Diego, and his friends are expressing the hope that he will come here to stay permanently. In discussing Balboa Park, his words were those of a keen observer whose opinion came from experience.
“If I may be permitted, though not a resident of your city, to say a word on this question. I should like to,” he said. “I have had some experience in laying out grounds for schools and normal schools and I am convinced that such an institution as San Diego State College will need, at least ultimately, about 80 acres of land, perhaps more. To take such a parcel our of the beautiful park which San Diego has would, in my judgment, injure the park.
“The college, if I may be allowed to say so, ought to go to some place where there is plenty of room for it now and for its natural expansion. It might well have acreage devoted to agriculture and the growing of fruits, particularly citrus fruits. Students at such institutions in Montana, Wisconsin and other states, have the opportunity to study those subjects and when they graduate they know a lot about their own states.”
G Aubrey Davidson, president of the Southern Trust and Commerce Bank, chairman of the Civic Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Commerce; former president of the Panama-California Exposition, and member of the State College Committee was explicit in outlining his ideas concerning the preservation of the park.
“I am very much opposed,” he said, “to giving away any more of Balboa Park. Although I am a member of the State College Committee, the advantages connected with putting the State College in the park must be presented to me with real reasons behind them before I will consider them. I feel that no civic proposal is so important as the preservation of the park in all its present extent, and that no matter in which the citizens of San Diego may give their attention is so vital as this.”
George W. Marston, who has been one of the most active and devoted of San Diego citizens in preserving and increasing the beauty of the city and its surrounding country, and whose opinions are those of a settled and mature judgment in the matter of civic development, concentrated the thoughts of all who were interviewed in a statement which went at length into the whole problem. He said:
“The essential thing is the park, and the park means landscape scenery, and the affording of large spaces of ground for recreation, including facilities for golf, baseball, tennis and other sports which require acres of land.
“Now, while the park is large, we must remember that of its 1400 acres, a very great part consists of canyons. The encroachment of buildings upon the park will rapidly exhaust all its level land. Further than this, placing buildings upon the park land will eventually destroy its character as a park.
“We build parks to get away from the city, and in the case of Balboa Park, we, as citizens, should take a definite part in seeing that its natural beauty if conserved. It is said that we have much more land than we can take care of. My feeling in this is that there are some parts of Balboa Park which should be kept in their natural beauty.
“California will be so densely populated in the future that there will be little natural country left next the sea coast, and it is essential to have not long large cultivated areas but as much land as we may preserve in its natural state.
“I feel that the encroachments of buildings, such as those of the exposition and the proposed state college, detract not only from the beauty of the park but from the objects for which it was set aside and for which the majority of our citizens desire to keep it. I believe that these encroachments have gone as far as they ought to go, and that we should direct our efforts to conserve all the park for the future.”
January 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: A Needless Generosity
We are not hostile to the enterprise of a new college — quite the reverse. We are simply quite certain that there is no need for making a further inroad upon Balboa Park and that only an obvious and pressing need would excuse any such inroad.
January 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:5. Park overhead fund menaced by coin drain; Park Board President Forward says “cultural societies” needs mean increased tax split.
Declaring that the most serious problem confronting the park management is the maintenance of so-called “cultural” organizations that now have or are seeking city aid through park funds, the Board of Park Commissioners yesterday called a meeting of all these groups for next Friday, when an effort will be made to find a solution.
To provide these organizations with the aid they desire, and to keep up the work of maintaining and improving the park would require an increase from 16 cents to 25 cents on each $100 valuation in the city, President John Forward, Jr. said.
The groups mentioned during the discussion include the Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum Association, the Fine Arts Society and the Zoo. The latter organization is not on the same status as the others because the people by their votes have officially approved a tax levy for carrying on the zoological exhibit.
Recent action of the City Council in placing the San Diego Museum Association under the Park Board, to be maintained partly out of park funds, brought up the discussion.
At present six our of the park’s 16-cent allowance go to the so-called cultural groups, and if all the organizations carry out their announced intention of seeking city aid, they will be taking 60 percent of the park funds, President Forward said.
“If we are to maintain all these auxiliaries, what will become of the park?” he asked. “The Art Gallery will take $30,000, the Museum $15,000, to Zoo $25,000, and the Natural History Museum will want $25,000. It is a most serious problem and one that we must face.”
If the cultural groups are to be maintained with city aid, some provision for raising the necessary money must be made, the president continued. It will mean the cessation of much necessary maintenance and improvement work on the park proper if the money for the Museum, the Natural History Society, and the Fine Arts Gallery is taken from the park funds without providing the park additional money, he said.
Charter amendments providing for additional tax levies, as was done in the case of the Zoo, are seen as the only solution, but the exact method of procedure is expected to be worked out at the meeting next Friday, the commissioners said.
John Morley, park superintendent, said he has been unable to do much work that he would like to do because of the shortage of funds. He has had to lay off 10 men recently because of the shortage, he said.
During the meeting delegations from Golden Hill and La Jolla appeared and asked that the Park Commission do more improvement work in their territories.
January 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:4-6. Zoological garden animals furnish inspiration for members of San Diego colony of artists (illus.).
January 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:2-4. Scores oppose plan to encroach on Balboa Park for college site; quotations from Melville Klauber, Ernest E. White, Leroy A. Wright, Miss Alice Lee, W. D. Dorland, Milton F. Heller.
January 17, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 4:1-3. The Living Room, by Richard S. Requa.
January 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1-5. Through San Diego Zoo with its president as guide; financial report for 1925; total net worth, December 21, 1925, $271,664.91.
Putting in concise and interesting form the facts and figures which show the great part the San Diego Zoo is playing in affording pleasure and instruction to hundreds of thousands of people each year and the important factor it has become in advertising San Diego to the world, the heads of several departments of the San Diego Zoological Society, including President Harry W. Wegeforth, M. D., outlined the growth of the great zoo in Balboa Park in reports submitted at the annual meeting of members of the organization.
President Wegeforth’s report was given in the form of an address. It follows:
During the past year many improvements have been made in our zoological gardens. Our plans have gradually rounded out and what we intend to accomplish is beginning to approach completion.
The early part of the year, with money provided us by the city, we were able to construct a portion of our deer paddocks, as laid out by the landscape architect. These paddocks are 22 in number; well constructed and considered the finest in the United States for several reasons. The comfortable houses provided for the animals are so situated as to make it impossible for any one to strike or hammer on the walls and frighten the animals, which permits them to enjoy their food undisturbed. A beautiful eucalyptus grove provides shade as well as giving a natural background. The fences have been constructed with pipe posts; they and the wire are painted green, which makes them less visible from the distance. One of the main features of these corrals is the arrangement by which the doors of the houses can be closed by a series of pulleys when it is necessary, enabling the men to clean the paddocks while the animals are thus confined.
In the event it is desired to move an animal to the hospital, which is in the center of the main group of enclosures, it is only necessary to open the gates of each of the six enclosures forming a long lane leading to the main building, through which the deer may be driven, thus avoiding contact with other animals and eliminating the always dangerous methods of catching them with ropes or straps.
It was our desire to complete these paddocks this year, but owing to insufficient funds we were not able to finish the entire 40, although we have on hand sufficient wire and most of the posts. This year our budget provides for this deficiency, and the badly needed additional pens will be completed. It will then be possible to segregate the several species into individual enclosures, which it has been impossible to do under the present congested condition. This is desirable as it is very inadvisable to keep animals of different species in the same pens. It is expected that all 40 paddocks will be occupied this spring.
At the first of the year we had only a few Panama deer, but on my trip east I secured by exchange and purchase some fine specimens, and now we have the Siki, Fallow, Red Fallow, Black Fallow and others.
Besides building these paddocks we have been able to construct a series of roads extending over two and a half miles, leaving from mesa to mesa. New paths have been laid out making all parts of the garden more accessible.
Money has been promised to provide two buses for the comfort and pleasure of our guests, who are unable of disinclined to walk through the gardens. These proposed buses will be four feet wide and will contain seven seats, accommodating 20 people beside the operator.
Let us be the first to enjoy this luxury. Come with me that it may be my pleasure to conduct you on the initial trip through the gardens. Before leaving the vicinity of the deer park in our new buses, your attention is attracted by the very fine collection of kangaroos, and other closely allied marsupials. Through the generosity of John D. Spreckels, a trip to Australia and Hawaiian Islands was made possible. On this expedition Mr. Faulconer procured and brought to this country many new specimens for the zoo, among them these kangaroos. We have raised six and by selling or exchanging them with other zoos have added materially to our exhibits. The animals secured on this strip will be seen in many different parts of the garden. Owing to Mr. Faulconer’s keen and untiring interest in the care of the animals in transit, they arrived in splendid order and became a valuable addition.
Leaving the mesa, traveling down the road to the buffalo pens, you will see on the left the water buffalo family, including the fine heifer calf born last fall in the zoo. These we obtained from Kansas City zoo in the spring in exchange for sea lions, gulls and pelicans. On the right are the American buffalo or bison, which were donated to us by Golden Gate Park.
Coming up the canyon from the buffaloes, we pass the pelican and gull pond. This has been much improved in appearance by careful planting of shrubbery.
Next is the alligator pond and just beyond are the peccaries, which are becoming crowded in their pen owing to the fact that they multiply very rapidly. These, however, make excellent material for exchange with other zoos. Going to the left up what we called “seal canyon,” we pass several bird enclosures, which are being planted with the yellow blooming acacia trees, and very soon it will be a beautiful sight to see the birds among these trees, especially when they are in bloom.
Further on we come to the seal pond, which is a replica of the Lower Otay dam, built on a 1-10 scale. This was built for instructional purposes and makes a very beautiful enclosure. It is a gift of Miss Ellen Scripps, of whose generosity we will see much evidence throughout our tour. Passing on we come to the mountain lion and tiger grottoes, wonderful structures, which will be even more beautiful when the vines grow around and over the side walls. The pond containing the harbor seals is next in order and then our lion grotto, which is another gift of Miss Scripps. Before going further I would like to say that these lions are known all over the country as being unexcelled, enabling us to sell our surplus at great profit. Pictures of Prince and Cleopatra, with their young, have been shown in many parts of the country. Our swan pond is not enclosed and the swans are at liberty to wander about, but they are usually to be seen nearby. It is our intention to have later on a number of birds of this kind loose in the grounds, as they are harmless and live in harmony with each other.
Crossing the bridge built and donated by the Bent Concrete Pipe Company, we pass a vacant spot which is to be laid out in bear grottoes. At the top we come to the den completed with money given to us by Miss Scripps. Here the bears are to be seen straight in front of you, giving the same appearance as they would have in their wild state. There are four varieties here, but when we are able to complete our other grottoes, the species will be separated.
Just north of the beat bit we find the little Koala beat donated by Mrs.. Gail Calmerson. This little bear attracts great attention from the visitors and everyone enjoys watching him sitting in his little red chair Santa Claus brought him, high up in the Eucalyptus trees, oblivious to all.
Turning to the left we see the camels in their stockades. The Mystic Shriners of San Diego donated to the zoo two Bactrian camels. One dromedary was given to us by the Lasky Film Corporation of Los Angeles and the Ringling Brothers Circus donated its mate. The fence surrounding these paddocks was built with money supplied us by the Campbell Chevrolet Company of San Diego. Still further on is the site in which we hope some day to have a pair of hippopotami if we can find a donor who will contribute the $12,000 estimated to complete the proposed compound. The pleasure it would give the people would be a better return on his money that if he had put it into stocks and bonds.
Further on we come to the commodious enclosure where the elephants, Happy and Joy, are confined. Although not entirely completed, it still is one of the best and most popular exhibits in the garden. The attraction was another gift of John D. Spreckels. One the west side space is left for a contemplated pool to be used for the elephants to bathe in. Anyone knowing how the pachyderms love to sport in the water cannot fail to realize what an added source of pleasure this will be.
On the opposite side of the mesa is the roomy warehouse used principally for the storage of hay and grain. By buying our hay in large quantities early in the season, we were able not only to obtain a very good uniform grade, but were able to effect a saving of about 40 percent in the cost. This constitutes a valuable asset, as hay-eating stock comprises a large percentage of our animals. This location was made possible by the liberality of the city Board of Education in deeding back to the Board of Park Commissioners this plot of ground.
A trail close by leads to what is known as the “cat canyon.” Although there is practically nothing there at present, you may see on any of our plans the designated positions for the cages of the smaller members of the cat family. This will prove an interesting part of our trip, leading as it does down past the sea lion pond, around the brow of the hill, past the Inclosures where are kept the emus, storks and other large birds. Passing the duck ponds and goose dam on the right we come to the end of this trail. Here is situated the largest flying cage in the world. It is reached by two flights, one on either side, of easily ascended stairs, on which at intervals, seats are provided from which the large flying birds may be seen in a most natural setting. The ponds and running streams, large trees and other nature-like features of this inclosure, together with its immense height creates an exhibit that has attracted the attention of many people all over the country who have shown the pictures they have secured to countless others, thus making it one of our greatest advertising features.
From the top of this flight of stairs, the view down the canyon toward Cabrillo Bridge is one of the finest to be found in the park, noted for its beautiful views.
Turning to the left we pass the aquarium and come to the turtle pens, numbering about 50. On the left of the path are the fresh water turtles and on the right are the terrapin.
Passing along this same path are to be seen a fine and unique group of cages built by Colonel Milton McRae and dedicated to his grandson, John Paul Scripps, housing what is known at the burrowing group. These cages are built on an old sea shore. This was found to have a backing of hardpan which we reinforced with concrete. The surface was replaced as nearly as possible to its old contours, this while being made doubly safe, still enables these small animals to live in an almost perfectly natural condition. Especially notable are those containing the owls, which seem to show up to a great deal of advantage.
At the right of the turtle pens is a group of bird cages given to the zoo by John Forward, Sr. This is composed of a large central cage where the birds of prey are confined. Around this eighteen cages are grouped in the form of a horseshoe in which the many small birds and animals form a never-ending source of pleasure to the youthful visitors.
Let us follow the crowd for a moment, which is sure to bring us almost directly to the large primate cages where at the east end are two fine chimpanzees presented by Ralph Granger. The pleasure exhibited by the visitors to this group is returned in full as these two “chimps” enjoy their guests mightily and, in fact, show that they recognize many who are frequent callers at their cage.
The laundry companies of San Diego donated the cage just to the north of the large primates. This is filled with the bright colorful cockatoos and parrots, who attract our immediate attention by their noisy chatter.
Returning to the cages of monkeys constituting the large group, we find several occupied by animals that do not rightfully belong here. This is a situation which we are planning to relieve if possible during this year, hoping to be able to remove the coyotes, wolves, and others to cages in a group more suitable to their proper care.
Barney is so well known all over the country as well as by sociologists of Europe that he requires no special introduction He is docile, interesting and not in the least quarrelsome, and is known to be the only northern elephant seal in captivity. This lake for him was donated by Miss Anna Zimmerman and named “Mirror Lake,” so called from the beautiful view to be seen at sunset reflected in this mirror.
The old Harvester Building has been converted into a reptile house at no little expense. This building was originally constructed on wooden piles and the walls, which were made partly of wood with some paper construction, has sagged from three to six inches in places. This has been restored, a proper basement built and many cages for the reptiles installed. The snake is a cold-blooded animal but requires and likes heat, however, they will live in cold places, having been seen basking in the sun near snow banks in the month of April in Colorado. The basement is now prepared for the installation of a heating plant, which is badly needed. With the plans as they are now working out, this building will be heated without doubt before three months have passed. Many snakes are contributed by the people of San Diego, 10 having been obtained in December. Yesterday two fine specimens of the red rattler, caught on San Miguel Mountain, were brought in by Mr. Faldborg.
The administration building, north of the Reptile House, was the old Standard Oil Building of exposition days. Although it had been given to the park, it stood in its original location east of Alameda Drive, which runs in front of the zoo, as we had no money to pay for its removal until Mr. and Mrs., Patrick O’Rourke were so kind as to have it moved to its present location, where it now houses the offices of the Zoological Society. Through this building is the main entrance to the garden, In it also is maintained a refreshment parlor for the benefit and convenience of our guests.
North of the administration building stands the O’Rourke Zoological Institute, intended for education purposes largely, and we are indeed grateful to Mr. and Mrs. O’Rourke whose generosity again has made it possible to realize some of our ambitions.
A few Zoological gardens may possess educational features, others may have facilities for scientific work, but so far as I am aware San Diego Zoo is the only one which provides both.
I have spoken to you of the O’Rourke Institute, which provides the educational feature, and I am not able to announce that Miss Ellen B. Scripps has donated $50,000 for the erection and equipment of a Zoological Hospital and Biological Research Institute. This institution will be located on a plot of ground just north of the California Building, which has been allotted to use by the Park Board.
The institute is for the study of humans as well as animals and construction will be started very shortly. Its purposes are first to provide isolation and hospitalization for our animals (newly received or those permanently domiciled here) and second, for purely research purposes in the field of biology, including biological chemistry, the mechanics of fractures, etc.
Prints of the first and second floor of the building were sent to scientific societies and universities all over the country, requesting comment and criticism. Upon receipt of their replies, the directors considered them very carefully and made some slight changes in the plans to conform with some of the valuable and helpful suggestions received.
We have now come to the end of our circle through the garden. We have hastened, perhaps, where we should have liked to linger. Inspiring views, such as the one from the deer mesa, have been barely glimpsed. Is it any surprise that 365,034 persons, other than ourselves, have passed through our turnstiles this year to go away and show their pictures and speak our praises to their friends “back home” or to become almost daily or weekly visitors to the zoo.
It would be impossible to make an address of this nature without grateful acknowledgment of the assistance we have received in all ways at all times from the officials of the city of San Diego. It is only with their aid and support that we have been able to make this part of the park as attractive to tourists and a never-ending joy to the citizens of San Diego.
In closing I want to express my appreciation to the Board of Directors of the Zoological Society and to the various committees who have been untiring in their efforts to further the interests of the Society during this year. I wish to thank all of the many supporters and friends for their generous gifts and unflagging interest in all our undertakings of the past and plans for the future.
The report on the Reptile House, prepared by L. M. Klauber, curator of reptiles, follows:
During the year 555 snakes were brought into the zoo from San Diego County, in addition to which this writer recorded 148 live and dead specimens in the country, bringing the total for which location records were obtained to 703. This figure may be compared to 447 in 1923 and 443 in 1924. In addition, 80 specimens were brought in from Lower California, Imperial County and Arizona. Besides the snakes, a considerable number of specimens of lizards and amphibians were brought in from San Diego County. From eastern and northern points we received through trade and purchases, 260 snakes, 18 lizards and 87 turtles. We sent out as trades and donations to eastern zoos, museums and universities and natural history societies 318 snakes, 130 lizards, one turtle and 350 batrachians: the above being live specimens. In addition we sent out 60 snakes, 133 lizards and 14 amphibians preserved in alcohol.
The operation of the Reptile House has continued to show improvement. During most of the summer an adequate food supply in the shape of mice and meal worms has been continuously available. There has, however, been a shortage of frogs, which are necessary for some species, and a supply of these should be provided in the future.
Our prize offer this year was a great success in stimulating interest and increasing the number of specimens brought into the zoo. The prizes offered totaled $65 dollars as follows: For the individual bringing in the greatest number of snakes during the season, March 1 to November 30, $35; next largest number, $20; most unusual specimen, $10. This compares with a price list of $100 during 1924.
The prizes for 1925 should be awarded as follows:
First prize for the largest number of specimens to Fred E. Walker of East San Diego, who brought in exactly 100 snakes besides numerous lizards, during the season March 1 to November 30. Walker likewise brought in 10 snakes during December, thus making a total of 110 snakes which he furnished to the zoo.
Second prize for the greatest number of snakes should be awarded to L. Faldborg of Chula Vista who brought in 42 snakes during the contest period. His collection of red rattlesnakes was particularly fine.
As to the most unusual specimen, I would recommend that this prize of $10 be divided between A. H. Schlange, Box 113, San Ysidro, and L. Kemp, 3722 Howard Street, East San Diego. Each of these persons brought in a western faded snake, Arizona elegans occidentalis. As we have had only three faded snakes in three years from San Diego County, they must be considered rarer than the California tantilla (Tantilla eiseni), of which we have had four from San Diego County and two from Lower California.
The above prizes in accordance with our offer should be paid immediately in cash. Considerable publicity should be given these payments in order to stimulate interest this year and at the same time prizes for this year should be offered. I would recommend that the prizes be in the same amounts as last year and that, as usual, county schools and post offices be circularized.
In this connection we might given consideration to the awarding of a special prize of, say, a radio set to the county school sending in the great number of specimens during the year. (This offer, if made, should be exclusive of rattlesnakes, in order that there may be no danger to the students in catching the snakes. It would likewise be advisable rather than to grade the prize award entirely on a basis of numbers to assign values in points for the several species of snakes, giving larger numbers of points for the rarer specimens. This could be done in a way that would stimulate much interest.
The report of the Junior Zoological Society, prepared by Jack C. von Bloker, Jr., president of the Society, was read by Dr. W. H. Raymenton, director of education. It follows:
The first session of 1925 of the San Diego Junior Zoological Society was held in the O’Rourke Zoological Institute in the Junior Zoological Society Building, Balboa Park, March 5, 1925. At this time Miss Helen Huberty was elected president; Jack von Bloker, vice president and treasurer, and Samuel G. Harter, secretary.
From this date (March 5 to June 25, 1925) meetings were held regularly every Saturday afternoon from 2 to 5 o’clock except in the summer vacation.
The second session of the year occurred on September 17, 1925. At this time Jack C. von Bloker was elected president and treasurer and Samuel G. Harper vice president, with Helen Huberty, secretary. Since then meetings have been held every Saturday afternoon up to December 24, 1925, At these meetings members talked on some subject in which they had become especially interested. Their subject is frequently illustrated by lantern slides on the silver screen. Many of these slides they make themselves, depicting on pieces of glass cut to the size of the slides the animals under consideration, and these are then shown on the screen. Animated and interesting discussions follow. Questions by members and answers by the speaker of the day, quotations from authorities, and original observations by the members of the club are then in order.
The president of the second session has in his talks gone more into detail in teaching the structural differences and varying habits of various animals. He had also laid much emphasis on the conservation of animal life, especially bird protection.
An important innovation during the second session on the initiative of the president, was the founding of the San Diego Junior Zoological Museum, November 12, 1925.
Following is a list of the members of the staff of the museum:
John C. von Bloker, director; Paul C. Covel, curator of mammals; Samuel G. Harper, curator of birds; John L. King, curator of amphibians; Harry L. Benbough, Jr., curator of invertebrates; Richard C. Benbough, curator of paleontology; Jack C. von Bloker, preparator; and Samuel G. Harter, assistant preparator.
Specimens of birds and mammals which have in the San Diego Zoo have been given to this museum to be prepared for mounting or for scientific study of skins. Specimens of birds have been given to his museum, both mounted and study skins, by the San Diego Natural History Museum, and several of the boys have loaned their various collections to us from time to time. One expedition has been sent out by use to La Puerta Valley, a semi-desert valley on the eastern slope of the mountains, to collect various specimens of the fauna, flora and geological specimens of the valley for comparison with specimens found in or nearer the city. There boys were sent on this expedition from the club. They are Paul F. Covel, curator in chief of birds and mammals; Samuel G. Harter, curator of birds; and Jack von Bloker, director.
The party left December 25, 1926 and returned January 3, 1926. The trip was successful, although it rained every day but one. Seven mammals were collected, of which five were made into study skins and two were mounted by the director of the museum.
Eighteen birds were collected, all of which were made into study skins; one reptile, preserved in alcohol; 133 insects were collected and pinned after having been killed by fumes of cyanide of potassium. A considerable number of botanical and geological specimens were secured and brought to the museum to be classified and exhibited. In all, there were 159 animal specimens secured on this expedition, the first of many we hope to have in the future.
Classes from the city and county schools have been personally conducted about the zoological garden by various members of the Junior Zoological Society from time to time.
Boys and girls from the ages of 10 to 18 are eligible as members of the Junior Zoological Society and are cordially invited to join. The dues are five cents a month or 60 cents a year.
Arrangements have been made with the department of visual education of the city schools by which educational reels will be loaned t us for use in our large motion picture machines.
We are also to have the use of one of their small motion picture machines with educational reels for our Saturday afternoon meetings.
January 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:5-6. Fred E. Lindley favors State College site in Balboa Park; San Diego, with its miles of beaches and with its beautiful back country accessible to and visited by practically everyone who owns an automobile, does not have use for the large area of the park which is now lying idle.
January 22, 1926, San Diego Union. State and City officials review State College site; scale of evaluation to be presented February 10; eight properties to be selected from which educational tract is to be selected; Will C. Wood, State Superintendent of Public Education, favors Balboa Park location, which has not been offered: “If there is a general desire on the part of the people for the college in the park, he would prefer it over almost any other site. But if the consideration of the site in the park, or the choosing of the site there should be accomplished only after a battle with its resulting division of the city into two armed camps, he would avoid even discussing it, for the injury to the city would be greater than the advantage of having the college in the park.”
January 22, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:3-6. Photograph of Citizens’ Committee selected to pick a site for the new San Diego State College with State officials.
January 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1. Representatives of the Zoo, Art Gallery, Natural History Society and Museum Association met with the Park Board yesterday to discuss the advisability of joining with the Park Board in an effort to obtain more money for their maintenance. At present the Natural History Museum is the only one of the four not receiving city aid.
January 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:5-6. George E. Morrison backs plan to give park site to college: “Establishment of the college in beautiful Balboa Park will quicken the cultural impulses of the city and add immeasurably to the delightful atmosphere of Balboa Park.”
January 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:2-5. Music may soothe the savage beast, but Zoo keepers find sugar or chuck or raw beef more soothing than string quartet; persons mistreating the exhibits have been ordered out of the garden (illus.).
January 24, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 13:1-3. The Dining Room, by Richard S. Requa.
January 28, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:1-2. Malcolm & Company protest against plan to take portion of park for new college.
January 28, 1926, San Diego Union, 13:4. Mrs. Clara J. Champlin advocates park college site.
January 29, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:2, 2:5-6. Forward resigns after 16 years on Park Board; declares he will fight effort to locate new State College on Balboa Park site.
January 29, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:5. A campaign to place the new State College campus in Balboa Park will be launched tomorrow evening by a mass meeting in the Lincoln School auditorium at 7:30. Announcement of the meeting was made yesterday by W. A. Hamman, head of the Department of Public Address at San Diego High School. Dr. Edgar L. Hewett, Edgar McMath, Fred Lindley, William Evans, Fred Finn will assist in organization of campaign.
January 29, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:3. John Nolen here Wednesday.
January 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:4-5. Elizabeth Freese, B. H. Haddock, Cary Richard Colburn write in favor of site in park for State College.
January 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:1-2. Colonel E. N. Jones, Park Commissioner, warns don’t start dividing park; predicts San Diego will have no Balboa Park tract at all if City starts doling our acreage to State College and others.
January 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 22:5. $25,500 needed for Art Gallery; City to put up $19,000 and Mr. and Mrs. Bridges $6,500 for year’s upkeep.
January 31, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:4-5. W. S. Staley favors Balboa Park as State College site.
January 31, 1926, San Diego Union, 19:3-5. Arrival of twin nilgaii babies at San Diego Zoo causes great stir.
January 31, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:4-5, 6:5. Forward scores educators for attempt to take park land for State College.
Tactics employed by local educators in an effort to grab 100 acres of Balboa Park lands for a state college were unmercifully scored yesterday by John F. Forward, Jr., who on Thursday, after 16 years of service, resigned his position on the park commission.
Mr. Forward issued a signed statement in which he declared that these educators cannot beat around the bush any longer in their efforts to show that they are not making an organized attempt to “invade Balboa Park.” He asserts that he can prove that all kinds of propaganda is being used by them to gain their ends, both in the schools and without.
He charges that President E. L. Hardy of the State college at one time approached him and suggested a play whereby the state college would get the Exposition buildings and the very center of the great park for its future activities. Moreover, Mr. Forward charges that a hired press agent or publicity man is in the employ of the State college and high school faculty to help out over the park scheme. His statement is also an appeal to the people to save the park from confiscation and to preserve it for posterity. Mr. Forward’s signed statement is in full as follows:
“The Union Friday morning carried a statement from President E. L Hardy of the State college, in which he said that no one connected with the development plans of San Diego State college — state officials, citizens’ committee, faculty or students — has taken any official stand for or against the location of the college in Balboa park, and that the new site must be chosen from tracts voluntarily offered the college, not solicited by it.
“I was greatly surprised when I read this. When I was on the park commission, President Hardy came to me and suggested a plan whereby the State college would take over the Exposition buildings in the park and the surrounding ground. He said that the state would make the buildings permanent for the college. Of course, I told him that I would not listen to such a suggestion; that it was absolutely out of the question.
“President Hardy also said in his letter to The Union that the State college has carefully remained apart from the public agitation for and against the Balboa park site, and that no attempt is being made to influence public opinion. In this connection, I wish to say than Sam Jackson, a publicity man, residing at 415 Corona apartments (Fourth and Juniper streets) is employed, I understand, by the faculty of the State college and the faculty of the high school as their press agent in this and other matters. I understand he writes articles favoring the park grab for the State college and endeavors to get citizens to sign them. Do they deny having employed him? I would like to head their answer to that.
“Already the people of San Diego have given away Balboa park lands worth $3,000,000. When is it going to end? The Roosevelt school ground alone is valued by the school board, I understand, at about $300,000. It is worth nearly $500,000. The ground given to the senior high school and the stadium is worth easily a million more. The beautiful point of ground donated to the naval hospital is worth a large sum, being the finest view point in the entire park, and it now has a fence around it.
“If we keep giving our park away, we will succeed in demoralizing our credit. San Diego must develop water. And for this development, including the Colorado river, we must have every ounce of credit at our command, or the city is going to stand still — perhaps fall back. We must call a halt on those who are confiscating our assets. In five years we will have to put up our share for the development of the Colorado or else [lose] all right to that water forever. If the city’s assets are continually cut down we will have no credit on which to float a bond issue for this most necessary purposes.
“What have the people who own their homes on the east side of the park got to day about this state college scheme? Do they intend to have their birthright taken away from them? I think not. I don’t think they will sit idly by and permit such a thing. Fifteen years ago the west side of the park looked worse than the east side does now. Today the west side is one of the garden spots of the world — famous throughout the world. Who can say that within another 15 years the entire east side of the park will not be just as beautiful — perhaps even more beautiful?
“If the city of San Diego is not bigger than the vision of those persons who want to use our wonderful park for purposes in no way adapted to such a park, God held us!
“Let’s play this game fairly and above board. Some of the public school authorities assert that they are taking no hand in this park site scheme. Take that with a grain of salt. This propaganda is being spread daily in the schools of the city, which is only natural on the part of certain instructors in our public schools. Members of the park commission and others opposed to given our park away have not been asked to address their meetings. It has been one-sided, and to me unfair. I see that W. A. Tamman, who teaches oratory at the high school, was the power behind the throne at a ‘give-the-park-away’ massing meeting at the Lincoln school the other evening. It was announced that this meeting was for the purpose of starting a campaign to put the state college in Balboa park. The ‘press agent’ notice of the meeting gave a list of those who would assist in organizing the campaign. Dr. Edgar L. Hewett, an instructor who spends only part of his time in San Diego, headed the list. Then came Edgar McMath, a teacher; Fred Lindley, attorney for the public administrator; William Evans, a teacher; Fred D. Finn, principal of the night school; Glen C. Perkins, high school principal; Elizabeth Freese, a teacher; and H. J. Roy, who used to work for the telephone company.
“I want to repeat that we are spending practically 70 percent of our tax money on education that does not educate. If these school heads will get out of politics, we may get some results in the education of our children, but not while politics and propaganda are uppermost. Politics and propaganda pass from the principal to the teacher, then to the pupil, and from the pupil into the home. It is through this process that they hope to induce the people to give beautiful Balboa park away. Because of extravagances in the schools, taxes are going up by leaps and bounds. This means that living is advancing at the same rate. The school system, with its politics and propaganda, is bearing down on the toiling masses. Governor Richardson has scored this system, and he is right. There seems to be no relief at hand, and the effort to grab our park for a state college is just another sample of what the school propagandists and politicians will attempt. Education has been relegated to the scrap heap. Of the dozens of young people who in recent years have gone to work for me, as graduates of the high school, I can recall but two who have really made good.
“The rest know all about athletics, politics, dancing, propaganda, music and art, but nothing about English or mathematics. Several of these boys are now getting in a privately conducted business school to learn something. When they have succeeded, I probably shall find use of them in my business. Is that a good recommendation for our politically-controlled system of public education? You be the judge.
“They will try to tell you that Balboa park is 1400 acres and that we have land to spare, but how much level ground have we got? The park is cut by canyons. In the northeastern section, where the state college would be established, there are only 340 acres of level land. Cut his in two, and what have you left? The golf grounds would be invaded, and the athletic field, contemplated under the Nolen plan, would be ruined.
“This probably is the last thing I shall say for publication regarding the state college effort to confiscate our park. I merely wanted to answer some of the press agent bunk that has been given such wide publicity by the school propagandists. But I shall continue to fight the state college scheme to the best of my ability, for I take a great pride in the wonderful park that we have built. And in closing, I wish to say that I do not believe our public-spirited, patriotic organizations and citizens will permit this thing to happen. Let us keep that part of our park, which still belongs to use, for our children — yea, for the world at large — and nip in the bud any scheme, ‘educational’ or otherwise, to wrest it from us.”
January 31, 1926, San Diego Union, 6:5. Dr. Fred Baker objects.
“If the state of California once gets into Balboa park with its state college, eventually there will not be a foot of land in the northeast section of the park that is not the property of the state,” declared Dr. Fred Baker of Point Loma, an old resident of San Diego, yesterday.
“The state is rich enough to buy all the ground it needs elsewhere, but if once the college is located in the park, it will use it as a club over the people and demand more ground every time it wishes to establish this or that department, and soon we will have nothing left.”
Dr. Baker further expressed his opposition to the “park site” for the state college as follows:
“When I voted five years ago to give five acres of the park for the naval hospital, I said I never again would vote to give a foot of our park way. Every bit of ground we have left will be necessary for the true development of that land for park purposes. The present State college movement means giving away an enormously valuable asset. There are many other good available sites and the state has the money with which to buy what it needs. If the state would say that it must go into the park or there would be no college, I might vote for it, but I am far from sure. Moreover, the state is not going to say that.
“The park site is favored because it is very central, but I believe the college will be better off if the student body is not so close to the center of the city. Transportation will be provided to any other site, and those who want to attend the college will get there easily. So far as the park is concerned, two other public enterprises take precedence of the college.
“We need a city hall, but the development of water is so urgent that the question of a site for such a building is important. To buy land for such a building would mean an expense greater than we can stand. Also, the time is not far ahead when we will have to have a city hospital. This movement was started several years ago, but did not meet with success. At present, the common people, such as myself, cannot afford to go to the hospitals that we have, unless it is the county hospital. It will be hard to raise money enough to build this hospital, even without purchasing a site. If the city has land to donate, it would make a difference of years in making our dreams of such a hospital come true. A hospital has a greater claim on San Diego than the State college, especially when good sites are offered to the state. For San Diego to gratuitously turn over to the state this large tract of park land would, to my mind, be a mistake.”
January 31, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 4:4. Decision of Committee on Site for State College will be named next Wednesday, February 3.
January 31, 1926, San Diego Union, Society-Club, 1:3-7, 2:7. Fine Arts Gallery in Balboa Park will open to public in three weeks, by L. D.
January 31, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 4:2-8. The Kitchen Department, by Richard S. Requa.
February 1, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:2-4. Edward L. Hardy, president of the State College, sees college lost to city if site decision not arrived at soon; he had suggested replacement of all the exposition buildings by college buildings of the same type of architecture would unite in one place practically all of the cultural institutions in the city; matter was dropped after civic committee of Chamber of Commerce ruled adversely on project; approves of new proposition to put college in northeast corner of park, but only if the people are willing: “Location would be find for the college, whether or not it would be good for San Diego now and in the future is a question for the people of decide.”
February 1, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:5-6. Balboa Park state college committee addressed argument to Mayor Bacon yesterday for Balboa Park college site.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1. Questioned by Councilman Held yesterday, Mayor Bacon told the Council that the state college meeting in council chambers tomorrow will be open to all and that the various sites suggested for the college are to be discussed.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:2-3. Julius Wangenheim opposes plan to place state college buildings in Balboa Park.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:2-3. Local attorney H. S. says State College in Balboa Park would be a mistake.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:4. A. F. Molina wants State College in northeast corner of park.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:4. E. J. Swayne upholds Forward’s stand on park site.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:4. Mrs. Frank T. Read wants park to remain intact.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:5-6. Rufus Choate applauds Forward’s appeal to keep part intact.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:5-6. Douglas Young wants people to vote on site for college.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:5. Irene McMichael wants state to rebuild exposition buildings for use as a state college.
February 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:7-8. Harry Warburton wants state college in park.
February 3, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:2. 4:4. Council will consider sites for State College today.
February 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:6-7, 3:3-4. Advisory Council decides to wait for John Nolen’s opinion of state college site; speakers vie with each other in detailing advantages of six locations at hearing; recommendation of choice postponed for suggestions in relation to new civic plan; early action indicated.
February 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1. John Nolen here to explain new city plan; zoning expert to confer with Mayor, City Council.
February 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 15:4-5. Joshua Bailey would put College in park and oust Zoo if more room found necessary.
February 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 15:5. A. C. Majors wants college in park.
February 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 15:5. Mrs. Patrick O’Rourke opposes park as site for college.
February 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. John Nolen to explain plan to city officials today.
February 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:1-2. Chamber of Commerce adopts resolution opposing park site for State College.
February 6, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:5, 2:5. John Nolen would bar college from park; Balboa Park tract should be kept for city; thinks more area should be accumulated.
- Balboa Park is unquestionably intended for park and recreation purposes and should be used for such purposes only.
- The area of Balboa Park is not too large even now and will be insufficient in future. San Diego has a
long life ahead.
- Balboa Park is not too large an area for San Diego to maintain provided it is fully planned and used
as a park. Generosity is called for. The original land was a gift. It cost the city nothing, so
expenditures for development can be afforded.
- San Diego needs more, not less, resources of land and money for parks. Even if it could be
demonstrated that land elsewhere would be more useful for park purposes than Balboa Park is, then
payment should be made to the park board for land taken. Balboa Park is a land trust in perpetuity
for park purposes, and for all the people in San Diego.
- A dozen or more suitable sites could be found for any of the present non-park uses of Balboa Park, but
property like Balboa Park in area and location could never be obtained again in San Diego. No
institution, religious, educational, or philanthropic in the park or likely to be placed there, can in my
opinion represent the interests of the whole of the population in San Diego now, or in the future.
- The encroachments upon Balboa Park are already of a serious nature — probably more so than upon t
the park of any other American city. As a friend of San Diego, I advise you to preserve what remains
of Balboa Park in all its integrity.
February 6, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:1-5. John Nolen presents his completed plan for improvement of “City Beautiful”; would keep park intact; cut direct highway from 5th to National Avenue and “plant’ island near U. S. Marine Base.
As San Diego is as a region different from the rest of the United States, it must develop along its own typical lines, declared city Planner John Nolen yesterday when he presented his completed plan for a growing San Diego to the city officials most directly concerned with his plan, the city council, the planning, harbor and park commissions, the mayor and others particularly interested in the development of the city according to a well-defined plan.
For about a year now Mr. Nolen, one of the most famous and able city planners in the country, has been studying the San Diego problems and working out a plan which will, insofar as it is possible, correct the existing mistakes in development. He came from his offices in Cambridge, Mass. to present the results of his effort to San Diego, and yesterday’s was the first of a series of meetings at which he will explain to the people of this city how they can grow to one of the unique cities of the world.
Mr. Nolen declared at once that his study of San Diego had been one of the biggest and most interesting on which he had ever been engaged.
“I have had had bigger cities as far as population is concerned,” he said. “I have had many interesting problems to solve. But I never have worked on a plan for a city with the potentialities for individual and characteristic development such as are to be found here in San Diego.”
To illustrate his explanation of the new plan for the city, Mr. Nolen had surrounded himself with a series of maps hung on the walls of the city planning office. The most prominently placed of these were the “existing conditions” pad, and the general city map, an elaborate study with various projects worked out in various colors to indicate exactly what will be kept unchanged, and what work will be done in developing the plan as Mr. Nolen has worked it out. Other maps, each devoted to the exposition of a definite phase of the development, showed the park system planned, the major street and highway system, the harbor development, the location of playgrounds and schools, the waterfront zoning scheme, and a preliminary study of Balboa park on which Mr. Nolen is engaged as a separate project from the general development of the city plan.
In the consideration of his plan he divided the subject into two parts, the essential nature and character of a southern California city, such as San Diego should be, and the regional planning for a metropolitan district.
“Without doubt,” he said, “San Diego should be a more distinctive city in its physical developments. Its topography, its climate, its purposes all are different from the average American city. Not to be distinctive is and advantage lost, and some things in San Diego cannot be changed. The question is what can be done to recover lost ground and lead the city towards a more distinctive San Diego for the future? Cultural developments based on the site of San Diego, the peculiar merits of the climate and the possibility of a different quality of life in southern California, remains to be considered later in the planning process.
“One of the outstanding requirements of San Diego is regional planning for what may very properly be called a metropolitan district. In some respects the boundaries of San Diego may appear to be too wide already for city purposes. In other respects they are too narrow. The point is that for urban purposes the present boundaries of San Diego are not altogether too logical. For example, the city extends too far to the north. There is in that direction a large territory beyond the San Diego river and the Mission Valley, a stretch of over ten miles from north to south, which barring Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla, with a few other minor exceptions, does not appear to be adapted on account of its extent, location and topography for development in the immediate future as an integral part of the city of San Diego. On the other hand, the territory south of the official boundary of the city, extending almost as far as the Mexican line, is by location and character and by relation to the present city as now developed, a more logical part of San Diego. This matter of city boundaries in a regional sense is one of vast importance in the proper planing and administration of the municipality, knitting San Diego together as the most important natural harbor city of southern California.
Mr. Nolen then outlined the projects which had had included in his regional plan as especially affecting San Diego, such as a parkway drive south and encircling the entire bay to Coronado, a parkway thoroughfare through Telegraph canyon, another through Chollas Valley to La Mesa, another to Lemon Grove, another through Alvarado canyon, a Murphy canyon parkway, a back country part as far inland as El Cajon, a northbound parkway inland to connect with the coast highway by several east and west canyon parkways.
Another regional project of special interest is one that would fill in enough land along the Silver Strand to provide a desirable public recreation area, with a channel cut through to the ocean to enable the tides to keep the bay swept clean. Reservations and drives to connect up to city lakes and reservoirs also are included in the plan.
He had the highest praise for the present county highway system, analyzing the truck highways outside the city, however, he called attention to the fact that the section of the main coast highway inside the city has had grades and several ban and dangerous curves which should be studied with a view to re-alignment. He recommended improvements of the Torrey pines grade and the Biological grade above La Jolla.
The thoroughfare system he proposed he has outlined on the plan map, showing how existing thoroughfares to the city are used and improved, with improvements that will give some relief from the congestion of the streets by diverting traffic to other streets and by emphasizing a system of cross-town links and feeder streets. The major projects recommended are the relocation and widening of the main thoroughfare from the north from Witherby street to Morena, and the construction of a thoroughfare across the flats which will provide a shorter and more direct route to Mission Beach, at the same time opening up some valuable territory not now accessible. The third major highway project is the industrial waterfront highway, Market street to the city limits. This will connect at the north with a harbor which would skirt the waterfront all the way around the bay and out to Point Loma. Another recommendation is the extension of 28th street as a main thoroughfare between Golden Hill and Logan Heights and to the water front beyond. Another thoroughfare connection is recommended to pass under the 30th street bridge, connecting Pershing drive with the proposed canyon parkway drive on the east.
He recommended the extension of National avenue northward diagonally from 12th street and 6h street and southward from 26th street to National City. This will give a direct route to Tijuana without interference of street railways.
The final project recommended is a connection between the foot of 6th street grade to Mission Valley and the mesa on the north side of the valley.
“A system of parks is imperatively needed for San Diego,” said Mr. Nolen, “if the city is to be distinctive or successful.”
“There is no park system for San Diego now. In my report on a comprehensive plan for San Diego, prepared in 1908, attention was drawn to the fact that in a city like San Diego, stretching for more than 20 miles up and down the coast, with an almost infinite variety of scenery, no single park, even though it be as large and attractive as Balboa park, is sufficient. A system of parks in unquestionably demanded. Such a system should include characteristic parks in every part of the city and in the territory adjacent therein.
“Balboa park is one of the largest, most unusual and strikingly beautiful parks in the world, yet, from a broad city planning point of view, considering the whole of the park problem for the city of San Diego, and especially considering the other requirements of the city, such as main thoroughfares and the best utilization of all of the land of the city, it might be questioned whether Balboa park as it exists today is fully justified.
“Under present conditions, it appears to be the best policy now to hold the park as it is, exclusively and rigidly for well-defined park purposes without further encroachment, with the exception of two carefully located, adequate lines of communication across the park, in general, one north and south and one east and west. In any case, for the sake of the park itself, the whole of the area should be studied and planned at this time, as it now being done under the direction of the board of park commissioners.
“The park system of San Diego is made up of proposed new boulevards and drives and a selection of existing streets and roads for park treatment, which by following the pronounced natural features of the San Diego country, will give them beauty and parklike character. These are arranged so as to give circuits of parkways around the city, and also to connect the various parklike public areas. Such strong natural features and parks as San Diego bay, Point Loma, Mission bay, San Diego river, Mission Valley, Chollas Valley, Mount Soledad, Torrey Pines, Balboa park and the many canyons demand convenient circulation from one to the other.”
Turning from the parks of the system to the harbor development, Noel declared that its comprehensive planning is one of the chief contributions that city planning can make to the prosperity of San Diego.
“Search the United States over,” he said, “and you will find no other American city which has the possibility of doing the remarkable and beautiful things that are only the normal and natural thing to do here. The harbor drive is an instance of the unique opportunity San Diego has.”
He told about this harbor drive and the fact that it will make the waterfront a thing of beauty that can be the city’s greatest asset. He outlined again the various waterfront zones and the influence they will have on the territory immediately behind them. He recommended a battery park at the foot of Market street, both to provide a beautiful municipal waterfront park and to mark the north boundary of industrial waterfront.
Development of a municipal airport with unexcelled facilities for land and sea planes, the parking of a large island in front of the marine base and training station to add to the beauty of the waterfront and the sightliness of the government projects also were described in detail and indicated on the various maps.
The creation of a civic center just north of the present new municipal pier was urged enthusiastically. Mr. Nolen pointed out how imposing and inspiring much a city portal could be made. Later in his remarks he declared that one of the things that San Diego needs more than anything else is a civic center. The lack of such a center, he said, is one of the most potent factors in the lack of civic unity with which San Diego is often charged. He concluded his consideration of the harbor with a description of the beauties of Point Loma and the view from the end of the point.
His final recommendation was for the safeguarding of all new development by a rigid supervision of plats for subdivisions. The difficulties the city now has, he said, are a permanent handicap that never can be overcome. But in the future the city can and must see that developments are in proper accord with the general plan and with the normal demands for a proper relation of all the parts of the city to the whole.
The art of city planning, he said, can succeed only through the assistance of there other “arts.” He referred to the proper publicity which will make the people realized what the plan is and what its fulfillment will mean; to the cooperation of all the departments of the city where there are overlapping functions in the carrying out of the plan; and the art of learning how to save by spending, the realization that the development of the plan, costly as it may seem at first, actually will be a saving in the long run.
Asked regarding the relative importance of the various phases of development of the plan, Nolen said that the plan as a whole should be worked out as fast as possible, not developed by completing any one of the parts first. But he said that the first and most important step is the acquisition of vacant lands which will be needed in the future. They can be secured cheaply now, he said, while later it may not be possible to acquire them at all.
The second step he urged is the development of the waterfront program. It should be pushed through to completion as rapidly as possible, he said, because it is vital to the city’s future life. He declared that the realization of the waterfront development will bring a revolution to the life of the city.
February 7, 1926, San Diego Union, Society-Club, 11:1-5. Notable examples of Spanish art on exhibition at formal opening of Fine Arts Gallery in Balboa Park, by L. D.
February 7, 1926, San Diego Union, Development. The Library, by Richard S. Requa.
February 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:5. D. W. Morris, editor of Marshalltown, Iowa, Times, favors park college site.
February 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:6. Park Commission lauds Forward; resolution adopted to show appreciation of former Commissioner’s work.
February 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:6. 65 boys win Court honors; February meeting Friday evening at Indian Village of Boy Scouts voted most interesting of such events ever held
February 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:7-8. Scouts plan big jamboree at Indian Village Saturday; everything in readiness for demonstration; public invited to attend.
February 9, 1926, San Diego Union, 2:1. Marston to give 50-acre tract to City; Presidio Hill to be name of new park; land to be developed by donor under beautification plan of John Nolen; announcement made at a meeting of members of the civic committee of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce yesterday afternoon.
A sub-committee, to be headed by Julius Wangenheim, was appointed by Chairman Davidson to investigate the possibilities of the suggested bay front civic center, insofar as property values are concerned. Another item taken under consideration of the committee was the proposal of its chairman that the upper Point Loma boulevard from the Fort Rosecrans gate to the Old Spanish Lighthouse be paved in the near future and its cost be paid by the levying of tolls.
February 9, 1926, San Diego Union, 2:2-3. Thousands hear Nolen’s city plan in talk at American Legion War Memorial Building; emphasizes importance of waterfront improvements.
That San Diegans are interested n the plan that has been prepared for San Diego’s proper development and logical growth was demonstrated last night when 1,000 San Diegans went to the American Legion War Memorial building to hear John Nolen, San Diego’s city planner, explain what his plan means for the city, and what city planning is doing for cities all over the United States.
Once more Mr. Nolen emphasized the importance of waterfront development as a spur to the complete development of the city according to the proposed plan. That he struck a popular note and that waterfront development should prove a popular project in San Diego was evident from the applause that greeted his first mention of the bay front drive which he declared would be one of the most beautiful in all of the world.
Mr. Nolen reiterated that San Diego is not one of the cities with great potentialities, but is actually the one city in the United States which has the greatest potentialities for an unexcelled development along the lines — harbor and waterfront development — of both commercial and esthetic types , parks thoroughfares, economic city development for business and for municipal beauty. He emphasized the fact that San Diego must take advantage of its opportunity to become an individually beautified and a beautifully individualized city, that it must continue its planning out into its natural region, including both the back country and the whole bay district. San Diego early turned its back on the water, he said, and has not yet turned around to face its greatest asset, commercially, recreationally and esthetically.
He scored the persons who would involve the city in a local conflict over smokestacks or geraniums, declaring that San Diego not only may but should have both in their proper places. Proper location of both the smokestacks and geraniums will stabilize all property values for both the homeowner and the owner of business property, he said.
Cities and individuals alike, he said, grow irregularly. Both have periods when they can grow more rapidly and make use of certain impetus and enthusiasm. He believes that San Diego has reached that stage of crisis, when the people are aroused to grow reasonably and to take advantage of opportunities for planned development which never will come again. He reminded the people that the city is under inspection and will be judged not by what it may do with its opportunities, but by what it actually does do with them, by the results it gets.
The address was illustrated with a number of lantern slides showing examples of the typical individualized city development of which several cities have taken advantage, of maps of the plan of San Diego, and of maps showing what other cities are actually doing in planning their development to the end that the city may be the best and most comfortable place to live economically, commercially and domestically. He showed how proper planning is an economy by preventing the installation of improvements that will have to be torn out to make way for better arranged improvements, and he showed pictures of communities that are doing their planning early.
Mr. Nolen was ably seconded by Hugh R. Pomeroy, Los Angeles county regional planner, who came to San Diego yesterday just to hear Mr. Nolen last night. He was introduced following Mr. Nolen’s address by Mayor Bacon, who presided, and he emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the early opportunities for planned development.
“We have learned to our sorrow in Los Angeles county,” he said, “that the opportunities which you fail to take advantage of today are a perpetual mortgage on the future. You will do well to follow Mr. Nolen’s advice on waterfront development. We are being forced to spend millions on that development in Los Angeles county today, because we neglected our waterfront in the days when we had to opportunity to do so cheaply.”
February 10, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: A Necessary Vision
A city plan is in danger of becoming merely everybody’s business and no matter how enthusiastically we may adopt the Nolen plan, we shall certainly find individuals coming forward in the future to seek special privileges and modifications of the plan in their own interest. If this plan is allowed to lapse into a hazy commonplace some of these requests will be granted; and, sooner or later, somebody will put a fish cannery in the park or a brewery — near beer, of course — on the esplanade.
February 10, 1926, San Diego Union, 22:4. Park college site argued at Kiwanis Club meeting yesterday; Fred E. Lindley for and George W. Marston against.
Mr. Lindley, in advocating the placing of the college in the park stressed the fact that location is a vital factor to a college. He pointed out that the proposed site would be accessible to automobiles and street cars and that a great many students could live within walking distance of that site. He also declared that the fact that Balboa park has an interesting museum would be an asset to a college placed in the park.
Mr. Marston told of the action of the city trustees 60 years ago in which the ground now known as Balboa park was set aside for park purposes. He quoted the trustees in their resolution that this property “be for a park.” He also pointed out that four years later, after the legislature passed an act creating the park, an effort was made to cut off 480 acres.
In his remarks Mr. Marston made a strong plea for keeping a part of the park in its natural state. He showed that San Diego must protect and conserve its wild land; that California in the future will be so developed that it would be a shame not to preserve this land.
“I am sorry,” said Mr. Marston, “for the man who does not know something of the east side of the park. I am sorry for the man who does not know something of the wild flowers and of nature.”
February 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 10:3. City Council to act soon on ordinance prohibiting heavy vehicles in Balboa Park.
February 14, 1926, San Diego Union, Society-Club, 9:2-4. Famous pieces of sculpture will be shown at Fine Arts Gallery when it is formally opened on February 27 including “Moses” by Ivan Mestrovic (illus.).
February 14, 1916, San Diego Union, Development, 8:4-7. The Bedrooms, by Richard S. Requa.
February 19, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:2-3. Mayor Bacon to accept statue of Saint James for St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park; gift from George B. Dexter of Boston; was originally in the church of a university town in Spain.
February 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:8, 5:3-5. Art Gallery to open Saturday; gift from A. S. Bridges; sculpture and paintings to be displayed in park setting.
February 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 3:4-5. Attorney W. J. Mossholder wants State College in Balboa Park.
The present tendency is to make the public park more and more a place of intellectual recreation and information rather than a place of amusement. That is, the amusement feature is being overshadowed by the former.
Now, what is more fitting to carry out the idea of a park being an intellectual recreation center than to have a branch of the great institution of learning occupy a part of the park?
I call attention to the further fact that the buildings will occupy only a small part of the ground that will be donated.
If placed outside the park, or away from the city, dormitories will have to be built and experience has demonstrated the fact that immorality thrives where people are thrown in close contact as they are in dormitories.
I know of no reason why the people should not be permitted to decide this question . . . , and I therefore ask that the matter be submitted to a vote of the people.
February 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:4. Committees at Zoo are announced; Louis J. Gill, architect; John G. Morley, horticulturist; Kenneth Gardner, landscape architect.
February 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:1-5. Daniel Cleveland tells of strife over new courthouse in early days.
February 21, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 8:2-4. Plumbing, by Richard S. Requa.
February 22, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 13:2-3. San Diego Zoo to propagate rare nilgai from India.
February 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 10:4. The first copy of the “San Diego Zoonoos” has just been issued.
February 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:3-5. Junior San Diego Players will present “Alice in Wonderland” at Yorick Theater Friday night.
February 26, 1926, San Diego Union, 28:2. Because of the dedication ceremony of the new Fine Arts building tomorrow afternoon, all automobile traffic east across Cabrillo bridge into Balboa park will be stopped from 2:15 p.m. until 4 p.m., the Park Board announced yesterday; west moving traffic over the Prado will be halted during the same hours at the East Plaza, adjoining the street car station.
February 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:8, 2:1-6. Park eliminated as site for State College; selection to be made next month; executive committee of Citizen’s Advisory Council to make recommendation to City Council next Tuesday; scores bickering.
Balboa park as a possible site for the new San Diego State College campus was definitely eliminated from consideration yesterday by the executive committee of the Citizen’s Advisory Council, which met to consider the various sites under discussion. The whole of the council, some 20 in number, will meet next Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock for a final inspection of all sites, except Balboa park. The executive committee then will meet next Thursday afternoon at 6 o’clock to select a site for recommendation to the whole council, which will be expected to receive the recommendation and make a decision before the middle of March.
At the meeting yesterday, Dr. E. L. Hardy, president of State College, presented a map which located the proposed sites and also showed the residences of the San Diego students attending the college, so that the committee can consider the new site in its relation to the density of the collegiate population.
The committee’s report, signed by six members of the committee who attended the meeting, is as follows:
In 1922, the president of the College prepared a building plan and program for the development on the present site of the State Teachers College of San Diego. This plan was submitted with the institutional budget for the period 1923-1925 to that state director of education, and received his general approval. It provided for the completion in 1929 of an appropriation schedule involving the construction of nine permanent structural units to cost considerably more than $1,000,000, crowded into every foot of available space on the campus, and designed to house 1500 college students and 500 or 600 training school children. Those items of the program which called for appropriations in 1923 were duly presented to the budgetary authorities of the state law in 1922, but received no consideration because of the policy of economy enforced in that year under the new budget established by vote of the people of the state.
Undoubtedly it was fortunate that the building program of 1923 was sidetracked by the financial policy of that year, for, in 1925, only two years later, it was clearly seen that the growth of the college demanded more land, far beyond the amount in the campus and in any neighborhood additions that could be made to the campus. A conservative appraisal of the two blocks on the west side of the campus put their cost at $150,000, a figure that would have to be doubled today, and one that puts an absolute negative upon any proposal that the college should stay where it is.
For in ten years, 1916 to 1926, the enrollment of the college had increased 300 percent. In the period 1920-1925, it has doubled. In the current year, 1925-1926, enrollment will exceed 1500. Set aside for 1929, in the planning of 1923, an average daily membership for the year, taken at its peak, will show the figure of _____. When it is remembered that the present campus contains only 17 acres of land, that expansion of the campus is impossible, and that 60 (?) acres for every 1,000 students in average daily membership is considered the maximum unit, then no argument is needed as to the necessity of the removal of the college to a new and adequate site.
Why then, say some, should not the state, the great rich state of California, provide the college with an adequate site? Unfortunately for those who make this demand, the fact is that the state of California always has referred, with rare exceptions, and always will refer, without any doubt in the future, the provision of the site for an educational institution to the community in which it is placed. Witness the very recent re-location of the University of California, southern branch, on a site of several hundred acres provided by the citizens of Los Angeles, and the eager competition of half a dozen communities, among them San Diego with an offer of several thousand acres, to secure the institution by generous gifts of land. As a matter of fact, now that San Diego has reached a crisis in the development of her collegiate future (a situation very well understood at Sacramento) the city stands a very good chance to lose the greater college proposed, either in whole or in part, if there is any serious thought of asking that state to provide a site, of if there is any failure on the part of San Diego to carry out these representations made at Sacramento in 1925 on the basis of which the California legislature and the governor of the state gave us the legislation for a greater San Diego State College. The meaning of that legislation, which was urged by practically every responsible official and civic individual and organization in San Diego, and to the carrying out of which every such individual and body implicitly gave his pledge of support, is simply this: that the state of California will undertake the establishment and maintenance of a regional college in San Diego — an institution which will be of inestimable value to the community — if San Diego will meet two conditions. First, San Diego must provide an adequate site. Second, San Diego should show good faith and to recompense the state for its investment on the present site, purchase that site and the buildings on it at such figure as will enable the state to start out on the new site with housing facilities equal to those which it now has.
This constitutes an opportunity for San Diego that is so great and involves civic problems that are relatively so simple, that it is fairly amazing that the main issues should now be jeopardized by the secondary issue of the site and by threats that the bond issue, which will represent a small initial investment made by San Diego for which she will secure a great and growing enterprise, will be defeated by any group that does not have its way as to the selection of the site. The citizens’ executive committee, therefore, wishes to state unequivocally the position that it takes, viz., that the issue of exact site is secondary; that the finally acceptable site must be accepted as practically the unanimous action of the community because it is not the community but the state which finally will approve of and select the site for the college, and the state has announced, through those officials whose word is final, that no site in controversy will be approved.
It must not be forgotten that the college is not a local, but is a state institution. The community, therefore, cannot be, and much less can any minority in the community, be the dictator in this matter of site. The problem of the community is to offer a site which the state can accept as reasonably adequate for the functions of the college as a state institution.
What are the functions of this state college? They are twofold:
First, to prepare teachers for the public schools of the state of California.
Second, since the California standard for the preparation of teachers necessitates a liberal arts foundation for the professional preparation of teachers, to maintain regular liberal arts curricula of two, three or four-year types.
To put in the other way round, California has decided that the teacher should have the same collegiate preparation for his or her professional training as the lawyer, the doctor or the engineer. This being the case, the ‘teachers’ college’ becomes first of all a college and, as such, should be made available, in its appropriate region, to all the youth in that region who wish to take the collegiate studies foundational in all the professions. But it offers these opportunities as a state and not as a local college. The benefits are available locally, but they are not, and cannot be, locally controlled.
Does San Diego want these benefits? That is beyond question. But the conditions upon which these benefits may be secured have temporarily been lost sight of in the heat of the controversy that has arisen over the secondary issue of the location of these benefits.
They should be located at the central point of the city with reference to transportation and population, and that central point is clearly Balboa park, say the many proponents of the park as the site par excellence for the college. The argument is very plausible, and has been made very appealing, but it proves too much. For the very same argument has been used, and just as legitimately (and with the result that they are now in the park) for the location in Balboa park of the following institutions:
The Children’s Home, San Diego High School, Stadium, Roosevelt Junior High School, U. S. Naval Hospital, Exposition and its offspring, including Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Museum, Zoo, Natural History Museum, San Diego Gallery of Art, American Legion War Memorial Building.
For institutions that are not yet in the park, the argument has been used for the following, which is probably an incomplete list:
The city hall, federal building, county building, civic center, civic auditorium, ‘University of San Diego,’ state college.
For each and everyone of these institutions, the argument of ‘central location’ applies with practically equal force, and if this argument prevailed the result would be a reductio ad absurdum, viz. a complete disappearance of the park as park, and, just as deplorable, such a congestion of institutions and functions that automobile transportation with reasonable reach of the institutions would be impossible. It is not exaggeration to say that San Diego would be committing the ancient error exemplified in the Chicago ‘Loop,’ the only difference being a civic rather than a commercial congestion.
It is because the argument of ‘central location’ defeats itself that the best city planners of today advocate the reverse of the old notion of civic center — of a civic center designed to be a kind of civic ‘ominium gatherum.’ The best city planning of today does not try to locate all major civic functions at the hub of the wheel (where motion is slowest) but on concentric circles, or at the appropriate strategic points of the city’s manifold operations — commercial, recreational, educational, civic, etc. — so that both the citizen and the businessman may have the square deal of equal opportunity, and there are many good, instead of a few, best corners.
What then, from both points of view, that of the innermost of the city’s concentric circles and that of strategic location, are the fundamental principles that should control in the allocation of functions and institutions in Balboa Park? Clearly they are: First, that the functions and institutions should be city functions and institutions; therefore, they should not be state and they should not be federal institutions and functions. Because of this principle, the placing in Balboa Park of the U. S. Naval Hospital undoubtedly was a mistake — no so much of a mistake as the place there of the Marine Base and Naval Training Center would have been, since the area required by the hospital is relatively small, but a mistake, nevertheless, Fortunately, it was a mistake that has not entailed serious consequences and it serves as a valuable lesson.
The park belongs to the city of San Diego. The land was dedicated ‘to be for a park,’ for the people of San Diego and for their children forever. Is it not, therefore, the duty of all good citizens of San Diego to remember the purpose of this dedication, to hold fast to the principle and to resist all plans, however plausible, which would lead them to alienate any part of their park, or wrest it from its proper function? Functionally speaking, there is not doubt as to what the park is for. There it lies, midway between the commercial and industrial San Diego and the San Diego of homes, schools and churches — its manifest destiny that of being itself a mediating home of the recreational and cultural soul of San Diego. It is the place for the recreation of the spirit and soul of San Diego, through San Diego’s own nurturing and her own institutions of music and art and science and all other kindred means, of the expression of San Diego’s better self.
To this end the park should contain a building like the new Fine Arts Gallery to house a musical conservatory which will serve the musical needs of the city as the Fine Arts Gallery serves the artistic needs of the city in pictorial art. It should also contain a lecture hall or auditorium which would be of civic service for public lectures and for extension work of the state college and the state university in taking advantages to the public not usually considered of school of college age. So much is so that when it is realized — then the shrine of San Diego will be placed in Balboa Park. There it is that our mystic citizen should have a place to stand. Around him, then, let us group our memorials, and gather for our festivals, every keeping room for the more numerous and more needful citizens who are yet to come and for whom the living must not forget to speak.
We must remember, too, that we are of the nation and of the state as well as of the city, in all of this planing. As nationals, we have had a pretty clear vision, remembering that Uncle Sam visits us usually be water, and we have made him welcome with large and generous gifts and gestures by bay, shore and ocean front. The fact, then, that national activities at San Diego have been and are and will largely continue to be naval (even if aerial navigation be included) has indicated clearly the nature of our city planning with reference to national functions and institutions, and areas have been fund for them without question or controversy — save in the case of the hospital, which is the exception proving the rule, and which, let us say again, fortunately does not seriously ‘hurt.’
We come now to the question of the proper placement in San Diego of the functions and institutions of the state of California. The question of the location of the state college has become a vexed question because a large group of us have become so habituated to the thought of the institution in San Diego that we think of it as of San Diego rather than of the state of California. As the college is, institutionally speaking, almost the sole representative of the state in San Diego, its location can and must be considered from the point of view of its function, which is educational in a state and not in a local sense. While it functions for the state in a regional way, the region which it serves and always must serve is large than the city of San Diego. While it is here, in the main, to give educational service to San Diego, yet its proper territory extends roughly from the Mexican line to San Juan Capistrano and from the Pacific to the Colorado river. As a junior college, it gives and should continue to give collegiate opportunity to the youth of the whole of San Diego County, and, as a prospective four-year college (which it will be if we do not lose the present propitious moment by a juvenile quarrel over the site) it must be the college for the larger area, which it now serves in its teacher-training capacity. Clearly then, in thinking of the college, the people of San Diego, while not forgetting that they receive the major portion of its benefits and at practically no local expense whatever, must have a vision of it and its reach not limited to the boundaries of the city of San Diego.
Conceived I this way, then, is it not inevitable that the college cannot go and should not go into Balboa Park, an area that is civic and should be kept inevitably civic — not state and not federal? From this, the necessary and only correct point of view, many of the arguments that are used for putting the college into the park are really the strongest possible arguments against putting in into the park.
It is urged, for instance, that state buildings in the park would beautify the park. That very argument would be turned against use at Sacramento. Legislators from Los Angeles, Fresno and San Francisco can be heard even now asking why the state of California should be asked to make appropriations for the beautification of San Diego’s Balboa Park.
Again, it is urged that the state would relieve the city of the expense and improvement and upkeep of a considerable area in the park. Those who know how difficult it is to get any money whatever from the state for the improvement of land which, though occupied by the state, the state regards as essentially a local benefit, realize only too well that the state, if it followed its tradition, would expect the city to put in the improvements. Again, legislators from other cities would not be interested in making appropriations for a city park.
Finally, there comes the really vexing question of jurisdiction. A state college campus in a city park would be the soil in which many dragons’ teeth would be sown. Some misunderstandings and questions of jurisdiction would be inevitable, and it would be unfortunate, to say the least, if it ever should become necessary, as conceivably it might be, to make it clear where jurisdiction began and ended by the building about the college part of the park of a high metal fence. A city park is not the proper site of a state college. A state college should serve the city, not add to its problems, and colleges go, not where their problems may be complicated, but where they will be simplified.
What then shall San Diego do if it wishes to keep the college? (Surely it will keep the college unless it is so unwise as to refuse a gift and reject a benefit!) The problem cannot be solved by doing nothing. The do-nothing policy (echoes of which have been heard) simply would result in leaving the whole issue stranded on the impossibly small island of the present site. Upon that area, at best an isolated teacher-training institution, not a college, can be maintained. The collegiate function of the institution inevitably will be thrown back upon the people of San Diego, and it will be San Diego’s business to find a site for its own college, build the plant, maintain it to the extent of 50 (?) percent of the operating cost, and limit its service to two years of collegiate education instead of four.
If San Diego wants the college, San Diego will go bravely on, not faltering in carrying out the policy which was so unitedly envisioned by her citizens in January 1925, when city officials, school officials, civic bodies and citizens generally stood as one man back of our representatives in the California legislature in their successful efforts to pass the college bill. San Diego, for moral reasons alone, simply must not fail to carry out in good faith, the well-understood provisions of that bill, all of which turn upon the vital point of an adequate site — a site for a state college.
MRS. A. MUEHLEISEN
MRS. WALTER AUSTIN
G A DAVIDSON
M L WARD
E L HARDY, Secretary.
February 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: A Tradition
The Fine Arts Gallery carries on a tradition that began at the Organ Pavilion with its daily ministration of beautiful things. Or perhaps the tradition took foot in our park long before there was any Organ Pavilion there, or any lawns and trees — when the vista of hill and canyon and the sea beyond stirred some men to that inspiration that comes from nature.
February 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1. Ex-mayor Capps testifies that legal authority in 1899 declared that city’s water rights were inviolable.
February 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:2-3. Many attend Fine Arts Gallery preview.
San Diego’s social and artistic leaders gathered in the new Fine Arts Gallery in Balboa Park last evening to have a glimpse of the beautiful gift of Mr. and Mrs. Appleton S. Bridges before the gallery and its art treasures are thrown open to the public this afternoon. It was an important event in the cultural life of the city, the greatest stride forward in the history of San Diego as an art center.
All evening the spacious lobby and the beautiful galleries were filled with people who were opening expressing their delight in the perfection of the building’s design and arrangement and in the paintings, sculptures, tapestries and art objects that made up the inaugural exhibit. No part of the gallery was neglected, though the galleries devoted to the fine examples of ancient Spanish painting and examples of early Spanish decoration seemed to be particularly popular.
During the evening Mr. Bridges appeared on the grand staircase and introduced to the gallery, Reginald Poland, who spoke briefly in welcome of the visitors, in appreciation of the gift of the gallery, and in explanation of the plan of the inaugural exhibition and some of its outstanding masterpieces.
In welcoming the people to the gallery, Mr. Poland expressed the hope that its beauty and its perfection will be an inspiration but not at the expense of a friendly feeling for the building and its treasures. Often, he said, pure beauty, such as in embodied in the gallery, so dominates visitors that they fail to enjoy it with informal pleasure. It is, he said, the realization of an ideal for San Diego, and as such should be loved by every person interested in the artistic progress of the city.
He then outlined the ideal of the first exhibition, its attempt to stress Spanish and American art and the examples of the art of other nations that have contributed most importantly to the art of these two nations. He took the visitors through an imaginary tour of the galleries, calling attention to first one and then another example of art typical of the period, the artist, or the artistic influences of a period or a people. He called especial attention to the Mestrovic sculptures, quoting Rodin that Mestrovic is the greatest living sculptor. He himself expressed the opinion that the Mestrovic drawings are as fine as any drawings ever made.
He told of the modern works of France, Spain, England and the United States and the spirit which had animated the particular artists whose works were on exhibition. He called attention to the modern Spanish groups and expressed the highest regard for the examples on display. He concluded with a plea that the people of San Diego should enjoy the beneficence of Mr. and Mrs. Bridges and the artistic genius of the architects, William Templeton Johnson and Robert Snyder; that they should help others to enjoy it by joining the Fine Arts Society, which is sponsoring and directing the functions of the gallery. He expressed especial gratitude to the donors of several collections of sculptures and paintings and for the cooperation and generosity of individuals and museums that have loaned numerous paintings and sculptures for this first exhibition.
In the receiving line were Mr. and Mrs. Appleton S. Bridges, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Dorland, Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Davidson, W. H. Sallmon, Reginald Poland and Thomas Drummond.
The formal dedication and opening of the Fine Arts Gallery will take place this afternoon at 2:30 o’clock, with a brief and appropriate ceremony. The keys of the building will be turned over to the city by Mr. Bridges. Mr. Johnson will tell about the building itself and will pay tribute to the men who actually built it. Director Poland will speak briefly on the opportunity the gallery means to San Diego. The main address of the afternoon will be delivered by Frank Morley Fletcher, who will speak on “The Basis of Popular Judgment in Art.”
Following the ceremonies, the building will be thrown open to the public, and it will be open free of charge daily except Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30, and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.
February 28, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 11:2-5. Halls and Garages, by Richard S. Requa.
February 28, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:4-6. Bondo, star simian at Zoo, observes 5th birthday with party.
February 28, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:2-5. Fun zone at Mission Beach open to public today.
February 28, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:8, 3:4. San Diegans see new Fine Arts Gallery; donors turn keys to Gallery over to City.
March 1, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:3. One every six seconds enters Natural History Museum; Society’s report stresses need of new fireproof building.
March 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:7. Expect $750,000 hospital annex to be authorized in park at once; deed for city property forwarded to capital by Admiral Robertson yesterday; plans and specifications ready for actual construction.
March 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1-2. Chamber of Commerce gives Nolen’s city plan united approval.
March 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:4. Amphion Club local artists’ concert at Yorick Theater pleases audience.
March 6, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:6. Sunset Cliffs subdivision will be opened this afternoon; John P. Mills, head of organization, selling property.
March 7, 1926, San Diego Union, 18:8. Thousands see presentation of Spalding Park between ocean front boulevard and breakers and nearly a mile in length; Councilman Stewart receives deed for city at opening of cliffs’ tract.
March 7, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:4, 2:3. Tam Deering, playground director, thinks directors won’t remove him; says he doesn’t care to remain in office if his new policies are thrown out; thinks playgrounds should team up with schools.
March 7, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 10:2-4. Planting the Home Plot, by Richard S. Requa.
March 7, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 10:5. Presidio Hills development calls for ambitious parking along Nolen’s plans; new residential subdivision includes 70 acres; 78 lots in tract; George W. Marston one of the members of the syndicate.
March 7, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 13:1-5. Architect Edgar V. Ullrich, designer of Casa de Manana, announces plans for Seville apartments which will grace Prospect Street (drawing).
March 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:4-5. Natural History Museum finds $200 lot donated in 1876 today is appraised at $60,000; Society has title to Hotel Cecil property.
March 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1-2. Junior Zoological Society Hears Interesting Lecture on Monkey Tribe; Keeper Shows Remarkable Specimen and Tells Interesting Story of Its Habits.
The meeting of the Junior Zoological society was held Saturday afternoon in the O’Rourke Zoological institute building, Balboa Park, under the direction of Miss Helen Huberty. Fred Chatten, keeper of monkeys in the zoo, gave an interesting talk on the monkey tribe in general and on the putty-nosed monkey in particular. He showed a specimen of this remarkably marked monkey and gave the children a charming story of its habits. This animal is a little larger than the Rocky mountain gray squirrel. It is easily tamed and becomes quite affectionate.
He warned the children against giving monkeys chewing gum, as they swallow the gum and it frequently causes their death. He exploded one popular impression. He said monkeys are very cleanly and very rarely have fleas. The frequent picking over of their own and of their neighbor’s hair and their frequent lively scratchings were to remove particles of dust, dirt and dandruff. A flea would have small chance for its life against their sharp eyes and nimble fingers.
Dr. Raymenton, director of the institute, demonstrated by means of the compound microscope the evolution of hair. He showed the scales of fish and reptiles, the feathers of birds and the curious and characteristic markings on the hair of various animals. The apparently fine dust o the wings of butterflies and moths was shown to resemble the shingles of a house. The children were chiefly interested in the black, flaxen and golden hairs from their own heads, looking as one of them said as he gazed at his own hair through the instrument, “as bit as a telephone pole!”
Jack von Bloeker, president of the Junior Zoological society, showed some 60 lantern slides on the silver screen. These slides are made by the boys and girls and represent birds, beasts, insects and reptiles. Many of the slides are painted, showing the natural colorization of the animals.
Paul F. Covel, curator in chief of birds and mammals, presented a paper giving an account of an expedition for scientific research to La Puerte valley. He was accompanied by Jack von Ribeker, director of the Junior zoo museum, and Samuel Harter, curator of birds. They were entertained in the valley for one week by Frank Stephens, dean of the naturalists of the San Diego Natural history society, on his ranch.
Seven mammals were collected, of which five were made into study skins, two of which were mounted by the director of the museum. Eighteen birds were collected, all of which were made into study skins.. One reptile preserved in alcohol and 123 insects collected for the museum. A very good week’s work, they thought, considering that it rained nearly every day. This is one of several expeditions that have been made to valley, mountain, mesa and seashore by the curators of the various departments of the Junior Zoo museum.
March 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:4-5. March session of Court of Honor at Indian Village last Friday evening breaks all attendance records; more than 500 scouts and parents present; 201 awards are made.
March 9, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:6. City Council okays Nolen’s plans for city development.
March 9, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 17:1. Wesley Bradfield appointed associate director of San Diego Museum.
March 12, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:4. Work to start next month of Science Building; Dr. Wegeforth announces details of study center to operate with zoo; cost of building will amount to $50,000; gift of Miss Ellen B. Scripps; 368,000 people have gone through turnstiles so far this year; 23 persons on payroll.
March 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 15:3-6. San Diego Army and Navy Academy musicians to give band concert at Organ Pavilion today (illus.).
March 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 24:2-3. Sciots plan ceremonial and initiation in American Legion Building, Balboa Park, tonight.
March 14, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:1-5. How city acquired title to pueblo lands, by Daniel Cleveland.
March 14, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 14:4-7. The Finished Home, by Richard S. Requa.
March 19, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:7. Park college site eliminated by agreement. That is opinion of faculty on learning 120 acres of land needed for school. Final decision must be made by October 1, according to President Hardy, who is in Sacramento for a conference with the state Board of Control.
March 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 3:4-5. Pair of rare adult mandrill baboons attract great interest at San Diego Zoo.
March 21, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:3-5. Barn owls sorry to leave San Diego for mice-catching jobs in Australia; Zoo gets urgent call from Lord Howe to sent pest eaters at once.
March 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 13:1. Board of Supervisors discussed proposed civic center on city’s tidelands with Kenneth Gardner, city planning commission member, yesterday.
March 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:2-3. San Diego Zoo offers prizes for largest and most unusual snakes.
March 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. May not chose site for college until October 1; advisory council and executive committee to meet again Monday.
March 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 6:7. Naval committee favors $150,000 for hospital here.
March 28, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1. Goat population of Zoo will frolic on specially built “bad lands” peaks; sandstone crags duplicated by derrick structures forming artificial cliffs.
March 28, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 3:3-4. Real Estate sales involving an investment of $251,000 were announced as having been completed last week by W. J. Brown of the D. C. Collier Company; transactions given.
March 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:3, 2:2-3. By a vote of 14 to 3 the State College Citizens’ Advisory Council last night adopted the executive committee recommendation of the smaller site; proponents of Balboa Park site made a strenuous stand in opposition to the adoption of the recommendation.
March 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. Mayor Bacon named George W. Marston for Park Board to fill vacancy caused by resignation of John Forward, Jr.
April 6, 1926, San Diego Union, 3:5-6. Zoo will be closed for two days to repair damage done to walks and equipment by heavy rains; damage will exceed $1500.
April 9, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:4-5. Army and Navy Committee of San Diego Chamber of Commerce will give a “welcome home” dance for men of the destroyer squadron at American Legion building tomorrow night.
April 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:5-6. Zoo gets pair of mantled monkeys captured by members of crew of U. S. S. Zellin (illus.).
April 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 10:5. “Rained out” Zoo reopens today.
April 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:4. The City Council yesterday set aside $10,000 for park repairs in cleaning up the debris, such as trees and shrubbery felled by the recent storm, and to repair washed-out roads.
April 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:1-2. Seventeen valuable paintings donated to Art Gallery; unnamed friends provide rare collection of world-famous masterpieces already displayed here as gift to institution; collection includes “The Silent Pond” by Gustave Courbet and “Landscape” by Jean-Baptiste Corot.
April 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 18:1-7. What the City has done with its Pueblo Lands, by Daniel Cleveland.
April 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:8, 2:5-6. Louis J. Wilde, former mayor of San Diego, dies.
April 20, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:6, 4:4-5. Playground Board fires Tam Deering; action causes Mayor Bacon to remove Mrs. C. A. Dunham and W. E. Harper from Commission.
April 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:2-3. Annual Rose and Spring Flower Show to be given in park Saturday and Sunday.
April 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:5. Congestion at the Naval Hospital is so great that some patients are quartered in tents, Rear Admiral E. R. Stitt, surgeon general, told the Senate Naval Affairs Committee today in urging authorization to expend $150,000 for needed auditorium; there are at present 750 beds.
April 25, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:6. Annual flower show, housed on Plaza de Panama just east of Montezuma Gardens, presents colorful display.
April 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 20:6-8. Pioneer details deal on city tidelands; United States official foils scheme, by Daniel Cleveland.
April 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1-2. City Attorney Higgins rules tidelands may be used for commerce, navigation and fisheries, but not for city hall.
April 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 20:2-4. Girl Scouts look forward to May Day when they will be in charge of Zoo; funds raised from admissions will be used in repair work; Lions’ Club has assumed responsibility for repairing damage done by recent storm to Girl Scout headquarters in Balboa Park.
May, 1926, California Garden, Vol. 17, No. 11. Three Suggestions for Balboa Park, by Walter S. Merrill
Now that the danger of ceding a part of Balboa Park for the State College grounds seems to have blown over, it is timely to consider some of the problems of future park improvement. That we have a tremendous asset in our centrally situated fourteen hundred acres of park land is acknowledged by all who visit San Diego. Probably no other city in the country has such a glorious opportunity to build a beautiful and useful center. The work done in preparation for the Exposition of 1915-16 has made the western portion of Balboa park one of the beauty spots of America. The magnificent combination of art and nature, of architecture and landscaping, attract all lovers of beauty; and the varied attractions of the park: the organ, the zoo, the art gallery, the various museums, the rose garden and the other special or seasonal gardens make even the most hurried florist feel that the park is the one thing in the city that cannot be missed.
There are, in the easterly portion, several hundred acres of almost undeveloped land, and it is opportune to make the plans for their future development now. Some day the funds will be available for doing the work, and in the meanwhile there will be far less temptation for and less probability of outside interests securing portions of park land. Too much has already been alienated from strictly park purposes; and if an accounting can be made of the requirements for the future developments, the danger of further encroachments will be lessened.
It is the purpose of this article to call attention to certain improvements which the writer feels would be of special advantage to the park and its public. These suggestions are not original with him, but seem to be of sufficient worth to justify the Floral Association presenting them to the Park Board with the request that they be considered in the plans for the further development of Balboa Park.
First: A Botanic Garden of California Flora
There is nowhere in California I believe, a public garden of native plants, properly labeled an described, where they may be exampled and studied by amateurs, nurserymen and scientists. Such a garden would be of tremendous interest, showing possibilities, undreamed of now, for using our native shrubs and trees in domestic landscape architecture. Very few home grounds today contain more than a few scattered specimens of native plants. Monterey cypress is, of course, much used, and Monterey pines are not uncommon. Occasionally one finds a redwood, a Lawson cypress or a California holly; a few more gardens have the matilija poppy; but other than these the native plants are seldom seen. Pepper trees are everywhere, but who plants live oaks? The libocedrus decurrens (Incense cedar) is very rare in the city, yet its native home is in the Cuyamaca mountains, and a more majestic tree is impossible to find. A dozen or more varieties of ceanothus (wild lilac) will grow in San Diego, and they should be in every large garden. What could be lovelier than a large group of these, spaced far enough apart to allow each to develop to its best. For mass effects or for individual planting there are few things finer than our rhus integrifolia (lemonade berry), rhamnus californica and ilicifolia, or cerocarpus baetulifolia, and they are perfectly adapted to local conditions. Then, too, there are the perennials, — many of them with gorgeous blooms and good foliage, most useful as border plants and in the cutting garden, plants that do not demand the pampering required by their exotic cousins.
Such a Botanic garden would be of the greatest use to owners of small homes desirous of beautifying their yards and, at the same time, of getting away from the conventions and rules laid down by nurserymen. And such a Botanic garden should be in itself a thing of exquisite beauty. A scientifically arranged collection of growing trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants need not sacrifice a bit of charm to science. Those who know the Arnold Arboretum in Boston — or Kew Gardens near London, can vouch for that; and all who have visited any of the great Tropical Botanical Gardens (at Cienfuegos in Cuba, Port o’Spain in Trinidad or Batavia in Java) have seen marvelously lovely gardens with not the slightest lessening of their value to the student.
England today, I believe, uses more native California plants than California herself. Balboa Park could perform a really great service by educating its visitors to the value and beauty of our flora.
Second: A Botanic Garden of Succulent Plants
In various parts of the world there have been brought together collections of succulent plants — those plants which are commonly designated as “cactus.” As is generally known, succulent plants thrive in arid regions and many varieties can subsist on very meager diet. Given a moderate amount of water, fairly good soil, and a little bit of care, and they prove to be wonderfully grateful and responsive. Their infinite variety of form, color, texture, habit of growth; a certain romantic charm which seems always to have been attached to them as distinct from all other types of vegetation; their hardiness against all manner of adversity; these make them among the most interesting of all plants. Most varieties have conspicuous flowers, many of a gorgeousness or of a delicacy unsurpassed in the whole world of flowers. They appeal as much to the amateur as to the trained botanist.
Succulents seem best adapted to rock gardens, — and a few acres of rock garden in Balboa Park so planted would be a thing to marvel at.
Third: A lath house with a comprehensive collection of begonias and similar semi-shade loving plants.
Balboa Park should have a real lath house — low rambling disconnected, — housing begonias and ferns and the myriad of exotics, tropical and semi-tropical plants that cannot stand the direct rays of the sun in this land of little humidity.
Architecturally, the actual building should be as inconspicuous as possible, so built that the structure would not show at all. Think of the beauty of such a collection of lath works rambling over a few acres, filled with blooming begonias, with ferns and palms and vines, with gloxinias and streptocarpus, with lilacs and primulas and all the rest , the rockeries and pools and aviaries, the lath-work draped with wisteria and all manner of vines; and scattered among the houses, trees with shady seats, and shrubbery and fountains and open courts of bedding plants. We have the space in Balboa Park. We have the man, Mr. Robinson, who knows better than anyone else in the world how to do it. Perhaps sometime the money will appear from somewhere.
May 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:2-5. Girl Scouts run Zoo for day and enjoy elephant rides; gate receipts go to fund to restore headquarters.
May 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 10:1-6. Attractive new San Diego High School auditorium is completed.
May 2, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 16:1. Fifty citizens urge restatement of Deering; express faith in former playground head’s plans in letter to civil service.
May 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1. Irate citizens demand City Council keep promise to ban trucks in park; declare paving is being ruined; Sixth Street, also known as Park Drive, has become a “freight road”; Council sets hearing to decide on routing.
May 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1-2. San Diego Safety Committee suggests minimum speed of 25 miles per hour on Pershing Drive; slow motorists on arterial highways declared menace to motorists.
May 9, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 13:1-5. Frank O. Wells creates Pueblo Indian house at 426 Laurel Street (illus.).
May 9, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:5, 2:5. J. L. Van Dissen, Realtor, wants to pay city $5,000 an acre for land in Balboa park as aid to water development; says park is too large.
May 9, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 4:4-5. Organ concert today to honor mothers.
May 10, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:5, 2:6-8. Marston details plans to develop Balboa Park area; will begin with northeast section; improvements under Nolen plan.
May 10, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:5. Flora M. Mills opposes park as state college site.
May 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1-4. Playground directors, caretakers, patrons score Deering administration.
May 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:4. City Council tables petition to keep trucks off Park Avenue.
May 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:5. Van Dissen’s bid of $5,000 an acre for Balboa Park land fails to impress Councilmen.
May 12, 1926, San Diego Union, 13:1. William J. Beatty, secretary to Mayor Bacon, hits Deering management.
May 12, 1926, San Diego Union, 13:1. Russ Auditorium to be formally opened by school orchestra.
May 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3-6. Witnesses supporting Deering’s dismissal testify at hearing on reinstatement application.
May 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:2-3. Zoological Society plans to give San Diego nautical museum housed in old clipper ship in harbor.
May 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: The Fine Arts Gallery
. . . the appeal to support this institution with funds comes very profoundly home to use. . . . The money is needed. That is the prosaic fact.
May 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:2-7. Celebration of Dr. Stewart’s 72nd birthday at Organ Pavilion yesterday.
May 29, 1926, San Diego Union, 17:3. Fine Arts Society to continue drive; organization decided to extend membership campaign another month.
May 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 3:3-5. Sesqui-Centennial Exposition to open in Philadelphia tomorrow with Mystic Shrine concert.
May 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:2. Rare European snakes received by Zoo in exchange for San Diego specimens.
May 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:3-4. Deering ousted from list; employees ask Mayor Bacon to reinstate Playground Commissioners Harper and Mrs. Dunham; Civil Service Board finds deposed head ineligible for reappointment; held guilty of failure to cooperate and to supervise properly play centers.
May 30, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:1, 4:4-5. City will honor dead heroes in Memorial Day service; parade to precede tribute at Organ Pavilion.
May 30, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 7:1-6. Pioneer tells history of Balboa Park, by Daniel Cleveland.
San Diego is fortunate in possessing one of the largest and, as our citizens believe, one of the most beautiful public parks in America. Visitors to our city often express their appreciation and admiration of its scenic beauty. The history of this park, often asked for, is seldom correctly given. Indeed much that is untrue and misleading is often, through ignorance, imparted to the seeker after knowledge.
In recent years the story has been and still is persistently told and has seemed to pass current with some of our own citizens, though more generally accepted by strangers in our midst, that the park lands were donated to this city by some generous and public-spirited citizen. This story is untrue, and should be corrected.
For the information of the general public and in the interest of truth and authentic history, it might be well to maintain a legend, painted in large letters over the eastern and western entrances to Balboa Park somewhat to the following effect:
The park is a portion of the pueblo grant made in 1835 by the department of California, then a territory of the Mexican republic to the pueblo of San Diego. Since that date it has been the property of this city.
My purpose in this communication is to give a true, though necessarily a somewhat condensed and brief history of Balboa Park. I aim to tell the story of its reservation from the large body of pueblo lands, of its vicissitudes, and of the incidents connected with its preservation from the schemes and assaults of greedy speculators, and of its development finally from native wildness in 1868 into a park of scenic and artistic beauty in 1926. To tell and under the story aright, we must begin at the beginning.
California was first settled by Europeans in 1769. The first settlement was made at San Diego by parties of priests, soldiers and settlers under the spiritual leadership of Fathers Junipero Serra and Juan Jose Crespi.
The little settlement at San Diego remained under military government, first as a Spanish province until 1821 and afterwards until 1846 as a department of the Mexican republic. On December 21, 1834 an election was held by the few inhabitants then at San Diego and the municipal officers constituting a pueblo were elected. Thirteen votes were then cast, indicating the size of the population. The officers chosen at this first municipal election were Juan Osuna, alcalde (mayor); Juan B. Machado and Jose Maria Marron, rigidores (or counselors); and Henry D. Fitch, a young sailor born in Massachusetts, sindico or law officer and legal adviser of the presidial government.
The Presidio of San Diego was organized about January 1, 1835, and the newly elected municipal government then assumed much of the authority that had been previously exercised over local affairs by the military officers stationed at this post. One of the first acts of the new municipal authorities was an application to the Mexican government of the department of California for a grant of land from the public domain, to which under the colonial laws of Spain and Mexico, as a pueblo San Diego was legally entitled for the use and benefit of its inhabitants. The grant was made in the same year.
This grant was not surveyed, nor was its area defined until 10 years later in 1845, Henry D. Fitch, acting under the orders of the governor of the department of California, surveyed and made a map of the pueblo grant. The survey and map, as thus made, include with their boundaries all the territory incorporated in 1851, at the first session of the legislature of the then new state of California.
The flag of the United States was raised at San Diego in July, 1846, and California then passed permanently from the sovereignty of Mexico. A second survey and map of this pueblo grant were made by John C. Hayes in 1858, and agreed practically at all points with the Fitch survey and map. This pueblo grant, as defined by the Fitch map, was afterwards confirmed to the city of San Diego by the courts and departments of the United States.
In May, 1867, A. E. Horton purchased nearly 1,000 acres of the city’s pueblo land for the sum of $26,600. He lost no time in having his newly acquired tract surveyed and subdivided into blocks and lots, as shown on the map of “Horton’s Addition to San Diego,” which was issued in October of the same year. Horton’s success in securing purchasers for lots in his addition, and the influx of new settlers into San Diego, beginning in the fall of 1867, and continuing with increasing numbers in the year 1868 seemed to indicate to a few of the more enterprising citizens of San Diego the possibility that more of the pueblo lands might soon be sold and that the then little village of San Diego might grow into a larger city.
- W. Morse, native of Massachusetts, who had settled at San Diego in 1850, seemed to be impressed by the improved and improving conditions at this city. At a meeting of the city board of trustees, held February 15, 1868, Morse, then a member of the board, proposed a resolution that two of the quarter section pueblo lots — 320 acres be reserved from sale, as a public park. This resolution was favorably received, and Morse and Thomas H. Bush, another member of the board, were appointed a committee to select the pueblo lots to be reserved for this purpose.
Thomas H. Bush was nominally a member of this committee, but he manifested no interest in this matter, and did nothing whatever in connection with it, except to affix his name to the report written and presented to the board of trustees by Morse.
In a letter written by E. W. Morse to A. E. Horton, August 27, 1904, Morse says:
“On looking up the city records I find the inclosed data:
“My recollection is that you and I really located the park. Bush did not go on the ground, but agreed to what we recommended. He and I signed the report, as the committee previously appointed. I don’t remember the details, but I am sure the other trustees (Bush and Manassee) took little interest in park matters, and that you were earnestly with me until it was finally clinched. I can think of no other person who did as much as you to save it.”
Morse, the only active member of the committee appointed to locate the park reservation found, on inquiry, that the city then owned about 40,000 acres of the pueblo lands, and that these lands were not then in demand. In view of this condition he decided upon a much larger tract than was first suggested for a public park. He therefore recommended in his committee report that nine quarter sections of pueblo lands, 1400 acres in all, be reserved as a public park. The nine lots selected by him are pueblo lots designated on both the Poole and Pascoe maps as numbers 1129, 1130, 1131, 1135, 1136, 1137, 1142, 1143, 1144 (excepting 40 acres in the southwest corner of 1144 that a few days before had been sold to Isabella Carruthers).
Unfortunately, after Mr. Morse’s report had been presented to the trustees, and before it was acted on an election was held, an a new, and with the exception of Joseph Manassee, different board of trustees was elected. Joseph S. Manassee, Marcus Schiller and Jose G. Estudillo constituted the new board.
On May 25, 1868, the report of the Morse-Bush park committee was called up. Trustee Marcus Schiller moved that this report be approved. A resolution was then adopted that the nine pueblo lots designated in the park report “be for a park.” This certainly was a very brief and laconic resolution upon what afterwards proved to be a very important matter, but it has been effective. It has accomplished the desirable result of securing to the city its large and beautiful park.
On February 4, 1870, the legislature enacted a bill confirming the action of the board of trustees of the city creating the park reservation, and declaring that this tract of nine pueblo lots should be “held in trust forever by the municipal authorities of said city for the use and purpose of a public park, and for no other or different purpose.”
Ephraim W. Morse should be publicly recognized as the founder of Balboa Park. He inaugurated the movement for a park reservation — a matter that apparently no other resident of San Diego at that time thought or cared anything about. As a committee of the board of trustees, without any assistance or cooperation from any other member of the board, or any other resident of San Diego, he carefully selected, and recommended as a park reservation, the nine pueblo lots that now constitute Balboa Park. Largely through his personal efforts and influence, he secured the adoption of the ordinance.
Some fitting and permanent memorial should be erected to Morse, proclaiming the fact that he is the founder of Balboa Park.
The residents of San Diego in May 1868 were apathetic and indifferent respecting any public park. Outside of the little village of Old Town in which they lived, the whole country was unsettled and open to them as a playground, if anyone of them wanted to play. The 1400 acres selected and recommended by Morse had cost nothing to the city, or to any of them. The land had practically no value. If the whole acreage had been offered for sale at a public auction, it might not have realized $1,000. At the valuation realized at a previous auction sale of more desirable pueblo lands to A. E. Horton, the 1400 acres of this park reservation were worth about $300. These park lands today, lying in the heart of the city, are worth millions, and are of increasing value.
The reservation of a large body of pueblo lands as a public park was achieved and finally consummated by the bill enacted by the legislature, February 4, 1870, without opposition, because of the general apathy and indifference of the few residents than at Old San Diego. But his peaceful condition did not long continue. Soon after this time the schemers and landsharks, who have been the plague of every new town in California, began to arrive in San Diego. They were hungry and looked around for what they might find to devour. The park lands appealed to them and they wanted them. These reservation from sale of those lands interfered with their schemes. This barrier to their plans must be gotten rid of, and this could be achieved only by repeal of the legislature act confirming the lands to the city as a park “forever.” A few men of this class associated themselves together for this purpose in a secret compact, of which the general public was kept profoundly ignorant. The city attorney, at least one of the three city trustees, the state senator from this district, and a very few others were in this conspiracy.
On November 17, 1871, James McCoy, state senator from this district, introduced a bill in the California legislature to repeal the statute and to restore these lands to sale by the city trustees. McCoy was supported in this action by George M. Dannals, assemblyman from San Diego. Both McCoy and Dannals resided at San Diego. This action was taken secretly, and without the knowledge of anyone not in the “ring.” It was proposed to rush the bill through to final passage without opposition, before the people of San Diego were aware of the movement. They came perilously near to achieving success in this scheme.
A citizen of San Diego, who happened to be at Sacramento at this time, learned of the pending bill. He rushed the information to San Diego, where it causes intense public excitement and indignation. The citizens realized that they must act promptly and energetically. A few citizens — George W. Marston, Thomas L. Nesmith, Daniel Cleveland, Mathew Sherman and two or three others constituted themselves a volunteer committee of “public safety” and they went vigorously to work.
Cleveland drew up a short petition to the legislature in protest against the passage of the pending or any bill affecting the park lands or the cemetery of 160 acres that had been reserved for burial purposes. This petition was printed at the office of the San Diego Bulletin. The whole city was divided into about 20 sections and a canvasser was sent out to each district to secure the signature of every adult male. Within a few hours the whole city was thoroughly canvassed, and every man who could be reached signed the petition. There were 366 signatures in all. All the papers were then gathered in and the petition was again printed with the names.
Within about fur days from the time of the news of the introduction of this iniquitous bill reached San Diego, a copy of the petition, with all the signatures, was in the hands of every member of the legislature. This petition killed the McCoy bill, and up to this time and finally we hope has put an end to all legislative action prejudicial to Balboa Park.
One of the city trustees signed this petition reluctantly and under pressure: “A. B. McKean, concerning cemetery only.”
The petition read as follows:
To the Honorable Senate and Assembly of the State of California.
We the undersigned residents of the city of San Diego would respectfully ask that chapter 42nd of the laws of the State of California, enacted at the 18th session of the Legislature of said state, setting apart and dedicating certain lands to the use of the citizens of San Diego for a free and public park forever, and to be used for no other purpose whatever, and also definitely confirming the act of said city trustees acting apart lands for the use of the city for burial purposes, and for no other or different purpose whatever, be not repealed or in any way amended.
We would further pray that in act passed by your honorable body concerning the lands of the city of San Diego, the said park and cemetery lands be especially excepted.”
It is to be regretted that it is impracticable to give here al the names subscribed to the petition, as it would give to the reader a pretty full list of all the adult male inhabitants of San Diego in 1899.
To correct an erroneous statement that has been made as to A. E. Horton’s connection with this petition, and in the interests of authentic history, it ought to be stated that Mr. Horton did not sign this petition, and that he had nothing whatever to do with it. It was said afterwards, in explanation of this fact, that Horton was absent from the city when the petition was drawn and signed.
The McCoy bill for the repeal of the act of February, 4th, 1870, confirming the park reservation as made by the city trustees in 1868, was part of a crafty and cunningly devised scheme for robbing the city of San Diego of both its public park and the “tide, swamp and overflowed lands in front of the city,” extending out from “the line of ordinary high tide to the ship’s channel,” and vesting the title in a small band of unscrupulous speculators. Charlie P. Taggart, the city attorney, devised and engineered the whole scheme. Associated with him, but subordinate in profitable interest, were at least two of the city trustees, James McCoy, first as a city trustee, then as a senator, and A. B. McKean, city trustee. These three, with a few others, comprised the syndicate.
To make this situation and scheme clear to the reader, it may be necessary to recite some of the well authenticated facts connected with what the San Diego Bulletin of July 29, 1871, designated as a “Tide Land Swindle.”
On March 1, 1871, two months after the United States courts and departments had decided that the municipality did not own the tide lands in front of the city, thus settling that question, James McCoy, A. B. McKean and C. W. Lewis, then constituting the board of trustees of the city of San Diego, united in a deed to Volney E. Howard and Charles P. Taggart, who was then city attorney, conveying to them as “their fee for wining the suit,” the matter of the pueblo grants which was then on final appeal before the United States secretary of the interior, “all the tide, swamp and overflowed lands in front of the city,” from the shoreline to “ship’s channel.”
Apparently, at first, Taggart intended to keep this deed from record, having some apprehension as to its effect on public opinion, and upon the ultimate success of his schemes. Seventeen days after its execution and delivery to him, probably upon the advice of General Howard, his associate grantee, it was decided that, for its legal effect, upon the question of fraud, it was necessary to place the deed on record, and risk public opinion. It was filed for record by Charles P. Taggart, Mary 17, 1871, and is recorded in book 12 of deeds, at page 176, et seq.
This deed was published in full in the San Diego Bulletin of September 2, 1871, under the heading “Tide Land Swindle Again.”
Taggart, acted upon the theory common to all “get rich quick schemers that all men but himself were fools. Sometimes its becomes necessary “to fool them some more.” On April 20, 1871, about one month after his dishonest deed had been filed for record, Taggart caused a paragraph headed “Generous Donation,” to be published in the San Diego Union. In this paragraph it is stated that Volney E. Howard and Charles P. Taggart had “donated” to the city trustees “30 blocks of tide lands,” that had “been deeded to them by the city trustees as their fee for wining the suit,” the pueblo grant contention as to tide lands and the peninsula of Coronado. These tide lands were to constitute a school fund.
This paragraph was an impudent falsehood, but it seemed to serve its intended purpose, temporarily at least. Messrs. Taggart and Howard sought thus to convey to the public mind the false impression that they had generously given to the city all claims to the tide lands that had been conveyed to them by deed by the city trustees less than two months before.
A few months later, in the fall of 1871, the James McCoy, who had joined with his two fellow trustees in the deed to Taggart and Howard conveying to them the tide, swamp and overflowed lands in front of the city of San Diego, was the Democratic candidate for state senator from this district of the state. His opponent for that office on the Republican and people’s ticket was A. E. Horton.
The San Diego Bulletin of November 11, 1871, published a letter from Charles P. Taggart, who claimed to be a life-long Republican, to Judge Rolfe of San Bernardino, also a Republican and an influential man in that community, from which I make the following extracts:
“I want you to vote for McCoy and do nothing for Horton.”
Unfortunately, McCoy was elected to the state senate. His first official act after he had entered upon his office was the introduction of a bill to repeal the statute enacted at the last preceding session of the California legislature confirming the park reservation to the city of San Diego as a park “and to be used for no other purpose.”
The reader has been informed how this bill was “killed off” by the citizen’s petition of protest.
It seems to me that the inference from the established facts is irresistible that Taggart, McCoy and McKean, associated with a few others, had conspired to rob the city of San Diego of both its “tide, swamp and overflowed lands” and our public park. The introduction by McCoy of the park repeal bill was only one, and the initial step in their program and scheme. If McCoy had succeeded in securing the passage of that bill, his next move would have been the introduction of a bill to confirm and validate the deed of March 1, 1871, conveying the tide, swamp and submerged lands to Taggart and Howard. There were “millions in it.” Fortunately, the citizens’ petition and protest destroyed McCoy’s influence in the legislature, made that body suspicious concerning any other people he might attempt to introduce, and rendered quite certain that it was useless for these conspirators to further persevere in their nefarious schemes for plundering the city. The people of San Diego and the legislature of the state were against them. They were beaten. Taggart, fruitful in schemes, must try something else.
The first comprehensive map of the pueblo lands of San Diego, including, it was then supposed, all the territory within the grant made to the Pueblo of San Diego in 1835, was compiled by Charles H. Poole in 1856 from a number of small maps of local and restricted sections of the pueblo lands. These maps were made by Cave J. Couts, (Old) San Diego and La Playa; by Henry Clayton and Clayton and Hesse and other surveyors. Poole made no actual survey. Poole’s map, though correct in the main, fails to include some of the territory actually belonging to San Diego, as being within the boundaries of the pueblo grant.
A later map, published in May, 1870, representing an actual survey, made by James Pascoe, discloses more land than is shown on the Poole map. This additional, or excess land is designated on the Pascoe map as pueblo lots “A, B, C, D, E. F and G,” seven quarter sections each of 160 acres of land. This newly-discovered land was placed by Pascoe on his map north of the park reservation, as designated in the ordinance of May 25, 1868, and where it is now conceded by everyone it rightly belongs.
There was a time, however, most notably in the years 1873 and 1874 when this discrepancy between the Poole and Pascoe maps as disclosed by these lettered lots “A. B. C. D. E. F and G” threatened dire confusion in, and possible disaster to property locations, titles and interests at San Diego.
About 1873, some unscrupulous land speculators at San Diego conceived the idea that this discrepancy between the Poole and Pascoe maps might be used very much to their own advantage. They sought to intimidate and blackmail the owners of property lying near the newly-discovered territory, designated by the lettered lots of the Pascoe map, by threatening to shift and unsettle their boundary lines, and cloud their titles. They succeeded with some of these owners.
By their peculiar and dishonest tactics they induced A. E. Horton to given them a quitclaim deed to lot 1121, the west half of which was then owned by Daniel Cleveland. This deed, dated February 10, 1874, is recorded in book 22 of deeds on page 263. By asserting a claim under this deed, they attempted to coerce Cleveland into a compromise with them. He denied their claim, and refused to enter any negotiation with, or to make any concession to them. To clear away any seeming cloud upon his title resulting from the Horton deed, Cleveland instituted a suit against Horton’s grantees to quiet title to the west half of pueblo lot 1121 of the Pascoe map, though the original deed of conveyance from the city trustees in 1859, refers to the Poole map. The real vital and controlling question involved in this case is the correct location of the numbered and pueblo lines and lots as shown on the Pascoe map, which agrees as to the numbered lots with the Poole map. Cleveland contended correctly, as was adjudged in this suit, that the Pascoe map is true and correct. The defendants in this case asserted (as essential to their success in their schemes), that the Pascoe map is not correct, that the pueblo lot lines must be shifted one half mile further north, thus unsettling property lines and producing disastrous uncertainty and confusion of which these defendants expected to take advantage. After a long and bitterly contested litigation, both the arial and appellate courts rendered judgment in Cleveland’s favor.
This suit and judgment were of public and general importance only because the public interests demanded that the seeming discrepancy between the Poole and Pascoe maps created by the discovery by Pascoe of the excess pueblo lands should be settled by the courts. This was the real issue in the case recited in the foregoing paragraph. The final decision and judgment in that case settles and leaves all the boundaries of both the numbered and lettered pueblo lots where the Poole and Pascoe maps concur in placing them. It ended all questions as to property lines that could be based on any seeming conflict between these two maps. In this way the judgment in this case is of importance and value as to the lines of the park reservation.
Of more immediate connection with Balboa Park is the deed A. E. Horton was persuaded into giving to these same unscrupulous parties by threats of attacking and unsettling his own property lines. This deed, dated January 6, 1874, is recorded in book 22 of deeds on page 268, et esq. Horton states in this deed that he “quitclaims all right, title and interest in and to pueblo lots 1122 and 1123, according to the Pascoe map, by virtue of a deed of conveyance by me by E. W. Morse and Thomas H. Bush, trustees of the city of San Diego, May 11, 1867. And recorded in book 2 of deeds on page 307; also by virtue of a deed of Francisco Estudillo and O P. Searle to pueblo lot 1132; that this deed ‘must not interfere with a deed previously given’ by me to Henry C. Brookes for the east half of pueblo lot 1123.”
It ought to be stated in fairness to Horton that very soon after the recognition of these two deeds when he fully realized their nefarious purport, the uses to be made of them, and the trickery by which they were to be obtained, he expressed his regret that he had given them.
When the fact of the execution of these two deeds by Horton became generally known, an intense feeling was aroused against him and the grantees named in his deeds. It was generally and perhaps rightfully believed that these deeds were to be used as the basis of a scheme to undermine the city’s title to the park reservation, among other properties, and to secure its ownership for themselves or, at least, to force some kind of a compromise advantageous to themselves.
The city board of trustees, under popular pressure, directed D. T. Phillips, the city attorney, to institute suit against Horton, his grantees and two other persons believed to be partners in this scheme, to quiet title to the park reservation. This suit, No. 749 on the docket of the district court of this county, was begun February 25, 1874. On March 5, Horton, by his attorneys, filed a general demurrer, a statement that plaintiff’s complaint did not state a cause of action. This demurrer amounted to very little more than the bringing of Horton into court. On the same day, and by the same attorneys, all the other defendants filed their disclaimer of any interest in the property described in the complaint. None of the defendants thought it prudent to antagonize public sentiment by attempting to further litigate this suit. The suit was dismissed as to Horton on April 13, 1874. No further action seems to have been take in this case, and it is still pending as to all the other defendants except Horton.
Several attempts were made between the years 1870 and 1910, to cut down the area of the park to fewer acres. None of them, however, were pushed with much vigor. The prevailing sentiment of the citizens of San Diego has always been in favor of maintaining the park at its present size.
Only two concessions of lands within the park seem to have been made before 1902.
On August 8, 1881, the city trustees allotted a small tract of land in the southern portion of the park for a building for the first high school established at San Diego. Joseph Russ, at that time the leading lumber dealer in this state, volunteered to donate all the lumber to be used in the high school building. In grateful recognition of this gift, his name was given to the building and school and was retained for more than 20 years. The building was completed and occupied in 1883.
On December 31, 1887, about 20 acres of the park land were allotted to the Women’s Home Association, a charitable organization for receiving and caring for orphan and destitute children. Later, in 1888, the Association was incorporated as the Children’s Home and has now developed into a large and important institution, and is doing a great work for the purpose for which it was organized in 1888.
Nothing further of any importance was done in connection with the park reservation until late in the year 1902. Up to that year the reservation remained a bit of wild land reserved for a park. At the end of the year a movement began that resulted in the final development of the wild land into a beautiful public park of which the citizens of San Diego are justly proud.
At a meeting of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, held on August 15, 1902, Julius Wangenheim offered a resolution that a park improvement committee be appointed. The committee appointed under this resolution consisted of Julius Wangenheim, chairman; U. S. Grant, Jr.; George W. Marston; William Clayton and D. F. Garrettson. The real work of park development then began. What has been done since January 1, 1903 is another story and must be told in another chapter.
June 1, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:3. Memorial Day program at Organ Pavilion.
June 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:1-2. City wins great victory in suit for San Diego river water rights; Judge J. W. Conkling hands down decision favoring municipality.
June 6, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:2-4. Gigantic “Liberty Bell” illuminated with 20,000 colored electric lamps at Sesqui-Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
June 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:1-2, 2:3-4. John D. Spreckels dies at home in Coronado after long illness.
June 8, 1916, San Diego Union, 7:1. Fred A. Lindley demands election for college site; Council refuses quick action; hearing set for Monday.
June 9, 1916, San Diego Union, 1:4, 2:4. Playground Commission reported to have a majority favoring reinstatement of Deering as Playground Director.
June 14, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:3-4, 7:1-6. San Diego honors memory of John D. Spreckels at Organ Pavilion; Senator M. L. Ward stresses his constant use of his wealth for public good.
June 14, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:4. Public Schools band department to give annual concert at Organ Pavilion tomorrow.
June 15, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:5, 2. City Council hears repetition of arguments on park school site without any change of heart.
June 15, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:6, 2:2-3. Expedition to get sea lions at Guadalupe Island for Zoo pool; Mexican government permits capture.
June 20, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. Legionnaires proved 1,000 headset radios for patients at Naval Hospital
June 20, 1926, San Diego Union, 20:6. Local bird lover donates two buses to San Diego Zoo to carry sightseers through gardens with stops at cages.
June 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:2-3. High School orchestra gives concerts at Organ Pavilion.
June 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:3. College location before City Council this morning.
June 22, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:4. Council takes no action on college site.
June 22, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 13:4. Junior Zoo Club hears 1926 report.
June 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. Zoological party captures two cows, one bull seal on Mexican trip; Naval Reserves to bring seals here on Eagle Boat No. 34.
June 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:2-4. Business district on square bounded by Fourth, Maple, Fifth and Laurel Streets is named “El Prado.”
June 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:1, San Diego Union, and June 26, 1926, 7:1. San Diego High School graduation exercises; orchestra, music, dance scheduled at Organ Pavilion this afternoon.
June 27,1926, San Diego Union, 12:2-5. Three elephant seals from Guadalupe Islands show themselves today
June 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 18:1-6. Balboa Park’s Steady Development, by Daniel Cleveland.
The second chapter of the story of Balboa Park must begin where the first chapter of the story ends — with the appointment in August 1902, by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce of a Park Improvement Committee. This committee was wisely chosen. It was composed of representative citizens, representing the best business interests of the city, interested in the public welfare, and especially interested in the work of making San Diego a city beautiful. The members of the committee were Julius A. Wangenheim, chairman, a partner in one of the leading wholesale houses of this city and for many years president of one of our largest banks. George W. Marston, the founder and head of the Marston Company, one of the largest department stores in southern California. U. S. Grant, Jr., son of the famous American soldier of the same name, general and president of the United States. William Clayton, for more than 10 years manager of the great public utilities known as “the Spreckels system.” D. F. Garrettson, president of the then largest bank at San Diego.
The committee realized the importance of the duty assigned to it and entered upon its work with energy and enthusiasm. The first thing done by the committee was to “take account of the stock,” as a merchant would express the situation. The committee must ascertain the condition of the park lands, the improvement work to be done in developing the park, and the amount of money available for this purpose.
On September 10, 1902, the Park Improvement Committee reported to the Chamber of Commerce that “Mr. McLaren, the landscape superintendent of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, will arrive in about 10 days and look over the ground (Balboa Park) and start the movement for making a harmonious plan for improving the park lands. . . . The needs of beautifying the our city must be apparent to every citizen. . . . Our needs in this connection already have been generously recognized by a number of our citizens.”
The committee submitted the following report of the amount already received at the beginning of a Park Improvement Fund:
Bequest left by the late Dr. Allyn for park improvement $3,000
George W. Marston* 1,000
San Diego & Eastern Railway* 500
La Jolla & Pacific Beach Railway* 200
Klauber-Wangenheim Company* 200
First National Bank 200
Garretson Investment Company* 100
Simon Levi 100
Dr. F. R. Burnham 100
U S Grant, Jr.* 100
Captain W. R. Maize 100
T N Larson 100
*Contributed by members of the Park Improvement Committee
The report further stated that “voluntary subscriptions will be appreciated.”
The publication of this report aroused general public interest and enthusiasm in the work undertaken by the Improvement Committee. Local societies and organizations and the citizens generally contributed money and volunteered their support and services in aid of the proposed work. Buttons bearing the legend, “For Park and Boulevards.” and priced at 25 cents, were sold by children and adults throughout the city to swell the park fund. Every loyal San Diegan was expected to purchase and wear at least one of these buttons.
The San Diego Union of March 2, 1903 says
“It is an undeniable fact that since the park committee commenced operations some months ago the interest of the public in the park has grown enormously.”
Mrs. M. B. Coulston, who has already become prominent as one of the editors of “Forest and Stream,” and in connection with the work of parks and grounds in the Atlantic states, arrived in San Diego about the first of September, 1902. The Park Improvement Committee, recognizing her experience, ability and value in connection with its proposed work, elected here secretary of the committee. She entered at once upon the duties of her new office with enthusiasm and energy. She remained with the committee until 1904, when she went to the university at Berkeley to perfect herself in botany, and thus become of greater use to the community. She died at Berkeley, July 16, 1904.
It was generally conceded that, as Mr. McLaren had suggested, the initial step in the work of park improvement should be the securing and adoption of plans and a program of the work to be done. Mr. McLaren also suggested what doubtless was obvious to the Improvement Committee, and to every honest and intelligent citizen, that one of the ablest landscape architects in the United States be employed to make these plans.
The local newspaper published many communications from foolish persons clamoring for the employment of “local talent” to make the plans for and to superintend the work of park improvement.
Fortunately, the Improvement Committee was composed of men of larger vision and with a more honest and disinterested regard for the public welfare than the anonymous writers who advocated the expenditure of public money regardless of the public interests.
One of the most contemptible, dishonest and disastrous policies can be pursued in connection with public works, or in public affairs, is the yielding to popular clamor for local patronage, made by a few or by many persons, regardless of the public welfare. That clamor, yielded to for political reasons, has cost this city a great deal of money, represented by several hundred thousand dollars of the present city bonded indebtedness. Our main high school building cost this city 50 percent more than the bid of a responsible contractor for its erection because the Board of Education rejected this bid for the avowed purpose of parceling out the work among local contractors, at their own prices.
Mrs. Coulston, while connected with the Park Improvement Committee as secretary, wrote many articles, reports and letters for publication, and made many public addressees n connection with this work. At a meeting of her committee, held October 2, 1902, Mrs. Coulston said:
“The evident sentiment of the best citizens is that the park shall rank with the foremost parks of the whole country and shall be a satisfactory feature of San Diego.”
The San Diego Union of October 8, 1902 says:
“George W. Marston left for the east this morning. . . . One of his objects in going east is to secure the plans for the improvement of our city park. As is well known, Mr. Marston has been one of the most generous of contributors of the park fund, having contributed $1,000 in cash. He will also, we are informed, pay for all the plans necessary to carry out the plans of the committee. The cost of these plans will be in the neighborhood of $3,000.”
On the 21st of October, 1902, Mr. Marston telegraphed to the Park Committee from New York City that “Samuel Parsons, Jr.,” a distinguished landscape architect, “will prepare plans for the park.” The Committee approved the employment of Mr. Parsons.
Mr. Parsons arrived at San Diego, December 22, 1902, and entered at once upon his work. He announced he would remain at San Diego about one month, which would give him sufficient time for formulating his work and preparing the plans for the improvement of the park.
After a preliminary view of the park lands, before he began to formulate his plans, Mr. Parsons expressed his impression of them as a natural site for a park. He said that he “was delighted with the tract”; that “the natural scenery of the park, the bay of San Diego, the islands in the ocean, the great ocean view and the mountains surrounding San Diego presents one of the great views of the world.” In all of the many parks visited by him in Europe and American he has seen no park equal to it in natural beauty and potentialities.
A few days later, Mr. Parsons said:
“There are three serious problems that a landscape architect has to overcome:
“First. The flora, which at San Diego is entirely different from that of the eastern states.
“Second. A road system.
“Third. The arrangement of the system of botanical gardens; position of the open-air music stands; zoological gardens; places of amusement; art galleries, etc.
“I do not believe in cutting up a park into a thousand little jimcracks.”
At a meeting of the Park Improvement Committee, reported in The San Diego Union, January 2, 1903, Mr. Parsons said:
“I have never seen nor heard of a park where so little change of surface is necessary to obtain its true development by cuts and fills — one essential almost eliminated from the San Diego park because of the fact that the canyons are so deep, and the mesas so flat. It would be doing unpardonable violence to the beauty of the scenery to allow radical change of surface.”
In a letter written by Mr. Parsons at San Diego and published in The New York Evening Post of February 28, 1903, he says:
“So rapid is the growth of plants in that favored region (San Diego) that this new park bids fair, in the next decade, to be a successful rival in some particulars of the public parks of the world. . . The park is nearly square, and measures a mile and a half across. The skyline from the north to the southwest is outlined by chains of mountains, some miles distant, the San Jacinto range, 10,000 feet high, being 80 miles away, and snow-capped at this season, as is Cuyamaca, 50 miles in a straight line. Mountains in Mexico, cone shaped and flat-topped, lie to the south. To the southwest, looking over and beyond the city, far out to sea, loom the weird and fantastic forms of the Coronado Islands, floating as it were, between the sea and sky, and leading the eye over the illimitable expanse of the ocean. Off to the northwest lies Point Loma, a long neck of land, with an elevation of several hundred feet, with glimpses of the Pacific beyond the beautiful San Diego Bay, covering 22 square miles in this wonderful landscape.
“It is a pleasure to think of a city of the moderate size of San Diego, having 20,000 inhabitants, starting out in earnest to build a park of the first-class. But this is also true, that in no other place in the United States does such a magnificent park territory seem to tempt the enterprise of citizens.”
Mr. D’Hemencourt, city engineer, recommended the construction of two dams in the park, thus creating impounding reservoirs for the storage of the winter rains, to be used in the summer for the irrigation of the park lands. Mr. McLaren, of the Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, a friendly advisor, and Mr. Parsons, park architect, agreed in opposing the proposed scheme and it was abandoned. Mr. Parsons said:
“The water so impounded would be muddy during the winter season, and would be lost early in the summer by evaporation.”
During the first year of the efforts of the Park Improvement Committee to render a great public service in developing and creating a public park for the benefit of all the citizens of San Diego, the Common Council of this city, which was then a large and unwieldy body, failed to cooperate with the Improvement Committee as promptly and cordially as seemed desirable for the general good.
Though the San Diego city government, probably because of the large membership of the Common Council and the unwieldy nature of that body, divided into two houses, failed to aid the Park Improvement Committee as promptly and helpfully as desired by the Committee, the city authorities did in fact render substantial assistance in the work of the Park Improvement Committee.
In March, 1903, John McLean, then a resident of San Diego, who had been a foreman at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, was employed as city gardener to care for the city parks — at that time including our main park and the small one in New San Diego. He was soon thereafter accepted by the Park Improvement Committee for work in connection with Mr. Parsons’ plays for the development of the park. McLean began his work by the construction of a large lath inclosure for the propagation of the trees and small plants needed for planting in the park. He retained the office of city gardener for several years.
In April, 1903, those on the Board of Public Works recommended to the Common Council, of which they were members, “That the Park Committee of the Chamber of Commerce be allowed to improve the city park in accordance with the plans to be submitted from time to time by architect Parsons, after being approved by the Board of Public Works.” This approval was always given, and in this respect the Committee and the Board of Public Works were in full accord.
During the first year of its work, the Committee received $1600 from the city in aid of the Committee’s work. The second year $6000 was received from the city, and yearly appropriations were granted thereafter.
Mr. Parsons was greatly aided in the engineering problems involved in his studies and plans and in the selection of plants to be grown in the park by T. S. Brandegee of San Diego. Mr. Brandegee was a civil engineer of ability and experience, and also a distinguished botanist. He was the best informed American authority upon the flora of southern California and Lower California. In both capacities, as a civil engineer and botanist, he gave his services and the benefit of his technical knowledge as an engineer and botanist, to Mr. Parsons, and his partner, Mr. Cooke, and the Improvement Committee gratuitously.
In May, 1903, Mr. Parsons forwarded from New York maps and plans for roads and paths in the southwestern part of the park. Additional maps and plans for other sections of the park were sent by him from New York as soon and as often as they could be developed.
While at San Diego in January, 1903, Mr. Parsons visited the Scripps’ estate at Miramar, in this county. Doubtless as a result of this visit, E. W. Scripps offered to donate $10,000 in cash to be expended in “giving to the city park one of the most complete collections of cacti in the world.” Unfortunately, as I am inclined to think, the Park Committee failed to accept the terms connected with the offer. A very rich and varied cacti flora, embracing many rare, beautiful and interesting genera and species, is indigenous to the country within a radius of 100 miles of San Diego. Our park lands, with climate adapted to their cultivation, ought to possess (to use the language of Mr. Scripps) “the largest and finest collection of cacti in the world.”
The San Diego Union of January 1, 1903, published the proceedings at a meeting of the Park Improvement Committee held a few days before that date. Mrs. Coulston, secretary of the Committee, read an interesting report. She said in part:
“Soon after the work of park improvement had begun, the Ladies’ Annex to the Chamber of Commerce was formed, and among other public improvements undertaken by this body, 10 acres of the park were planted at an outlay of about $500, raised by subscription. A long narrow strip was selected for this planting, extending from Date to Palm Streets, along the west side. About a third of the trees are in good condition today, and many doubtless will remain to perpetuate the work in the permanent park plan. The projector of this movement was the late Mrs. Ben Lake.
“Thirty-six acres of the extreme northwestern portion was, in 1892, granted for a term of years to Miss Kate O. Sessions by City Councils, to be used as a nursery garden. The consideration is the donation of 500 trees yearly to the city, and the permanent planting of 100 additional trees. The nurseries cover 10 acres and have been really the only floral park in the city, and an incentive to increased planting on private grounds.
“Other uses and improvements of portions of the park, which indicate the appreciation, taste and public spirit of citizens, include Golden Hill Park, a beautiful situation on a bluff at the extreme southeastern boundary of the park. The tract is under the care and direction of the civic committee of a local club of citizens. The grounds are well planned, and planted with commendable taste, all the expense being met by neighborhood funds.
“A unique and highly successful improvement has been made by James E. Mulvey on park land adjoining his home grounds, in a beautiful grove of well developed trees. The golf links of the Country Club are in the northern part of the park. Excepting the local improvements named, the great stretch of park territory at this time remains in its natural conditions, a magnificent public possession, with exceptional character and beauty in itself, and incomparable landscape effects.”
A very general interest was taken in the park improvements by the citizens of San Diego. Contributions of money and offers of personal service were made by individual citizens and by local fraternal and social societies and organizations in aid of the work. The interest and aid continued from the time of the first appointment of the Park Improvement Committee in August 1902, until in 1914, the larger project of the Panama-California Exposition absorbed the general interest and superseded all other schemes and efforts for the improvement of the park.
Mr. McLaren, landscape superintendent of the Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, after his first visit to our park in September, 1902, was always a steadfast and a very helpful friend of the Park Improvement Committee, and aided in all practicable ways, by his experience, judgment and advice, in the work of park improvement. He sent many contributions of plans from the nurseries of Golden Gate Park. Contributions of trees and other plants were also received from Australia and elsewhere.
On July 4, 1903, which was observed at San Diego as Arbor Day, all the local fraternal societies and organizations united with the foresters in a great tree-planting festival in the park. Nearly 1,000 trees were planted that day in ground that had been previously prepared for that purpose.
George Cooke, partner in the firm of Parsons and Cooke, arrived in San Diego in April, 1903, to assume the special duty of personally inaugurating and managing all the work of carrying out the plan prepared by the firm for the improvement of the park. The work, which was largely tree planting, had been started by the Improvement Committee earlier on that year, before his arrival, but soon was discontinued. Under the spur of Mr. Cooke’s presence and personal direction, it was now resumed, to be again suspended when about a month later he returned to New York. It was again started in December, 1903, upon Mr. Cooke’s return to San Diego. Mr. Cooke was in San Diego much of the time for about two years. While here he was personally and energetically engaged in the work of park improvement, as outlined in the plans submitted by his firm. He died at San Diego in 1908.
Both Mr. Cooke and Mr. Parsons took a warm, personal interest in the park. It was with both of them far more than a matter of professional employment and obligation. They worked faithfully and energetically to supplement and develop by their art what kind nature had already done in connection with the park site, to make it one of the most beautiful public parks in the world.
Aided by contour maps of the park, Mr. Parsons prepared and forwarded plans for park improvement from time to time, as rapidly as practicable.
About August, 1903, maps and plans were received at San Diego for the eastern and western approaches and entrances to the park. These, displayed in the windows of Mr. Marston’s store, elicited the almost universal praise and approval of the citizens of this city. In every community some persons are always found who through ignorance and “cussedness” or for selfish reasons, criticize adversely and oppose every plan or measure of a public character, unless it originates with themselves. The newspapers of this city published several unfriendly criticisms from anonymous writers, and a few protests were filed with the City Council demanding the rejection of the Parsons’ plans, or that radical changes be made in the plans, inconsistent with them, which, if adopted, would destroy their excellence and beauty and prevent the harmonious and artistic development of our public park.
The hearing and consideration of these protests was postponed by the City Council until the time of the expected arrival of the park architects, Parsons and Cooke, in December of that year. Fortunately for San Diego, the City Council, having a proper respect for the public interests, finally approved these plans and adopted them. Thenceforth, without further opposition from ignorant or foolish people, the Parsons’ plans were the law of development in Balboa Park and today San Diego possesses the beautiful park that is a joy to our people.
At a municipal election, held at San Diego, January 27, 1905, an amendment to the charter of the city was adopted, creating a Board of Park Commissioners to have charge of all the public parks in the city, and providing a park fund by an annual appropriation to be expended in the maintenance and improvement of the parks. This appropriation was fixed at not less than five nor more than eight cents on each $100 of the assessed value of the city property. The sum thus realized in 1908 for the park fund amounted to $14,000.
The first Board of Park Commissioners appointed under the recently adopted charter amendment consisted of George W. Marston, president; Ernest W. White, secretary; and A. Moran.
The two most notable incidents in the history of the park occurring between 1905, when the Board of Park Commissioners became a municipal body, and 1914, when the more rapid development of the park began in preparation for the great exposition, were:
The adoption by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce in July, 1909, of a resolution offered by G. A. Davidson to hold in the park in 1915, a Panama-California Exposition, and the adoption by the Board of Park Commissioners, on the first of November, 1910, of a resolution designating this tract as “Balboa Park.”
Before the appointment of a “Park Improvement Committee: by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce in August, 1902, the park was a tract of wild land, designated by Mr. Parsons as “a magnificent natural site for a public park.”
In August, 1902, a Park Improvement Committee was appointed by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. At an expense borne by George W. Marston, the firm of Parsons and Cooke was employed and prepared plans for the artistic development of the park, and assumed general supervision of the work of development. Before 1906, the local expenses of this work were met by the voluntary contributions of our citizens, augmented by grants from the public funds.
After the municipal Board of Park Commissioners, created by charter amendment, had assumed the control and general management of the park in 1905, the expenses of park improvement were borne by the annual tax levy provided by the city charter.
In 1914 the work of park improvement and development was greatly stimulated and hastened by the necessities of the Panama-California Exposition. The project of holding this exposition was first suggested to the San Diego Chamber of Commerce in July 1909 by G. A. Davidson, then a member of that body. The strenuous work of preparing the park lands and buildings for the exposition began in a large way in the year 1914, The exposition opened January 1, 1915 and continued two years.
The history of Balboa Park must conclude with the work of preparation for the Panama-California Exposition in 1914. The narrative of this exposition is another story. This story is told in several volumes.
July 2, 1926, San Diego Union, 13:3-4. Plan to broadcast music from Spreckels Organ.
July 3, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:2. Dr. Alfranio de Amaral of Brazil demonstrates method of removing venom from snakes at San Diego Zoo.
July 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:3-6. Doors of $750,000 Park Manor Apartment-Motel to open today.
July 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:5. Dr. George W. Toelschow, dentist, fills elephant’s aching tooth at Zoo.
July 11, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:5. Harbor head, postmaster and aviators indorse Nolen’s plans for city airport.
July 12, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:5-6. Kate O. Sessions writes letter describing beauties of Honolulu.
July 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1. Will build $50,000 Zoological Hospital in San Diego.
July 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:4-6. Muntjacs, barking deer, natives of India, among rare species at San Diego Zoo.
July 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:3-4. State of Pennsylvania moves to close Sesqui-Centennial Exposition on Sundays.
July 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 17:6-8. Kate O. Sessions writes of trees and shrubs of Hawaiian Islands.
July 18, 1924, San Diego Union, Development, 14:4-6. Lincoln Rogers designs $900,000 Y. M. C. A. building for Honolulu (drawing).
July 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:2-5. 4th Regiment, U. S. Marines, band concert planned at Organ Pavilion; Paul Harris, baritone, will sing.
July 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:4-5. Board of Park Commissioners turns down W. J. Hall’s request to shoot rabbits in Balboa Park; only park employees are given permission.
July 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:7-8. Kate O. Sessions writes about beauties of Hawaiian gardens.
July 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:6. Museum of Natural History shows new bird case for black-footed Albatross.
July 25, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 2:1-2. San Diego Zoo has fine specimens of Barbary sheep and wild goats.
July 28, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:1, July 29, 1926, Classified, 13:4 and July 30, 1926, 16:4. Mormon Tabernacle Choir to given concert at Organ Pavilion tomorrow evening.
July 29, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 13:4. Mormon Choir sings at Organ Pavilion tonight.
July 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 10:4. City playgrounds may do with superintendent; Board fails to explain why it rejected city eligibles for job.
July 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:4. Mormon Chorus scores triumph in Balboa Park.
August, 1926, California Garden, Vol. 18, No. 2, p.4. Balboa Park Notes, by John G. Morley
The present year, to date, has been a strenuous one for several reasons, during the severe storm in April a small cyclone passed through a portion of Balboa Park, commencing on the west side opposite Grape Street and through to Park Boulevard when hundreds of trees were blown down and uprooted, causing an immense amount of damage estimated at $75,000, which includes the replanting of the devastated area. Owing to the limited finances of the Department, the Board of Park Commissioners requested an appropriation of $10,000 from the Emergency Fund of the City Council. The Council very generously acceded to the request, the money being used for the cleaning up and removal of the debris and is now practically completed. Visitors to the Park would hardly notice the change, but those who are familiar with the former beauty of the destroyed sections can appreciate the changed appearance and the difficulties faced in the removal of the hundreds of fallen trees to temporarily restore that portion of the Park to its former beauty.
Seasonal planting of flowers to date has been for spring flowers, 48,000 pansies; 4,500 calendulas; 3,000 larkspurs; 3,500 snapdragons; 4,000 stocks; 2,000 schizanthus and 1,800 cinerarias; for the summer and fall flowers, 4,300 dahlias; 4,000 African marigolds; 4,000 asters; 17,300 zinnias — these with several hundred each of tuberous bigonias, gloxinias, Japanese lilies, exacum affine, also several hundred perennial flowering plants, which provide a continuance of bloom throughout the year.
At the present time, the dahlia garden, south of the Organ Pavilion, is a riot of color with the many varieties in bloom and the borders of brilliant flowering cannas give it an effective setting. The dahlias on the west side of the Park are just commencing to bloom in profusion and together with the large quantities of zinnias, as well as other seasonal flowers, Balboa Park will be well worth a visit to see the floral display.
September 11th and 12th is the date for the annual Fall Show of the Floral Association, to be held in Balboa Park. Prospective exhibitors should bear this in mind so that the quality of the flowers and plants exhibited will be the best we have ever had at this season of the year, and make the show as artistic and financially successful as the one held in the spring.
August, 1926, California Garden, Vol. 18, No. 2. San Diego’s Horticultural Children, by K. O. Sessions
A group of [Fremontia Mexicana] should occupy some prominent slope in Balboa Park that it may become better known and appreciated. It makes a very excellent flowering branch of interior decoration and is worth growing for a cut flower.
August 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:1, 2:6. San Diego Athletic Club breaks ground for building at 6th and A Streets.
August 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Society-Club, 2:1-5. Interview with Madame Schumann-Heink in her Coronado home.
August 1, 1926, San Diego Union, Music Page, 15:7-8. Three hostesses give luncheon at Japanese Tea Garden in park honoring Captain and Mrs. F. Sellers.
August 1, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:3-4. Biggest and best County Fair billed to delight San Diego; five-day exposition promises well-balance program of merrymaking, sports, bronco busting and agricultural and industrial exhibits, carnival nights features.
August 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1-2 and August 5, 1926, 7:1-2. City will see mile of freaks in big booster parade tonight; strange procession showing evolution of Miss San Diego will come as climax to Zoo Day, with animal exhibits free to public; fraternal orders take part; every beast from Zoo that can walk will parade down Broadway at noon and hold a reception in the plaza; parade designed to raise $150,000 for San Diego California Club advertising program.
August 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:3-4. Fine Arts Gallery free tonight in observance of Balboa Park Day.
August 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:1. Zoo will build extra gate to care for visitors; west side entrance will shorten walk to cars; other projects planned; present fence to be extended to California Building.
August 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 13:2-3. San Diego Zoo gets rare specimens; deer from Indian look like dream; but wart hogs resemble nightmare.
August 6, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:3-5. Master class at Organ Pavilion conducted by Albert Riemenschneider, Cleveland, Ohio.
August 9, 1926, San Diego Union, 24:1. Indian Village busy once more; more than 200 scouts and officials attend Court of Honor sessions.
August 10, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:7, 2:4. Senator Shortridge to present collection of Canadian goats and sheep to Zoo; will arrive in December.
August 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:4. Richard Requa showed Kiwanis Club film he made while in Spain studying Spanish architecture.
August 15, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:3, 2:3-4. Love of elephant for Shetland pony brings romance to Zoo; both came to Zoo as gift.
August 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:5-6. Horse Show at County Fair expected to bring some of the finest animals of southwest to city.
August 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. Zoo needs funds; asks County for cent in budget; letter from Harry M. Wegeforth, president.
August 19, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:1. If the advice of Police Judge Chambers is carried out, dogs that get into the San Diego Zoological Gardens and molest the animals will be shot.
August 19, 1926, San Diego Union, 24:1-2. Definite action against the movement to put the State College in Balboa Park is expected to be the outcome of the meeting of the directors of the Chamber of Commerce today; statement by Lane D. Webber, president of the Chamber.
“The taxpayers are being induced to sigh a petition which will place the question of the college site on the ballot. In other words, they are being asked to support a measure to deliberately give away thousands of dollars worth of their own property, while other people and organizations are offering five free sites as personal gifts.
“Why should the taxpayers give this valuable property away when if they really wanted to get rid of it, they could sell it for at least 85,000 dollars or more? But San Diegans do not want either to give away or to sell Balboa Park. No money could ever replace it. To lessen the area of Balboa Park today would be as sensible as filling up our harbor or blowing up part of the city’s water supply.
“Balboa Park is one of the greatest assets the city possesses, and only those who are blind to its tremendous value would consider disposing of any more of it. The college authorities do not want the institution located there and the city doesn’t want it there. Only a few short-sighted people are sponsoring the move.”
August 20, 1926, San Diego Union, 24:4. Chamber of Commerce heads score park site; restate opposition to putting new State College in Balboa Park.
August 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:5, 2:4. City Council may place park school site issue on ballot with water bonds if initiative is invoked.
It was pointed out that more than one bond issue has been messed up and lost by presenting less important issues at the same time.
Some time ago the park site advocates went before the council and asked that the question of giving the park over to state college purposes by put to the people. The councilmen refused to call an election, asserting that the petitioners should invoke the initiative.
August 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:7. City Playground Board appoints Bernard C. Nichols to post of assistant playgrounds superintendent; Civil Service Commission wins victory as assistant named from list.
The Playgrounds Heads have not selected a superintendent to succeed Tam Deering, whose removal from the superintendency recently created a heated controversy. They are said to be waiting for the Board of Education to agree upon a candidate who will be acceptable for school playgrounds work and who would hold a double position, as Deering did.
August 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:5. Scouts to plant desert garden at Indian Village.
With the rapid disappearance this week of the old stake fence surrounding the scout headquarters on the north side of the Indian Village reservation, many friends of scouts stopped by to inquire “what is was all about,” and when informed that a desert garden was to be planted on the open space facing Park Boulevard voiced their commendation and offered their help.
August 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1. City Council sidetracks college site at water bond election; proposal may be voted on at later date; initiative petition contains 3,600 signatures; only 2,800 valid signatures necessary.
August 26, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:5-6. Costume carnival to mark opening of County Fair on night of September 14; free dancing, auto parade, style review among features of first evening.
August 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 10:3. All County Fair entries will be closed September 7; exposition this year will be marked by enlarged exhibits in all directions.
August 28, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:1. Petitions filed by Balboa Park College Site Association to compel City Council to submit park site question to voters at special election apparently are insufficient; signatures fall short of 15 percent required to make issue; will try again
Clerk Wright yesterday notified Judge Mossholder, who is in charge of the petitions, that it is indicated that the signatures are insufficient, and Mossholder said they would be re-circulated and more names obtained..
August 28, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:5. Madame Schumann-Heink delighted 2,500 or more people at High School auditorium last night in benefit for Rest Haven Children’s Home.
August 29, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 2:2-3. New buildings to house fine pigeon exhibit at County Fair, September 14 to 18; more than $4,000 has been spent in increasing the accommodations at the fair grounds for agricultural exhibits..
September 1, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:4. Emmett Robert Gaderer, tenor, will assist Dr. Stewart at recitals Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoons at Organ Pavilion.
September 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:1 and September 5, 1926, 1. Spreckels Company will bridge bay; San Diego-Coronado span 2,100 feet; cost to exceed $1,000,000.
September 5, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 8:2-6. Drawing of residence of Mr. and Mrs. D. E. Mann, Coronado, designed by Requa and Jackson.
September 8, 1926, San Diego Union, 18:1-2. Fall flower show to open in building on southwest corner of Plaza de Panama, Saturday; nominal fee will be charged to defray expenses.
September 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:5. Carnival night to open County Fair Tuesday; free dance, musical concert and exhibits to be features of program; outdoor dancing platform constructed.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 2:4. Senator Shortridge gets rare collection of sheep and goats from Canadian government for San Diego Zoo.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 4:1. San Diego’s greatest County Fair to open Tuesday night; awards this year greater than ever.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, County Fair, 3:1-4. Costume carnival to be feature at opening day of big five-day program; Santa Ana’s 50-piece municipal band will give free concert; Ruth Varin’s 9-piece orchestra will play for free dancing.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, County Fair, 4:3-4. City championship bicycle races fill two-day program at County Fair; pageant on Friday morning to be followed by stunt competitions and speed contests for long and valuable list of prizes; Saturday events attract many.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, County Fair, 4:3-4. Handling of bees, County Fair exhibit.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, County Fair, 4:3-5. Society horse show presents best of equine world in 4-day event.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, County Fair, 5:4-5. County Fair successes credit to men who lead; experts who love San Diego and who know resources of back country responsible for continued value of annual exposition given at Balboa Park.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, County Fair, 5:5. Cash prizes for red heads with most brilliant shade of red hair at Midway stage at County Fair next Thursday afternoon.
September 12, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 10:1-4. Presidio Hill subdivision to preserve San Diego’s history and romance; every house plan will be passed on by Requa and Jackson, consulting architects.
September 14, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:8. George W. Marston warns City Council an invasion of Argentine ants threatens park; Council refused to appropriate $3,785 to fight pests.
September 14, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:1-4. Array of agricultural and industrial products to be displayed at County Fair tonight.
September 15, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:7, 3:5-6. 10,000 attend opening of County Fair.
September 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:1-5. Record County Fair crowd yesterday thrills as finest of horseflesh parades in feature event of Eighth annual Balboa Park show; opening day of exhibition big success; saxophone contest delights great throng; other entertaining numbers.
September 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:3-8. Capacity throng makes merry and is educated as turnstiles of County Fair proclaim record; El Cajon won grand prize for best exhibit in Class No. 1.
September 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:5-6. Today last and best day of San Diego County Fair; entertainment programs offered eclipse all others; varied exhibits; event brought largest crowd since Exposition days; largest dance floor every built in Balboa Park on Midway.
September 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1. Balboa Park college site election set for November 23; hot battle seen in issue forced by Balboa Park College Site Association; City Council yesterday adopted an ordinance setting election for that date; action made necessary through the filing of petitions; Judge Mossholder, representing park site advocates, said state was willing to trade present college site and buildings for Balboa Park site.
October, 1926, California Garden, Vol. 18, No. 4. Park Developments in California, by John G. Morley
Cities in many sections of the United States are noted for their park systems and the wonderful development that has taken place during the past few years, notably New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. These cities have spent millions to provide additional park areas and furnish funds for their development so that their citizens may have facilities for recreational enjoyment. The cities of California are now facing somewhat similar conditions. The large increase of population in the leading cities of the state creates an ever pressing need for large areas of land suitable for landscape development and recreational facilities developed to the fullest extent, and the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Oakland, Long Beach and Santa Barbara are alive to this necessity and are providing accordingly.
On a recent visit to San Francisco inspecting the park system with Superintendent of Parks, Mr. John McLaren, it was a revelation to note the increased facilities that have been provided in recent years on newly acquired areas. These new properties are being rapidly developed, not only from a horticultural standpoint, but also in the recreational facilities afforded, such as golf links, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, roque courts, bowling greens and children’s playgrounds, and a very fine swimming pool and bath house along the shore at the southwestern limits of Golden Gate Park. The city has recently acquired five hundred acres for an additional park and plans are being made for its improvement. These accomplishments have not been done without a struggle for funds to carry them through. While San Francisco has been blessed with many generous citizens who have contributed money and also special features, such as Stow Lake, Huntington Falls, the children’s playground in Golden Gate Park, etc., the city itself has been as generous as possible to its park system, of which Golden Gate Park is the outstanding feature. All these developments have taken place during the past forty-five years, at which time the funds were very meager, until today San Francisco, with its increased population and far greater taxable value, provides upwards of one million dollars per annum for its park system.
Los Angeles, likewise, has been in the same financial stress for many years, owing to lack of funds for its park system. Today, however, owing to the enormous increase of population and the increased taxable value of the city, the progress of the park system under the new charter amendments will rapidly provide ample means to place the park system of the city in the forefront of park developments for which new areas are being purchased, some donated and others acquired by the district assessment plan under the Mattoon Act, passed by the last Legislature. This year the income under the new law is over one million dollars, this is in sharp contrast to the eighty thousand dollars provided twenty-one years ago.
San Diego is destined to be the third largest city in the state and is now going through the transitory period, the same as San Francisco and Los Angeles, and while funds for park purposes are very limited at the present time, we should not be discouraged. As the city increases in population, the taxable value will increase accordingly, which will provide money not only to develop Balboa Park to its fullest extent, but also the other park areas in the system throughout the city and additional areas, which from time to time will be added thereto.
Therefore, let us all take heart and preserve their integrity and guard against any further encroachments, especially upon Balboa Park, and follow the example of the people of San Francisco in their loyalty to Golden Gate Park, the gem of their city.
October 10, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 1:1-8. Drawing of residence for Walter B. Neill, Coronado, designed by Requa and Jackson.
October 10, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 2:1. Story of design of Walter B. Neill residence.
October 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:1-5. Board of Park Commissioners say City needs every foot of Balboa Park; survey shows few acres left in level area; Nolen plan calls for development of recreation field in proposed college area (map).
October 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:1-8. Indian Inhabitants of San Diego County, by Daniel Cleveland.
October 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:1-3. Oldsters laugh while pitching horseshoes in Balboa Park.
October 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:1-6. Drawing of home for E. H. Curtiss, Hawk Street and Arcadia Drive; flat roof suggested by building in Algiers.
October 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:2. 3:2-3. Lydia Horton, 82 died yesterday.
October 20, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:2. Two million dollar Sutherland-San Vicente water bonds carried yesterday with a majority of 12 to 1.
October 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:1. Putting state college in park next city battle; campaign brewing for balloting on November 23.
October 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:4. George W. Marston recalls days in San Diego 56 years ago on his 76th birthday.
October 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 16:4-5. Anonymous tribute to memory and life of Mrs. Horton.
October 26, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. Frederick W. White seeks to prevent special election on college site; receives temporary injunction; date of hearing November 4.
October 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:4-5. Harbor Commissioners sell leases on more than 800 acres in Mission Bay.
October 31, 1926, San Diego Union, Society-Club, 12:3-4. Examples of Spanish art in Fine Arts Gallery, by Reginald Poland.
November 3, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:1-2. Nat R. Titus, San Diego real estate dealer, opposes granting site in Balboa Park to State College.
November 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 19:2. Mr. Patrick O’Rourke appeared before Park Board yesterday and asked that the Institute be given an independent status and recognized as a distinct organization from the San Diego Zoo; Dr. Wegeforth tells Board that O’Rourkes gave the property to the Zoo.
November 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 26:1. Battle for park site for college opens in court; owners adjacent to park object to hold election which they claim is illegal; early ruling on injunction proceedings against city election expected.
November 6, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:5, 2:2-3. Judge Andrews denies park injunction; choice up to vote of people on November 23.
November 10, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:3-5. “Star of India” to be brought here through generosity of James W. Coffroth; Zoological Society to convert bark into an aquarium (illus.).
November 11, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:4. “Save the Park” advocates open headquarters; Lyman J. Gage heads committee that will opposed granting park site for college.
November 12, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. Plan to enlist 5,000 in campaign to “Save Your Park.”
November 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 8 (full page). Advertisement “Save Balboa Park”
November 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:4. San Diego Open Forum will take up park question next Sunday evening.
November 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 26:4-5. Theodore Wirth, head Minneapolis system, warns San Diego citizens to keep park lands as recreational.
November 14, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:5-6. J. W. Beemer thinks college in park would detract from park’s tourist value.
November 14, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 7:2-5. Wrongs of Indians of San Diego County, by Daniel Cleveland.
November 14, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 11:2-4. New banking house to be opened in Ocean Beach for Southern Trust and Commerce Bank; designed by William Templeton Johnson.
November 15, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:6. Debate on park site heard at Open Forum meeting; Park Commissioner William Templeton Johnson hits gift plan as “foolish”; Fred Lindley would have smaller parks instead of one big park in city.
November 15, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1. Young violinist to given program at Marine band concert in park today.
November 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 2:4. John Nolen sends wire to William Templeton Johnson, member of Board of Park Commissioners, advising against college in Balboa Park.
November 16, 1926, San Diego Union, 7:3. If State College gets park gift, Mrs. Oscar J. Kendall wants a site for a hospital south and east of Naval Hospital and extending to Pershing Drive.
November 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:1-4. Oscar W. Cotton puts value of land for college site in Balboa Park above $1,000,000.
November 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:4-5. John McLaren, builder of Golden Gate Park, advises against giving away property of people.
November 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:3. La Jolla women resist move to take park land.
November 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:6. United Veterans against college in park.
November 17, 1926, San Diego Union, 14:6-8. Letters from George I. Putnam, Hyman S. Wolf, Cecil Lewinson, John B. Osborn assail park land loss.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:2. Naval Hospital improvements to cost $750,000; six buildings to be erected; drafting force of Bureau of Yards and Docks preparing plans for a hospital corpsmen’s school, contagious ward, officers’ quarters and a ward for six officers.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:6. Taxpayer favors gift to college.
Shall we let the State College grace out 1400-acre park, or shall we save it for future generations? According to general opinions which credit this old world with having existed anywhere from millions of years to only a meager 6,000 years, there is not the least evidence that this portion of land, for which an election is to be held, has ever been inhabited or used by anything save jackrabbits, coyotes, sage brush, greasewood and cactus — excepting the few months during the recent war — since the beginning of time. Shall we save it for posterity?
Up to the year 1902 there were very few, if any, improvements in any part of our park, and had it not been for the exposition spirit that got hold of San Diego, it is hard to visualize just how much improvements we would have had there today. Those of us who have lived here during that time remember the cry that was raised against having the exposition in the park. There was a fight on, many saying the buildings would destroy the “natural beauty” of the park.
Today San Diego is proud of the result of having defeated that opposition and points with pride to its results.
We have a bonded indebtedness of $1,800,000 for park improvement and Cabrillo bridge. Many private subscriptions have helped to build up other parts of the park, and with only these partly improved sections of our 1400-acre park, it cost the taxpayers of San Diego more than $339,000 last year.
When the little cyclone struck one corner of our park last winter, if my memory served me right, the park board asked for $30,000 to repair the damage, and was told there were no funds.
When our beautiful Civic auditorium burned down, it was left for months, an unsightly blot, at the very entrance of our park, because the city had no funds to clear way the debris, until finally the women’s clubs of this city came to the rescue.
How much would it really cost the taxpayers to improve and maintain the greater portion of the still unimproved park?
Does the newcomer inquire as to our tax rate? Is he interested in the educational facilities? We have a population of 140,000. We have our water question. Why should we burden ourselves and posterity by trying to maintain a park acreage second to any city in the United States? Why not let the state help us improve and maintain at least 125 acres of it?
Central Park, in New York City, has only 600 acres with its millions of people.
The cry is, we are going to have 1,000,000 people here sometime in the future. Granted we may, how are we going to known our park will not be crowded? There is a way by which we can get a fairly good idea. Say we have 140,000 people here now. Take one of our popular holidays — any one where the people are most likely to visit our park — drive or walk through all the highways and byways of improved sections, count or estimate the number of people there, multiply by eight, and I venture to say you will still have all the quietude and seclusion you will care for.
How many know that we have 36 parks? Good business advice is, “Do not place all your eggs in one basket.” This also is true if we have a mind to serve the greatest good to the greatest number.
These parks are in different parts of the city. That unsightly canyon at your back door may be only a city park.
Why not improve these parks, so that each section of our city could enjoy its own recreational center?
San Diego has much “natural beauty” surrounding it. Too much. Is it the improved parts or unimproved sections of our park that attract our tourists?
Voters, bear in mind that the part of the 1400-acre park that you are asked to let the state put a college on, and improve for us, is in the northeast section, east of the car line, between two canyons and has no improvements on it whatever except a few eucalyptus trees at the north. Ride out Park Boulevard and take a look at it, then vote to let the state improve it for you.
Mary C. Bleifuss.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:7 Will Rogers brakeman says:
Dick Wick Hall’s Gas Station, Today — Special.
Over in San Diego, California, they are pulling an election to decide whether 122 acres of Balboa Park shall be given to the state.
Of course, we know it is a clever publicity stunt to crowd Aimee, Hall-Mills and Marie off the front page.
Everyone all over the county loves Balboa Park and knows that San Diego would never vote away this land; but you have to hand it to these people — they know how to keep their city before the public.
The Brakeman of Will Rogers’ Train.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:7. San Diegan says students’ autos would fill park.
Editor: If there is anything I can do to keep the state college out of Balboa Park, I am going to do it. The chief holler, as near as I can dope it out, of the people who are backing this move, is that if the college is put further out, they as parents would be put to greater expense to send their children to it. As a matter of fact, only two percent of those who are graduated from high school go to the state college, which is a very small percentage, and half of them do not finish state college by any means.
Furthermore, if the college is put in the park, it will only be a short time before a great deal of space which would be given over to park purposes will be given over to parking space. A count of the automobiles outside the high school today shows that there are between 600 and y000 cars parked there daily. Around the state college today the streets are taken up with automobiles of the students, for three or four blocks on either side of the college, with no room for anyone who has business for a short time in the college to get in a machine for a few minutes. Overrun your park with the automobiles of college students, constantly coming and going. Add to that the already large number of automobiles of San Diego citizens who use the park for traveling back and forth to business and you will soon have a park which will be unsafe for old people and children who find their greatest pleasure in the park, or even for the spryest pedestrians. No city in the United States has sufficient park space and this city is growing to the point now where it will have to be looking around for more parks for the future. Again, I say I think it would be a crime to allow a college or any other institution to go into that park. I would take away some of those already there if I could.
- D. Nesmith
3501 Park Boulevard.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:8. Citizen opposes donation of site because of size.
Editor: In reference to this discussion of giving away part of our park to the state, I hope the intelligent people of this city will not allow their minds to be clouded by this widespread discussion as to the relative values of recreation or education in a park. That is not the issue.
The issue that each voter must settle within his own consciousness next Tuesday is shall I give away $1,000,000 worth of land, that has been sacredly dedicated to park purposes and held by us in trust for future generations, who will need it much more than we do, or shall I wait and allow some generous benefactor to present the State College with all the land it needs for present and future expansion? Several such offers have been made.
The man who counts five cents fare, or the time spent in transit, or only sees college units of 125 acres in size in a community growing like this, has no vision fulfilling the requirements of the future. This city will furnish a background of 1,000,000 people before the present generation has forgotten his contest. This is an age of greater and greater units in every activity of life. When did Oxford, Harvard or Yale cease to expand? When will they ever cease to expand? Will they be limited to 125 acres and then “building another college?” I dare say, never, never. Greater and greater size is what builds for prestige and power in educational matters as well as in commerce. Greatness of size if the spirit of this age.
When we think of convenience and accessibility along, we forget the very essence of the psychology that governs and directs the judgment of all great educators, when selecting a location for an educational institution of collegiate proportions. The governing principle has always been, and should be, to select a site somewhat in retirement, where there is quietude, certain isolation, so the mind of the student can have the opportunity to more deeply concentrate on the subject matter before him, so he may be freed from the distracting influences that necessarily inhibit his concentration, and at the same time secure the distinctive factors that help to create a healthful, permanent “college atmosphere.” This cannot be secured within a park or a bustling city. Proper college location requires a large area of land, more or less set off to itself, surrounded by exclusive grounds, that makes the collegian feel that they are his own, and given proper privacy by ornamentation.
Our state college, to be in general harmony with the architecture prevalent in this, our wonderful southland, and to be in harmony with our year-round balmy climate must have buildings that spread over space, rather than several stories high, like where land can’t be had at any price. Our college, therefore, should have several hundred acres and should not be confined to 125 acres, one-half of which is in a canyon.
It is through size, beauty, harmony and distinctive atmosphere that any institution derives is pulling power, not whether you can get to it for five cents or seven and one-half cents. Let us, therefore, accept from a benefactor gratis much land and faithfully retain in trust the little area belonging to our future generations in the park. This is the greatest good to the greatest number.
Henry W. Hand, M. D.
2201 Logan Avenue.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1-2. City Attorney Higgins says $1,000,000 tract might go later as “school acreage.”
If San Diego votes to set aside a part of Balboa Park as a State College site, is there any assurance that the state will use the grounds for that purpose and would it not be possible for the state to later sell the park acres as “school lands” that are not needed?
This question was put to City Attorney Higgins yesterday. He replied that it is a grave question and one on which he would not feel inclined to give an opinion unless the matter is referred to him by the council for thorough investigation.
The ordinance does not in any way pledge the state to commence work at any time, nor to spend any sum of money in buildings. It merely sets forth that the city of San Diego shall “set aside and grant to the State of California as a site for and for the use of the State Teachers College to be used for school and educational purposes” the land in question.
In former elections where the conveyance of park lands was submitted, the ordinance simply authorized the council to make such conveyances, the terms of the deed to be fixed later. In the present case, the vote of the electors, if favorable, would “set aside and grant.” It is an altogether unusual proceeding in San Diego.
Therefore, even many of those who believe the college should be placed in the park are doubtful if they will vote for it because of the wording of the ordinance. They feel that San Diego should have some concrete assurance that the state means business and will in reasonable time build and forever maintain a fine college, before $1,000,000 worth of fine park lands are given away.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1-2. Minneapolis man declares city parks are a necessity.
Balboa Park should be retained intact for two reasons especially, a communication from Theodore Wirth, superintendent of parks at Minneapolis, Minnesota, informed the “Save the Park Committee” yesterday.
“Parks are acquired for the specific purpose which they continue to serve,” said Wirth. “To divert them or even a part of them to other uses — although also in the public service — means that faith is broken with the people who furnish the parks so that they might become available for park and playground purposes.
“No definite interpretation of the meaning of the work ‘park’ nor any change of law nor any vote of the people can eliminate that sound objection and conclusion. Why should anyone in the future wish to donate or pay assessments on any park or playground project if they are later to be diverted to other purposes.
“If it was deemed necessary and desirable when Balboa Park was acquired years ago to provide a park for San Diego, it is certainly still more desirable and necessary to retain it as such now and for the future, as the city has grown and will continue to grow. Parks in the center of a large city have their own particular great value which can hardly be overestimated.”
“Credit for the creation and development of a fine park and boulevard system in San Diego,” said Wirth, “is due to three principal factors. First, to the many natural features and advantages with which the city is blessed; second, to the foresight, courage and determination of the officials who preserve and develop these advantages, and last but not least, to the progressive spirit of the people.
“Unjustified and misdirected criticism always has been and always will be one of the unpleasant sides that come in overflowing measures to all officials in public service,” said Wirth. “You must not deter in the planning and execution of necessary improvements in park properties because such improvements alone will make possible the service for which they were acquired.
“Parks, playgrounds and boulevards are great factors in building an attractive and healthy city, and all observant people who give community life and welfare careful study and thought come to the right conclusion that they are an absolute necessity and not a luxury, as so many people wrongfully call them.
“Those who are intrusted with the building of a park system, commissioners and officials alike, should be able to see ahead of others what is to be, but were we to wait with the execution of very important projects until all other less informed people could view them as we do, most things would never be done. You must, therefore, act, unmindful of censure, and be content with the public’s approval once the security of Balboa Park is assured.”
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:3. Favors donation of college site.
Editor: Yes, that is just what the common and patriotic citizenry of San Diego propose doing. A few of our mossback and bluebloods of the aristocracy would leave the undeveloped portion of the park to sagebrush and jack rabbits until redeemed by a future generation, or burden the general masses now with extra and unwarranted taxation for the sweet will of our limited population of wealth and leisure. That is the real situation in a nutshell. The old dog in the manger spirit is just the reason our city is not already several times its present size.
Whenever the Spreckels people or others in the past have sought and encouraged manufacturing and jobbing interests here, the old geranium brigade have celebrated the defeat thereof. And now these monopolistic patriots would have us believe dedication of a state college site in the park would assure appropriation of the balance to hospitals, etc. Like the cuttle fish that inks the water when frightened that it may escape in the darkness, so these people would now becloud the real issue at stake.
What finer setting and greater asset could we desire or expect than a higher institution of learning in the park? Besides being economically situated for rich and poor alike, no greater and more inviting ad is available to the solicited and much desired growth of our city, as distinguished from its isolated location in the country.
Any person visiting abroad, not endowed with more money than sense, would not think of passing up old Oxford, while in England, nor the universities of Heidelberg and Leipzig, when visiting in Germany, and, likewise, the Sorbonne in Paris. In time, likewise, with our college in the park instead of the country, it will always be an asset instead of a liability.
But of vital consideration and importance should be the fact that our tax fund is now inadequate for park purposes, and with further pressing and needed improvement only through aid of the college deal can we avoid early and greatly increased city taxation.
Frederick D. Culver.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:3. Citizen declares college plan is impracticable.
Editor: I am against the college in Balboa Park. This giving away of public lands is a common mistake that we all make in drawing conclusions based upon what we see before us. Very few of us have the vision to look 10 or 15 years in advance and accurately picture what the necessities are going to be, particularly for a city. If this reasoning is correct, let us imagine that in 15 years San Diego will be a city of 300,000 people. It is, of course, useless to say that we will need more park than we now have for such a large city. If any of it is given away or disposed of in any manner, there is not possible means of getting it back or acquiring more.
Now keep that idea well in mind, and then let us assume that in 15 years the college has a student body of 5,000. The space allocated to them in Balboa Park would be hopelessly inadequate. How could they possibly expand?
Thus, from both angles, if these premises are correct, the idea is an impossible one. A more practical and close-up picture may make a greater appeal if the people thoroughly understand that they are called upon to give away free over $1,000,000 worth of property and then issue bonds for another $500,000 in order to buy a school property from the state they do not want and cannot use.
I am impressed with the idea that if these two outstanding facts are thoroughly understood that no further argument is necessary for the people of San Diego not only to decline to give any part of the park to this purpose but to forever set it down as a principle that not one inch of that park will be given to anybody for anything.
Colonel Charles M. Tobin,
- S. A., Retired.
November 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:3. Edward F. Sample warns San Diego park no place for school.
Editor: Balboa Park is not the place for the future State College which San Diego hopes to have. There is hardly more room for it in the park today than in its present place. While the state, no doubt, would do something toward keeping up the grounds, it would not make the appropriations sufficient to do so in keeping with the other improvements which have already been made in our park. San Diegans many consider that San Diego as a city is of enough importance to the state that she should be considered generously by the state officials in the matter of assisting her to beautify her park through the medium of the State College, but I would remind the citizens who are urging this park site for the college that San Diego is only a small part of the state of California and all other sections have institutions, educational and otherwise, for which they would gain appropriations from the state’s coffers, bringing every ounce of influence to bear for the particular project they have in mind.
I think all arguments with regard to whether the state will or will not beautify this section, that the park is no place for the college, especially as there is plenty of room in other sections of the city for ample college room, where the contingencies for many years to come may be taken care of.
Edward P. Sample.
November 19, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Tuesday’s Test.
Will Rogers, noted for his ability to be funny and still make sense, gave the people of San Diego a rather valuable “tip” when he spoke last winter at the American Legion Lyceum. Mr. Rogers had just been given a trip around the city by an enthusiast who was able to explain to him just how the Nolen city plan proposed to safeguard the city’s typical beauties and preserve them for the future. The gum-chewing, rope-throwing philosopher was enthusiastic about the plan, in his quiet way, but when he got up on the platform and faced his San Diego audience, he told them the straight truth about the Nolen plan.
“The plan is wonderful,” he said, in effect, “but it won’t apply itself. You must do the work of making it stick, or it won’t do you a nickel’s worth of good. Everybody is “for” it now — but you wait. Pretty soon someone will come along and propose just this little variation, or just that little exception, and then the test will come.”
The Nolen plan, as everybody knows, visions Balboa Park as the unique and glorious beauty spot which entranced Mr. Nolen when he came here — as it has pleased and astonished thousands of other visitors. It is now proposed to modify this vision by lopping off 120 or the 140 acres still susceptible of development. This is “the one little variation, the one little exception,” which we are asked to consider at the election next Tuesday.
Will Rogers was right. The issue doesn’t test the Nolen plan, but it does test the citizens on whom the usefulness of the plan depends.
San Diego Union, November 19, 1926. Encanto citizen opposes cession of park lands; outlying districts will be against moving college to proposed park site.
San Diegans need have no fears of losing any part of Balboa Park to State College. That message was brought to the “Save the Park” Committee yesterday by Bruce R. Stannard of Encanto, who said that Encanto would vote 10 to 1 on November 23 against moving the college into the park. All outlying districts are interested in keeping the park free for recreation, Stannard told the Committee.
“All the outlying districts should vote against moving the college into the park,” Stannard said. “They are far enough away to get a general perspective and a proper appreciation of the value of the park. Citizens of these communities see the park just often enough to appreciate its value and want to continue it for its present purposes. This is one case where we can both eat the cake and have it, by developing the park as a recreational area and the college for education elsewhere.”
A statement from the “Save the Park” Committee yesterday pointed out that should the voters on next Tuesday decided to give away 120 acres of park lands to the state, there is no assurance that the land would be utilized or beautified.
The statement pointed out that the state has not provided sufficient funds for the State College authorities to beautify the grounds of the present site. This condition, they said, would reasonably be expected to continue should the college be moved into the park.
In a letter to the Committee yesterday, H. G. Sloane pointed out that the citizens of San Diego would have no control whatever over the northeast corner of the park should it be given to the State College.
“According to the ruling of our supreme court,” Sloane said, “the state can help itself to whatever additional land it wants, by vote of the legislature, and without consulting the will of San Diego.
“If we indicate by our vote now that 120 acres subtracted from our park is of no consequence to use, the legislature may infer that the loss of additional acreage will not be distasteful to use later.”
- J. Duhig, a recent comer to San Diego, told the Committee that “the sacrifice of a portion of the park area would be sorely regretted but could never be corrected.
“San Diego, if she only knows it, has a city park that is destined to rank high among the beauty spots of America. Why cripple its possibilities by reducing its area? It will be needed as the city grows and becomes more congested, as it is bound to do, and the citizens of tomorrow will not thank you of today if you barter their birthright for a mess of pottage.
“Your city — our city I might almost say — has commercial, industrial and marine resources that insure rapid and permanent growth. In addition to these, it has an almost perfect climate that has a strong appeal to visitors from states where more rigorous conditions prevail.
“If a check could be had on these visitors today, their number would, perhaps, surprise you. This class of business is bound to grow immensely and is an asset of major importance. These visitors, as well as home people, will find a strong attraction in the greater Balboa Park of the future. It does not seem possible that the progressive citizens of San Diego will take a backward stop by voting away any portion of the park area.”
November 19, 1926, San Diego Union. Citizen pleads retain park land.
Editor: Balboa Park is to San Diego what Golden Gate Park is to San Francisco, only more so, in view of its proximity to the city. One of its countless charms is its easy access.
It we expect to grow (and who is there that does not thoroughly believe in that thought), the park is none too large. In fact, I for one believe our generosity in the past as to hospitals, schools, and so forth, was a real mistake, made in good faith, but a mistake just the same.
To save the park for the people of San Diego rather than for colleges and hospitals and what not, is a real, honest and desirable as our hope for a greater San Diego.
Herbert A. Croghan.
November 21, 1926, San Diego Union, A-1. EDITORIAL: When in Doubt, Vote “No”
We know that San Diego needs Balboa Park — that it could not dispense with any part of the present Balboa Park development without becoming less attractive as a city. We know, too, that the chances are than San Diego’s need of broad park lawns, Balboa’s beautiful buildings and groves of trees, will increase as the city grows larger. Certainly the city will never need less park development that it has now. Just as certainly, the overwhelming probability is that it will need more.
These facts and these reasonable probabilities we know. We need not guess at them. They are obvious. We know them.
We know that San Diego needs Balboa Park, and that its need for this playground on hills will certainly increase, rather than decrease.
On the other hand, we do not know that the State of California needs any part of Balboa Park area for any purpose whatsoever. Although the resolution calling Tuesday’s election infers the contrary, the State of California has not in any manner, official or unofficial, “expressed a desire” for a slice of our city park. Neither the state nor the administration of the San Diego State Teachers’ College has ever intimated to the people of San Diego that there was any need to apportion a part of the park for State College purposes.
As a matter of fact, when possible new sites for the college were discussed last year with members of the State Board of Control, one board member expressly asserted that the State would not even consider accepting a site about which any municipal controversy might center.
In the face of these facts, we are asked to deed to the State of California 120 acres of the 140 acres which still remain undeveloped and capable of development in Balboa Park. We are asked to destroy the margin of the park’s possible future growth — to limit the parked area for all time to its present size.
We know that San Diego needs this park — that the greater San Diego will need a greater Balboa Park.
We do not know that the State needs this park. The chances are that, in view of legal considerations, the State wouldn’t accept a slice of the park if we decided to give it. The whole matter of the State’s possible need of the park site; its probable use of it; possible conflicts of municipal and state authority therein — indeed, the very fitness of this park tract for college purposes — all this is controversial matter deeply shrouded in doubt.
Shall we be guided by our knowledge or by our guesswork, when we go to the polls next Tuesday? That reduced to its lowest terms, is the question which the park-site proposal presents.
We credit sponsors of the park site with all sincerity, but we insist that they have utterly failed to prove their case. They have failed even to show that the State wants the park site — let alone that it requires it. Their argument is eloquent, but doubtful.
As long as doubt exists, given your Balboa Park the benefit of it. Vote “No.”
November 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:1. Letter from George W. Marston.
Declaring there is urged need for a public recreation center in the park on the site which it is proposed to give to the State College, George W. Marston, member of the Park Board, has written to The Union opposing the plan to grant his land to the state. Mr. Marston many years ago, at his own expense, brought John Nolen, noted city planner, to San Diego and engaged him to lay out a plan for the development of Balboa Park. He also had a landscape architect draw plans for the beautification of the present State College grounds. In addition to being a leader in the development of Balboa Park, Mr. Marston is also a trustee of Pomona College, which, with an enrollment of 750 students, has just increased its site to 400 acres, with a view to future development. His letter is as follows:
In the course of twenty five years I have seen the west half of Balboa Park transformed from a wild condition to its present high state of cultivation and beauty. This great change has been wrought for the most part in only fifteen years.
If a city of 50,000 population could raise the funds to develop a full half of Balboa Park, is it unreasonable to expect that a city of 150,000 can in the next five years work a similar transformation on the east side? It will really require less than half as much money for the remaining half because much foundation work has already been done in the way of engineering, road construction, water mains and planting.
Just as the stage when the city is approaching the time when it can afford to complete the whole park it is proposed to give away to the state one of its choicest areas. Over a year ago the Park Board engaged John Nolen to lay out a design for its treatment. Mr. Nolen’s plan is already in the hands of the commissioners and can be seen at their office by any persons interested. It is not a landscape treatment; it is designed as a recreational field and includes baseball grounds, hand ball and tennis courts, places and facilities for all kinds of sports and games. One of its features is a great swimming pool, a free bathing and swimming place for all children of the city. There are also picnic grounds, children’s garden and parade center.
San Diego is one of the most deficient in the country in respect to its provision for public playgrounds. Progressive cities have recognized that playgrounds make for the physical and moral welfare of children and youth. Such a playground as might be built on this ground would be of inestimable value to the thousands of homes in the north and east park district. The state can acquire another site for the college as good or better than this one, but if this land is surrendered I question whether the city could every get anything to compare with what it now owns. Why should be needlessly sacrifice this opportunity for having a great free, beautiful playground for the children of our city” There is serious need for it even now. Golden Hill playground is limited to a small area between canyons; the high school is asking for more ground for athletics and everywhere there is complaint of too little space. Why give away the one ample and suitable field that the city has received from the farseeing and wise men who set it aside for such purposes nearly sixty years ago?
There is comparatively little level land in Balboa Park and most of it is already occupied by exposition buildings, schools, hospitals, street car tracks, etc., or is under landscape cultivation, particularly on the west side. There are perhaps 150 acres of fairly level land left that can be used for building or for recreation purposes. One half of this, or more, is in the tract wanted by the advocates of the college in the park. It is, in fact, the only piece of land left in the park that is suitable for a great recreation field such as the city needs. I am unequivocally opposed to alienating this land for any other use, however good such use may be in itself. The northeast corner of the park was dedicated by the people of the city and the state legislature for its exclusive public use as a park and place for recreation. This proposed grant of 122 acres for the state college is a serious attack on the integrity of the park.
November 21, 1926, San Diego Union. Kate O. Sessions’ plan to save Balboa Park; tells of fight to beauty land.
Interesting facts concerning the development of Balboa Park are given by Miss Kate O. Sessions, San Diego pioneer and leader in horticultural circles, in the course of a letter outlining her reasons for opposing the plan to put State College in Balboa Park.
“The first planting done in Balboa Park was by a group of women who spent about $500 in planting trees along the west side of the park from Date to Laurel Streets,” writes Miss Sessions. “The Ladies Annex of the Chamber of Commerce was the official title of the association.
“The next planting, I did in the northwest 10 acres of the park as rental for the land while occupying it with my nursery for 12 years.
“About 1899, Mrs. Mary B. Coulston came to San Diego from New York City. She was an experienced writer, having been connected with the best horticultural journal of the United States, maintained by Professor Charles S. Sargent of Harvard. For one year, she wrote articles for our local newspapers explaining the use of parks, their values and assets for city, and these letters were a real education and incentive to our citizens. Then followed in 1910, the intelligent development of the park under the able landscape architect Samuel Parsons, New York City’s general park superintendent. We all know how generous Miss Ellen Scripps has been to our park, and these few facts prove women’s initiative in the development of the park.
“If every voter Tuesday will protect the best interests of the park and also the best interests of the college, the vote “no” will give success.
“The best interests of the college demand other locations than the park. The argument that the real estate interests are purely selfish for one of the six offered sites, and that the street car owners will make more money, are very foolish reasons and not to be considered, for street car companies make lowest rates for students.
“But why not anticipate that in a few years our grandchildren will be flying to this college from all over these inland southern counties and an airport field will be needed like the level acres of Linda Vista! Dr. Hardy says that one half of the students now attend by their own autos.
“The future growth of our city should be the foremost thought in planning for the college, as well as the park or parks. In my lifetime I have seen Golden Gate Park in San Francisco grow out of waste sand dunes and windswept shores. I have seen our state university moved from the very center of the Oakland village to the hayfields and barren and rocky hills of Berkeley, with two small buildings, and have seen it grow to its present capacity and fine development. Certainly our college and our park have the opportunity and conditions to develop faster in the next 25 years than Golden Gate Park and our University of California in the past 40 years.
“How grateful we should be to E. W. Morse for his fine vision when he was the first person to suggest to the city fathers of San Diego, there at Old Town, that these 1400 acres should be preserved for park areas for the possible great future of San Diego. And also to A. E. Horton who saved and planted that bit of his 160-acre purchase, in front of the first hotel, the Horton House, now the U. S. Grant Hotel.
“Every loyal San Diego voter should vote ‘No’ Tuesday.”
November 21, 1916, San Diego Union, 4:7. George W. Wood requests slice of Balboa Park for auto yard.
Since it was suggested that what is left of Balboa Park be given free of charge to the State College, the “rush is on” and parts of the park are being sought for various purposes.
Not long ago a real estate man wanted to buy a couple of hundred acres, later a hospital association wanted a site for a hospital, and now comes George W. Wood, who wants to lease part of the big park for an auto parking place.
The idea seems to prevail that San Diego no longer needs its park and that “first come, first served.” Wood’s application to the Council, filed yesterday, follows:
In connection with the establishment of the State College in Balboa Park, which proposition is to be voted upon next Tuesday, I beg to state:
That in case such vote is carried and the college is to be located in the park, I hereby make application to your honorable body for 10 acres of park space adjacent to said college grounds for the purpose of establishing there an automobile parking space.
I would like a long-term lease and will build and maintain a thoroughly first-class auto park, and will, of course, expect to pay a reasonable rent as provided by your honorable body for said space.
George W. Wood.
November 21, 1926, San Diego Union. Henry Burr, Realtor, says chop size of park and delight city’s competition.
Editor: The question as to whether San Diego gives away part of her park is fully included in the question whether it shall take a backward step at this, the most promising period of its progression, for, as such as the sun shines above, to do so would be a backward step and one that will be far-reaching in its effect. It is not a mere passing affair, but one that determines whether the voters of this city will be so far unmindful of its present prosperity as to put a permanent flaw in the priceless jewel that adorns the brightest star in the municipal firmament.
The very size of Balboa Park is one of San Diego’s greatest assets. Any city can have a beautiful park, but what other city has a 1400-acre park in its center, where a million people could surround and enjoy it? This park, on account of its size, is known of and talked of throughout the nation, wherever people travel, wherever people are thinking of or are looking for the best place to live. It is known by the boosters of Florida, is recognized as a trump card by all the progressive cities of southern California and looked upon with envious eyes by them all.
While San Diego is a young giant with head up and pressing forward, it must not be forgotten there are other young giants also in the race who would be glad to see it break and stumble. Don’t you forget there are. If it were put to the voters of Santa Monica, of Long Beach, of Pasadena, or Miami and Palm Beach, if you please, whether San Diego should cut down the side of the park, don’t you know it would be unanimously in the affirmative, and that because it would diminish the greatest drawing card San Diego has today? Are you, Mr. Voter, going to stand flatfooted for the city that is your home, or are you going to do what its rivals want you to do? That is the question.
For if such a thing is done, the action will be hailed with joy, not only by rival cities of California, but will be received exultantly on the plains of Texas, along the bayous of the Gulf of Mexico and across the Everglades to the roaring east coast of Florida.
The citizens of this community may spend $50,000 to make known the advantages of their beloved city, but it will take hundreds of thousands to overcome the handicap if the park is divided.
I hear you say it will save our taxes to give away part of the park. While I do not concede it, I think the answer complete that to cut down the park is to nick the present or subsequent value of every piece of property in the city.
The writer has carried a real estate broker’s license in California and Illinois for the last five years and has studied the city from both sides of the fence, and as to what its assets really are, and, while it has many, the greatest of these is the big Balboa Park. This is the one outstanding capital feature that you can absolutely prove to the prospective resident no other southern California city has. Other cities can vie and contend with you as to climate, as to sea coast, as to location, and the countless other things, as to desirability; but when it comes to the size and grandeur of the big Balboa Park their mouths are closed.
Are you, Mr. Voter, going to turn your back on your own fair city’s greatest asset, and let them, your rivals, open theirs? Are you willing to put this weapon in the hands of rival cities? I don’t believe you will.
During off and on residence in the city for many years, I have met a great number of visitors and invariably the first thing in the city they want to see is the big Balboa Park. You have all had the same experience, but if you cut down this park, it will be heralded far and wide; it will be learned in the east, talked of in trains, exploited by rival cities, and in many ways will be brought to the mind of the newcomer to the Golden State, that San Diego with all its beauty and its comeliness, has misstepped and dimmed her crowning virtue.
San Diego is the white spot on the commercial map of the United States today. It is well in the lead, and as it comes down to the home stretch far ahead of her rivals, at this critical period in the race, is it possible that her own citizens will do anything that will, in any way, diminish her chance for the coveted first place? Only by the counting of the ballots can the writer be so convinced.
2927 Fourth Street
November 21, 1926, San Diego Union. See also letters by John P. Mills, president John P. Mills Organization, Inc. and Judge C. H. Andrews urging vote against college in park.
November 21, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:6. Letter from Ed L. Head showing how San Francisco profits with famous gardens through barring area to school.
Editor: Having been born in California and having lived here more than 60 years, I have seen the wonderful growth of our state along educational and other lines.
I remember the time when the University of California was located at Berkeley. There was a strong agitation to have it located in San Francisco, where the center of population was, so that it would be convenient to the pupils who would attend it. After a full investigation by the director of regents of the university, it was decided that it was best not locate it in the city, but to chose a site away from the noises and contacts of a big city.
So the university was located over in the foothills of Berkeley, six miles from Oakland. Time has shown that the judgment was correct.
At the time that Senator Leland Stanford was formulating a plant for the erection of the great Leland Stanford, Jr. University, I heard him say that all colleges should be located away from the thickly-settled areas of the cities. He purchased 7,500 acres of land in San Mateo County, 30 miles from San Francisco, and today one of the most beautiful colleges in the world occupies that site.
I have had a somewhat similar experience as to the location of schools in public parks. In 1898, I was a member of the Board of Education of San Francisco. We had the Polytechnic High School located downtown in the business district. The grounds and buildings became too small for the increased attendance so the Board was compelled to seek another location for it. Golden Gate Park was in about the same degree of cultivation as Balboa Park is today, about one-half of it was in use. Our Board thought that if we could obtain 40 acres of the park, it would be an ideal location and we could get the ground free on which to build a new high school.
A meeting was arranged with the Park Board, of which W. W. Stow, chief counsel of Southern Pacific, was president. Adolph B. Spreckels, brother of the late John D. Spreckels, and William Metson, prominent attorney, were other members. I told the Park Board what the School Board wanted and Stow, speaking for the Park Board, said Golden Gate Park had been set aside as a heritage for the citizens of San Diego of today and tomorrow, and, because of this, the Park Board would not grant one foot of the ground for non-park purposes. He said that while the city was then unable to improve all the park, the day would come when all the land would be needed and used by people. Recognizing the validity of Stow’s argument, the School Board purchased a site outside the park.
This summer I drove through Golden Gate Park and saw thousands of boys and girls and men and women enjoying the beauties of an improved and an intact park and I thought how mistaken the School Board had been in wanting to take the land away for a school.
Now, voters of San Diego, let us not tray and take away any of the land or our beautiful Balboa Park. It was dedicated as a park for the benefit of people today and tomorrow. Let us keep that trust sacred and, in years to come, you will be proud of having stopped those who would take our heritage from us.
The State College should be located away from the bustle and noise of the San Diego that is to be. We must look forward to a city of 500,000 residents who will need every acre of ground in Balboa Park for their recreation and pleasure.
The State of California has not asked us for a site in Balboa Park and we have no assurance that, even if we given them the site, the college will be built on it. State institutions are not built at once, but by units based on the appropriations they receive every two years from the Legislature. It would be years before your State College would be completed.
I was a legislator from this county from 1920 to 1921 and I know how appropriations are made. I have seen other gifts of land to the state which never improved despite agreements to do so.
If you believe in a greater San Diego, protect your beautiful Balboa Park by voting “No” Tuesday.
Ed L. Head
4233 University Avenue.
November 21, 1926, San Diego Union. Letter from Leland Stanford urging San Diegans to beautify Balboa Park with a college in it.
Editor: Until now I’ve avoided speaking on the issue involving the State College and Balboa Park. I’ve tried to extract the truth from the bits of colorful propaganda that at times have been used to disgrace both sides of the controversy. It is only a matter of months since I would my way through one of the great universities of this state, so, perhaps, I have the student’s viewpoint. Furthermore, except for my college days, I have lived the last 20 years of my life in San Diego. My home and school training have instilled in me a great love for his part and for the greatness that is to come. Here is my view of the present situation,
To me the greatest reason for placing the college in Balboa Park is the utter weakness of the arguments printed and shouted against it. I thought for a time that the slogan “Save the Park” certainly must have been behind it more than that stupid emotional appeal that led ancient mobs in frenzied madness to abandon reason, to poison a Socrates, to crucify a Christ, and to burn at the stake a Giordano Bruno. Today I doubt it. The thing that turns me in favor of placing the college in the park is the plain lack of common sense for which I listened in vain in the arguments of those who opposed it. There is too much emotion and sob stuff — to few ideas.
Save the park? Well, who says destroy it? The plan that I have heard is this: Keep the park, develop it, beautify it, make it into a great garden spot not confined to a few Saturday afternoon paper-scattering picnickers; but put great buildings in it where the books and songs and paintings of the masters may be made available seven mornings, afternoons and evenings a week to the hordes of San Diego citizens who appreciate such things. Around these buildings, place lawns, flowers, trees. Make it a park, not a loitering ground. Make it a seven-days-a-week park. Don’t confine its usefulness to Saturday and Sunday, make it work 365 days a year for youth and for ambitious manhood and womanhood. That is what I have heard about the college in the park. IT steals the thunder of the propaganda tosser. It says keep the park. Yes! But keep it seven days a week for usefulness, for beauty, for instruction.
I’m a bit familiar with three universities, Stanford, the University of Illinois and the University of California. Take the first mentioned, for example. Stanford University campus is the “park” of Palo Alto, and not only of Palo Alto, but of the heavily congested peninsula, for 30 miles in either direction. There picnickers come, there beauty seekers come, there great athletes and their worshippers come (recreation, if you please), there mighty intellects come. Some one says: Here is the wonderful chapel with its many hundreds of thousands in mosaics and murals; here is the room where William Herbert Carruth wrote and lived his poems; here is the auditorium where David Starr Jordan helped to mold the lives of two generations of Stanford students. Forget the students who have gone there! The Stanford campus has been the inspiration of uncounted thousands who have found it at once a park, a playground, a panorama — a modern pantheon of culture and things worth while. The same could be true of a college in our park. Save the park? Of course, save it. But don’t enslave it with mere chains or auto campers, bridle paths and concrete driveways. Have these, but make them the band of a ring with a diamond setting.
Opponents of this view have attempted to point out the future. They are poor seers. They shout: “San Diego will grow!” But where will it grow. Anyone knows that San Diego will never houses many more people within five miles of Balboa Park than it does today. Our city will grow in Pacific Beach, La Jolla, the Linda Vista mesa and Torrey Pines. We shall grow toward Lemon Grove and Grossmont — toward Imperial Beach and Chula Vista. And will mothers seek their children on such long journeys to reach the park? And just to play for a couple of hours? Julius Caesar was the first great park builder that the world has known. That genius who overcame the Nervii, saw that the nerves of his own city-burdened people of Rome would have to be quieted and calmed. He did it. With one park? Of course not. With 20. They were all over the city. In places where boys and girls and tired businessmen and women could congregate within a few minutes, take a breath of fresh air and a glimpse of nature, and be again at their tasks. Why don’t some of our energetic “park savers” see into the future as sensible persons must — see that we must have a number of parks — and themselves donate some of the land for additional park grounds in outlying districts where they honestly will be needed in another 20 or 10 years. Well, the answer to that point should be investigated. In the presence of their future, others would be glad to do it.
Does the same logic apply to a college site? No, because non one expects to have a score of colleges and universities scattered around the town It follows then, that the one we do have should be in a central location, such as Balboa Park.
First, for the great night school and extension division classes the college must be convenient. If it serves the people it cannot be in the outskirts. The city will grow, but the park will always be centrally located.
Personally, I worked my way through seven years of college and I know what it means to have a job. It makes the difference between going to college and having to drop out. An outlying college increases distances between classroom and job and denies education to many who really are the ones who deserve it. Balboa Park eliminates that fault.
College work demands close touch with public records, with public libraries, with public men. At a conservative estimate, it would take $?,000,000 more to equip a college on the outer edges of the city than to equip it in the present park, where so much already has been collected for study, and where there is such easy access to the very best that the whole city affords.
It’s the old conclusion: Put the college in the park because it is better for the park. Park the college in the park.
Leland G. Stanford.
November 22, 1926, San Diego Union. Lincoln Rogers, architect, says State might fail to build on site.
Editor: We are on the even of an election and yet thousands of San Diegans have been misled into the belief that the State of California has asked us officially or unofficially for a large grant of land in Balboa park upon which the State desires to establish a college.
The State of California has made no such request of San Diegans for acreage for a college site in Balboa Park.
The above being true, when the election is over and the ballots are counted, we shall wake up on Wednesday morning and simply ascertain one of two things, whether we have deeded 125 acres of Balboa Park away or have decided to keep it. The election will decide that, in fact, and nothing more. Imagine our chagrin should we find the State in possession of our gift and have it later decided to establish the college on some other site more suitable to the future growth of the city and college.
The city is now pressing hard onto 200,000 population. What paradoxical situation has been brought about by less than three percent of this number in engineering an election, the result of which will merely give away 125 acres of Balboa Park or keep it?
Don’t vote to give away park land merely with the hope that the State will build the college there for that may never happen and you would be in a similar situation to the man who locked the stable door after the horse was stolen.
The people who ask the great mass of common people to give away their recreation ground say you don’t need this great breathing space as all you have to do is to get into your automobiles and go into the back country, the mountains or the seashore for your recreation. What about the 50 to 60 percent of the common people that do not have automobiles? Let the people who are urging you to vote to give the park away accuse the wealthy, who are well-supplied with automobiles and can motor anywhere, of sinister motives in fighting to retain the park when their act will assure the common people, for all time, an adequate recreation center. The shoe seems to be on the wrong foot.
Fellow citizens, heed the warning that comes to us so fresh from Los Angeles. A citizens’ committee there, composed of D. F. Gairy, Lucius K. Chase and Shannon Crandell, has just finished a comprehensive survey of the park facilities for recreation and play. This report shows that due to the recent rapid growth, “the city is not now up to normal in park facilities and that there should be at least twice as much park acreage devoted to public recreation and play.” The report shows that “immediately more land must be set aside for parks, playgrounds and recreation in order to promote the health and well being of the people.”
Balboa Park was established and dedicated to the people as a park by its far-seeing founders. When, as a new and separate project, we hold the power to select an appropriate an adequate college site, let us not think of ourselves and our generation, but let us try to be as far-seeing and wise in the performance of that duty as were the founders of Balboa Park.
November 22, 1926, San Diego Union. Donation will bar tract’s use until another election; lack of room for expansion seen as “strangulation” for college on proposed location; “Save the Park” Committee declares no assurance of beautification of grounds.
Should State College be placed in Balboa Park, when it reaches the limit of development of 125 acres, it then would be physically unable to expand, since the rest of the park is devoted to other purposes or is unsuitable for college buildings. This was pointed out yesterday in a statement from the “Save the Park” Committee.
“If a site other than the park is selected,” the Committee said, “the selection will be made with a view to future expansion. A college must be placed where it can grow, it cannot move around with the same ease that a small grocery or a householder can. To put the college in the park would strangle its growth.
“The modern practice of colleges is to go for their sites to outlying districts. A college in a congested district has many disadvantages. It must contend against noise, congested traffic, business encroachments, attractions which make studying difficult, lack of space for car parking, and many other handicaps.
“Students, graduates and educators agree that one of the most important benefits of a college education is the college spirit and campus life which the student absorbs under proper conditions. In order to foster this spirit, colleges are moving away from central locations.
“As a college moves, the dormitories, the boarding houses, the restaurants and the industries in which students engage to enable them to work their way through college follow the college.
“If the state refuses to accept the site, it cannot be used for any further park purposes without another vote of the people throughout the state.
“The slowness with which the state has developed the present college site gives little hope that in the new site it would provide the beautiful buildings and grounds the proponents of the ordinance claim.
“The park would be a ‘central location’ only for those students whose homes are near the park. For students living in other sections of the city, it would be inconvenient and costly.
“As the city expands, the park site will become increasingly inconvenient to all but those living near it.
“It is wrong to vote away for the benefit of a few students or of a small number of property owners or businessmen a place of ground which should be used for the benefit of all the people of San Diego.”
The Committee said that what the proponents of the college in the park are asking the voters to do Tuesday is to give away $1,255,000 for which no one has asked, the people will later be asked to vote bonds to the sum of about $500,000 to purchase the present site. This, it was shown, will be reflected in higher taxes, which can be avoided by having the college placed on some free site which will cost the taxpayers nothing.
November 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:3. Clara L. Pfister, pioneer property holder, opposed to college site in park.
Editor: In reference to the present controversy on giving away a portion of Balboa Park to the State of California for college purposes, permit me to state a few facts about this section of the city. For 39 years my family has owned property four blocks north of Balboa Park. We wish to go on record as being most emphatically opposed to voting any more of the park away for any purpose whatsoever.
Along about 1898, when a normal school was scheduled for southern California, several sessions of the state legislature worked hard for an appropriation. A real estate company donated 16 acres of ground and the foundation of their college. The late Judge Guy, a member of the legislature, who was successful in getting a bill passed for $35,000 for the central section and $15,000 for maintenance for one year, delivered the dedication address and told of the difficulty he had in getting that much. The wings and other buildings were added later.
This section suffered severely from collapse of boom, business depression and water shortage, particularly the latter. After the city purchased the old dilapidated Cuyamaca Company and replaced the stove pipe and wooden sieve mains with cast iron one, this section began to build up rapidly.
Hospitals are unfortunately a necessity, but I don’t think a park is the proper place for them. The people are beginning to realize the mistake they made voting away the cream of the park. I was opposed to the Roosevelt School because it is surrounded by canyons and the children from the north will have to go through them. The proposed site in Balboa Park is mostly canyon or surrounded by canyons. If the State College is inadequate, there is plenty of room on the south side of the school to erect two buildings as large as the present one and still have plenty of room without touching the large campus in the rear. It is a beautiful location, four nice wide streets and car lines pass the building. Why not stay there and accept one of the six sites for future use?
The State is exceedingly economical when it comes to appropriating money for southern California.
The people who want high class lectures and musicals can bet them by joining some of the various clubs. There are plenty of amusement resorts that pay heavy taxes to carry on their business and [there is} no necessity for any more idle auditoriums and stadiums. Better rent these and make the interest on the bonds. Neither the College nor the State have requested park land, so why all this agitation and wasting of taxpayers’ money? Tourists come here to escape the cold and severe climate, not to see skyscrapers and educational institutions. They have plenty of them.
A well kept geranium hedge, in its proper place, is all right and excites admiration and wonder to tourists coming from a land of snow and ice to sunshine and flowers. People that are in a rush to have the northeast corner of the park improved, let them adopt the Nolen plan and get up a drive for funds as we old timers and so-called “mossbacks” did in 1911, The nursery is full of trees. We do not own any land in either of the six proposed sites. Pacific Beach has always been a college town, and there is plenty of available land there that would make an idea site. We don’t belong to factions of any sort and have not seen any of the slush fund that has been written about. We believe in letting the park grow with the town and indorse the Nolen plan of leaving it as natural as possible. If we have the area of London, we may get the population and need every inch of our park.
Balboa Park is the city’s chief asset, and is the people’s playground, and we wish to see it kept for park purposes only and have amusements for all classes of people. Dispose of all the public playgrounds on city blocks and use funds therefrom to establish one large municipal playground in the park for the children.
This will benefit children from all sections of the city and help reduce the expense of taxpayers; maintaining so many small parks.
Clara L. Pfister.
November 12, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:4-5. Mrs. A. O. Younkin, San Diego pioneer woman, pleads with voters to save Balboa Park.
Editor: I am writing this letter in the hope that some of the new citizens who favor giving away part of Balboa Park for a college site may understand, perhaps, the vigorous opposition which we older citizens have given to their project. I am 91 years old, with not many more years to give to my city, but I am hoping that when I pass on, the park for which I have worked and which I love will not have been encroached upon any further.
For 30 years I have worked for Balboa Park, through the Chamber of Commerce and, in later years, with the Floral Association. In rain and shine I have attended the various activities which have been given in the park for the enjoyment of the public.
Take away this park and you take away from us that which helps to make the road smoother, the dreams brighter, the memories sweeter. The little neighborhood parks, that some of the college site backers mention so glibly, cannot take the place of the big park. They are merely breathing spots in the midst of the hurry of business.
To many of us the recreations and amusements furnished by a kindly city are all the amusement we get, because it is given to use without cost, and many old people could have no amusement at all if it had to be paid for because they could not afford it. Take away our chance for this recreation and you condemn us to lead colorless, uninteresting lives in our closing years.
Thirty years ago I was one of the loyal women of San Diego who planted trees at Sixth and Laurel Streets, a spot which the people of San Diego today find so beautiful and to which they point so proudly. We did not in those days believe in sitting back and criticizing our park board for its shortcomings. We got out and helped our park board. I was one of the members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, with Mrs. Gilman P. Smith and Miss Francis Bagby, a cousin of Miss Ellen Scripps, and Miss Kate Sessions. The spot where we planted the trees was opposite the old Sefton home. Mrs. Sefton did not like to look at the bare grounds of Balboa Park on the western side.
Instead, however, of trying to give her part away to some other community or faction or governmental body, she cooperated with her city to help make that which she wished beautiful to be beautiful. She sent her son, Joseph Sefton, to help us plant the trees. The spirit of helpfulness might well be shown by those citizens who now object to the bare acres of the northeaster section of Balboa Park.
Leave us old people our park. Let us have the happiness of knowing as our feet walk slower and slower, that the work of establishing a beautiful part for posterity is not to step where it was started, but that the newer generation will take up and continue the work until the entire park is a thing of beauty.
Mrs. A. O. Younkin
November 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:2. Park furnishes place for rest.
Who needs and uses the park most? Is it not those who do not have automobiles or opportunity for out-of-doors? Those who live in flats, apartments and tenements, without yards or gardens? The tourists who are searching for the beauty spots of the city? The children who lack opportunity to otherwise enjoy nature’s playground of tress and flowers? Those who need a quiet hour of retreat from the noise and stress of city life? Seventy percent of sickness in the city originates from tired and jagged-out nerves, whereby the body becomes unable to resist germs or to throw off poison.
Is it not cheaper for a city to prevent rather than to minister to sickness? Should not a city furnish all opportunity possible for all sections to have relief from the great nervous strain and physical breakdown which comes from crowded city life?
The people who cannot afford automobiles or travel or membership in golf clubs have little opportunity for change of environment, except through the parks. The wealthy class do not make such use of parks because they have private gardens and walks and their own country homes. Those of the wealthy class who strive for more parts do so, not for themselves, but to give such advantages to all the people and to make the city attractive. Let us not be deceived by those who only call names without making logical arguments. They attempt to appeal to prejudice and passion only when they talk of “plutocrats” and “geranium growers.” They endeavor, thereby, to mislead the people to act against their own interests.
Wherever you go, the first thing you hear said about San Diego is: “You certainly have the finest park system in the country.” Would you now give away that fine park which extends in all directions sufficiently to accommodate the entire city with its future growth?
Any other place where a State College may be placed will increase property values and add to the assessed valuation of the city, thereby decreasing your taxes. That advantage would be entirely lost by giving away the park site. Place the State College in any of these other sites offered, but keep the park for the use of all of the people.
November 23, 1926, San Diego Union,. Reader advises hit park site proposal hard.
Editor: Portland, Oregon laid out a solid tier of plaza blocks through the heart of the west side from north to south and later cut it in two by selling eight or ten blocks. And today it would take many millions to correct the evident blunder. It will, therefore, never be done.
A million population in San Diego in 1940 with no more than 1400 acres of park is equivalent to a 280-acre park. The child is now living who will see 2,000,000 here, even though it will take 100 years, and a population of 2,000,000 with no more than a 1400-acre park is equivalent to a 140-acre park with our present population. If the people want to confess publicly and widely to the world that they do not think San Diego is ever to be much of a city, then they are “hanging up the fiddle and the bow”; and that all their future plans are alike to be narrow and ill-considered, let them begin giving their park away. It is unthinkable that the people of San Diego are to suffer the inauguration of such a narrow and city-destroying policy. But there is danger that this futile attempt may not be sufficiently rebuked. My advice to San Diego is to turn over with the same determination of Lincoln when he once witnessed the sale of a slave from the auction block, resolved, now that he had the opportunity, to hit this attempt, to “hit it hard,” as the great emancipator said. Don’t be satisfied by merely defeating the attempt. Fire a short of civic pride that, too, “will be heard around the world.” If will be the best advertising San Diego will get in the next 10 years. The leading papers of all America are going to give the results of tomorrow’s decision. If it be a weak vote, it will be “shame for the indolent set,” if a landslide, a mass vote, if you please, those same papers will say to their readers: “The industrious, intelligent, forward-looking, forward-driving citizens of San Diego are resolved on a great city, and it invites you to become one of its citizens. It is resolved to give its children and yours something besides bonded indebtedness.” It’s to be a city of schools and churches, libraries, beautiful homes and parks for yourselves and children.”
“In every place where humans toil, in every dream and plan, the laughter of the children shapes the destiny of man.”
Fifty years ago the writer was in Los Angeles. It had a population, as I recall, of between 7,000 and 8,000. How is it today? Marvelous! And I have heard startling experiences of other men in other cities. The dream is yours, and to be realized right here in this beautiful city by the sea in one of the finest climates on one of the finest harbors, in a land of rich soil, boundless resources and charming scenery.
Now, whose counsel are you to follow at the polls, that of the well-meaning but callow youth, who looks at his feet instead of at the stars, as he will do later, or that of men and women of mature years, wide experience, travel and observation, who, along with the President of the National Scientific Association of Horticulturists, say, “Always keep your park inviolable?” Let your vote carry the glad tidings to the hundred and thousands of strangers who have visited your city in the past, one of whose cherished remembrances if of Balboa Park, who having seen it once, will see it ever. Don’t plain them by marring a cherished memory by showing yourselves a bunch of stay-at-homes, when your glorious name is at stake to the end of the earth. Get out, and get the other fellow out! Don’t be content with just signing a remonstrance. It is your duty as a good citizen to register to vote a hearty, lasting world-telling disapproval. A great American general, a man of spotless character, once said: “Duty is the sublimest word in the English language.” If you don’t vote hard, the world will think you are a sordid lot of dollar-chasers, who missed a glorious opportunity to get your city talked about all over the world. . . . Vote to tell the world it needn’t be afraid to come to San Diego; that here heart is a big as her park, and that all good people will find a cordial welcome in both.
W J Peddicord.
November 23, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:1. Last call made upon San Diego to protect park; only 139 acres of land left for improvement, Committee says.
Climaxing its campaign to “Save Balboa Park,” the “Save the Park” Committee issued a statement last night to the effect that assurances had been received from many quarters that the proposal to put State College in Balboa Park would be defeated today by a landslide vote.
A last-minute appeal was made by the Committee to all persons interested in saving the park against further encroachments, to vote, in order to indicate by an almost unanimous refusal by the people to give away parts of the park, that no such attempt would be successful.
With reference to the assertion that the location of State College in the park would serve to beautify it and to make education easily accessible to young people, the Committee pointed out the following factors:
“For more than two decades efforts have been made to get the state to beautify State College. To date these have been unsuccessful, and, in places, the State College grounds are as barren as at the beginning.
“Instead of beautifying Balboa Park, the college would bring hundreds of automobiles into a congested area, which would make for increased traffic accidents. Between January 1 and November 1 this year 36 people were killed and 886 injured in San Diego, it is reported. These deaths and injuries would not be diminished by increased hazards in the center of the city.
“Many people think that large areas of flat land in Balboa Park still are available for improvement, but this is erroneous, one member pointed out. The populated district of the city serves
approximately 28,000 acres, he said. Park land, exclusive of canyon (this item includes the small outlying parks) covers 2,000 acres, and, in all this, land available for recreation totals only 130 acres.
“Why give away irrevocably our one undeveloped piece of land already valued at $1,225,000, which John Nolen has planned as a recreation center, the Committee asked. The Park Commission and all right-thinking people realize its necessity for the safety, health and well-grounded development of our children.
“Many local civic organizations have been reported to the Committee as opposed to the State College going into the park. Joseph P. O’Toole, president of the Golden Hill Taxpayers’ Association, brought to the Committee’s attention last night the fact that the body went on record two months ago as unanimously opposed to the college in the park.”
The point of view of John Nolen, famous city planner of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was brought out again yesterday when a statement from him made in San Diego several months ago was read.
(The Nolen statement can be found in The San Diego Union, February 6, 1926.)
The San Diego Women’s Civic Center added support to the opposition of the college in the park with the following resolution:
“Whereas the recent unprecedented growth of San Diego is assurance that a college of university scope will be required within a few years to meet the demand of this part of the state, and
“Whereas the available space in Balboa Park would limit a growth of such an educational situation and would deprive the city of much-needed park area, therefore be it
“Resolved by the executive board of the San Diego Women’s Civic Center in regular meeting assented that this Board opposes the section of the park for the site of the proposed State Teachers’ College.”
From an economic point of view, the Committee urged upon voters to consider the unnecessary waste of land and money which would be involved should the college be allowed to move into the park. Several other sites are available, it was pointed out, any one of which is offered (no cost to the taxpayers), and each would provide more land than ever would be available in Balboa Park.
Opposed to this, it was stated that should the college be allowed to move into the park, it will take forever land now worth $1,225,000, rob the city of its last available recreation site, and place a continuing mortgage on each citizen in the form of increased taxation to purchase the present college site.
The best interests of both education and recreation will be gained if the college is developed elsewhere than in Balboa Park, and the Committee urges all voters to vote to keep the park intact for posterity.
November 23, 1926. Election to give away 125 acres of Balboa Park for site of State College
Yes 6,562 City Clerk’s Tabulation Yes 6,562
No 15,640 No 15,628
November 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:1. Park land donation beaten; citizens overwhelm proposal; people register disapproval of measure by 2 to 1; 17 precincts for plan; set new counting record.
November 24, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:4. Annual union Thanksgiving Service, sponsored by San Diego Ministerial Association, will be held at Organ Pavilion Thursday morning, beginning at 10:30 o’clock.
November 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:6-7, 3:5-6. Mayor announces plan to establish memorial for John D. Spreckels; chimes for California Tower in Balboa Park suggested; estimated cost is from $30,000 to $50,000.
November 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Now Keep the Park
The overwhelming victory of save-the-park sentiment in last Tuesday’s election makes Balboa Park fairly sure from invasion. The people of the city can be fairly sure that from now on the efforts to use park lands for other institutions and interests will fail. A hurtful precedent of the past has been destroyed, and a better precedent established. However, the people can also be sure that there will be future attempts to appropriate park property; and although it has been demonstrated that a strong sentiment can be aroused to oppose any scheme of the kind, the park would be safer if some organized and permanent safeguard were in existence to protect it.
The park board may, of course, be counted upon to resist any attempts of the kind that has just failed, but the park board is not equipped to carry on a protective campaign. It should be able to call upon some citizens’ protective organization, ready at any time to take up the work of arousing this save-the-park sentiment whenever it becomes necessary to muster a vote at the polls.
The development of our park, like the orderly development of the city under the Nolen plan, demands an increasing vigilance against the schemes of exploiters and the campaign of busy bodies with pet hobbies. Balboa Park is for the people. The Nolen plan is for the people. Neither will have its full value, or anything like its full value, if it is plastered up with exceptions made to suit individuals or single-track minorities.
Much good might be done by a permanent park protective association, and our successful Save Your Park Committee might well be the nucleus of such an organization.
November 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 15:1. Advisory board will consider college sites.
November 26, 1926, San Diego Union, 5:3. Three thousand San Diegans give thanks in union service; churches join in Balboa Park meeting; Reverend Atkinson delivers sermon.
November 27, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:1-2. City-County building architectural contest considered.
November 29, 1926, San Diego Union, 11:4-5. Colorful pageant in Balboa Park shows march of Congregational churches to “Plymouth of Pacific” yesterday afternoon at Organ Pavilion on 40th anniversary of the founding of the First Congregational Church of San Diego.
November 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:5. City Council indorses plan to honor John D. Spreckels.
November 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:1-6. People to vote on site of new combined city-county building.
November 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:7. College board offered new 125-acre site in the northeast corner of Talmadge Park.
November 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:1. City will place tablet honoring Balboa Park founders; solons eulogize trustees who set aside land; archives show that Board authorized establishment of reserve in 1868.
November 30, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:5, December 4, 1926, 12:1-2 and December 9, 1926, 16:8. Plan to honor John D. Spreckels with chimes in California Tower.
December, 1926, California Garden, Vol. 18, No. 6, p. 9. San Diego Parks, by John G. Morley.
The controversy in regard to the placing of the State College in Balboa Park has at last been settled by the decisive result of the election held on November 23rd, by a majority of two and one-half to one against further encroachments. The people of the city are to be congratulated for their loyalty, which we hope has settled forever the existing area of Balboa Park.
The topography of Balboa Park with its diversity of elevation and contour lends itself to many types of improvement on the hills, in the canyons and on the mesas, with a wide divergence in the character of the planting and recreational facilities. The former exposition grounds, containing the California and Fine Arts buildings now devoted to a Scientific Library and Archaeological Museum; the Natural History Museum, containing many of the finest collections on the Pacific Coast; the Botanical Building and Conservatory, with their large and varied collection of exotic plants; the Bridges Art Gallery, where many rare paintings and works of art are on exhibition, and the extensive Zoological Gardens, containing the largest and best collection of animals, birds and reptiles in the West, are several of the main features provided for the enjoyment of our citizens.
Progress in the continued development of Balboa Park as well as the other parks of the city as funds are available is the constant aim of the Board of Park Commissioners. About eighteen months ago, the Board engaged the services of Mr. John Nolen to make a new plan of Balboa Park on a comprehensive scale, not only in the landscape treatment, but also in the laying out of extensive recreational fields to provide baseball diamonds, tennis courts, bowling greens, roque courts, large swimming pool, children’s playground and picnic grounds, and a large and modern municipal clubhouse building equipped with the best of indoor recreational facilities, with a large auditorium where interesting programs may be given for the enjoyment of our citizens. There will be a series of bridle paths for those who enjoy horseback riding; the golf links, and other features that will tend to make Balboa Park a wonderful place for out-of-door enjoyment in the early part of 1927.
December 1, 1926, San Diego Union, 8:5. Celebration of the 150th birthday anniversary of the nation officially ended today with a deficit of more than $5,200,000 for the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition; Exposition opened May 31; it covered 1,000 acres; cost the city of Philadelphia $17,000,000, exclusive of $3,000,000 subscribed by business concerns and individuals; during the six months of the fair approximately 4,800,000 paid admissions were taken in at the gate, less than one-third as many as Exposition officials had expected.
December 4, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:1-2 and December 9, 1926, 16:8. Citizens’ Committee approves chimes for Spreckels’ memorial; fund of $50,000 will be necessary; to be installed in California Tower; P. E. Darnall, treasurer of Memorial Committee.
December 5, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:1. San Diego Zoo gets three new polar bears.
December 5, 1926, San Diego Union, 4:1-4. Lincoln Rogers’ drawings of $65,000 banking house to be erected at 5th and University in Hillcrest; will be a replica of Security Commercial & Savings Bank building at 5th and E Streets.
December 6, 1926, San Diego Union, 9:5-6. San Diego Boy Scouts to hold largest Court of Honor in Council history at Indian Village Friday night.
December 9, 1916, San Diego Union, 16:3. Big evergreen tree in Balboa Park at 6th and Laurel Streets will serve the City of San Diego as the “tree of light” this year.
December 12, 1926, San Diego Union, Development, 14:3-5. Recent offer of Roy C. Lichty, business manage of Talmadge Park, to donate 120 acres for a state college attracts interest to northeastern part of city.
December 13, 1926, San Diego Union, 1:8, 3:5-6. Nolen plan to develop Balboa Park complete; City Board will study map today; project calls for beautification of every foot of area; network of roads and recreation grounds.
Members of the San Diego park commission will be called together at 3 o’clock this afternoon in the board rooms at Balboa Park to see the special Balboa Park plan worked out by City Planner John Nolen. The study, which has just been received here from the planner’s office in Cambridge, Mass., is an elaborate and exhaustive plan for the best possible development of every foot of the park, and is the result of many months of study, both locally by engineers who have prepared the topographical and existing conditions maps, and in Boston, where the ultimate development has been worked out.
The study contemplates the development of Balboa Park as a whole, working the proposed projects in such a way as to take advantage of what has already been done and at the same time to make the whole plan ______ and unified. All of the various purposes of park development have been taken into consideration; recreation for both children and adults; roadways, both for utility and to make the most of Balboa Park’s rare scenic opportunities; bridle paths, picnic grounds, lawns, and the planting of the whole area, so as to make the most of the beauty and the diversity of the plant and tree life in this region.
Of special interest is the plan for the development of that level field which was proposed as a possible site for a new state college campus, the only remaining available place of level ground in the park. On it Nolen has located a series of volley ball courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, roque courts, a bowling green, a swimming pool, a wading pool in the center of a special play area for children, a football field surrounded by a quarter-mile track, two large baseball grounds, and two practice diamonds, so arranged that four games can be played simultaneously. One of the baseball fields is located in the center of a large oval parade ground, which is encircled by a roadway for the use of automobiles. A picnic ground is located in another part of the area, and at the edge of the park, along Upas Street, is an area set aside for the parking of automobiles. A series of lawns and garden plantings is designed to make this section one of the prettiest and most attractive recreation areas in the country.
In working out what he conceives to be the ultimate destiny of Balboa Park, Nolen has made very effort to obviate what he has considered the main drawbacks. Untraversed by through highways, the park has served to divide the city into several sections, which could be reached only by going around the park. In connection with his studies of the whole of San Diego in the development of his city plan, he has laid out a series of highways that would best serve the kinds of traffic called upon to traverse the park in any direction, as well as roadways serving to make the park areas accessible to the people the whole park is intended to serve.
Pershing Drive, a highway already used to capacity, is doubled in width in the proposed plan. With a center parking, the drive would become two parallel one-way roads serving the same area and purposes it now serves, but with a much greater capacity. The much needed and equally demanded truck highway would be provided up the bottom of Switzer Canyon, from Twenty-second Street on the south to Florida Street on the north. This road would not interfere with any of the other thoroughfares in the park or with any of the proposed developments of any of the park areas.
Another important road is located in Dehesa Canyon to the west of the present Twelfth Street pavement that parallels the street car tracks. The Dehesa Canyon road would run from the southwest corner of the park up toward the north, and then swing east between the present Pepper Grove area and the Girl Scout Camp, across Twelfth Street a short distance, above the Naval Hospital grounds, and then over a bridge across Switzer Canyon to join with Pershing Drive. This road would thus, in connection with Laurel Street, provide a way across the park from east to west, where the park is at present impassable.
Two roads, one of which is already partly in existence, are designated as North Boundary and South Boundary roads, and they run east and west along the north and south boundaries respectively of the area set aside for the zoo. The South Boundary road would branch off from Cabrillo Canyon road following the contours upward toward the east, just north of the California Building, the Fine Arts Buildings and other Exposition structures, crossing the Calle Cristobal and Twelfth Street just north of the Yorick Theater and continuing on across Switzer Canyon and the truck thoroughfare to a knoll designated as “Desert Hill,” and then north to a connection with the roads laid out in the recreation area and about the parade ground. This would give another cross-park artery.
The North Boundary road, part of which is already in existence, would run from Cabrillo Canyon road eastward to the Calle Cristobal just at the north edge of the zoo and near the Painted Desert. Other roads, chiefly for scenic purposes and for intercommunication within the park, will connect the new Dehesa Canyon road with the large level aria variously known as Inspiration Point and the old marine camp, another starting from an existing road just about at the 11th green of the golf course and running in a northerly and easterly direction up to Pershing Drive, with a branch connecting with the recreation area, and another running eastward through the Thirtieth Street canyon.
When he was here some months ago, Nolen suggested that the Thirtieth Street canyon should be acquired and added to the park as it is a logical part of the park area, is capable of excellent park treatment in connection with the general plan, and is of little value for other than park purposes. The proposed roadway would run along the bottom of the canyon.
The studies prepared by Nolen include three main maps, one a general plan, one a planting plan, and the third a topographical map showing the engineering problems with which the planner is confronted in the employment of land areas, the building and locating of roads, and the planting. The general study and the particular studies are made by Nolen entirely separate from his general city plan, and are the result of a separate agreement between him and the park commission, the chamber of commerce, and certain public-spirited citizens who are footing the bill jointly. It is developed in much greater detail than the general plan made in connection with the city plan but it includes the city plan featured demanded for the handling and proper routing of traffic to and through the park and other features which make the park an integral part of the city development.
The planting study is a result of long investigation of soil and water conditions, and contemplates the development of the park as a horticultural beauty spot and as a veritable botanical museum of the wild shrubs, flowers and grasses indigenous to this region. Many of these plants grow well with very little water, and are suited to the beautification of canyons and areas which will be left as nearly as possible in their native state. There will, of course, be some beautifully developed lawn and garden areas, such as have already made the developed portions of the park famous all over the world for their grace and beauty.
It is expected that the park commission will get its first view of the plan this afternoon, and will have an opportunity to study its many features at its leisure. The plans submitted are only preliminary studies, and will be subject to the modifications which the commissioners feel that special conditions should dictate. Its main features, however, are expected to be permanent and subject to incorporation in the final plan. The project outlined in the maps and charts prepared by Noel is, of course, too expensive to be realized all at once. It is to be used when complete as a guide for the development of park areas as the money for development becomes available, the judgment of the park commissioners determining which of the various developments shall be undertaken and in what order they shall be completed.
December 14, 1926, San Diego Union, 10:1-6. Commission approves Balboa Park plans; development will be completed as funds are provided for work.
John Nolen’s special plan for the complete development of Balboa Park has been accepted by the board of park commissioners “in principle,” as the diplomats say. After an extended study of the plan yesterday afternoon and a conference with Hale J. Walker, who is an associate of Mr. Nolen, and who brought the plan to San Diego from Cambridge, Mass., the board outlined several changes that are desired before the plan is accepted as final, and gave its approval to the general outline of the plan and the several projects it entails.
Mr. Walker, who will return to Cambridge tonight, will take a report of the board’s requested changes, together with his own ideas of the conditions the changes are designed to correct. He was also requested to make rough estimates of the cost of the various projects included in the whole plan so that the commissioners can work out a development schedule which will enable the board to proceed to put the plan into execution as the funds become available for the work.
“I am confident after a study of this plan, and considering our experience in past work in Balboa Park, that the rest of this development will be about as expensive and twice as easy as what we have already accomplished,” declared Commissioner George W. Marston yesterday afternoon. “I remember when we were starting to develop the west side of the park and were forced to do a lot of blasting to make the hardpan plantable. Friends used to tell men that we were wasting our money and that the park would never amount of anything if we had to blast to plant. But we learned a lot in that work, and the rest of the development will be cheaper and easier.”
“Most of the people will never realize,” said Superintendent Morley, “what a big part black powder played in the making of Balboa Park.”
Emphasis was placed by the commissioners on the fact that the east borders of the park will be developed into lawns and park plantings like those on the west side, so that there will be broad stretches of tree-shaded grass where people may meet and rest and take little children for informal recreation. Knolls and jutting points commanding particularly lovely views of park areas, the city and the bay, will be developed as little observation points with benches and vine-covered pergolas, and there will be many attractive foot paths connecting these vantage points and other spots of interest, while the whole park will be covered with a network of bridle paths for those whose delight is horseback riding.
The main projects naturally came in for the first consideration by the commissioners, and the arteries and park roads, especially their connections with the city streets, seemed to be the most important in many respects. One change suggested was that Pershing Drive, which the plan contemplates making a double road divided by a parked area, should swerve over toward the east as it emerges from the south side of the park, connecting with Twenty-second Street, allowing the proposed truck highway up Switzer Canyon to enter the park at the present Pershing Drive entrance and so avoid a grade crossing with Pershing Drive, as shown by the preliminary study.
The proposed change would be an improvement in other ways, and would give opportunity for a planting and parkway treatment of the space between the two thoroughfare entrances that would make an attractive southern gateway to the park. The doubling of the width of Pershing Drive would, according to the plan, have the up or north bound road and the down or south bound road on separate grades, and each would be 26 feet in width, which is four feet more than the present pavement width on Pershing Drive. The separate grade treatment would be easier and more attractive than simply doubling the present width of the drive on the same grade.
Commissioner E. N. Jones expressed the belief that the proposed south boundary road, that will mark the south boundary of the zoological gardens and will provide an east-west park highway, will be one of the most important projects, if not the most important that the plan contemplates. This road is shown on the accompanying view of the plan as a winding line just above the lower portion of the pointer stick and crossing the stick at about its middle. It will be a pretty, winding, tree-shaded roadway that will be more of a park drive than a thoroughfare, really the first true park drive. One of the changes for which the completed plan will provide is the continuation of the road which now starts in the bottom of Cabrillo Canyon up the west slope of the ravine to a junction with Nutmeg Street at Sixth Street.
The truck driveway, it was agreed, will be an important improvement, but one of the least difficult, as it will follow the canyon from the south end of the park practically all the way to the north end. The problem in connection with that road, said the superintendent, will be to control the rain waters from the north and east part of the city, all of which pour down Switzer Canyon. Uncontrolled, the water would wreck any roadway in the canyon in a very short time.
A part of the plan calling for a roadway along the north edge of the park along Upas Street, which is admittedly an important link I the park communication system, will have to be postponed for some time, the commissioners said, because of the prohibitive cost of a Upas Street bridge. Instead, a contour road will be included in the plan to join the Twelfth Street thoroughfare with the truck road and the other roads with which it connects, the new road to be approximately east of the north end of the zoo.
The general problem of automobile parking came in for plenty of discussion, and it was suggested that the area used either as the camp ground or parade ground by the marines during the Exposition would make an excellent parking place. Another place suggested was the area across the street to the east from the old civic auditorium. Such a place as this, and others located in similar convenient places, could be given a special treatment, suggested Mr. Walker, who pointed out the advantages of separating the automobile parking spaces wherever possible from the plazas or highways by means of hedges, planted areas and trees, so as to avoid the large, flat and decidedly undecorative bare areas. These would be hidden from the casual view and would not be a part of the general pleasing vista.
A request for permission to erect a large flag pole in the park to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the adoption of the flag precipitated discussion as to the best place to locate such a pole.
Walker recommended that if the pole is simple and inexpensive it should be located at the center of some large open space, such as a parade ground. If it is to have a large bronze or stone base, it might be located near some of the architectural developments in the park and be in keeping with them. Two poles in the Plaza de Balboa, the eastern end of the Prado, were suggested as being a suitable and decorative place. A further study will be made before a decision is reached.
Attention was called to the fact that the park board will seek to develop the area north and west of the high school as an athletic practice field. This area is now known to high school students as the “rock pile” and is used for some physical education classes.
Development of the park projects can be carried on in several ways, said the commissioners, who are anxious to know about what the various projects will cost so that they may plan a program in accord with available funds. Walker called their attention to the fact that the truck road and the Pershing Drive projects should be paid for by the city at large, not the park, as both are a part of the general city plan, and as such will not be a logical charge against limited park funds.
CAPTION BENEATH MAP: The preliminary plan for the complete development of Balboa Park, as drawn up by John Nolen, author of San Diego’s city plan, is shown here. The map is in several colors, which distinguish between existing conditions and the plans proposed. Persons familiar with the park, however, will recognize the present roadways and will be able to pick out the through roads which are to be added. The heaviness of the Pershing Drive location indicates how it would be widened. Hale J. Walker, Mr. Nolen’s associate, who brought the plans out here, is shown pointing to the area which was sought as a possible college site. Due to the large size of the map and its necessary reduction here, only the roadways outlining the proposed development of the area can be seen.
December 18, 1926, San Diego Union, 17:5 and December 19, 1926, 15:1-3. Girls Club to sing carols at Balboa Park Sunday afternoon.
December 19, 1926, San Diego Union, 10:1-8. Story of Torrey Pines Park, by Daniel Cleveland.
December 19, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:5-6. Mme. Schumann-Heink plans jubilee, by Corina Wright.
December 19, 1926, San Diego Union, 25:1-3. Christmas music begins today with carol club program at Spreckels organ.
December 22, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 15:2-3. Community Service abandons plan for Christmas tree in Balboa Park; City Council and other civic and commercial bodies have not provided support.
December 25, 1926, San Diego Union, 12:2-3. Nativity tableaux tonight at Organ Pavilion.
December 26, 1926, San Diego Union, Classified, 1:8. John McLaren, superintendent of Golden Gate Park, comments on San Diego and Balboa Park.
December 26, 1926, San Diego Union, Development. 1:1-8. Drawing of San Diego Trust and Savings Bank, which is to occupy northwest corner of 6th and Broadway; designed by William Templeton Johnson in Italian Romanesque style.
Return to Amero Collection.
BALBOA PARK HISTORY
1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 | 1904
1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909
1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914
1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924
1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934
1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944
1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949
1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954
1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959
1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964
1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974
1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984
1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994
1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999