Balboa Park History 1933

January 1, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 5:8. San Diego’s new plunge will be dedicated today.

January 2, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:8, 2:1. Thousands see dedication of park swimming pool; city officials, president of Chamber of Commerce speak; parade, bathing beauties feature day (illus.).

January 2, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 6:5. Edwin H. Lemare, composer, pays tribute to Dr. Stewart.

January 3, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. Balboa Park horseshoe, chess and checker club outgrows name, play room.

January 4, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:1. An appropriation of $3,000 for completing recreational developments in the northeast corner of Balboa Park failed of final passage yesterday when opposed by Mayor Forward and Councilman Bennett but gained enough support to indicate it would pass in its second reading next week.

January 5, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:3. Musicale to honor memory of Dr. Stewart.

January 9, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:3. San Diego’s open-air swimming pool not big enough; at close of day yesterday number of swimmers almost reached 1,000; three times during day dressing room facilities were overtaxed and admissions has to be halted; 761 paid admissions Saturday; Sunday attendance estimated at more than 800.

January 9, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:3. Park Superintendent Morley reports Exposition buildings unsafe.

January 9, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:1. Opening of Natural History Museum set for Saturday afternoon; members to have preview; public to be admitted Sunday.

January 10, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. City Council votes $3,000 work on new playground in northeast corner of Balboa Park; Bennett and Forward opposed.

January 11, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:3. State purchase Cuyamaca rancho for park.

January 13, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:1. Natural History Society to open new museum in park tomorrow.

January 14, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:5. Balboa Park’s organ will continue to peal forth until end of fiscal year as a result of fiscal arrangements worked out yesterday by City Manager Goeddel; Royal A. Brown will be able to continue on the job at his pay of $200 a month until the end of the fiscal year, July 1, provided he can arrange for giving four concerts a week; this is one more concert than he had been giving for the same pay.

January 14, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:1. Museum of Natural History will be dedicated today (illus.).

January 15, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:4, 4:2. $175,000 Natural History Museum home dedicated.

January 16, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7-8. Buildings in Balboa Park falling apart.

January 19, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:5. Alice M. Keys, La Jolla, pleads to safe park buildings.

January 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: An Award.

Every San Diegan will approve the second annual “most useful citizen award” of the San Diego Reality Board — the award of this fine title to George W. Marston.

January 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:3-4, 10:1. Schoolchildren crowd pier as “Old Ironsides” is docked (illus.).

January 28, 1933, San Diego Union, 2:4. Laurence Burdick urges rehabilitation of park buildings.


February 7, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:3. Swimming pool in park will close until May 1; City Council yesterday declined to provide funds for operation; cost is $1,000 a month.

February 18, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:6. Park Board asks that former Exposition buildings be repaired or razed.

February 26, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8, 3:1. Commenting on Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept of “Broadacre City,” Richard Requa declared San Diego is idea for new family acre plan.

February 27, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:1. San Diegans made carnival Saturday night at American Legion’s 6th annual Mardi Gras in the War Memorial Building, Balboa Park.


March 4, 1933. Franklin Delano Roosevelt assumed the office of President of the United States.

March 5, 1933, San Diego Union, 14:1. Coast Artillery regiment camps at Balboa Park; 63rd in City, camped just south of Organ Pavilion; regular Army’s only anti-aircraft regiment west of Mississippi (illus.).

March 5, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2, 2:1. County acquires wonderland; Borrego Park, treasure of wild desert scenic glory (illus.)

March 6, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:4, Training Course will be held at Scouting (Indian) Village for Boy Scout leaders working for the rank of junior assistant scoutmaster Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25.

March 9, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:6-7. Guy L. Fleming, Division of State Parks acting superintendent, commends San Diego Union for article describing Borrego State Park.

March 10, 1933, San Diego Union, 9:1. City Manager Goeddel said should the Reconstruction Finance Corporation decide to distribute funds for recreation improvements in the larger cities, San Diego will be able to use about $200,000.

March 11, 1933, San Diego Union. Quake rips Los Angeles area; 123 dead, 4.150 injured.

March 14, 1933, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Present: Commissioners Buck, Swain and Otto. The City Manager was also present.

Letter from president of Chamber of Commerce enclosing copy of communication from Mrs. Mary B. Style relative to naming east-west road in Balboa Park “Austin Road” or “Austin Drive,” in honor of former mayor Walter W. Austin was taken up from the last meeting. Since the name “The Vallecito,” had been given the road in the Nolen Plan adopted by the Board in 1927, Mr. Otto moved that the suggestion be not approved, the secretary to so notify Mr. Millan, stating then when other roads are opened in Balboa Park, the honor could then be conferred.

Communication was received from the City Attorney giving his opinion that to permit a target range in Balboa Park would not be legal. The secretary was instructed to so advise the Chief of Police.

Letter was received from the City Manager relative to condition of “West Rock” in Indian Village and directing a conference of city and Boy Scout officials for the purpose of agreeing upon a recommendation to the City Manager as to the best procedure in the premises.

The park director, chairman of the conference, reported that the Fire Chief, Mr. Barley of the Boy Scouts, a representative from the Building Inspector’s office and he had met, and upon investigation recommended that the structure be destroyed by fire. The recommendation was concurred in; the City Manager to be so advised.

Letter was received from Mr. P. Nickelsburg asking permission to erect a small stand near the playground at the shuffleboard courts in Balboa Park. Following the policy heretofore established against commercialization of the park, upon motion of Mr. Swain, seconded by Mr. Otto, the request was denied.

Communication was received from Mr. Geo. W. Braden, Western representative of National Recreation Association, relative to emergency survey to ascertain amount of money cities may desire for recreational purposes as part of a program to be presented to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The City Manager explained that he had called upon Mr. Morley and Mr. Kearns for an estimate to cover parks and playgrounds; that the estimate submitted by them of $200,000.00 has been forwarded to Dr. Braden; that a conference between City and County officials was held to arrive at distribution of $292,000.00, reported to have been secured from R. F. C. funds. City officials had presented two major propositions: Repair of Hodges Dam and Restoration of Park Buildings. With the Park Department in mind, he had called upon Mr.

Morley and Mr. Hill from Park Department, Mr. Jorgensen and Mr. Haler of the City Engineer’s Office, to meet with Mr. Rhodes, director of Public Works, to make estimate and recommendation relative to park buildings. Mr. Morley recommended that the conference has recommended razing the San Joaquin and Kern County Buildings and restoration of the other buildings, within the amount of funds which may be available; that request had been made of the

Engineer’s Department for estimate of amount needed to restore the buildings to be left and that same was promised as soon as possible.

Mr. Morley presented finished plans of golf course club house. Upon motion of Mr. Swain, seconded by Mr. Otto, the plans were approved and adopted.

March 17, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:5, 2:2-3. Louis J. Gill, architect, says quake exposes public schools as sepulchers.

March 19, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 4:1. Richard Requa urges quake-resisting buildings here.

March 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:6-7. Marston praises honesty, courage, friendliness of Charles S. Hamilton in tribute to memory of pioneer.

March 22/23, 1933, City of San Diego Inter-departmental communication; from Oscar G. Knecht, Assistant Chief Inspector, to A. V. Goeddel, City Manager; Subject: Balboa Park Building Survey.

(Page 1 dated March 23, 1933 and pages 4 through 5 dated March 22, 1933)


Our survey of the Exposition Buildings in Balboa park is now complete, and we herewith submit our report on same. The procedure of this survey was as follows:

(a.) Inspection of exterior walls, openings, plaster and ornamentation.

(b.) Exterior walls beneath floor level, including mud sills, underpinning, girders and joists.

(c.) General framing, floors, trusses, rafters and roof joists

(d.) Roof, parapets, skylights, drainage, towers, etc.

At present the original six main buildings, known as Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 and their arcades, etc. are a menace to public safety. The staff ornamentation and decoration is loose, broken, deteriorated and in danger of falling. All metal that beneath has rusted away, and patches of plaster fall quite frequently. The interior supporting members of the piers and arches are about gone, having been destroyed by fungus, leaving little save the outer plaster for support. These pilasters and arches are depended upon to support part of the roof and, of course, may fail at any time. Speaking more in detail, the general conditions can be summed up as follows:

Exterior metal lath all rusted away.

Plaster cracked, broken off in patches and a total loss.

All staff ornaments loose and weathered beyond repair.

Exterior walls below main floor level decayed beyond repair.

Floors settled from 2 inches to 4 inches on exterior edges.

Many girders destroyed by fungus.

Many posts destroyed by fungus.

Roofs of all but No. 4 mostly gone. All plaster tile gone.

Most of molds loose and beyond repair from weathering.

Many skylight panes broken and cracked and all need reglazing.

Downspouts clogged and broken

No drainage beneath buildings.

Many wooden footing under water.

Considerable wood and refuse has accumulated beneath floors.

Excepting as above stated, the interior footings, underpinning, flooring and the interior main framing in general appears to be in fair condition.

There is a great deal of sentiment against the wrecking of these buildings, purely from an aesthetic standpoint. The cost of removal and cost of parking the space left is an important item to be considered.

The buildings are a menace to the public welfare at present, and it will cost a huge sum to rehabilitate them. If they are repaired, the question arises, would they be of any great value? They are impossible to heat, no revenue could be derived from them and a large sum would be tied up in the investment.

It then comes to one of two things — they should either be restored or wrecked.

(a.) At any rate the menace of the loose staff ornaments demands the removal of that feature as soon as possible.

(b.) The tower on No. 5 should be removed.

(c.) The tall projections above the parapet walls on all the buildings should be cut off at the level of the parapet.

(d.) The pilasters of the arcades should be repaired at once to take the load off the roof.

(e.) A concrete foundation should be placed under each building.

(f.) The old plaster removed and replaced by good cement plaster.

(g.) The old roofing removed and replaced by tar and gravel compo roofing.

(h.) The skylights should be repaired, panes replaced and reglazed.

(i.) The trusses should all be tightened up.

This work will cost in rough figures as show in the following table:


BUILDING #4 #5 #7 #8 #9 #10

Foundation 5,300 3,700 3,800 5,700 9,200 8,900

Plaster 10,800 9,700 7,600 12,200 12,200 14,500

Roof 2,000 2,100 2,000 3,300 3,900 4,700

Skylight 900 800 900 1,900 2,300 2,500

Arcades 7,600 8,600 5,200 6,800 5,200 4,600

Misc. 500 700 700 800 700 900

TOTAL 27,100 25,600 20,200 30,700 33,500 36,100

GRAND TOTAL — $173,200 plus Staff $83,000 equals $256,200

While all of these buildings can be repaired at approximately the cost shown above, it does not seem fitting at this time and under the present circumstances that such a huge sum should be spend for purely aesthetic reasons. The buildings have no practical value other than to grace the vision of visitors, and with one or two exceptions have never been of any practical purpose since the Exposition, except t house a few studios, and for general storage purposes.

Again, this sum might much better be spent for permanent earthquake resistant buildings which might be of practical use as well as being ornamental. The recent Long Beach disaster has fully demonstrated the fallacy of “JUNK” buildings, and it does not seen logical to maintain the present type of structure for public use.

In view of these conditions, we are of the opinion that:

Building No. 4 – Science & Education Building

Building No. 5 – Russia & Brazil

Building No. 7 – Pan-Pacific, “American Legion”

Building No. 8 – Foreign Arts

Building No. 9 – Canadian

Building No. 10 – Industries

Building No. 16 – San Joaquin

should all be wrecked forthwith.

A shake, such as experienced by Long Beach, may prove disastrous to these buildings. Therefore, we believe no time should be lost in taking some definite action regarding these buildings.

Our detailed findings of the rest of the buildings in the Park to which the public has access show that:

No. 1 – Administration Building – Good condition.

All dirt in contact with wood should be removed so that there will be at least 6 inch


No. 11 – Botanical Building – Fair condition.

Window frames in greenhouse total loss from fungus.

All steel trusses should be sand blasted and painted and window frames replaced.

No. 15a – Girl Scout Headquarters – Good condition.

Much junk under building. Dirt should be cleared away from underpins and junk


No. 15b – Girl Scout Recreation Hall – Good condition.

Porch should be strengthened. Dirt cleaned way from underpins and wood block

footings replaced by concrete blocks.

No. 16 – San Joaquin Building – Total loss.

Underpins, foundation walls all rotted and settled. Roofing gone. Truss columns

6 inches out of plumb. Skylight panes all gone. Plaster and staff work all loose and


Should be wrecked forthwith.

No. 17 – Central School Library – Fair condition.

Should have concrete wall all around. Underpins cleared of dirt. Arcade foundations

replaced with concrete. South and east sides replastered.

No. 20 – Organ Pavilion – 6 inch tile curtain wall in transformer room settled 4 inches. Floor

settled. Plaster broken in many places.

Should be repaired for looks only.

No. 22 – New Mexico Building – Pretty fair condition.

Plaster broken in spots. 6 to 8 foot dirt fill against wood bulkhead has caused wood rot

in many spots.

No. 25 – Floral Association Building – Good condition.

Plaster broken in spots. Roofing cracked on ridge. Tower roof no good.

No. 26 – Canadian Legion Building – Good condition.

Old fish pond should be filled in and concrete floor put in. All plaster tile should be

removed to prevent accidents from falling tile.

Should not be allowed for public assembly.


No. 31 – Zoo Reptile House

Plaster broken and cracked. Staff ornaments loose, Many skylight panes broken.

All panes need reglazing.

No. 33 – Zoo Administration Building

Should be put on concrete foundation. Staff ornaments loose. Several posts and girders

destroyed by fungus. West pilasters infected with fungus.

Damage should be repaired at once.

No. 44 – O’Rourke Institute

Main barracks has several spots of fungus showing which should be removed. Exterior

pilaster cracked and broken in places and holes punched through. Rock walls on top

should be removed or supports strengthened and all broken plaster replaced.

South Pueblo should have a concrete floor and a few infected timbers replaced.

All rest of buildings are mere in fair condition.

West Rock should be destroyed as per previous report.

Japanese Tea House – Good condition.

Zoo Laboratory – Good condition.

Zoo South Office – Good condition.

Golden Hill Golf House – Good condition.

Golden Hill Recreation Center – Good Condition.

Yours truly,

(Signed) Oscar G. Knecht,

Assistant Chief Inspector

March 22, 1933, City of San Diego Inter-Departmental Communication, from A. E. Johnstone, City Electrician, to Oscar G. Knecht, Assistant Chief Inspector; Subject: Inspection of Exposition Buildings, 3 pages.


At your request I have made inspections of the electrical wiring and equipment in the old Exposition Buildings in Balboa Park and submit the following report:

The electrical wiring was installed in 1914 and was of a temporary nature for the Exposition, which was intended for only one year. This wiring was installed, as I recall, under a blanket resolution exempting the Exposition from complying with any City electrical ordinances and from inspection by the City Electrical Department, nor were they asked to comply with the Rules of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. The Electrical Safety Orders of the Industrial Accident Commission of the State of California were not in effect until 1917.

The original wiring in these buildings never did comply with the City Electrical Ordinance of 1912, or later ordinances. These buildings were used for the Exposition for two years and have since been used by various organizations for various purposes, with the result that the original wiring has had extensions, changes and alterations and has been abused, overloaded and left in a worse condition than the original, which was never a safe installation, but the cheapest type that could be installed.

Most of these buildings were wired in open wiring inside the building as well as underneath. Open weatherproof wires carrying 2300 volts (known as high voltage) run under the floor of several buildings on insulators in a wooded box. This dangerous type of wiring is not permitted by the State or National Board of Fire Underwriters.

Cartridge fuses of 2300 volts are installed in a wooden box under a building without a switch at this location, which may cost the life of anyone renewing a blown fuse. This is a violation of the State Electrical Safety Orders.

Exposed open-knife switches, exposed live parts on buss bars, panel boards, switch boards, brass sockets operated or controlled around or over grounded surfaces are some of the dangerous conditions found throughout these old buildings.

Old twisted lamp cord and open receptacles and cord wiring installed and used as extensions are a fire hazard and are used in most of the buildings..

Transformer vaults built in and under buildings and outside against the buildings, are built of wood metal lined and have dirt floors, open knife switches, open fuse blocks. These transformer vaults are very dangerous and a violation of all electrical laws.

A few of the buildings have new wiring installed in conduit, but for the most part the wiring is of the open type.

The service comes into the sub-station in each entrance to the Park at the street car station. The service, a 4000-volt primary line, is brought in from a pole line to transformers and then distributed by two 2300-volt primary lines. One feeder is brought out underground and runs under streets and buildings to transformer vaults and one feeder runs on poles to buildings. Conduits, switch boxes, neutral conductors and non-current-carrying metal parts are not all grounded as required.

The following buildings are all wired in conduit:

No. 2 – Fine Arts

No. 3 – California State

No. 6 – San Diego Art Gallery

No. 7 – American Legion

No. 17 – School Library

No. 20 – Organ

Zoological Hospital

Some of these buildings need repairs, such as changing panel boards to dead front type and bringing transformer vaults up to State Electric Safety Orders. Vaults should have proper ventilation and all secondary wires, fuses and switches should be removed.

I found the electric wiring and equipment very dangerous to life and property and not complying with the City Electrical Ordinances, State Electrical Safety Orders or Rules of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. I, therefore, recommend the following changes in the electric wiring of all the buildings in Balboa Park:

  1. That all wires be installed in conduit.
  2. All switches to be externally operated, enclosed in metal boxes.
  3. All cartridge fuses to be installed in metal boxes, with externally operated switches ahead of

each set of fuses

  1. All fuse panels to be changed to dead front type, enclosed in approved metal boxes.
  2. All conduits, switches, fuse boxes and all neutral conductors to be effectively grounded to a

water pipe.

  1. All 2300 volt wires to be installed in conduit, with lead-covered conductors.
  2. All drop cords to be changed to reinforced type, with sockets of an insulated type over and around grounded surfaces.
  3. All wiring to be brought up to City Ordinances and State Electric Wiring Safety Orders. All

transformer vaults to comply with City Ordinances and Rules of Board of Fire Underwriters.


(Signed) A. E. Johnstone,

City Electrician.

March 26, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. Sciots’ conference at Organ Pavilion this afternoon to aid Parent Teachers Association shoe fund; regular Sunday organ recital by Royal A. Brown will not be given.

March 26, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:5. William Templeton Johnson, local architect, given AIA award for the Mabel Shaw Bridges Music Auditorium at Claremont College.

March 26, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2-3, 7:3-4. George W. Marston tells of huge profits in local real estate; expresses confidence in future.

March 26, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8. Famous Scripps’ paintings to remain in city; all may view Valentien art on California wild flowers; Natural History Museum is new home of collection.


April 8, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:2. Park Director John Morley estimates park, cemetery income; receipts from parks and cemeteries in the 1933-34 fiscal year were estimated at $52,500; $35,000 estimated receipts from golf; $10,000 from refreshment stands; rentals and concessions, $2,000; tennis courts, $750.

April 11, 1933, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Present: Commissioners Buck, Swain and Otto.

Matter of rotating position of organist, as recommended by the Civil Service Commission, was carried over.

Letter was received from City Manager appointing Mr. Vincent LeVesque unofficial Park Guide and Special Policeman; and ordered filed.

Letter was received from City Manager enclosing report, with estimate of cost, on restoration of Buildings; definite report and recommendation of Park Commission and Park Director to be submitted as to which buildings are to be razed and estimate of cost resurfacing the area after buildings are torn down.

After careful consideration of the report of the City Engineer, it was the sense of the Commission that the cost of restoring the buildings, placed in the report at $270,000.00 would be prohibitive at the present time. In view of the urgency of the situation from the standpoint of hazard, and with the statement of the City Engineer that the buildings, when restored, might be expected to stand for another ten to twenty years only, on motion of Mr. Otto, seconded by Mr. Swain, the Commission went on record as recommending that the following buildings be razed and the vacated areas utilized for landscaping and planting:

Building No. 4 – Occupied by Visual Education Department and Arts School

Building No. 5 – Occupied in part by Park Department Refreshment Stand (Russia &


Building No. 7 – Occupied by American Legion

Building No. 8 – Vacant (Foreign Arts)

Building No. 9 – Vacant (Canadian Building)

Building No. 10 – Vacant (County Fair Building)

Building No. 16 – Vacant (San Joaquin Building)

Building No. 17 – Occupied by City Schools Library.

It was advised by the Commission that perspective drawings be made, outlining the possibilities for beautifying the grounds after the buildings are torn down and suggesting a future

building program of permanent construction. Estimate of the cost of resurfacing the vacated areas was left with the Director of Parks.

Copy of letter to City Council from the Manager relative to appropriation for golf club house was received and ordered filed.

Request of committee on National Music Week for cooperation of the Department during Music Week, May 7th to May 14th, as may relate to use of park and park accommodations was approved, subject to supervision of Park Director.

Schedule of green fees for 18-hole golf course, approved by the Manager for 60-day tryout, was ordered filed.

Verbal application for permit for Pony Ride in Balboa Park was, upon motion of Mr. Swain, seconded and carried, denied.

April 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:4. Spring Flower Show in park, April 22.

April 15, 1933, City of San Diego Inter-departmental communication, From Director of Parks to City Manager, Subject; Disposition of Park Buildings.


With reference to your letter of March 30, 1933, enclosing City Engineer’s Report on Balboa Park Exposition Buildings, I laid the matter before the Park Commission at its meeting of April 11, as directed, and quote from the minutes of that meeting as follows”

“After careful consideration of the report of the City Engineer, it was the sense of the Board that the cost of restoration of the buildings, placed in the report at $270,730.00, would be prohibitive at the present time. In view of the urgency of the situation from the standpoint of hazard, and with the statement of the City Engineer that the buildings when restored might be expected to stand for another ten to twenty years only, on motion of Mr. Otto, seconded by Mr. Swain, the Commission went on record as recommending that the following buildings be razed and the vacated areas utilized for landscaping and planting:

“Building No. 4 – occupied by Visual Education Department and Art Academy;

Building No. 5 – occupied in part by Park Department Refreshment Stand;

Building No. 7 – occupied by American Legion;

Building No. 8 – vacant;

Building No. 9 – vacant;

Building No. 10 – vacant;

Building No. 16 – vacant;

Building No. 17 – occupied by City Schools Library.

“It was advised by the Commission that perspection [sic] drawings be made outlining the possibilities for beautifying the grounds after the buildings are down, and suggesting a future building program of permanent construction. Estimate of the cost of resurfacing the vacated areas was left with the Director of Parks.”

It seems that the position taken by the Park Commission is the only possible one in the circumstances and I concur in its recommendation. For your information, I am having perspective drawings made and will submit them to you when ready; and, in the meantime, I would recommend that the City Planning Commission be requested to assign Mr. Allen Perry of that department to assist this office in the work.

Should it be decided to take the buildings down, I would recommend commencing with the San Joaquin Valley Building (No. 16) and Kern and Tulare Counties Building (No. 17) first.

An estimate of the cost of resurfacing and landscaping the entire area to be vacated is roughly placed at $60,000.00; and I recommend that $20,000.00 be placed in the 1933-1934 budget with which to make a beginning.

Report of the City Engineer is returned herewith.

(Signed) J. G. Morley,

Park Director.

April 15, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7, George Otto, Park Commissioner, calls for opinion of citizens regarding disposition of exposition buildings.

April 15, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:4. Park operating increase offset by new revenue; estimate for operating the park system for 1933-34 is $212,052 against $201,493 for the present year.

April 16, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:3. Permanent structures: California Quadrangle, Fine Arts Building, Natural History Museum (illus.)

April 16, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:4-7. Shall famed Balboa Park buildings be razed or destroyed? San Diego must decide.

April 17, 1933, San Diego Union, 2:5-6. San Diego architect John S. Siebert discovers Long Beach building methods were open invitation to earthquake disaster.

April 17, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Is There No Hope?

We realize that the condition of the temporary buildings, already unsafe for use, will not

permit any long delay. We suggest only that their destruction be held up until we can be

absolutely sure there is no chance to save them.

April 17, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:5. Flower display in park affords golden chances.

April 17, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 8:2. Boy Scout camporal set May 19 and 20 at Indian Village; it will be an exposition of patrol camping technique in which each unit will complete against a fixed standard of proficiency, rather than against other participating patrols.

April 17, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:3. Boy Scout leaders will assemble at Indian Village, Wednesday evening, for scouters’ April meeting and training session.

April 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:4-6. Letter from William Templeton Johnson suggesting each building be removed; ground landscaped with retention arcade; plan greater buildings in future; present permanent buildings to become nucleus.

Editor: As a former member of the Park Board for five years and a lover of Balboa Park, I take this opportunity of commenting on Mr. George F. Otto’s letter to The Union, April 15, 1933.

The San Diego Exposition was a beautiful picture created for a day — a year. Bertram Goodhue, designer of the California Building and consulting architect for the Exposition, expressed his desire many times that at the close of the Exposition all the temporary buildings should be razed at once, and the space occupied by them given a parklike treatment.

The grace and beauty of the picture architecture endeared themselves immediately to all the people of San Diego and thousands of visitors. When the post Exposition came to a close in December, 1916, no one wished to have the buildings destroyed, and ever since most of them have been in constant use for cultural purposes of various sorts.

About 10 years ago the temporary structures showed signs of needing extensive repairs if they were to last longer and about $150,000 was spent on underpinning, roofing, replastering, to tide them over for a few more years.

Another 10 years have passed. These buildings of the cheapest construction, with no foundations but wooden mud sills, have borne, thanks to the mild climate, a charmed and charming life. But now their end is near. Roofs leak, piers have rotted, walls are out of plumb, plaster ornaments are in danger of falling. Most of the buildings and arcades have been pronounced unsafe.

It is estimated that to repair the six largest temporary buildings would cost as much as to build two permanent buildings of the size of the new Natural History Museum, and even then they would have but a few more years of usefulness. It really seems that to spend any more money on repairs is poor investment.

What of the future of the exposition group which as been one of our chief assets? The California Building and the buildings about the small square in front of it are permanent structures. The Spreckels Organ is a fixture. Two other buildings are the Fine Arts Gallery, the gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Bridges, and the new Natural History Museum, built by public subscription and by generous donation of Miss Ellen B. Scripps.

These structures form a nucleus of what may be in time a group which will rival in beauty the picturesque architecture of 1915, but built of steel and concrete to last for many years.

The 25-year building program of the Natural History Society contemplates two additional buildings stretching along the north side of the Prado almost to the lily pond, tentative plans for which have already been drawn. The Art Gallery in seven years has increased its collections to such an extent that it is full. Inevitably it will grow with flanking wings extending south on either side of the Plaza de Panama.

From its very form and size, as the center of a composition, the Plaza demands an architectural treatment. Through the generosity of citizens or by public subscription, the day will come when this great square will be flanked by handsome structures of which we shall all be proud.

For the present, if unemployed labor and a little money is available, it might be well to repair the arcades, which would preserve a certain degree of harmony and partly mask the scars left by the demolition of the buildings. Also, a fringe of judicious planting about the areas occupied by former buildings would help materially. The site of the County Fair Building, east of the lily pond, could be set aside as an area for emergency parking.

We have a beautiful picture before us, but is has been evanescent. Let us now look forward toward planning in Balboa Park a group of buildings devoted to the higher things of life in which beauty, durability and utility will go hand in hand.

April 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:4-6. Letter from C. F. Disbrow say the one solution offered is to remove park buildings.

Editor: George F. Otto, park commissioner in yesterday’s morning Union asked for opinions as to disposal of the exposition buildings. I believe there is only one solution and that is to wreck them before they wreck themselves and possibly cause disaster. They are becoming an eyesore where once they were objects of beauty. Remove the buildings and park the areas.

We will be a long time getting used to the change but we all know it must come sooner or later. Much credit is due the buildings for the remarkable way in which these buildings have stood the ravages of time. They have stood longer and given more satisfaction than any other exposition buildings I have ever seen.

April 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:4-6. Letter from Will H. Cameron urging a new city, county center in the park buildings.

Editor: Opportunities of the right kind will present themselves at the proper time.

The fact that legal authorities have appointed a joint fact-find committee to study civic center plans for the city and county of San Diego, and the fact that the long expected condemning of the old exposition buildings finally has come, together with the fact that Commissioner George F. Otto has started through the press an appeal to the citizens of the community as to what to do about our beautiful park gives me reason for presently publicly an idea I have before expressed privately.

I have always felt that when the old exposition buildings were condemned the citizens would be reluctant to see them destroyed without some plan for replacement with permanent buildings of the same architectural design. I believe now that some move will be made to do this, but under present conditions it will not be possible to raise the necessary money either from public funds or by private subscription.

My plan will take care of both the civic center idea and that of making permanent buildings in the park. It is to raise the necessary funds in the most advisable way to rebuild the park structures and make them serve requirements for a civic center. The same architectural design should be retained, which would mean none would be more than two stories, entailing no expense for elevator installation or operation. They could be built in the form of hollow squares, with a large skylight over the center portion of the second floor, which would mean that the buildings would be 100 percent daylight.

The location is idea; the setting would be more beautiful than any other suggested, and, as to being central, no other site so far proposed is more so. As there is plenty of parking space and as all business these days is on wheels it would be just as accessible as anywhere.

We in San Diego must cut our cloth, and I feel that everyone will agree we cannot afford the funds necessary for both a civic center and restoration of the buildings in the park. I know that if it becomes necessary to raze the park buildings, from San Diego and from the United States will be eliminated one of our most beautiful possessions and nothing could be done in landscaping or otherwise that would cause the people to forget the former beauty, which is know the world over.


April 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:4-6. Letters from San Diego Union readers regarding park buildings.

Miles S. Edgerton

Nelson V. Tripp

Donald MacArthur

April 21, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: The Last Service.

We indorse the suggestion put forward by Mr. William Templeton Johnson as the program

of reconstruction in Balboa Park — yet we indorse it with keenest regret.

We believe that Mr. Johnson’s letter to The Union yesterday described the maximum that can be effected in preserving the present aspect of the exposition city in the park. We regret profoundly that this maximum of preservation still entails the destruction of most of those crumbling landmarks. In the opinion of this distinguished architect, only a little of the present beauty can be salvaged.

Necessity seems to demand that most of the buildings must be razed — we cannot but agree with that. Mr. Johnson’s suggestion in detail is that unemployed labor and a little money be devoted to repairing the arcades bordering the roadway and plaza, that the temporary structures be razed, and that the final rebuilding of a city in the park be regarded as an eventual development, to be accomplished over a long course of years.

It is possible, we believe, that the swift new developments in government financing, both national and local, may bring this eventual rebuilding earlier than any present expectation. But we believe the city must reconcile itself to the loss of the present buildings.

We trust that public opinion will stress the work that is immediately possible — the reconstruction of the arcades —, preserving the one practical vestige of the exposition city’s beauty. Along with that, as Mr. Johnson suggests, we should plan for eventual developments.

The most that can be done is little enough, and we regret it. But that should be faithfully and immediately done — our last service to a dream city which now, after many years, must go.

April 21, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. Camera display opens today at Fine Arts Gallery (illus.).

April 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:3. R. W. Olson, Ella Olson urge repair of park buildings.

April 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:4. D. W. Sanders advises tear down park buildings.

April 23, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 4:1. Gardens of flowers in spectacular array at park show (illus.).

April 23, 1933, San Diego Union, 12:4. City Manager Goeddel defends recreation fees; golf and swimming pool activities should be self-supporting; city pays for water used.

April 25, 1933, San Diego Union, II. 3:1-2. Letter from Octavie G. Page pleading for conservation of park’s personality.

Editor: This is a plea to save the unique personality of our park and to save it for strictly recreational and cultural purposes. With the permission of the San Diego Evening Tribune, I am lifting part of my Saturday evening column for this purpose.

The request of George F. Otto, of the Park Board, for expression of opinion regarding the park buildings has not brought the response it should have, mainly for two reasons: one being that the general public is rather in the dark concerning the possible financing of park buildings, and the other is the discouraging hesitancy of so many people to express publicly opinions they nevertheless feel strongly. This I have gathered from talking with them.

In the first place most of them do not know that of the $150,000 spent on repairs 11 years ago, no less than $100,000 was given in private subscription by people who cared that much. Many more are unaware, despite publicity, that the new Natural History Museum was a gift of Miss Ellen B. Scripps.

Very few have given thought to the possibilities of the Woolwine-Maloney racing bill, now awaiting the governor’s signature, which promises a million or more dollars a year to be used for state and county fairs. This may not become a law but, again, may we not look with hope toward the $500,000,000 just appropriated for distribution through the R. F. C.? Especially considering the statement by one of its members (See Friday’s Union) that the corporation “does not make rules governing the administration of funds made available . . . ”

Bertram Goodhue regarded those as temporary buildings. With the modesty of geniuses he could not foresee that they would so win the affection of the San Diego people that they would remain, nor that for 18 years after he planned them they would draw admiring visitors from all over the world. He could not foresee to what extent these buildings were to serve in useful activities in future years when he would no longer be with us, nor that as their replacing fell into other hands than those than planned the exposition, the newer, permanent buildings should consistently decrease in individuality and romantic appeal. Many cities have art galleries, many have museums, but not another city on the face of the earth has such a bewitching jewel of a community conceived by Bertram Goodhue, with that baffling quality of romance that apparently only he could give it.

All the talk of doing away with the older buildings to make way for greater ones is very well, but is that what we have done so far? As originally planned, the whole layout — grounds, shrubbery, buildings — was apprehended as a unit. Every inch of the territory was planned to complement the rest. The planners knew that patios, shaded colonnades and sparkling colored towers are suitable to our landscape and climate. Thus they gave us the vistas of architectural passage and landscaped garden; the broken structural outlines against our unbroken sky; the show-broken surfaces to face our sunlight; the fanciful towers against swaying eucalyptus trees.

Have we, in fact, improved on this? Look for yourself. Look at the new Natural History Museum then look at pictures of the old Southern Counties Building, with its cloistered front patio and tiled towers. Look at the Fine Arts Gallery and compare a picture or your memory of the Sacramento Valley Building that once stood there, with its overhanging eaves and wide-flung, inviting entrance. Then ask yourself if we have indeed replaced the old with greater ones, of if we have, instead, sacrificed their friendly and colorful charm for stiff formality.

The point is that if such generosity as that of Miss Ellen Scripps in providing the museum or that of the Bridges in financing the gallery, is procurable, why cannot permanent buildings be carried out after the patterns of those pricelessly appealing ones of Mr. Goodhue’s? The buildings have been worth millions in advertising to San Diego. It was not their permanence or just what they contained: it was their appearance, and that is what we now stand in danger of losing. Can we not preserve those shells a little longer, at least to save their beautiful outlines until we known more definitely what the immediate future holds for us.

April 25, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:2. Letter from Laurence Burdick, president Executive Committee of La Jolla Conservation Society, advocating preservation of old park buildings.

Editor: Letters so far published in reference to the future of the exposition buildings in Balboa Park have already served to clarify the situation. We know certainly that restoration is impossible. We know with equal certainty there is an indefinable something in the spirit of these buildings which sets them apart from similar groups in any part of the world.

Could not the varying opinions expressed by the sincere contributors to your columns be collated until a broad general plan can be worked out, the accomplishment of which would be reached only after a period of years? As the experts tell us, the present buildings must be razed; let us plan to replace them, unit by unit, according to Mr. Goodhue’s original plans.

As it seems impossible that we can ever hope to duplicate all the structures, we offer the following suggestions:

That four permanent buildings be erected on the corners of the Plaza de Panama, duplicating the present structures; that, in the meanwhile, colonnades on the Prado and leading toward the Organ Pavilion be repaired until such time as they can be replaced with permanent construction.

Even this program may seem difficult of accomplishment in view of the present finances of the city, but can we not carry this thought in mind and as the need arises provide even one building at a time until a part, at least, of the former beauty is restored to us? With such beautiful models at hand, why should we take the chance that individual contributions to a master plan, no matter how architecturally successful they might be, would fail to harmonize so completely as the original conception of Mr. Goodhue?

April 25, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:2. Letter from R. W. Snyder asking if the spirit will be the same if the buildings are razed.

Editor: Our medieval dream city — Balboa Park — we all love it. It casts a spell over us, but nearly all its buildings must go. We are reluctant to face the question, “Will it ever be the same again?”

The danger lies in creating the new. Can we create with equal success when the vision of the old is gone? Can the spirit of the old city be preserved?

If some genii could transform instantly the present frail buildings to others, permanent and structurally strong, the lovely spirit would be the same. For many different reasons, however, the exact reproduction of the buildings probably will be considered undesirable and impractical, thus bringing on the inevitable exterior changes.

The serious difficulty, it seems to me, is to go about the replacement in years to come, by means of a definite program, so as to reproduce just as far as possible, the lovely spirit that now lies in the entire group of buildings.

Messrs. Goodhue, Winslow and their associates (professional and laymen) put something in there that must not be lost. The practical questions will be solved because they are comparative easy. But the spirit?

April 27, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:1, 2:2. City Park Board report; repairs not advised; rebuilding cost $270,000; alternate plan, landscape gardening with arcade.

April 27, 1933, San Diego Union, Sports, 10:1-2. New 18-hole municipal golf course to be opened today at Balboa Park (illus.).

April 28, 1933, San Diego Union, II, Sports, 5:1. San Diego dedicates new 18-hole municipal golf course.

April 29, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:6, 2:6. City Manager Goeddel reports that seven Park buildings should be razed.

Razing of seven of the prominent buildings in the old Exposition group in Balboa Park, repair of

three others at city expense and authorization of plans to repair 10 others by public subscription were recommended by City Manager Goeddel in a comprehensive report yesterday.

Findings of engineers and building inspectors were transmitted to the council with the manager’s recommendations.

The buildings recommended for destruction as menaces are the American Legion War Memorial Building, County Fair Building, San Joaquin Building, Visual Education Building adjoining the California Building, the refreshment stand building, the old Natural History Building and a building now used as a paint shop, across the street from the Legion Building.

Falling cornices, fire hazards and inability to resist earthquakes doom the structures in the manager’s opinion, which is supported by technical reports.

Landscaping the areas from which buildings were removed is suggested by the manager. Several of the buildings recommended for destruction front the Plaza de Panama, the principal plaza of the old exposition grounds.

The buildings recommended for survey and repair by the city are the park administration building, botanical building and New Mexico Building, reported either in fair or good condition.

The 10 structures which the manager would have the council authorize public subscriptions to repair are the Girl Scout Headquarters, Girl Scout Recreation Hall, Central School Library, Organ Pavilion. Floral Association Building, Canadian Legion Building, Zoo Reptile House, Zoo Administration Building, O’Rourke Institute and Boy Scout Indian Village. These are in good or fair condition, the manager says.

The famed California Quadrangle, the Fine Arts Museum and the new Natural History Museum are of permanent construction, differing from others of the exposition group.

Goeddel asked that the council call a conference with the city officials who submitted reports on the buildings for purposes of discussion and that specifications be ordered at once for razing of the seven buildings deemed dangerous. He asked that estimates be sought for relandscaping the grounds on which the seven buildings stand and that a plan be prepared for eventual replacement of any razed buildings with structures of permanent construction.

“I am aware of the necessity for economy,” said the manager in transmitting his report, “but your honorable body and the public are entitled to known these conditions and realize that financial responsibility accrues to council and the city in the event of death and injuries caused by the condition of these buildings.

“With these thoughts in mind, and not with an idea of being an alarmist, this report is submitted.”

April 29, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:4-6. Suggestions from readers regarding exposition buildings.

Joshua L. Bailey, Jr.

Miriam Smith

Dr. Emily W. Strobell

Pauline Hamill de Vol

P H Stone


May 1, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:1. H. L. Durrel discusses park versus library, civic building; asserts park is a ball and chain upon the taxpayers.

May 2, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:2-4. Letters from readers regarding park buildings

Thomas G. Dawson

Richard S. Robinson

Joseph M. McNulty

May 4, 1933, San Diego Herald, 1:7, 6:5, 8:1-6. A. R. Sauer called by death; Herald editor dies on 82nd birthday.

May 4, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:1. Abraham R. Sauer, fighting editor of San Diego Herald, died yesterday.

May 4, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:5. Suggestions regarding buildings in park from readers.

Gertrude Gilbert

S R Taber

W P Reynolds

May 5, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. Sam I. Fox suggests replacing an exposition building with convention hall; tells Chamber Board San Joaquin Building location ideal for plan.

May 6, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:1. Reginald Poland, director Fine Arts Gallery, offers suggestions anent exposition buildings.

May 7, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7. W. L. Van Schaick offers plan for saving buildings; suggestion of a tax moratorium.

May 8, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 5:2-3. Letters regarding park buildings

Henrietta W. Willius

Mrs. Alma B. Gault

May 9, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:5, 6:1. Council accepts resignation of City Manager Goeddel.

May 10, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:2-3. Bernard R. La Berge of New York says organ recitals are world-famous and should continue.

May 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7-8, 2:6. Commerce Chamber acts to save park buildings.

Definite action toward restoring the buildings lining the Prado of Balboa Park was taken yesterday by a special committee appointed by R. N. Millan, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and composed of W. Templeton Johnson, Richard Requa, Miss Bess Gilbert, George Otto. F. L. Annable and Wheeler J. Bailey, with Wynne L. Van Schaick as chairman.

Johnson said architects of the exposition buildings, Bertram Goodhue and Frank Allen, did not design the structures to last more than a few years. “No one every dreamed the buildings would last as long as they did,” said Johnson. He suggested that the building used for several years to house the county fair could be torn down and the area used for auto parking. He expressed the belief that the arcades should be retained as a shield to the buildings even if some of the structures were demolished.

It was the consensus, however, of the entire committee that measures should be taken to retain the present perspective of the park. In furtherance of this decision, Van Schaick appointed a special committee composed of Johnson, Requa and Bailey and a building constructor to make an investigation to ascertain the probable cost of rehabilitating the buildings lining the Prado and Plaza by cutting down the size of the structures, leaving the front intact. This special committee will report its findings to the Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon.

Destruction of any of the present park buildings, even though they constitute in their present condition a serious menace to park patrons, would tend to destroy the uniformity of the park and, therefore, much of its tourist appeal and charm, according to Miss Gilbert. She frowned on the suggestion that the San Joaquin Building be razed and an auditorium erected in its place. “The park plaza is no place for a convention hall,” she said.

It was divulged at the meeting yesterday there is a possibility that two wings may be added to the Art Gallery and that these wings eventually would replace the two buildings on each side of the plaza.

May 12, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 3:1. Questions asked by San Diego Soroptimist Club about park structures.

Seeking enlightenment on the condition of the condemned Balboa Park exposition buildings, the San Diego Soroptimist Club yesterday sent the following questions to The Union:

Are several of the old buildings built over canyons, some even 30 feet deep? If so, how costly will dirt refills be before landscaping can be effected?

Will the word of one or two city engineers and architects be final as to the condition and final decision of the buildings to be razed, or should we not consult others?

Do the people of San Diego realize that many of these condemned buildings are being used for educational purposes and thereby contributing much value to San Diego? This seems to be a poor time to oust any business which keeps money in San Diego.

Wouldn’t comparison of the cost of razing the buildings and landscaping the old sites — with the cost of repairing them — be helpful in an effort to arrive at a conclusion in the matter?; this especially when we know that if the buildings are ever replaced all the landscaping must again be torn up?

A full report of present occupants and the value of their work to San Diego might clarify out thinking about this.

What about buildings which have had repairs within the last year — namely the Indian Arts Building and the American Legion?

Why are buildings in much worse condition than the above two slated for repairs? Why the discrimination?

May 13, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2. Park Superintendent Morley and Park Commission secretary Hill have rejected membership on Board of Directors of Park Institutions.

May 18, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:4. Chamber of Commerce committee proposes reducing size and strengthening fronts of exposition buildings.

May 18, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:4. Park Commission to hear report on park problems today.

May 19, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:4, 3:2. Park buildings can be saved for cost of razing; five to ten-year maintenance placed at $70,490; R. F. C. funds available.

Rehabilitation of seven of the principal buildings in Balboa Park insuring the safety of these structures for at least a decade can be attained for $70,490, or about $2,000 more than it actually would cost to landscape the area if the buildings were razed, it was revealed at a meeting of a special Chamber of Commerce committee yesterday afternoon.

Wynne L. Van Schaick, president of the committee, appointed by President D. N. Millan of the Chamber of Commerce to investigate the feasibility of restoring the buildings in the Prado and Plaza received a telegram from Jerome B. Pendleton at Sacramento yesterday announcing that Reconstruction Finance Corporation Funds could be used for putting the buildings in good condition. A final report of the committee will be made next Thursday when it is hoped to ascertain exactly how much federal funds will be available for this purposed.

Richard A. Requa, architect from Walter Trepte, building contractor, made an inspection of the various condemned buildings in the park during the last week. In his report to the special committee yesterday, Requa said that the following buildings can be repaired sufficient to last from five to ten years for the following amounts:

Building No. 4, visual education and art school, $9,650. The estimate of the city for more permanent reconstruction of this building was $26,050.

Building No. 5, the former Russia and Brazil building of exposition days, $9,210. The city estimate was $24,510.

American Legion Building, $9,832. City estimate $18,940. Harry Foster, commander of American Legion Post No. 6, said the American Legion had expended $24,000 in improving this building since its occupancy.

Building No. 8, directly across from the American Legion Building, $11,032. City estimate, $28,620. Requa explained that it is proposed to cut off the rear of this building.

Building No. 9, old [Natural] History Museum, $14,400. City estimate, $31,210. It is proposed to eliminate the canyon projections of this structure and to reconstruct the rear high walls.

Buildings Nos. 10 and 11, which include the structure where the county fairs were held, $16,370. City estimates, $33,700. Requa explained that the principal damage to these buildings is leakage through roofs and walls.

Wheeler J. Bailey and W. Templeton Johnson expressed belief that Requa’s estimates for the reconstruction of the group of seven buildings were conservative and concurred in his recommendations.

George W. Marston said he as “thoroughly in favor of the restoration of the buildings, even for a five-year period.” He asserted: “If we tear these buildings down their beauty will be lost to us forever. If believe that if the cost of their reconstruction is within $100,000 it would be a worthwhile project. The salvation of beauty is of the greatest economic value, especially to a city like San Diego. If these buildings are not worth $15,000 a year to our community then we don’t know anything about values. We now have an opportunity to save one of San Diego’s greatest assets.”

Miss Gertrude Gilbert said she believed that, if necessary funds could be raised easily to being immediate work on the buildings vitally in need of repair. She reasserted her belief that public opinion was almost unanimous in favor of restoring the buildings.

Frank Swain, president of the Park Board, urged that the restoration project be delayed a year, as the Park Board will need the $70,000 in fixing up the Zoo, “so the animals wouldn’t escape,” and in landscaping.

Oscar Knecht, assistant chief building inspector, said he “disliked to see the park lose its architectural beauty,” be he asserted that he was not in favor of a “patch work job.”

Others who spoke were John Morley, park superintendent, who said that “something must be done soon,” to restore the buildings and T. C. Macaulay, executive manager of the Chamber of Commerce, who pointed out the employment factor in connection with the project.

The special committee agreed that the San Joaquin Building cannot be restored without excessive cost but that the other structures are not in so bad condition as previously has been reported. Requa said the razing of the San Joaquin Building will open up a vista of floral and landscape beauty that, heretofore, has been hidden to park visitors.

May 21, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. Royal A. Brown to honor Dr. Stewart in organ program today.

May 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:1. Plea to retain unique beauty of El Prado.

May 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:3. Agricultural Association backs Civic Center plan.

May 23, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:3. William H. Douglas, City Planning Engineer, Sees Park Civic Center

Editor: Have followed the discussion in regard to the buildings in Balboa Park with great interest, as I worked on the final landscape layout of the park. Have also taken time to study the problem at the park from an architectural, landscape and city planning angle.

From an architectural angle, it would be a crime to destroy the beautiful effect that has been created in the group of buildings. From a landscape architect’s standpoint, to take the buildings from the picture and landscape the space now occupied by them, would leave a scar that time could not heal. The combination of buildings and plantings is blended together into one beautiful picture that has been associated with the city of San Diego and is giving the city a vast amount of free advertising.

From a city planning view, we have a combination and layout that have taken years to perfect and could be used in such a manner that the present generation could continue to enjoy it in all its beauty by a careful reconstruction of the general architecture and layout.

These buildings could be planned in manner to include the offices of both city and county buildings, giving San Diego one of the most outstanding and beautiful civic centers in the country, with a landscaping that has taken years to bring to the present perfection and harmonizing with the present buildings and architecture as reconstructed.

This work could be done by popular subscription, a small amount from a large number of people. Every person in San Diego would contribute a small share to help keep this beautiful spot intact. You also would get small amounts from all over the country from people who have seen and admired this beautiful park and would not like to see it defaced. This could be done by proper advertising in charge of a man with this problem at heart, or through the chamber of commerce and other civic organizations. The city and county buildings might be built from a government loan, which would put a large number of both professional and tradesmen at work, thus relieving the unemployment situation.

This work would be lasting, and would keep this beautiful combination of architectural and landscape design for future generations, and would combine beauty with utility. These buildings could be arranged to accommodate all parking of cars therein, out of the main streets and not interfering with traffic through the park. A man should be in charge of this work who can appreciate the combination of architecture and landscape design so that the harmony which now exists will not be destroyed.


City Planning Engineer, Who Was for 10 Years

with John Nolen, Internationally Known City Planner

May 23, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1-2. Photography Salon in Balboa Park extended to May 28; exhibits won world-wide fame, by Richard Requa.


WHEREAS, the Exposition buildings in Balboa Park have been found to be in a state of

disrepair which makes them a menace;

WHEREAS, it is imperative that immediate steps be taken either to tear down these buildings or

to restore them to a safe condition; and

WHEREAS, a special committee of the Chamber of Commerce appointed to look into the matter

has found the buildings in question to be of great benefit and value to the City of

San Diego from a scenic, cultural and practical standpoint and is convinced that

the sentiment of the citizens of San Diego is preponderantly in favor of their

retention; and

WHEREAS, said committee has evolved a plan whereby the said buildings may be placed in first

class condition for a number of years without further expenditure and may

thereafter be maintained indefinitely by further reasonable repairs from time to

time, by the expenditure of approximately Seventy Thousand Dollars ($70,000.00),

and has further ascertained that the work involved at the time is within the scope of

the Federal Government’s work relief program through the R. F. C.; and

WHEREAS, said special committee has further ascertained that to tear down said buildings and

landscape the grounds will cost within two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) of the

amount necessary to rehabilitate them, and that maintenance of landscaping as

proposed over a ten year period would exceed that of the maintenance of buildings

as outlined, and

WHEREAS, said special committee has recommended to the Board of Directors that said Board

endorse the committee’s plan of rehabilitation as part of the local work relief


NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOVED, that the Board of Directors of the San Diego Chamber

of Commerce shall and hereby does endorse said plan and recommends it to the

Common Council of the City of San Diego, the Park Board and others having

jurisdiction in the matter, and strongly urges that it be carried out to all intents

and purposes, being thoroughly convinced that such action by the city authorities

will have the hearty support of the citizens of San Diego and will be a procedure

thoroughly to the good and benefit of the community.

Certified to be a true and correct copy of a resolution adopted by the Board of Directors of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce at its regular meeting held May 25, 1933.

May 25, 1933, San Diego Chapter, The American Institute of Architects, San Diego, California, Letter from Louis J. Gill, Pres., S. D. Chap. A. I. A. to the Hon. Mayor and City Council of San Diego, California.


At a joint meeting of the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Division of the State Association of California Architects held May 23, 1933, the enclosed resolution was unanimously adopted.

Trusting that you will see fit to act on this issue in accordance with this resolution, we are,

Very truly yours,

(Signed) Louis J. Gill, Pres. S. D. Chap., A. I. A.

(Signed) Robt. R. Curtis, Sec’y, S. D. & Imp. Co., A. C. A.




May 23, 1933

We recognize the fact that the existing buildings in Balboa Park are an integral part of a carefully planned and executed whole, which has received world-wide recognition and praise for

the beauty and harmony of its architecture, and that to remove or even materially alter them, to say nothing of replacing them with buildings out of harmony with the spirit and traditions of our early history, would be a lamentable and irreparable mistake.

We call attention to a report recently made public by a committee, appointed by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce to survey this group of buildings, in which report it is stated that for an expenditure of less than $75,000 the major part of this group may be made structurally safe and its appearance preserved intact for at least the next five years.

In view of the above, it is therefore resolved by the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Division of the State Association of California Architects that the report of said committee should be and the same is hereby endorsed with a recommendation that the proper authorities be requested to carry out the recommendations of said committee at the earliest practicable date.

May 25, 1933, San Diego Herald, Pioneer Edition.

1:1-2, 2:2-3, 18:1-5, 19:1-2. Days of 1851; the birth of the Herald, by John B. Thomson

4:1-5, 5:1. A. R. Sauer and the I. W. W.

9:1-2. Klauber-Wangenheim story is history of San Diego.

May 26, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:6, 6:6. Chamber of Commerce backs plan to repair park buildings with R. F. C. aid; architects’ organizations also favor preservation of artistic structures as asset to San Diego.

Adopting the report of the special park building committee, directors of the Chamber of Commerce yesterday passed a resolution recommending to the City Council and Park Board that the following plan be put into effect:

Rehabilitation of the Exposition buildings in Balboa Park be included as part of the city’s work program through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.

Razing of the San Joaquin Valley Building and reduction of the size of buildings Nos. 8 and 9 as outlined by the Chamber of Commerce Park Building Restoration Committee.

Acceptance of the offer of the American Legion to furnish labor on the building now occupied by the Legion.

Asking the cooperation of the School Board in the repair of the building now used by the Visual Education Department.

Allocation of the total amount incorporated in the work relief program for this purpose, $70,494, as follows:

Visual Education Building, $9,650; Refreshment Building, $9,210; American Legion Building, $9,832; old Canadian Building, $11,032; old Natural History Museum, $14,400; Buildings Nos. 11 and 11, in which the County Fair was held, $16,370.

The resolution adopted by the Chamber of Commerce pointed out that the park buildings “are of great benefit and value to the city of San Diego from a scenic, cultural and practical standpoint and is convinced that the sentiment of citizens is preponderantly in favor of their retention.”

At a joint meeting of the San Diego Institute of Architects and the San Diego and Imperial Counties division of the State Association of California architects, held May 23, the following resolution was adopted, Louis J. Gill, president, yesterday advised the Chamber of Commerce:

“We recognize the fact that the existing buildings in Balboa Park are an integral part of a carefully planned and executed whole, which has received world-wide recognition and praise for the beauty and harmony of its architecture, and that to remove or even materially alter them, to say nothing of replacing them with buildings out of harmony with the spirit and traditions of our early history, would be a lamentable and irreparable mistake.

“We call attention to a report recently made public by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce to survey this group of buildings, in which report it is stated that for an expenditure of less than $75,000, the major part of this group may be made structurally safe and its appearance preserved intact for many years.

“In view of the above, it is therefore resolved by the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Division of the State Association of California Architects that the report of said Committee should be and the same is hereby indorsed with the recommendation that the proper authorities be requested to carry out the recommendations of said Committee at the earliest practicable date.”

Members of the Special Park Building Committee, with officers and directors of the Chamber of Commerce, will attend the meeting to be held at the City Hall at 2 p.m. Monday when the park matter will be discussed and definite action taken.

May 27, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:4, 2:2. Chicago’s “Century of Progress” World’s Fair will open to public today.

May 28, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2, 3:5. Urge citizens interested to unite at City Hall meeting; Chamber Committee reports $2,000 above razing cost will preserve beauty of structures for years.

Belief that San Diego should make every effort to keep intact the scenic and artistic beauty of Balboa Park by rehabilitating the principal buildings of exposition days is expressed by prominent citizens.

Taking issue with those who assert that the structures have only sentimental value, many civic leaders point out that if it were not for the buildings Balboa Park simply would be a replica of hundreds of other parts throughout the world and, therefore, would lose its unique attractiveness and tourist lure.

By the expenditure of only $20,000for material, seven of the buildings flanking the Prado and Plaza may be restored, it is said. This sum probably will have to be raised by public subscription. Through the R. F. C., the Board of Supervisors, with the sanction of the state, has announced that that $50,000 expense for labor may be provided from federal sources, supporters of the restoration plan say.

One of the greatest contributing factors for the restoration of the buildings, the special Park Building Committee of the Chamber of Commerce has reported, is that only $2,000 more will be necessary to keep the structures in good condition for many years that the actual cost of razing them and landscaping the area they now occupy. It is estimated that $68,000 will be required to tear down the buildings and carry out a limited landscaping plan. The estimate of the Park Building Restoration Committee for the seven buildings was $80,000.

Outspoken in their advocacy of retention of the park buildings are the following:

G A Davidson, president of the 1915-16 Exposition and vice president of the Bank of America: “Ever since their inception the Exposition buildings have been a dominant factor in the civic life of San Diego. There is no other group of buildings in the world like them. This is what has made Balboa Park distinctive and the mecca of thousands of visitors from all parts of the world. San Diegans should make every effort to retain these architectural gems.”

F L Annable, president San Diego Arizona Eastern Railway: “There is indelibly printed on the minds of untold numbers of San Diego visitors the beauty of Balboa Park, particularly the Prado section. There is no photography showing the scenic splendors of San Diego that has been published to a greater extent than that of the park buildings. This photograph of the Prado has been used for years in heralding the beauties of San Diego through the medium of every form of advertising and publicity, including steamship and railroad line folders, tourist and travel guides, newspapers, magazines and pictorial literature of all kinds. The plan suggested by the Park Buildings Committee of the Chamber of Commerce is practical and should be carried out, thus preserving this most valuable asset for the tourists yet to come.”

Donald Burnham, president San Diego Realty Board: “If there is any practical way in which the park buildings can be restored, it should be accomplished, as the buildings constitute a real and definite advantage to the city.

George W. Marston: “If we tear these park buildings down, their beauty will be lost to us forever. Salvation of beauty is one of the greatest economic values, especially in a city like San Diego. If these buildings are not worth $15,000 a year to our community than we don’t know anything about values. We now have an opportunity to save on of San Diego’s greatest assets.”

Sam Porter, former manager San Diego Hotel: “Much of the charm of San Diego’s world-famous Balboa Park centers in the exposition buildings. I know that many visitors purposely have extended their visit to San Diego because of the beauty of the park and its surroundings. To destroy these buildings would mean an irreparable loss to the community and would make Balboa Park commonplace.”

A meeting to decide whether the buildings will be razed or restored will be held at the City Hall tomorrow at 2 p.m. The Chamber of Commerce urges all citizens interested in the retention of the park buildings to attend this meeting.

The old Canadian and San Joaquin Valley Buildings in the park can be wrecked without cost to the city, Manager Goeddel was informed yesterday.

Under Council instructions, Goeddel contacted wrecking firms to get figures on the cost. One firm offered to remove the buildings within 60 days at no cost to the taxpayers, taking its pay in salvageable materials.

Most city officials agree that the buildings have a sentimental value, as urged by those who would repair them, but are slow to promise tax money for rehabilitation.

Some city officials feels that rehabilitation money would be better spend by starting a new civic auditorium near the Plaza de Panama. In this area are several structures that it is agreed will have to come down for safety’s sake.

Sam Fox, local merchant, has concurred in City Manager Goeddel’s suggestion that the auditorium plans be considered in advocating construction of such a building.

The manager feels that the auditorium could be planned along the architectural lines of the old buildings.

May 28, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1-2, 4:5-6. Oscar Cotton writes about Belt Line Railroad through Balboa Park.

May 30, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:2. Albert Stahel, Jr. indorses Chamber of Commerce plan for restoring buildings.

May 30, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2, 6:1. Councilmen grant park buildings 30 days grace; task of raising repair fund to start at once.

Cheered by councilmanic decision to withhold action on removing park buildings for 30 days and by statements from individual councilmen yesterday that the Council “would help out at the proper time,” advocates of the move to save the buildings will turn today to the task of raising the major part of $70,432 estimated as needed to effect temporary repairs on the exposition group.

Of this amount, the entire labor cost, or approximately $48,000, will be asked from R. F. C. unemployment relief funds. The remainder is to be sought from private subscriptions and city or other public funds.

The councilmanic order tabling the building removal matter for 30 days came after a hearing during which prominent San Diegans pleaded for retention of the park beauty spot.

George W. Marston, former park commissioners and long a park enthusiast, took the floor to present the sentiment of San Diegans on the matter of retaining the buildings. He pointed out how the buildings have become virtually a unit with their surroundings.

“There would be no Balboa Park today without sentiment,” he said. “This is no common arrangement of buildings and landscape. We know we have something here of the finest value. The harmony that comes from years belongs to the group.”

Mr. Marston pointed out that it will take years and much money even to heal the scares that would be left if the buildings are removed, indicating that the scar left on the hearts of the people would never be removed.

“I am appealing on behalf of thousands who love the place,” he said, pointing out that it would cost about as much to relandscape the old building sites as to effect temporary repairs proposed to keep the buildings in condition for from five to ten years.

Gertrude Gilbert next spoke briefly and Mrs. Batten of the Women’s Civic Center said it would be shortsighted economy to lose the buildings now.

Mrs. Satella Jacques Penman suggested that if enough money couldn’t be raised to restore all the buildings at one time, the structures should be restored one at a time.

Architect Richard Requa gave figures on preservation costs, estimating a total of $70,432, of which $60,000 would be for labor and supervision, the remainder for material. This money would assure the buildings for five to ten years more, he said, adding that work done now would not be wasted at the end of the five or ten-year period, but would be valuable in further restorations at that time. He said the San Joaquin Valley Building will have to come down, as it is beyond repair, and that parts of two other buildings will have to be removed because of prohibitive restoration expense. He expressed belief that R. F. C. aid could be obtained for the labor costs.

D N Millian, president of the Chamber of Commerce, spoke of the value of the park and its buildings as attractions to visitors, He advised against destruction of attractions. He felt if the R. F. C. would provide the labor cost, which he deemed almost certain, his organization and others could undertake raising “a good part” of the additional $20,000.

To remove the park buildings, Millan concluded, would be to give San Diego “just another park” and not the unique attraction it now is to the world.

Letters from various civic groups and individuals were read. Park Commissioners Otto and Swain voiced approval of restoration plans. They said the first reports of $270,000 for rehabilitation indicated the cost would be too great for the city to bear. With the estimate trimmed, they indicated favor for the idea.

City Manager Goeddel warned the councilman that they would have to be very careful in promising any large amount of city money for restoration, due to the city’s financial condition.

He expressed belief that, with warning notices and other precautions that have been taken in the vicinity of park buildings deemed dangerous, it would be all right to delay decision pending efforts to finance rehabilitation.

Harry Foster, representing Post No. 6, American Legion, custodian of the War Memorial Building in the park, said his organization is ready to aid and, in fact, has spent $22,000 on the building since the post began its occupancy 10 years ago. He said the Hammer Club, Veterans; Luncheon Club, unanimously indorsed repair of the park buildings yesterday.

The City Manager expressed belief that the rehabilitation plans of the citizen groups would make the buildings safe if the plans are carried out. Then the Council tabled the matter for 30 days to see if funds could be raised.

“We also feel that the Council will help out at the proper time,” said Vice Mayor Bennett.

May 30, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8. Architects will discuss preservation of exposition buildings Wednesday evening, June 7, at a dinner meeting of La Jolla Conservation Society.

May 31, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:2. Morris Prioleau favors saving park buildings.

May 31, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Reprieve

We commend the Council’s apparent intent to go along as far as possible with the earnest San

Diegans who urged a new lease of life for the exposition buildings in Balboa Park.

May 31, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:1. Elks plan Flag Day ceremonies at Organ Pavilion June 11.


June 2, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. Park buildings, other projects approved for R. F. C.

June 2, 1933, San Diego Union, 14:1. Horse Show, sponsored by San Diego County Horse Show Association, to be staged in park Sunday in the ring of the Balboa Park Riding Academy

June 4, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2-5. New Presidio Hill Park to enhance city’s beauty, by Roland S. Hoyt, landscape architect.

June 5, 1933, San Diego Union, 12:3-4. Spirited competition in Balboa Park Horse Show.

June 5, 1933, San Diego Union, 16:1. Elks to hold park service on Flag Day, June 11.

June 5, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 4:1. Old alquerias inspire style of modern county homes, by Miss Lillian Rice, architect.

June 5, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 5:3. Let second exposition solve park problem.

Editor: The great majority of San Diegans earnestly desire a new lease of life for the old exposition buildings in Balboa Park. To this end, I suggest that we invoke the aid of the man who was so largely responsible for this beautiful group, Colonel D. C. Collier,

Let us say to Colonel Collier and his associates: You have been planning a second exposition for San Diego on a site along the waterfront. You have had a noble vision. It would indeed by wonderful if San Diego could develop a magnificent waterfront like that of Rio de Janeiro. However, San Diego is a small city, with limited resources, and to attempt at this time to construct a great exposition on the harbor might entail a necessary expenditure beyond our means and possible interfere with replacement of the park structures. Build you second great exposition on the site of the first; built it in enduring materials and we will back you to the limit.

We would thus achieve a dual purpose at minimum expense. At its close the exposition would leave us a permanent heritage of beauty and utility, including, in all probability, a splendid civic auditorium. In my humble opinion, this plan seems to offer a happy solution for the problems confronting the park board and the exposition directors.


June 6, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:3. L. C. Chatham approves Arthur H. Hill’s suggestion.

June 7, 1933, San Diego Union, 2:2. The Navy will get 242 acres north of Lindbergh Field in exchange for 67 acres in the same section; approval of the transfers voted by San Diego at the general election, November 4, 1930.

June 8, 1933, San Diego Herald, 1:4-5, 2:2-5. Seven cruisers with 3,000 men to abandon San Diego in favor of Los Angeles if bay is not made safe for them without delay.

June 8, 1933, San Diego Herald, 1:5. Arthur H. Hill asks help for park buildings.

The great majority of San Diegans earnestly desire a new lease of life for the old exposition buildings in Balboa Park.

To this end, I suggest that we invoke the aid of the man who was so largely responsible for this beautiful group — D. C. Collier.

Let us say to Colonel Collier and his associates: You have been planning a second exposition for San Diego on a site along the waterfront. You have had a noble vision. It would indeed be wonderful if San Diego could develop a magnificent waterfront like that of Rio de Janeiro. However, San Diego is a small city, with limited resources, and to attempt, at this time, to construct a great exposition on the harbor front might entail a necessary expenditure beyond our means and possibly interfere with the replacement of the park structures. Build your second exposition on the site of the first — built it in enduring materials — and we will back you to the limit!

We would thus achieve a dual purpose at a minimum expense. At its close, the exposition would leave us a permanent heritage of beauty and utility, including, in all probability, a splendid civic auditorium.

In my humble opinion, this plan seems to offer a happy solution for the problems confronting the park board and the exposition directors.


June 8, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 12:2. EDITORIAL: Our Architecture.

June 8, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:3. Henry Gabbe indorses Arthur H. Hill’s idea.

June 8, 1913, San Diego Union, II, 12:5. Arthur H. Hill wants second exposition on site of the first.

June 9, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8. Masons to hold flag ceremonies at Marston Point, Balboa Park, next Wednesday.

June 9, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 14:1. EDITORIAL: How to Save the Buildings.

Dr. J. W. Brown has suggested that certificates of one dollar value be sold to enough persons to raise the money needed to rebuild the buildings, the certificates to be souvenirs or tickets of admission to an event given when the buildings are remodeled.

June 11, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:5-6. Colonel D. C. Collier to speak at reenactment Wednesday at Old Town Plaza of events of early California in commemoration of Flag Day.

June 11, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 13:1. Elks to observe flag ceremony at Organ Pavilion today.

June 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:5, 2:7. Elks hoist flag in annual rites in Balboa Park.

June 12, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 5:4. George C. Sheppard favors popular aid for park buildings.

June 15, 1933, San Diego Herald, 1:3-6. Hervey Johnson shows ignorance; assessor attempts to send Navy to Long Beach.

June 15, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:6. Masons raise new flag in Balboa Park.

June 16, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 2:6. Alice Klauber starts campaign; $22,500 needed.

June 18, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:7-8. Campaign to start; $22,500 needed to save park buildings.

June 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:1. Evening concerts to open in park July 18.

June 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:3. Charles W. Fortune, engineer, wants city-county power plant in Balboa Park.

June 22, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 8:2. Children’s free classes to open at San Diego Zoo Monday.

June 23, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 12:4. George W. Marston sees menace to forest wildlife.

June 25, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:4. General and Mrs. Terry given $1,000 for repair of exposition buildings.

June 25, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:7-8 and June 26, 1933, 5:1. Everyone invited to North Park Business Club picnic today in Acacia Grove near the Municipal Swimming Pool; everything’s free.

June 27, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:1. The City Council yesterday asked the City Manager to calls for bids for razing the San Joaquin and Canadian Buildings in Balboa Park and extended for 30 days the time for reaching a decision on disposition of other park structures in need of repairs.

June 27, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. Start campaign for repair of park buildings.

Arrangements for the campaign to raise money for rehabilitation of buildings in Balboa Park, as a factor in unemployment relief work, were being completed yesterday by the general committee appointed to enlarge the scope of pioneer work accomplished by the Chamber of Commerce.

The women’s committee, under chairmanship of Mrs. Celia A. Dunham, held a meeting yesterday to plan its campaign. The general committee, head by W. L. Van Schaick, completed arrangements for its headquarters on Fourth Avenue in the U. S. Grant Hotel building. Harry Foster, Legionnaire of Post No. 6, will be in charge of the general office.

George F. Otto, a member of the Park Commission, yesterday submitted the following resume of the Balboa Park building situation:

“A good business man will do all he can to please his customers in order to keep their good will and add new ones. San Diego is confronted with the same problem in the restoration of the old Exposition buildings. Many visitors who came and were pleased and others who were convinced that San Diego is a charming place call it home today. A short time ago when the first mention was made through the press that these buildings in the park which have added so much to its attractiveness, may have to disappear on account of badly needed repairs, protests and pleas came from all parts, especially from the southwestern states. These gave us an idea of the impression mad on the visitor’s mind.

“Fortunately, after a careful examination by competent construction men we were assured that a sum of about $75,000 will restore these buildings to their former beauty and safety. Forty-eight thousand dollars has been pledged by the federal government for labor for this project; the balance, it is hoped, will be subscribed by the good people of San Diego and all those interested in the good work of restoring and preserving the gems in Balboa Park. The subscriptions may be turned in to the Park Building Restoration Committee at the Chamber of Commerce. There is no time to be lost. Work must start soon, as the buildings will not endure another rainy season without the necessary repairs. Therefore, it is of vital importance that funds be available within the next 30 days so the construction work can get underway. Every civic body, every organization and every good citizen, let us hope, will do his part.”

June 27, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:5. Presidio Park to be inspected in Council row.

June 28, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:1. Delay bid call on park razing.

Announcement that bids for tearing down the San Joaquin and Canadian Buildings at Balboa Park will not be called until completion of the campaign now underway to raise funds for the restoration of the park exposition buildings was made yesterday by Fred Lockwood, city manager.

A Chamber of Commerce committee, headed by Wynne L. Van Schaick, is seeking to raise $22,500 to purchase material for rehabilitation of seven of these buildings. About $48,000 has been pledged by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation for labor involved in restoration plans.

Headquarters of the Park Building Restoration Committee are located at 1036 Fourth Avenue. Subscriptions should be sent there.

June 28, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. City Council to take kink our of Presidio Hill Park acceptance.

June 29, 1933, George W. Marston, Radio, KFSD, Grant Hotel.

I am asked to speak about the Balboa Park buildings. These buildings were designed by the most capable architect of the Spanish style that the western world has produced, Bertram Goodhue, a men whose genius has adorned many of out cities. But nowhere else did he have the opportunity of letting his art play upon a whole avenue of buildings. This Spanish prado and plaza are radiant with the gleams of Goodhue’s genius. The very exuberance of the style and the profuse ornamentation seem adapted to the place. The architecture has the gay abandon that fitted so well into the joyous scenes of our Garden Fair. And in all the years since 1915 this part of Balboa Park has retained its fiesta character. As time goes by we love it more and more.

It is simply shocking to think of the destruction of this wonderful treasure place. Just imagine the desolation of it. It’s like the burning of libraries and the breaking of costly sculptures. The more I think of it the more incredible it seems that the art loving people of San Diego can allow it to be done.

Let me mention a few of the practical values that belong to these buildings. Several of them afford excellent housing to educational and social organizations. It is a great benefit to have our cultural societies grouped in one convenient center. This has made our park a kind of university. The unity of the group, the harmony of landscape and architecture, the singular beauty of the ensemble, have given our city a distinction that is a major attraction for tourists. There is something so unique and fine about it all that it is thought by many to be the most valuable drawing asset of San Diego.

Besides this, there is the great value of a center for festivals, parades, celebrations, etc. Take down these buildings and the dignity of the setting is lost.

Then this whole group of buildings adds immensely to the general character of the park. It gives the park a kind of nobility and contributes a certain human interest, too, in having these habitations in the midst of nature’s growth. But for the buildings comparatively few would visit the park.

You may see that the museums, the art gallery and the organ will still remain. That is true, but the destruction of the intervening buildings and arched corridors breaks down the essential unity and beauty of the whole design. It virtually wipes out the fairest treasure that San Diego has had to show to the world. It destroys most wantonly a value that is also of constant service and enjoyment to ourselves.

It is said that all this space now occupied by structures can be beautifully laid out in gardens. Very true. But I venture to say that this will cost nearly as much as the restoration of the buildings. Aside from the irretrievable loss of our incomparable architecture, do we want more park area just now? And, granting that time would bring attractive garden spaces, what about the next five years? As a practical building of parks, I have to say that the first year would be one of chaos, a dismal pile of debris, a waste stretch of raw land. For two or three years more a new planted area of crude and unfinished appearance compared with the older portions of the park. Scarcely in ten years would this new planting be fully satisfactory.

Now the question comes to us, is it at all necessary, is it inevitable that these buildings go down and out? Certainly not. Competent architects, builders and experts have examined the buildings carefully, estimated every cost, and have reported that it is entirely feasible to put the buildings in good condition at a very moderate cost. In round numbers the materials will cost $23,000 and the labor will be $47,000, making a total of $70,000. As the labor cost will be provided by the Federal Government, there is only $23,000 to be raised by the community. In comparison with the values to be saved this is a slight sum. But it comes at a time when campaigns for money are not welcome. Shall we then let those beautiful buildings be razed and carted off to the dump? The committee says “No, we will ask our citizens to give the money to save this legacy of the Exposition and to afford employment to our artisans.” The start has been made already. The committee is organized. Volunteer workers will make a canvass, get up benefit entertainments and devote themselves to this cause.

I beg to appeal to the whole community to support this committee. It would lessen their work if you would voluntarily send a contribution to their office.

Let me say in closing that I do not know of any material object that is just now of such importance to San Diego, considering the relative cost required and the great value to be gained. The matter s so vital to the integrity of Balboa Park and the self respect and dignity of the city that I most earnestly urge all who are hearing me this evening to give it attention, cooperation and assistance.

June 30, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: The Park Buildings.

We can retain the Balboa Park buildings, intact, useful and beautiful, for only a little more money than it would cost to raze them and landscape the gaps.

June 30, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:2-4. Architects vote San Diego 200 honor awards; Balboa Park structures win highest praise.


July 2, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. Starlight music series to open at Organ Pavilion, July 18.

July 2, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8, 2:4. Cost increase for material makes delay certain loss; leaders of local movement to raise $22,500 fund to be accelerated by city meeting Wednesday.

Fear that mounting cost of building material will necessitate raising a sum much larger than originally planned unless the $22,500 estimated for rehabilitation of the exposition buildings in Balboa Park is pledged this week, is expressed by the special Park Building Restoration Committee of the Chamber of Commerce.

“It is imperative that the money required to purchase material for rehabilitation of the park buildings be raised this week,” said Wynne L. Van Schaick, chairman of the committee.

“The federal government has given assurance that $48,000 has been appropriated for the necessary labor on this project. Speed is urgent. Cost of building material is increasing. The rainy season will be here within a few months. It is of vital importance that no time be lost. Public-spirited citizens who realize the tremendous importance of the civil and cultural value of the Exposition buildings should contribute to the restoration fund without further delay. The money is needed now.”

To speed up the park building campaign a mass meeting is to be held in the Chamber of Commerce auditorium at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Among those who will speak at this meeting will be George W. Marston, Colonel Ed Fletcher, chairman of the Advance Gifts Committee, Elwood Bailey and D.N. Millan, president of the Chamber of Commerce.

Women’s organizations throughout the community are playing a prominent part in the park building restoration campaign and will be fully represented at Wednesday’s meeting.

The first large check to the building fund was contributed by General and Mrs. M. O. Terry of Coronado. The check was for $1,000. The smallest contribution thus far received at campaign headquarters came from a woman who declared that while she was in financial straits the beauty of the park and its buildings had so enthralled her she could not stand the thought of seeing the structures destroyed. She had grocery bills and rent to pay, but, nevertheless, gave every penny she could spare — a dime.

At a recent meeting of the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Division of the State Association of California Architects, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

(See San Diego Union, May 26, 1933, II, 1:2, 3:5.)

The building fund campaign at La Jolla will be under supervision of the La Jolla Conservation Society.

July 2, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 10:4. Julius Wangenheim gives John Nolen’s reasons for waterfront plan.

July 4, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: For Their Information.

We cannot profess to say how the people of San Diego feel about Presidio Hill Park. We believe

we do know how they feel about Mr. Marston.

July 4, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Let’s Do It.

Nobody needs to be told what a joy the Balboa Park buildings have been to the people of this community. Nobody needs to be told that they are the city’s characteristic asset in the eyes of thousands of visitors to San Diego. Their fate is now in our hands.

July 4, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:3. F. L. Annable, president of San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad, backs move to save park buildings.

July 5, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 8:3-4. Donald MacArthur asks vote on park site for new civic buildings.

July 6, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:6, 2:5. Park buildings fund campaign speeds up with start of $4,000; earnest work to raise total of $23,000 required for government cooperation; plea at civic meeting.

Advance gifts totaling $4,000 were announced yesterday at a public meeting of the committee campaigning for funds to restore the buildings in Balboa Park. Approximately $23,000 must be obtained from contributing citizens before government funds of $47,000 can be utilized for construction, it was reported.

The meeting, held in the Chamber of Commerce Auditorium, was attended by more than 85 civic-minded women who organized themselves as a campaign committee to call on prospects for contributions of $1 to $50. W. L. Van Schaick, chairman of the restoration committee, presided, and presented as speakers Dave Millan, president of the Chamber of Commerce, George W. Marston, “father” of Balboa Park; Colonel Ed Fletcher, chairman of the advance gifts committee, and Elwood Bailey, whose stirring talk challenging campaign workers was received with enthusiasm.

After paying tribute to Mr. Marston’s half-century of work in behalf of Balboa Park’s development, Fletcher reported contributions to the fund as follows: Col. Ira C. Copley, $1,000, Gen. and Mrs. M. O. Terry, $1,000; George W. Marston, $500; the Marston Company, $500; Robert Scripps, $500; Mr. and Mrs. P. F. O’Rourke, $500, on condition remainder of fund quota is raised. Other large advance gifts to the fund are expected shortly, Fletcher said.

All speakers stressed the importance of restoring the Balboa Park Exposition buildings, now in dangerous condition from deterioration, rather than tearing them down and making more park area. Millan spoke of the restoration as “good business.”

“These buildings are cash assets,” Millan said, “aside from their esthetic and cultural values. We of the Chamber know what great assets those buildings are. Besides that, the restoration is good business policy because it will offer employment for many local men now in need of work.”

Marston directed his talk t the several score of women who had answered the call to service in visiting prospective contributors. “There is no skyscraper in the city,” Marston said, “which possesses the real value (aside from monetary worth) found in the park buildings.

“These beauties in the center of the park are the gems of San Diego. As the years pass the buildings increase in beauty because of the surrounding foliage; years have brought them more beauty and inspiration than the architects who planned them knew. In those buildings we see our Exposition going on in continuous life, and in them is our priceless university with its galleries, museums, pavilions and meeting places.

“The buildings form the soul of Balboa Park; they are the expression of San Diego life. We can’t let ourselves lose the finest thing we have out of doors in San Diego,” Marston concluded.

Fletcher said if citizens responded well to the campaign the city and county officials would be impressed enough to consider putting in $10,000 — $5,000 each.

Bailey viewed the park buildings, in his talk, as treasures for the youth of the southwest and likened the campaign workers to the artists who would help giving lasting life to the beauties of the present. “We will rebuild these treasures,” he said, “not only for our selfish appreciation but for inspiration of generations to come.”

The campaign for funds will occupy the next few days. The fund committee, under Van Schaick, comprises Geo. Marston, Richard Requa, Gertrude Gilbert, Wheeler Bailey, W. Templeton Johnson, Geo. Otto, F. L. Annable, Harry Foster, Mrs. Kersey Battin, Mrs. E. R. Spade, Mrs. O. E. Tyler and others.

July 6, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:2. Suggestion from Nell Cave.

July 7, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL.

July 8, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:5. Ed L. Head wants European tea house in Balboa Park.

July 8, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:6. Card party at War Memorial Building yesterday afternoon swells fund for restoration of park buildings (illus.).

July 9, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8, 3:5-7. Richard Requa urges beauty plan for highway approach.

July 10, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Pay the “Tax”

No official can tell you how much the arcades and lawns and towers of Balboa Park are worth to you. The park fund committee asks you to act as your own assessor and your own tax-collector in this matter.

July 11, 1933, San Diego Union, 9:1. Women active in park building funds campaign.

July 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. Policeman yesterday gave further details of what happened at New Town Park, Memorial Day, at an asserted riot of “Reds” in Judge Lloyd E. Griffin’s court where Frank Young, Negro, is on trail on a charge of felonious assault.

July 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:3-4. Mrs. Herbert S. Evans say Europe leads the way in park enjoyment.

July 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:1-2. Labor eagerly awaits call on park buildings.

July 13, 1913, San Diego Herald, 1:3-8. City Hall administration reveals itself in every deal as worst administration every to disgrace the City Hall.

July 13, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:2-3. Emma Lindsay Squier opposes cut at California Building

Editor: It is to be hoped that “the rumor” concerning the plan for closing the California Building mornings and reducing the splendid museum and library therein to a half-time schedule is only “a rumor.”

Surely this is no time for such a downward step, not even under the banner labeled “economy,” especially since the small saving affected ($2100 for the entire year) comes not from reduced rent, or slashing of excessive overhead expenses but entirely from cutting to half pay the salaries of the curator, his assistant, and the expert librarian. They are each receiving now less than the janitor gets a month!

Twenty-one hundred dollars, spread out over a year, is a saving so infinitesimal to each taxpayer as to resemble a fly-speck in mid-ocean. And against that “saving” — what?

The conviction that we, who are straining every effort to restore our park buildings should keep

open for full time one of the few that does not need restoring and is one of the biggest drawing cards of Balboa Park.

Realization that we possess in the museum a collection of archaeological exhibits that bring visitors from all parts of the country. We have a scientific library there that is one of the finest in the world. Mrs. Blanche Vogdes Kendall was offered $100 a month for life by an eastern college for the use of the Vogdes geological library, considered the best of its kind in existence. She refused the offer, preferring to place it in the museum at your service.

As for practical workday problems, there is scarcely anything you can mention for which date cannot be obtained in the library of the museum. Here are just a few of the things asked for this week: expert information on avocado growing, geological data for placer mining, navigation charts for a proposed Polar flight, statistics for a milling industry that wishes to come here, information of begonia culture, garbage disposal (good old garbage question!), and collected facts and figures on earthquake-proof building construction.

Our new economic scheme of shorter working hours is going to mean more leisure, more time to go places, to enjoy Balboa Park. By all means let us keep the California Building open all day. Do we want to admit to visitors — and to ourselves — that we, who have weathered the depression thus far, are licked at last? This is not the time to give in. Our whole national psychology is onward and upward.


July 13, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:5. Daily symphony rehearsals open at Organ Pavilion.

July 15, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: The $5 Dime

The man who could easily spare a dollar or two, but waits to be asked, is typical of thousands of us. A dime’s worth of initiative, exercised by each, would oversubscribe the park fund quota by noon today.

July 16, 1933, San Diego Union, 9:1. “Who’s Zoo” radio program billed here this week (illus.).

July 17,1933, San Diego Union, 9:4. Tribute to buildings.

July 18, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7, 6:2. Opening of San Diego Symphony concert in park tonight honors Myron F. Gilmore, president of San Diego Trust & Savings Bank.

July 18, 1933, San Diego Union, 9:4. Richard Requa: Anson Bailey Cutts praises Bertram Goodhue’s buildings as ‘an expression of unadulterated taste and charm in civic planning’; quote from an article he wrote in an architectural magazine after visiting Chicago’s “Century of Progress” Exposition.

I want to call attention to an article that appeared in the last issue of one of the leading architectural magazines in the country. It was written by Anson Bailey Cutts, who evidently has made a profound study of civic planning enterprises throughout the nation and is well versed in architectural design. He recently visited the Chicago exposition of which he speaks disparagingly in view of the probable influence it may have on development of civic architecture in the United States. The only illustration accompanying the article is a very excellent pen drawing made at our own Balboa Park.

The feature of this picture is the beautiful Spanish tower of one of the buildings on the east side of the main plaza. After briefly reviewing the various city planning projects of the country he has this startling statement to make at the close of his article: “After viewing the angular erections for Chicago’s Worlds Fair, one wonders anew if Bertram G. Goodhue’s exposition plazas in San Diego, already 19 years old, are to do down in history as the last coherent expression of unadulterated taste and charm in civic planning.”

We of San Diego should answer that challenge in no hesitating nor uncertain terms. We are informing the world that we fully appreciate our beautiful and appropriate architectural heritage; that we will preserve for posterity one of the most perfect developments in civic planning ever conceived and made a reality. In preserving the beauties of our park buildings to posterity, let us insist that these and other civic buildings shall conform in design and spirit to this historical architectural style that has helped to make this city famous.

To do this we need the cooperation and assistance of everyone interested in saving the park buildings. Send in at once your subscription to park buildings restoration headquarters, 1036 Fourth Avenue, or telephone Main 4271.

July 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Home Stretch.

The drive to save Balboa Park’s make-believe city is within striking distance of its goal — and this justifies the plea to push it forward with all possible speed.

July 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 9:8. Park building fund still lacks $4,000 of quota.

July 21, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:6. Deputy City Attorney Harold B. Daniel informed assessor James Hervey Johnson that the San Diego Zoo property belongs to the citizens of San Diego.

July 21, 1933, San Diego Union, 12:1. Charles S. Holzwasser ranks park structures superior to World Fair’s.

July 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:1-2, 3:4. Police, Scouts search park for missing boy.

July 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: A “Week”

The zoo broadcast tomorrow is the official finale of Zoo Week, the climax of a general program unique in the record of American institutions of this kind.

July 23, 1933, San Diego Union, 9:1. Sam Mason, San Diego Electric Railway general manager, says park buildings are a tourist magnet.

July 23, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:6. Last Zoo Week program begins at 2 p.m. today.

July 23, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8, 2:8. W. L. Van Schaick pleads for gifts for building restoration; $4,000 needed.

July 24, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: The “Inseparables”

Tomorrow night the midsummer symphony program in Balboa Park is dedicated to two San Diego women, Mrs. B. A. Baker and Miss Gertrude Gilbert.

July 24, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 8:6. Dr. John Nolen, in his article in California Southwest, declares San Diego exposition buildings are one of the ten greatest examples of architecture in the United States.

July 25, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:5. $3,800 needed for building restoration.

July 29, 1933, San Diego Union, 11, 1:4. Tag Day for building restoration funds.

July 31, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 8:3. Reverend Richard D. Hollington to talk on Spanish architecture in California this evening in Fine Arts Gallery (photo).


August 1, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:5. Seven appointed to direct park building repairs.

A committee of seven officials and citizens was named by the city council yesterday to direct the repair of park buildings.

The group, to be known as the Park Buildings Restoration Committee, consists of City Manager Lockwood, John Morley, park director; Councilman Albert W. Bennett, Supervisor Edgar Hastings; and Miss Gertrude Gilbert, Wynne L. Van Schaick, and F. L. Annable.

Councilman were advised that by appointing such a committee commitments for materials could be obtained to save the city several thousand dollars by getting the orders in before expected price boosts.

The city manager and park director were given veto power over the acts of the committee.

The Council has appropriated $10,000 toward repair of the buildings. It has been estimated the cost of the job will be $70,500. The labor is to be furnished under federal relief appropriations.

The $10,000 city appropriation, together with money raised by the citizens’ restoration committee, will be used for the purchase of necessary materials. Much material has been donated, councilmen were told.

August 1, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:2. Public classes in bird and animal life at San Diego Zoo.

August 2, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:3. Mme. Schumann-Heink attended symphony concert in park last night.

August 4, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:3-6. Frolic will be staged tonight at California Theater to aid park building fund.

August 5, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:1. Midnight park building frolic at California Theater attracts many.

August 6, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2, 3:4 Spreckels’ firm donates $2,000 to park fund.

August 6, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8, 3:5. Public urged to back Symphony Orchestra; funds needed as receipts, pledges fall $3,000 short.

August 6, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 3:1. San Diego is unsurpassed in harbor building sites, by Richard S. Requa.

August 6, 1933, San Diego Union, World-Wide Features, 6:1. EDITORIAL: “Our” Concert

Tuesday’s concert, the fourth of the midsummer-night symphonies in Balboa Park is dedicated very simply to the men and women who have made the concert series possible.

August 9, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:4. City issues permit to itself to repair exposition buildings.

August 10, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Why Not?

August 11, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7-8. Exposition repair project in hands of architect Richard Requa; contract let for material.

August 11, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7, 3:2. Lillian Pray Palmer, 62, noted San Diego clubwoman and civic leader, dies.

August 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7-8, 3:3. Orchestra will repeat park concert at Savoy.

August 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 2:2. Annie Lawrie Perkins finds beauty and music in Balboa Park settings.

August 13, 1922, San Diego Union, 4:1. Park buildings total over top; $5,000 to spare.

Contributions for restoration of civic buildings in Balboa Park now total $25,000, or $5,000 more than the original sum needed, it was announced yesterday by Col. Ed Fletcher, in charge of campaign.

Subscriptions announced by Col. Fletcher yesterday included $2,500 from the Civic Auditorium Association and $250 from the clearing house banks of San Diego.

Commenting on the campaign for the restoration funds, Col. Fletcher said:

“I was very glad to get a real letter from our good citizen, Guilford H. Whitney, from London, England, in answer to my letter, donating $250, as well as stating with much enthusiasm his interest and wishes of success in the good work.

“We now have more than $25,000 subscribed, but with increased cost of materials and necessity of painting the exterior of the buildings (not included in the original estimate), we should have $2,000 or $3,000 more on hand to fully complete the restoration in a manner that will be a source of credit to the city.

“I want to pay my tribute to the chairman of the committee, W. L. Van Schaick and his associates for their untiring efforts. The citizens of San Diego owe them a debt of gratitude for their public service.”

August 13, 1933, San Diego Union, 16:2. The City Purchasing Department recommended yesterday that Carl J. Barrett’s bid for operation of concessions in Balboa Park be accepted; four refreshment stands contemplated.

August 14, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:5. Mayor Forward urged good attendance at tomorrow’s symphony concert, dedicated to U. S. Navy, at Organ Pavilion.

August 15, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:4. Park concession contract won on straight rental; Nate Barnet to pay $5,000 for three years.

August 16, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:1. Large audience demands encore at park concert, by Wallace Moody.

August 20, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 4:4. Lotus blossoms marvelous sight in park’s lagoon, by Ada Perry.

August 21, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:2. Marion Sinclair Keys asks comment on plan to save San Joaquin Building.

August 21, 1933, San Diego Union, 8:5. Final symphony concert tomorrow night honors conductor Nino Marcelli.

August 22, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: A Seasons Finale

Tonight’s printed tribute to conductor Marcelli is well deserved and is profoundly appropriate.

August 23, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:1. Brilliant final concert draws stirring ovation, by Wallace Moody.

August 26, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:1. Today marks the opening of the fall flower show in the southwest building on the main plaza in Balboa Park.

August 27, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1, 5:1. Eighty one warships will base in bay all 1934, possibly until 1937.

August 29, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:7-8, 8:1-8. City, County planners agree on site for waterfront Civic Center; federal aid offered; history of movement traced.

August 30, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:1. Eleven horses burn in Balboa Park Academy blaze.

August 31, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:1. O’Rourke Zoological Institution will conduct graduation exercises for summer classes at 2 p.m. tomorrow.


September 4, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:4. Coast Artillery Band is pleasing in park concert, by Wallace Moody.

September 6, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:5. J. Albrecht would replace Balboa Park acacia trees with cocos plumosa palms.

September 6, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:5. City Council leases stands in park for three years to Nate Barnett at annual rental of $2,000 a year.

September 7, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. Park building restoration job pushes ahead; 28 workers find employment at supporting wage.

Restoration of the Balboa Park buildings were well advanced yesterday, three weeks since the work began. It is financed by $23,500 raised by public contributions and federal relief funds. Workmen are selected by the county welfare commission.

Four of the seven buildings are to be repaired now. These are the Canadian, American Legion, Visual Education and Refreshment Buildings. Wood foundations are to be replaced by concrete, roofs repaired or replaced and plaster decorations on exteriors remodeled.

Twenty-eight men are employed on the work. Speed of completion depends upon the number of men available from the welfare commission. With the present crew it will take six months, it is estimated. The men are unemployed mechanics receiving emergency relief. They are paid three-fourths of their wages in food and one-fourth in cash at the rate of $4 a day.

In replacing foundations, the buildings are shored up and old timbers cut off four feet above the street level. Concrete is then poured in their stead. It was expected that termites had badly damaged the timbers but this was not so. Deterioration is due to dry rot.

Water behind the ornamental cornices is the cause of their cracking and falling. Defective parts are being removed and new plaster applied. After this the exterior of each of the buildings will be waterproofed by painting with cement paint.

The rear wing of the Canadian building was found to be beyond repair. It originally was built on a 40-foot fill and this has settled, causing the underpinning to give way. This wing is being demolished. It cannot be seen from the roadway so appearance of the building will be unaltered.

In charge of the work are Wynne L. Van Schaick, chairman of the park building restoration committee; M. Trepte, superintendent; Richard S. Requa, architect, and Harry L. Foster.

September 10, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 11:1. Fred A. Schwartfager suggests fuchsias growing in park be a living tribute to distinguished San Diegans; prefers location near roque courts; says Kate Sessions has promised vines.

September 11, 1933, San Diego Union, 6:4. Boy Scouts prepare of Jamboree in Indian Village, September 22.

The jamboree, to be conducted along the lines of a three-ring circus, will be held outdoors in three large rings, especially constructed for the event. Special lighting arrangements will be installed. The spectators will be seated on the huge rock bluff on the east side of the reservation.

All troops are practicing drills in preparation for the troop review, which will open the evening’s program. The mass of troop colors and the pledge of allegiance to the flag, and recommittal of the scout oath by nearly 1800 scouts will be a scene that the spectator will not soon forget, scout leaders say.

The jamboree will be free to the public and a special effort will be made to have scout parents and friends attend.

The purpose of the jamboree is to give the public a better understanding as to what scouts learn and do and to interest adults in providing leadership for scouts.

September 12, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:7. City Council withholds funds and demands change; states unskilled labor is being used in exposition building repair.

September 13, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:6, 2:4-5. City Playground Chief’s pay held up pending Civil Service inquiry; Kearns accused of neglecting work to instruct at university; he denies wrongdoing.

September 14, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:3, 2:4. City playground control will be reorganized Monday.

September 14, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Watch It.

We cannot see anything particularly sinful in the charges laid against Playgrounds Director “Bud” Kearns by the Civil Service Commission’s undercover men. We do know for a fact that for three months past there have been persistent rumors of an impending effort to “get” Kearns.

September 17, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:3. E. H. Dowell, Union leader official, criticizes repair work; use of indigent labor at park.

September 19, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. Van Schaick replies to E. H. Dowell’s charges; told City Council yesterday no attempt was ever made to have people believe the subscriptions for Balboa Park buildings would go for labor instead of materials.

September 19, 1933, San Diego Union, 9:1. Good progress being made on park buildings.

Splendid progress is being made in the reconstruction of the Balboa Park Exposition buildings, according to members of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, who inspected the work last week. Jerry Sullivan, Jr. declared the rehabilitation work “is a distinct credit to the city and the park buildings restoration committee.”

At its meeting yesterday the Hammer Club adopted unanimously a resolution commending the park building restoration committee and efficient manner in which the work on the buildings is being performed.

According to Wynne L. Van Schaick, chairman of the park building committee, sufficient skylight glass was salvaged from the rear wing of building No. 8 to repair all the broken glass in the other park buildings which are to be restored. More than 30,000 board feet of lumber from this wing of building No. 8 is to be used to excellent advantage in the rehabilitation program, Can Schaick reported.

On the visual education building all skylight glass has been replaced and the main roof of this structure and the American Legion building repaired. Imitation tile on the old county fair building has been removed and is being replaced with standard tile roofing.

Van Schaick also reported that virtually all the footings in bad condition under the arcades and main columns of building no. 4 (Visual Education building) have been replaced with concrete cement blocks. Lathers also have started work on this building.

“I am convinced that if the labor such as has been furnished us in recent weeks will continue, we shall not have the trouble or labor problems we encountered when first we started the park building restoration work,” said Van Schaick. “Of course, the more skilled labor we get the sooner we can complete the project.

“While the actual bills paid by this committee and the city approximate $2,800, including labor, supervision and materials, the funds spent for construction total only $1,200. The balance of $1,600 is explained by the materials we have stocked on the job now and have not yet used. I feel, as do the other members of the restoration committee, that if we proceed along the plans outlined we can complete the rehabilitation program well within the original estimate of cost.”

  1. L. Annable, president of the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway, declared he has inspected the word on the Exposition buildings and that he was impressed with the efficiency and meticulous care that has characterized the reconstruction program since its inception.

“The workers are doing a splendid job and they, as well as the park building committee, deserve the gratitude and thanks of the community,” said Annable.

September 22, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:6. City Manager Lockwood inspected building repairs in Balboa Park yesterday; was told that skilled laborers are disinclined to work at their trade when sent from welfare roles to work on reconstruction of buildings.

September 27, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. Student Concert Guild presents Rayner Brown and Charles Shatto, organists, in recitals at Organ Pavilion Saturday afternoon.

September 30, 1933, San Diego Union, 3:4. Students’ Guild presents organ recital at park.


October 1, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2. Meeting at park this afternoon under auspices of Federated Church Brotherhood to close Religious Education Week in San Diego.

October 9, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. Pershing Drive collision near big bend sends six to hospital.

October 13, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1 Chamber Board plays hooky on outing to park (illus.)

Halcyon days of their boyhood were recalled to more than two score members of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce yesterday when they were guests of Mrs. Belle Benchley of the zoo. Later they inspected the art gallery and the work being accomplished to restore the park buildings.

Leaving the usual Thursday consultation of civic problems for another day, the directors first had luncheon with Mrs. Benchley and Maggie, the orangutan, at the zoo. Maggie thoroughly enjoyed the lunch, particularly the applies and the pitcher of cream which the directors failed to use in their coffee.

Both Mrs. Benchley and Charles R. Schroeder, veterinary pathologist, gave a brief description of the zoo and the scientific research work carried on at the zoological laboratory. Maggie listened with attention to Schroeder’s talk on various animals but when he mentioned Jiggs, Maggie’s orangutan husband, she began pulling out great handfuls of grass. Maggie loves her husband — at times.

The directors then joined a group of youngsters for an exhibition of Jerry, Sonny Boy and Charlie, the trained seas. Jerry put on a singing act, and Sonny Boy and Charlie balanced rubber balls on their noses, walked a tight rope and at a couple of pounds of mackerel.

Armed with lumps of sugar given to them by Neil Brown, the directors went to the bear cages. One of the brown bears scored seven hits and no errors by catching in his mouth every lump of sugar thrown at him. President David Millan then posed with Bong, the African cheetah.

The next stop of the directors as at the art gallery, where Reginald Poland explained the various art exhibits.

Accompanied by Wynne L. Van Schaick, chairman of the park building restoration committee, and Richard Requa, architect in charge of the rehabilitation work, the directors then made a tour of inspection of various structures now being restored. They were warm in their praise of the work already accomplished.

The visual education building is virtually completed, as is the work of repairing the roofs of three other buildings. Van Schaick reported that three and a half tons of putty were used in repairing the skylights of the old county fair building and the war memorial. The towers on the county fair building, which were leaning outward nearly a foot, have been pulled back to their normal position by cables. Concrete footings are being used to strengthen the arcades. Although hampered by lack of skilled workers, it is expected that the bulk of the repair work will be completed before the rainy season.

The directors agreed that the afternoon was none of the most enjoyable and instructive they have experienced in some time.

October 22, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 16:1. City Council to call hearing on park land for Civic Center at Sixth Avenue and Date Street.

October 25, 1933, San Diego Union, 10:6. Pacific Beach residents build part on two-acre tract at head of Lamont Street; Kate Sessions donated shrubs, trees and flowers.


November 4, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:3. Five hundred “Gray Castle” alumni join in first homecoming in history of institution.

November 11, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2-3. Major General John T. Myers, commanding department of Pacific Marine Corps, says naval bases in San Diego are result of Marines sent to 1915 Exposition.

November 12, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:8. Blind composers featured in program at Organ Pavilion; Royal A. Brown, organist.

November 27, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:2. Thanksgiving service planned at Organ Pavilion.

November 30, 1933, San Diego Union, 2:4. George W. Marston urges development of bay center for Civic Center.


December 4, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. City condemns buildings.

December 4, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. Dudley Crafts Watson, Art Institute of Chicago, praises Plaza de Panama; more beautiful than plaza in old Seville; San Diego should become art center of western world.

December 5, 1933, San Diego Union, 7:5-6. It was announced at City Hall yesterday that the waterfront and courthouse sites for the proposed Civic Center would require only a majority vote of the county electors, but the park site would require a two-thirds vote to make it available.

December 10, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 2:1. William Templeton Johnson opposes Civic Center in Balboa Park; public already faces heavy loss of Balboa Park spaces.

Central Park, New York has been the target for half a century of a minority group who have sought unsuccessfully to divert its recreational areas to building purposes. A similar authority is endeavoring to utilize the few remaining acres in Balboa Park for a Civic Center, but is meeting with vigorous opposition from an aroused citizenry that similarly resulted in saving Central park for New York’s teeming population.

“We are accustomed,” said Johnson, “to think of Balboa Park as an enormous piece of land and 1400 acres does sound like a large area. Few, however, have any conception of what a large part is canyon land unsuitable and impracticable for intensive park development.

“Without looking at the accompanying map, it is difficult to visualize how much of the upland is already developed for one use or another, and how comparatively little is left for new park uses.

“History of most parks in large cities reveals in a striking manner that they have been fair game for spoilation. Through 50 years New York’s famed Central Park has been the target for schemes of dismemberment. Only constant watchfulness and aroused public opinion has saved it from disappearing entirely.

“Balboa Park has borne the brunt of similar onslaughts by people who have little idea of the value or recreational facilities for citizens and tourists alike, and who evidently care less. From time to time proposals have been made to sell it outright, to dispose of valuable strips on both east and west sides and to use a portion of the upland for a State College site.

“Most of these proposed inroads have been fought off, but despite the seal of Park Commissioners a steady progress of nibbling has been going on. The Russ High School was built on land sliced from the park. So was the Children’s Home. Later another large tract adjoining the high school was preempted for a play area. The Roosevelt High School received a grant at the north end of the park. Another 30 acres, embracing one of the finest views of the entire park, was given to the federal government as a site for a Naval Hospital.

“Look at the accompanying map. It will be seen at a glance that apart from the canyons almost all the mesa land in the park has been disposed of for non-park purposes. The few remaining acres have been decoratively planted or are used for recreational purposes.

“Despite the fact that there is hardly any unimproved park area left, it is not proposed further to despoil the park by building a Civic Center in the 17 acres adjacent to Sixth and Date and, according to Civic Center proponents, closing the Eighth Avenue entrance. This portion of the park is beautifully planted and highly developed with recreational facilities, including Marston Point, the observation plaza, horseshoe and shuffleboard courts.

“Because of the steep topography only a very small part of the 17 acres is suitable for building purposes and future expansion will make still further inroads. Every foot of Balboa Park will be needed for legitimate park purposes. The time has come to save the park from further attacks.

“No sensible person will vote to sacrifice any park lands when they are so vitally needed for the purposes for which Balboa Park originally was dedicated.”

The Citizen’s Civic Center Committee points out that a two-thirds majority will be necessary at the December 19 election to place the Civic Center in the park. This obviously is impossible to attain. Finally the site must be ratified by the state legislature and in the meantime the $300,000 gift of the federal government for the construction of a city-county building will have reverted to the treasury, leaving San Diego taxpayers holding the sack.

The Committee urges San Diegans to vote for the Civic Center on the waterfront and for the city-county bond issue.

December 12, 1933, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Present: Commissioners Buck, Otto and Naylor.

Mr. Fred J. Hansen and delegation appeared before the Board and requested use of vacant rooms in Administration Building, formerly occupied by City Planning Commission; rooms to be used in connection with activities of San Diego Production Credit Association in extending loans on production crops, livestock and poultry production.

Upon motion of Mr. Otto, seconded and carried, use of double room No. 10 in Administration Building at rental of $10 per month was authorized, subject to approval of the City Manager.

The secretary reported receipt of telephone message from Mr. W. J. Dady at Riverside recommending against allowing use of a building in Balboa Park for meeting place of Indians. Mr. Naylor then moved that no building in Balboa Park be allowed any group of Indians unless request comes with recommendation of the Indian Agent of this district. The motion was seconded by Mr. Otto and carried.

Mr. Morley reported list of Balboa Park projects to be done with C. W. A. funds, aggregating $289,210.80; all of these projects have not been approved. Additional projects were reported as follows: La Jolla, $6,000.00; Torrey Pines, $10,000.00; Mountain View Park, $5,873.00; Street Tree Division, $5,755.00.

Letter to the City Manager from the Board of Education relative to contribution of $500.00 by that Board to the restoration fund if legal arrangements can be made, was referred to the Commission by the City Manager. The matter was referred to the chairman for his recommendation.

Request was received from Mr. J. W. Rainwater, Secretary of Community Chest, for use of a building in Balboa Park for headquarters of California Conference of Social Work to meet in San Diego May 13 to 17, 1934. Upon motion of Mr. Naylor, seconded and carried, the request was approved.

Mr. Naylor reported a battery of lights at Navy Field, which he understands can be purchased at a bargain and used at the Stadium for night events. The matter was referred to Mr. Naylor for investigation and report.

December 15, 1933, San Diego Union, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Next Tuesday.

Our Civic Center depends directly, we believe, upon a vote for the harbor front site as well as a vote for both city and county civic-center bonds.

We believe the project will be carried at the polls next Tuesday upon one condition — the condition, namely, that the voters who want it actually get out to the pools and cast their votes.

We can have a civic center at this time if we obtain a government loan and a public-works construction subsidy — as proposed — of $300,000 to complete the work. One iron-clad condition for the lend of public-works funds is that they shall go only to such major projects as can be shown to be part of a consistent planned development for the community in which they are situated. It is doubtful if the government money can be obtained for any project of this character which is not clearly related to such general development.

The harbor front site is an essential part of the civic-center development specified in our city plan, twice approved by the electorate, and upheld again this year in the joint committee report of city and county planning commissions.

Furthermore, the harbor front site is the one site immediately available for this development. Time is of the essence of the opportunity offered by the public works administration. If we cannot submit an immediate construction project, we cannot obtain the government loan — to say nothing of the construction subsidy — under the terms now offered.

The harbor front site consists of 18 acres of level land, owned by the people through grant of the state legislature, dedicated to this particular purpose, and at available at once for civic-center construction.

The harbor front site is the approved site, specified in the program submitted by one of the most eminent city-planners in the world, accepted by the voters and upheld by them in two previous elections. The harbor front site is immediately available. In our opinion, a majority vote for this site next Tuesday is a necessary condition toward our getting any civic center at all, anywhere.

We urge a clean-cut, consistent, decisive vote for the harbor front site — a vote which will not only reiterate the community’s choice of a civic-center site, but which will also make it practicable to begin construction at once to realize this long-delayed civic ambition.

We can have a civic center. We can have an impressive and beautiful development of our harbor front, comparable to the best in the world. We can have the new and necessary public buildings at a cost of less than our present public-office costs in rent. This is all immediate and practical. Its realization depends upon the initiative and energy of the San Diegans who see the opportunity as it is.

Every special interest with an ax to grind will get out its full available vote next Tuesday. But we sincerely believe that if the forward-looking people of San Diego will do the same, they can win this election.

December 15, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 4:1. Gertrude Gilbert writes letter supporting harbor site for Civic Center.

There is only one way to vote on the civic center site, to bring the most good to San Diego, and that is the waterfront.

A civic center on that site not only will serve the general utility purposes of housing our city and county offices, but it will give us the opportunity to house them in a group of beautiful buildings; it will give us the opportunity to create a unique harbor front such as not city in the country on either the Atlantic or Pacific coast possesses, with space for a much-needed auditorium and other necessary civic buildings, with space for planting and parking, and with plenty of room to spread as the city grows and necessity demands; in short, a civic center which will give San Diego distinguished prestige among coastal cities of the country.

The present courthouse site, limited to one city block, probably would result in an ordinary type of modern skyscraper, with no particular value beyond the strictly useful purpose of housing our municipal offices, with no opportunity or space for future growth, or attractive surroundings, except by the purchase by the city of more high priced land in this high priced neighborhood.

As for the park site, it is high time that civic-minded citizens of San Diego rise en masse against further filching of park lands for any purposes. Certainly we should rise in vigorous protest against this proposal to rob the park of its lovely Date Street entrance, one of the few remaining level pieces of land in the park, and already beautified with green lawns and trees and attractive parking.

But even aside from these considerations, why are we asked to vote for this park land for a civic center, when it will require another special election before it can be used for a civic center or any other purpose, and at a time when the delay required for another election will mean that the city will lose forever this wonderful opportunity for aid in building a much-needed civic center which the government is now offering; even to the outright cash gift of more than $250,000.

The park site does not merit the consideration of voters who have San Diego’s best interests at heart.

Besides, do we want our jail, housing the city’s criminals, situated in our park, so near the high school, and with the police patrol clanging back and forth through the avenues leading to the park?

Why would anyone hesitate to vote for a bond issue which clearly is both to the advantage of the city’s best interests and to the taxpayer, which will be paid off in 30 yearly payments in amounts less than we are paying now for city and county rentals, and with every possibility that these rents will rise drastically as the times grow better?

Why hesitate to vote for a bond issue which assures out taxpayers that at the end of the 30 payments the city will come into complete possession of the civic center property, free of all encumbrance of further obligations, all rentals at an end?

This is a time when a bond issue means a cash gift to the city of $300,000, government aid on the project on easy and advantageous terms, an annual saving to the taxpayer and the fulfillment of a plan for a practical and beautiful harbor development, unique among harbor cities.

And remember that no civic center can be built on any site unless the bond issue is passed; that if the bonds are not passed it means the possibility of higher and higher rentals in the future for the city and county offices, which the taxpayer must pay; that if the bond issue is passed it means that we know now what this expense of offices will be for the next 30 years, no matter what the conditions or times, payments being made in equal amounts throughout the 30 years, these payments less than the present rentals.

With this great chance of a lifetime to obtain government aid in a great civic project, an opportunity which will never come again, with so much to gain by prompt and united action, and everything to lose by delay and quibbling, let us all pull together for the proposition which will give San Diego the greatest amount of good at the least expense to the taxpayer by voting for the waterfront site and the bonds.

December 15, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 4:1. Horace Bradt writes letter supporting use of present courthouse location for “many new and attractive buildings.”

December 15, 1933, San Diego Union, II, 4:2. Katherine Pike Skedden writes letter suggesting that harbor would be “adequate setting” for new county building.

December 17, 1933, San Diego Union, World-Wide Features, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Beauty and A Vote.

How much is beauty worth to San Diego?

That is one of the questions which ought to affect the decision of the voters Tuesday, when they express a choice for one of the two possible civic-center sites named on the ballot.

The question is not mere sentimentalism, albeit no accountant will ever to be able to present a dollars-and-cents answer. There is very definite worth in civic beauty — a worth reflected in the pride of its people, the admiration and respect of those who visit it; the sense of responsibility developed in the officials who serve it. In no other city of the United States is this worth more valuable than in our city — and in no other city is it more available.

Which will do more for the beauty of San Diego — a group of public buildings in Balboa park, or a civic-center development on the harbor front site?

We believe the answer to that question is all but self-evident.

The argument for the harbor front site is impressive on every basis. On this particular basis, it seems to us conclusive.

The harbor front site is an essential of the city’s accepted plan of civic development. It has been approved twice by a vote of the people. It is recommended unanimously in the joint report of the city and county planning commissions. It has the warm support of the chamber of commerce. Its choice is absolutely free from the legal and financial handicaps connected with a choice of the park site. It — since it is part of a consistent approved city plan — is probably the only site for which the public works administration would approve a federal construction loan. But, beyond all this, it is the one site whose development would add greatly to the city’s beauty.

A civic center at the harbor’s edge, following the fine tradition of the most beautiful cities of the old world and the new, is the one improvement which will add greatly and immediately to the sum total of the beauties our city has to offer.

To build in Balboa Park is to destroy one fine development for the sake of another.

To build in the harbor front is to establish a lasting and beautiful aspect of San Diego in a place where now there is only idle ground, waiting.

In the interest of a beautiful city — if civic beauty is worth having – which is the more in need of new development, Balboa Park or the harbor front? The beauty of Balboa Park is already known throughout the world. The beauty of San Diego’s harbor front is only potential, as yet, awaiting the civic vision and initiative and energy to make it real and enduring for all time.

Let Balboa park remain splendidly, through all the future, what it is now. Let San Diego’s harbor front become what it ought to be.

December 19, 1933. SPECIAL ELECTION: Voters asked to permit Balboa Park lands to be used for city-county building (Civic Center).

Yes 8,537

No 16,748

December 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 1:8, 2:5. Waterfront site wins easily; bond vote not up to 2-1 mark; voters approved waterfront site but neglected to provide financing for project.

December 20, 1933, San Diego Union, 5:1. George H. Field gives insect collection to Natural History Museum, Balboa Park; between 15,000 and 20,000 classified insects.

December 25, 1933, San Diego Union. 5:1. Local Scouts draw varied program for 1934.

The 1934 Boy Scout program for San Diego area council is complete and copies have been given to all scoutmasters. Character building and citizenship training activities will be stressed.

The 1933 program, closing this week, is considered a fine example of what a proper schedule will do to the council, troop and patrol. Through a carefully mapped course the council will close the year with a substantial gain in membership, both scout and adult, and also an increase in the number of troops.

Civic activities this year have been outstanding, the scout uniform having appeared at many public gatherings in the 12 months.

Every troop is urged to program its work for the year, using big council events as a definite part of its activities. The courts of honor at the Indian Village and in the country districts will be a monthly feature of the program, as also will be the monthly district and scouters’ training meetings, patrol leaders’ powwow and executive board meetings.

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