Balboa Park History 1943

January 3, 1943, San Diego Union, A-1 annual meeting of the San Diego Society of Natural History will take place Friday at 4 p.m. in the director’s room, Balboa Park.

January 5, 1943, Letter, From: The Commandant; To: The Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks; Via: The Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; NH16/N19 (Serial No. P-9227); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.

Subject: Alterations to Buildings No. 5 and 36 to Increase the Detention Ward Facilities, U. S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, California

  1. As a result of the great increase in census at the Hospital, certain facilities are now completely inadequate for the proper care and security of patients.
  2. Additional locked space is urgently needed for the proper care and security of psychotic patients, pending their transfer to other institutions. To provide this additional locked space, it is recommended that Building No. 36, Ward 2 be encased with steel casements including necessary grates and locks.
  3. With the increased census of the Hospital, a greater number of prisoners must be provided for. Some of these require medical and surgical care while serving sentences. To care for these prisoner patients, additional prison ward facilities are urgently needed. It is recommended that these additional facilities can be obtained by encasing Building No. 5, Ward 1, with wire netting and steel grates.
  4. It is therefore requested that the Commandant be granted an allotment in the amount of $3,000 for the alterations involved which includes fee, overhead and contingencies.
  5. It is recommended that work be accomplished as a charge order to Contract Noy-4412; plans to be prepared by the District. Approximately 50% of the work will be subcontracted and four (4) weeks will be required for its completion.
  6. It is the opinion of the Commandant that this project complies with the directive of the Secretary of the Navy for war time construction and is essential to the war effort.


Assistant Commandant

January 8, 1943, San Diego Union, A-B:2. Selected women, who have shown promise in machine work, are sent to the Ford Building in Balboa Park for advanced training in machine operating.

January 9, 1943, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Board of Park Commissioners agreed to transfer of a portion of land lying within Balboa Park south of Upas Street and west of Richmond Street to the Board of Education.

January 10, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:4, B-12:1. Mrs. Scott, San Diego Zoo worker, recalls start of San Diego Zoo; traces history; first admissions fee collected in 1923, by Ruth Taunton.

It was 20 years ago today that Dr. Harry Wegeforth, in a sudden burst of enthusiasm for the few animals that he insisted on regarding as a zoo, decided to charge the next unsuspecting San Diegan who visited them a 10-cent admission fee.

Last year 501,718 adults each paid 25 cents admission and considered it a bargain; 56,735 service men in invited groups and 9,220 children entered free, and really got a bargain.

With the exhibits now numbering more than 300 and the San Diego Zoological Gardens in Balboa Park ranked among the world’s finest, a record total of 567,673 persons when through its gates in 1942, it was announced yesterday by the Zoological Society.

There is only one person still at the zoo who shared with Dr. Wegeforth the earliest beginnings of the now world-famous institution which he founded and headed until his recent death. She is Maude R. Scott.

The zoo area was set aside by the city council for the zoological gardens in 1921, and the few animals which Dr. Harry, as every one at the zoo knew him, acquired from the 1915-1916 exposition were shown free of charge until January 10, 1923.

“You could have bowled me over with a parrot’s feather when Dr. Harry rushed up to me about 1 o’clock on a cold gray afternoon and announced: “We are going to start charging admission,” Mrs. Scott recalls. “Entrance was through the old reptile house, later the café. I was told to sit in the middle of the doorway, collect a dime from any adult who wanted to pass, but to let children in free.

“It was such a cold day that I had to keep my fur coat on. When I began to cough and shiver, Dr. Harry brought a large rope and bundled in around my knees. I hate to think what I looked like.”

As things developed, Dr. Harry couldn’t have picked a better day to begin his experiment. There was an unusually large crowd and Mrs. Scott took in $165, the customers accepting the new rules and regulations without questioning how they came into being.

Dr. Harry’s next sudden urge came on the Fourth of July, 1924. Trotting around looking at animals was hungry, thirsty business, he explained to Mrs. Scott and the zoo must have a café.

“So we opened a café, if one could call it that,” she said. “We had no equipment. I could hardly cook a meal at home anymore as I had to bring all my pots and pans down to the zoo. The sink had no drain board, the tiny stove no oven, the kitchen no bins. Our tables were boards an sawhorses.

“Dr. Harry had visions of a magnificent zoo, a magnificent restaurant, a magnificent future in general, and simply waved away our hard present. He invited the board in for lunch, asked me to serve fried chicken. I did, but the treasurer, one of our wealthy city fathers, also wanted hot biscuits. When I told him we had no oven, he came in the kitchen to see what we did have, stood there a long time, just looking things over. Soon after that we have a nice stove, tables and bins.”

Through the years while the make-shift zoo was being developed in an orange grove and across barren hillsides of the park, Mrs. Scott had remained with what she calls “zoo concessions.” She shared with Dr. Harry the excitement over the zoo’s first shipment of rare animals from Australia and later shared the thrills of Belle J. Benchley, zoo executive secretary for many years, in watching the San Diego Zoo climb to top place among institutions exhibiting rare animals.

One of Mrs. Scott’s last memories of Dr. Harry, who died in 1941, concerns a visit he made to the zoo café kitchen a few days before the end.

“He examined a fine new refrigerator that had been installed,” she recalled, “then turned to me and chuckled: ‘I wish they could see what you and I started out with — I only wish they could.’’

January 13, 1943, San Diego Union, A-6:2. The City Council yesterday set up pubic hearing on proposal to take out of Balboa Park land at Upas and Richmond Streets for use of Board of Education as a site for its new Administration Building for February 16; after the hearing it is the present plan of the Council to place on the ballot at the April 20 city general election a proposal to discontinue use of that part of Balboa Park for park purposes.

January 14, 1943, San Diego Union, A-3:5. An organ concert open to all servicemen and women and their guests, but not to the general public, will be given tomorrow afternoon at 2 at the Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park; D. R. Smith, specialist first class, U. S. N. R., will be the organist.

January 17, 1943, San Diego Union, A-11:2-3. Baby condor born in captivity is on exhibition at the San Diego Zoo.

January 24, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:6-8. Director reviews year’s activities of Fine Arts Gallery, by Reginald Poland.

January 24, 1943, San Diego Union, A-10:1-2. San Diego Zoo gets rare Harpy eagle from Brazil.

January 25, 1943, San Diego Union, A-B:7. Naval Hospital corpsmen train to maintain comrades on firing line.

January 26, 1943, San Diego Union, A-1:3, A-A:2. Eight hundred trees fall victim to storm; about 400 in park.

January 28, 1943, San Diego Union, A-10:1. Park official hits opposition to land grant.

In opposing exchange of land proposed by the park commission and the school board, the city planning commission and its executive Glenn Rick, recently expressed an uninformed opinion , in the belief of Irving E. Friedman, president of the park commission.

January 31, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:1. W. A. Kearns, recreation director make public yesterday a ten-year recreation program for San Diego.

February 2, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:5. Public hearing set for February 16 on city school department proposal to exchange 3.53 acres it has in the zoo grounds for six acres at Upas and Richmond Streets.

February 7, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:6-8. Flower panels, benda masks form new exhibits at Fine Arts Gallery.

February 9, 1943, San Diego Union, A-:1-4. Post-war project urged on Silver Gate Riding Club grounds; drawing of administration building proposed by schools on Balboa Park site.

Glenn A. Rick, city planning engineer, said that he believed the new site would be less objectionable than the Richmond and Upas location, against which the planning commission had registered a protest.

February 12, 1943, San Diego Union, A-7:1. National Recreation Association representative tells of City playground expansion from three playgrounds 20 years ago to 37 playgrounds today.

February 12, 1943, San Diego Union, B-3:1. City ponders ball park site at the foot of Broadway for an auditorium.

February 14, 1943, San Diego Union, A-8:2-3. Museum of Natural History gets buffalo, ibex heads.

February 14, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:4. Because the Board of Education has withdrawn its requests for park land at Upas and Richmond Streets to be used as a site for a school administration building, there will be no public hearing on that request before the City Council Tuesday; instead the city schools are asking that a proposition to vote out of the park an area now occupied by the Silver Gate Riding Academy be placed on the ballot..

February 14, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:6-8. Marie DuBarry will give talk at Fine Arts Gallery today on exhibit of animal paintings.

February 14, 1943, San Diego Union, D-6:2. St. Francis Chapel to be scene of marriage ceremony.

February 16, 1943, San Diego Union, A-5:1. City Council studies waves of attacks on San Diego women.

February 18, 1943, San Diego Union, A-6:2-3. Walter S. Lieber opposes park grant to Board of Education.

Editor: I am rather surprised that the board of education is wanting and about to ask the people of the city of San Diego to give them more of the precious acres of Balboa Park, and the worst of it is that they want to place thereon a purely business building. I feel that is the last straw that is about to break the back of a long-suffering public, for already there has been a misappropriation in several such instances.

February 19, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:5-6. Miss Alice Lee, civic leader, dies on Massachusetts visit.

February 19, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:5-6. San Diego projects included in $70,000,000 post-war improvement program proposed yesterday by State Public Works Director.

February 21, 1943, San Diego Union, A-1:2-4. Richard Havemann, 68, San Diego Zoo animal trainer, dies of wounds received while saving San Diego Zoo worker from bear.

February 21, 1943, San Diego Union, A-11:1. Naval Hospital students score nearly perfect.

February 21, 1943, San Diego Union, A-18:5. Protests mount on proposal Board of Education proposal to reduce park.

February 22, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:6. Dual committee to push plans for War Memorial Auditorium.

  1. Aubrey Davidson, Civic Center committee chairman, pointed out that under state law veterans can petition the board of supervisors to levy a tax for construction of a war memorial auditorium.

February 22, 1943, San Diego Union, C-9:6-8. Fine Arts Gallery director will discuss Venice reflected in old paintings.

February 27, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Naval Hospital graduates class of 42 WAVES..

February 28, 1943, San Diego Union, C-3:2-6. Museum of Man holds prehistoric collection.

February 28, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:6-7. Art of China will be topic of today’s talk at Fine Arts Gallery.

March 7, 1943, San Diego Union, B:3-4. Fine Arts Gallery, Natural History Museum and Museum of Man in Balboa Park to be closed.

March 7, 1943, San Diego Union, C-3:2-7. Natural History Museum specimens range from flowers to dinosaurs.

March 7, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:5-8. Julia G. Andrews will discuss “Masks in Art and Life” in Fine Arts Gallery.

March 12, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Military conversion of Fine Arts Gallery protested.

Walter Cooper, city manager, was instructed by the City Council to inform officials in Washington that the municipality desires to have the Fine Arts Building in Balboa Park maintained as an art gallery and does not want it converted to military use.

March 14, 1943, San Diego Union, A-9:1. Naval Hospital graduates 455 men.

March 14, 1943, San Diego Union, A-18:1. Work started to create a new U. S. O. center at 632 C Street.

March 24, 1943, San Diego Union, A-20:1. Mayor Howard B. Bard okays park building transfers.

March 15, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:7. House of Pacific Relations group picks George W. Ryan, Jr., president.

March 17, 1943, San Diego Union, A-1:2-4, B:1. San Vicente reservoir added to San Diego system.

March 18, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Consolidated, Vultee aircrafts merge.

March 20, 1943, San Diego Union, A-7:3. Lt. Hugh Enfield, wounded in action, at Naval Hospital.

March 24, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:4. First indoor playground to open tomorrow at 4352 University Avenue.

April 2, 1943, San Diego Union, A-8:1. Museum of Natural History slates nature outings.

April 2, 1943, San Diego Union, A-8:3. Four hundred and fifty six complete Naval Hospital work.

April 2, 1943, San Diego Union, A-8:7. Naval Hospital band to play at Pacific Square.

April 3, 1943, Memorandum, From: The Commandant; To: The Medical Officer-in-Command, Navy Hospital, San Diego, California; NH16/A1-1/A16-3 (Serial No. P-10210); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.

Subject: Hospital Expansion — Balboa Park — Buildings Nos. 22 and 24.

Enclosure: (A) Copy of Requisite Commitments from the U. S. Navy Department to the San Diego Museum of Man, preparatory to occupation of the Museum building.

  1. Enclosure (A) has been submitted as a stipulation under which the directors of the Museum of Man agree to the use of Buildings Nos. 22 and 24, Balboa Park, for hospital purposes. Items (a), (b), (d), (f) and (g) of Part One appear logical and equitable, as does Item (a) of Part Two.
  2. Comments on Items ( c ) and (e) of Part One and Item (b) of Part Two are requested, with special reference as to what arrangements have been made between the Museum of Man and the Hospital for payment, or taking on of the Museum employees by the Hospital.
  3. Your comments on the other items are also requested.


Assistant Commandant

Part I: Requisite Commitments from the U. S. Navy Department to the San Diego Museum of Man, preparatory to occupation of the Museum building.

  1. The U. S. Navy Department shall assume and pay all expenses contingent to the packing and storing of Museum exhibits.
  2. The U. S. Navy Department shall assume and pay all expenses contingent to the packing, removal, disposition and storage of other Museum property.
  3. The U. S. Navy Department shall assume and pay the Museum salary, maintenance and supply budgets as they existed as of 3:30 p.m. March 5, 1943, during the period of occupancy by the Navy of the Museum premises.

City Budget Schedule

Position Annual Salary

Acting Director 3,360

Secretary 2,316

Asst. Curator 2,208

Archaeologist 1,608

Janitor 1,908

Janitress 1,464

Maintenance and Support Annual Allotment

Telephone and telegraph 160

Stationery and postage 170

Material and supplies 525

Fuel 250

  1. The U. S. Navy Department shall provide employment and at the same salary as his Museum remuneration for any S. D. Museum of Man employee, who is compelled to leave his present position due to curtailment of Museum activities, brought about by the Navy’s occupation of the museum.
  2. The U. S. Navy Department agrees to meet the matter of the loss of revenue to the San Diego Museum of Man, arising from the suspension of its business through granting complete usage of its premises to the U. S. Navy Department, on the following basis, namely, an annual payment equal to the average of the five years preceding the date of occupation and that the same total of the revenue shall be made up of the items herein set forth:

Revenue Schedule

Membership Fees 649.00

Charges for Chapel Services 539.00

Publication and Photograph Sales 45.00


  1. The U. S. Navy Department agrees to allow the Museum storage space in basement rooms 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 during the period of occupation. It further agrees to permit any accredited San Diego Museum of Man representative access to the laboratories and stored archaeological collections in the basements set aside in the San Diego Museum of Man, for the purpose of study and preservation of the said collections.
  2. The U. S. Navy Department shall make the herein described repairs in the new offices of the San Diego Museum of Man located on the second floor of the Balboa Park Administration Building, to wit: Seal the walls of two offices and paint the walls of the third office.

PART II: Requisite Commitments from the U. S. Navy to the San Diego Museum of Man for the post-occupation period.

  1. The U. S. Navy Department agrees to provide for the return of the premises and contents of the San Diego Museum of Man in the same location and condition as of March 5, 1943.
  2. The U. S. Navy Department agrees to meet the costs of employing the same number of San Diego Museum of Man employees and of the same degree of technical ability as existed on March 5, 1943 in order to consummate the stipulations set fort in Part II.

(Article ends here in apparently incomplete form.)

April 4, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:5, B-12:2-3. Natural History Society “carries on” despite war; Navy takes over Natural History Museum as hospital; exhibits stored.

April 7, 1943, Letter, From: The Commandant; To: The Medical Officer in Command, U. S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, California.

Subject: Balboa Park – Organ Pavilion Area, jurisdiction of.

  1. Rearrangement of fencing in Balboa Park around the Organ Area is being undertaken as follows: The rearrangement will provide a side fence between Buildings 6 and 20 and a side fence between Buildings 12 and 15. The fence separating the Receiving Station Extension from the Organ Pavilion area will remain as at present and will mark the northerly boundary of the Receiving Station Extension. The gate fence between Buildings 15 and 20 will be removed throwing the Organ Pavilion area into the Balboa Park Hospital area.
  2. The area above described will become a part of the Hospital grounds under the jurisdiction of the Medical Officer in Command, Naval Hospital. If the space immediately fronting the Organ is to be used for parking automobiles, some allocation of parking space for the Receiving Station Extension should be made. Ready access for Receiving Station personnel to the black-out switching panels for the Receiving Station Extension located in the Organ Pavilion will be provided for. The Medical Officer in Command will insure that the Park Authorities are afforded every facility for the maintenance of the Organ, the Pavilion and the grounds within the above area.
  3. Arrangements for public events to be held in the Organ Pavilion will be handled through the District Public Relations Officer, who will arrange the necessary details in consultation with the Medical Officer in Command, Naval Hospital.


cc: Comdr. Wm. H. Farrel, USN (Ret),

RecSta Ex., Balboa Park, SD.

cc: CO, RecSta, SD

Pub.Relations Offcr.

April 11, 1943, San Diego Union, C-3:2-5. “Here Comes the Navy” so park exhibits move, by W. B. France.

April 11, 1943, San Diego Union, C-3:5-6. Museums and Fine Arts Gallery will soon be filled with thousands of beds for hospitalized servicemen.

April 18, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2-4. Master plan for San Diego by Arthur Witt Brewer.

April 22, 1943, San Diego Union, A-10:1. Home of Navy Commander Lloyd R. Gray at 2324 Pine Street in Mission Hills to house Fine Arts Gallery.

April 28, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Navy men in Naval Hospital receive cigarette gifts.

April 29, 1943, San Diego Union, A-11:5. Mrs. Belle Benchley, director, tells La Jolla Women’s Club that San Diego Zoo is continuing education.

May 2, 1943, San Diego Union, A-6:2. Natural History Museum plans four Saturday nature walks in Balboa Park.

May 2, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:6, B-14:4. City to open two swimming pools June at Mission Beach and in Balboa Park.

May 2, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:6-8. New city officers to assume duties; Mayor Harley E. Knox, Councilmen schedule first meeting in Civic Center Tuesday.

May 3, 1943, San Diego Union, B-10:5. WAVES to train a corpsmen in Naval Hospital here.

May 6, 1943, San Diego Union, A-3:1. New training program begun at Naval Hospital here; 50 WAVES will enter new school.

Hospital Corps Waves are being quartered in Balboa Park in a former exposition building which has been remodeled.

May 8, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2. John Thornton, city manager aid, resigns after 19 years in San Diego; Glenn Rick named successor.

May 9, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. Mission Valley to solve San Diego Zoo food problems.

Through the generosity of Lester Olmstead, Zoological society president, and of Marguerite Rider, member of the zoo office staff, two pieces of property were loaned to the society and the fresh vegetables will make up many rationed commodities which are needed elsewhere.

May 9, 1943, San Diego Union, B-14:1. House of Pacific Relations group plans annual dinner; George W. Ryan, Jr., new president.

May 9, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:6. Fine Arts Society to resume exhibitions.

May 11, 1943, San Diego Union, A-4:4. City to fight Army Balboa Park requests.

May 11, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:4. Naval Hospital patients have Victory Garden at the sick officers’ annex at Rancho Santa Fe.

May 12, 1943, San Diego Union, B-7:3. City Council, U. S. Army agents set leasing parley.

Two land agents for the army, Charles A. Dickinson and Frank Cavanaugh will be called into conference with the city council Friday to consider leasing of city non-park lands to the army until victory.

The agents, it was said, still desire to lease certain parts of Balboa Park, but the city attorney’s office contended yesterday, as it has for several months, that the council is powerless under the city charter to lease lands dedicated for park purposes and held in trust for the people of the city.

Only the people, it was contended, can decide by their vote what to do with park lands.

H B Daniel, assistant city attorney, told the council he is preparing two leases for land not within any park, and that he and Jean DuPaul, city attorney, will insist upon insertion of a clause stating that the nominal lease for $1 shall be deemed to mean that the city is making a gift to the army and a contribution to the war effort.

It will also be specified that the nominal fee shall not be used by the army in any possible condemnation proceedings as the basis for attempting to fix the value of the property involved.

Dickinson yesterday had written the council a letter calling attention to recent passage of S. D. 1116 authorizing cities to lease park lands to the army, and expressing a desire that the city assist the army in its acquisition program.

DuPaul reminded the council that the bill has not been signed by the governor, and that, even if it had, it could not alter the provisions under which the parks of San Diego are held for the public and which forbid their being given away or leased by the council.

May 12, 1943, San Diego Union, B:7:3. Dog ban looms for city beaches.

A proposed city pound ordinance would allow persons whose dogs are captured by the police or

lifeguards only two days in which to claim them before the pound offers them for sale.

May 13, 1943, San Diego Union, A-7:2-3. Colorful pageant by House of Pacific Relations set as bond rally climax in Russ Auditorium.

May 15, 1943, San Diego Union, A-3:1. Army assured of park lands without leases.

May 15, 1943, San Diego Union, A-8:7. Balboa Troop to ride trails, initiate member tomorrow morning.

May 15, 1943, San Diego Union, C-2:1-2. EDITORIAL: Army Park Leases.

The War Department is reported to be dissatisfied because San Diego will not negotiate leases on park lands to be used by the army. City officials have explained that such leases are illegal; that there is no way by which they can be legalized short of a vote of the people and ratification by the state legislature. They also have pointed out that the city already has granted the army the use of all the park lands it has required without leases, and they properly inquire what all the fuss is about.

It has been the policy of San Diego always to grant any reasonable request by military authorities. There is no disposition on the part of the city council now to change that policy. Therefore, it now appears that the war department’s reported dissatisfaction with the city’s refusal to negotiate leases for specified terms is distinctly out of place. Why the insistence, particular in face of the fact that such refusal does not and never had deprived the army of needed lands?

These park lands have been specifically set aside for park purposes, and even state law cannot change that until and unless the people voter their approval. It would appear that the War Department might make an effort to understand this and let the matter drop.

May 16, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Garden workers need in park.

“The city has an investment in its parks of about $20,000,000, which should be protected to a certain extent, even though the country is at war,” according to Percy C. Broell, assistant park director. “The war is taking many of our younger men from the park department.

“However, in San Diego are many men between 58 and 65 who are retired, or who may not be capable of doing heavy labor. These men might be able and willing to do gardening work, which will help preserve our park system through the war period.”

May 16, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:5-7, B-12:4. Need for master San Diego airport plan stressed in report to Chamber; proposed Mission Bay site held suitable for both land, sea planes.

May 16, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:7-8. San Diego Fine Arts Gallery will open new quarters at 2324 Pine Street Saturday afternoon to members and the next day to the public, by Reginald Poland; “Samba Flows in Her Veins,” sculpture in jacaranda, by Maria Martins, just presented to the Fine Arts Gallery..

May 20, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:4. Navy to slash park water bill.

May 21, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:5. Retention of all Japanese, native and foreign born, in internment camps until they can be exchanged for American prisoners in Japan was urged by the Chamber of Commerce directors in a resolution adopted yesterday protesting against the proposed release of Japanese to coastal areas.

May 22, 1943, San Diego Union, A-3:1. Playgrounds, store asked at Linda Vista.

May 23, 1943, San Diego Union, A-5:3 French, Swiss cottages asked by San Diego group.

At the invitation of the House of Pacific Relations, which has peacetime quarters in Balboa Park, French and Swiss cottages have been organized, according to George Ryan, Jr., president.

May 23, 1943, San Diego Union, B-3:2-4. Mrs. George Dittoe, first woman animal keeper at San Diego Zoo; has complete charge of 20 cages of animals

Mrs. Dittoe received her instruction from Lee Pierce, veteran animal keeper, who is the oldest employee of the zoo in point of service..

May 23, 1943, San Diego Union, C-3:3-6. Former Klauber House at 13th and E is being remodeled by Government to house 14 families of war workers.

May 23, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:5. Fine Arts Society exhibits in new home; “Seated Indian,” sculpture in terra cotta by Donal Hord, recently purchased by the Fine Arts Society of San Diego..

May 26, 1943, San Diego Union, A-8:6. Girl Scout leaders set joint conference with Camp Fire guardians and Girl Reserve advisers in Pepper Grove tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

May 28, 1943, San Diego Union, A-9:1. George W. Marston turns first spade of soil for trees in parkway west of the Civic Center.

May 30, 1943, San Diego Union, C-7:7-8. Visitors enjoy exhibits in Fine Arts Gallery’s new home, by Julia G. Andrews.

While many paintings have had to be retired with the closing of the gallery in Balboa Park. Many others seem to enter into our experience in a more personal way.

June 4, 1943, San Diego Union, A-8:6. Naval Hospital establishes band service.

June 6, 1943, San Diego Union, A-1:2, B:7. Admiral McIntire tours Naval Hospital.

June 6, 1943, San Diego Union, A-4:1. Frank Maxey, World War I veteran, dies in Naval Hospital.

June 9, 1943, San Diego Union, A-9:2-4. House of Pacific Relations group welcomes France, Greece, Russia, Sweden, Mexico and Switzerland tomorrow.

June 13, 1943, San Diego Union, A-16:1. City finishes work on new sewage system; by Mel Mayne.; treatment plant at the foot of 32nd Street; for the first time since San Diego became a dwelling place, the bay will be free from untreated sewage.

June 13, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Municipal pool in Balboa Park to open Tuesday.

June 13, 1943, San Diego Union, D-1:1-4. Japanese Tea House has patriotic role as recreation center for men.

June 15, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Petition asks county supervisors for facilities for servicemen and school children at Glen park in Encinitas.

June 20, 1943, San Diego Union, A-12:1. City recreation, play centers open tomorrow.

June 20, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:7-8. G. Aubrey Davidson to mark 75th birthday tomorrow.

June 24, 1943, San Diego Union, A-12:1. Admiral Nichols dies at Naval Hospital.

June 24, 1943, San Diego Union, A-12:2. James Dickson, veteran of Civil War, lies in Naval Hospital at 95.

June 25, 1943, San Diego Union, A-4:4-5. Naval Hospital Corps school graduates 67.

June 27, 1943, San Diego Union, A-5:5. Children’s Gate opening at San Diego Zoo set tomorrow (See San Diego Herald, July 8, 1943.)

July 4, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:8, B-12:2. City may get Ocean Beach lands; City Council studies seawall, esplanade.

July 8, 1943, San Diego Herald, 3:5. New Zoo News

Establishment of a special children’s gate at the main entrance of the San Diego Zoo, opposite the Spanish Village, was announced by officials of the San Diego Zoological Society.

Effective last Monday, all children under 16 unescorted by their parents or guardians must pass through this gate, which will be under the direction of Mrs. Lena Crouse, Chairman of the Society’s Educational Committee. This gate will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and all unescorted children must be out of the grounds by 4:30 p.m. daily, according to Mrs. Crouse.

“It is the plan for the protection of these youngsters to have them register with me at this special gate, so that I can know where they live, their parents’ names, and their telephones, if any,” said Mrs. Crouse. “Therefore, children under 16 years will be on record while they are in the zoo grounds, and we will be able to communicate with their parents should that become necessary. By the same token, the parents will be able to know the whereabouts of their children.”

This move is being made in order to place more responsibility on the youngsters during the summer vacation when so many thousands visit the zoo and enjoy the birds and animals, it was announced by zoo authorities.

July 9, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:3. Balboa Park swimming pool, foot of Texas Street, closed for repairs.

July 16, 1943, Letter, From: F. L. Annable, President, Fine Arts Society of San Diego; To: Rear Admiral D. W. Bagley, U.S.N., Commandant 11th Naval District, San Diego, California, National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.

Dear Admiral Bagley:

Just prior to your arrival at San Diego Admiral Woods was here and informed the City Manager and the officers of the Fine Arts Society that the Navy wished to occupy the Art Galley in Balboa Park as a hospital for ambulatory cases. The matter was discussed quite fully and after receiving certain assurances from Admiral Woods on behalf of the Navy, we moved out of the building and surrendered it on April 1st to the representatives of the Navy.

That you may be fully cognizant of the understanding I attach a memorandum made after our conferences and submitted through the City Manager to the Navy.

Since we vacated the building we have had no communication from the Department, nor have we been compensated for the expenses of our move or the commitments we have been required to make because of it. I do not think it was the intention of Admiral Woods to promise for the Navy anything which would not be carried out, and it is probably the delay is due to some “red tape,” perhaps in Washington.

Enclosed is a memorandum of expense which we have paid from our own funds, anticipating reimbursement from the Navy, and also some items for which we are committed and which are incurred because of the surrender of our building to the Navy. Shall appreciate you action to secure our reimbursement as well as to expedite the contract covering the transaction.

On behalf on the Fine Arts Society of San Diego,

Sincerely yours,

/s/ F. L. Annable,

  1. L. Annable, President.


Labor and material for packing $174.17

Repairing articles broken in moving 83.82

Labor and transportation expense (moving) 100.39

Lunches for movers 28.35

Extra labor, Night watchman & typing lists 29.50

Materials & Labor re adaptation of building for temporary

Gallery quarters 1,351.35

Fuel oil left in Park building, 1000 gals

(billed at cost to use, less sales tax) 27.37

Insurance premiums for 1 year 740.54

Gardener’s salary, part time, 4 months 100.00

Water bills, May & June 21.20

Total actually paid $2,657.19


Rental of temporary Gallery quarters

Commencing Mar. 17, 1943 $ 200.00 per month

Storage costs 58.15 per month

Gardener’s salary, part time 25.00 per month

Water Bill (estimated average) 10.00 per month

(Article ends here; may be incomplete.)

July 18, 1943, San Diego Union, C-3:7-8. Fine Arts Society exhibit “at home” to visitors in wartime quarters, by W. B. France.

July 22, 1943, San Diego Union, A-1:4, B:3. Representative Harry Sheppard of California visits Naval Hospital; says military power “vital to United States.”

July 26, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:5. U. S. Navy thanks city for pool facilities.

July 27, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:3-4. Architects approved for two west wings for Civic Center Administration Building.

July 30, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Annual picnic held by blind at Balboa Park, by Forrest Warren.

August, 1943, California Garden, Vol. 34, No. 2. BALBOA PARK, by W. Allen Perry

May I talk about Balboa Park from my own viewpoint, which is that of a landscape architect and park director. To me, it’s the most interesting park in the country. Not that there aren’t other parks as beautiful; many have specific elements of beauty that I downright covet. Not that their aren’t other parks as functional. The difficult topography of Balboa Park hinders many of its functions. We have no great meadows, we have no expansive water features, we have no completely developed playfield. But we have the domination of a group of buildings architecturally so fine and so subordinately planted that laymen from all over the world immediately appreciate it. These buildings are known throughout the profession of architecture. Students in the larger area of landscape architecture study our layout as keenly as medical students study their anatomy. We have something great and something unique.

Development is only half the story. The original site had a terrific influence on that development. I’d like to quote from a statement made by Mr. Samuel Parsons. Mr. Parsons was a landscape architect brought out here from New York in 1902, We’ll be mentioning him again, but in his first report on Balboa Park he said: “The setting of the park between a vast mountain system on one hand and the broad ocean on the other is unique. Harbor, bay, islands, sea, promontories, mountains and miles of open country, each with its own unusual and different character are all incorporated in the park scheme and form an inseparable and vital part of it; hundreds of square miles of land and sea are therefore added to the territory of this park.” That’s what Mr. Parsons said that long ago. Even with the surrounding buildings and developments, the main scheme of planting has kept the park open to many horizons and much of San Diego County seems to continue right on into Balboa park. That’s the park as you and I know it today. But let’s go back to the beginning, seventy-four years ago.

Today we don’t know what San Diego’s population is from morning ‘til night. With all due respect for the estimates and guesses of the Chamber of Commerce, the Planning Commission, and the Post Office, we still don’t know. But seventy-four years ago, in 1868, they knew down to the last individual. The population was 2,301. There were 915 houses. The real property was valued at $2,282,200 and the personal property was worth another $141,252.00. That was the size and worth of the community that had the audacity or the foresight or that spark of something that caused it to set aside 1,400 acres for a park.

To me the instrument of dedication will always be one of the most breathtaking things about the park. Lots of people think that Father Horton gave the land to the city. He didn’t, but he wanted a park and he got Ephraim W. Morse, as his first assistant, and Joseph Manassee and Thomas Bush to drum up signatures on his petition to the Board of Trustees. A lot of us here today can’t remember way back before the county sold out to the lawyers. We’re of the school that firmly believes that if a legal document doesn’t contain at least six pages of eight and a half by fourteen it couldn’t possibly be legal. But evidently the lawyers weren’t very well organized in 1868, or they were all out of town attending the State Bar Convention that day — or something — because all it took to remove fourteen hundred acres from the city and set it aside forever as park land is this amazingly simple statement. You can find it in the City Clerk’s office in the minutes of May 26, 1868.

Below that date it says, “Board of Trustees, City of San Diego, Present: Jose Guadalupe Estudillo, Marcus Schiller and Joshua Sloan. Votes counted according to the foregoing notice allowing Trustees to sell Pueblo Lands. Yes, thirty-five. Nays, one. (It would be interesting to know whether that was one Republican or one Democrat in those days.) Then comes the dedication of Balboa Park — and I’m quoting again. “Moved and seconded that Lots (and they did take the trouble to number the Pueblo Lots) be for a park.” No record of the motion being carried unanimously or otherwise, no record of the individual votes. That’s all the time and paper and legal service it took to protect forever fourteen hundred acres.

They could have sold the lots that day. They had just been given the power to sell Pueblo Lands, They could have sold them for a fraction of their present worth. Just what that fraction would be we don’t know because we have no satisfactory valuation of the park in its present state of improvement, But a few individuals wanted a park; they thought big and they wanted big. They put the pressure on the Trustees; they got it and today we all have it.

Now and again, I’m a Doubting Thomas or a cynic or something. Since December it usually comes on after a naval engagement — I don’t see spots before my eyes anymore, what with these occupational forces of Army-Navy, I see gold stripes. But if I happen to be sort of cynical and happen to be thinking about that horrible substance we grow plants in up there I think, perhaps, on that May morning Senior Estudillo and Mr. Schiller and Mr. Sloan sat back and had the best laugh. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were rather chuckling and thinking: “Well they wanted a park and we gave ‘em a whale of a big one — and at the same time we washed our hands of fourteen hundred acres of the orneriest hardpan in these United States.”

Hardpan it was and hardpan it remained for twenty years after its dedication. In the “seventies” there was an Indian rancheria not far from Date Street and Eighth Avenue. Some parties attacked the legality of the dedication in hopes that the area could be subdivided. But the state legislature and the supreme court upheld the park on the expression of intent in the original minutes.

In 1903 Mrs. Mary B. Coulston, who was then employed as executive secretary of the Park Improvement Committee, wrote this statement: “In recent years a growing realization of the unusual beauty of the site, its special and unique features for a great park, its value to the city in large and far-reaching ways, together with the conclusive action of the state legislature, have all operated to preserve the park from attack and division.” And that’s the last we hear of efforts to subdivide the park.

Between 1889 and 1899 people demanded park improvements. The Ladies Annex — it seems as if that was a club and not a building or appurtenance thereto — raised $500.00 to plant a narrow strip along Sixth Avenue from Juniper to Palm. The Council leased thirty-six acres at Sixth and Upas to Miss Kate Sessions for a nursery. In return for this concession Miss Sessions agreed to plant so many trees each year. The fine plantings of Cypress and Pine and Eucalyptus in that area are more monuments to hat genuinely great lady. About this time there was what was known as “The Howard Tract” of 100 acres of an orphans’ school. A large building was erected on the site and many trees and shrubs were planted. Now part of that tract is in the grounds of the Naval Hospital and the rest has reverted to the park. Evidently the orphan business didn’t materialize as it was expected to, because with out population today five acres amply takes care of the Children’s Home.

The Golden Hill area of Balboa Park — that’s the land north of “A” between 21st and 26th — was developed by the adjacent community in 1889 and 1890. For years it was the most choice section of the park and that’s where we still have some of our best palms. The two men who were most active in promoting this project were Mr. Leroy A. Wright and Mr. Mat Heller.

Then came the drought — seven years of it. There wasn’t enough water for private gardens and orchards so, of course, park improvements had to be curtailed. How history repeats itself — close quote.

Evidently about 1902 things became a little more moist. In that year Mr. Julius Wangenheim proposed to the Chamber of Commerce that some park improvements be started near what we now call “Inspiration Point.” A Park Improvement Committee was appointed and Mr. Wangenheim was made chairman. Other members were U. S. Grant, Jr., William Clayton, George W. Marston, D. F. Garrettson, Capt. W. R. Maize, H. P. Wood, and Mr. W. L. Frevert.

A special park plans committee included Mr. Marston, Miss Sessions and Ernest White. This committee raised twenty thousand dollars. They then employed Mrs. Mary B. Coulston, as Executive Secretary, and brought Mr. Samuel Parsons out from New York. Mr. Parsons was landscape architect for Greater New York and at that time had control of the designs for over one hundred parks.

Mr. Parsons and members of his staff spend many months on the ground making surveys and preliminary designs. Then on September 11, 1905, he submitted his final report to Mr. Marston. This Parsons’ plan for San Diego City Park, as it was called — present name of Balboa Park wasn’t adopted until November 1, 1910 — is the basis plan of roads and paths as we find the park developed today. It did provide for a lot more lakes and ponds and water features than ever did materialize. Eventually a lot more trees have been planted than Mr. Parsons anticipated. But the alignment of West Boulevard, of Park Boulevard and of Pershing Drive, and the roads in Cabrillo Canyon and Powder House Canyon are almost identical as they were proposed and as they were completed.

Mr. Marston tells us that when they began carrying out this plan the local citizenry would watch the men working on the hardpan and then tell them, “For Heaven’s sake give it back to the coyotes.” If you want to know what the park looked like at the time Cabrillo _____ it, drive along Powder House Canyon Road north of Pershing. Keep your eyes of the border of the canyon and on the lower sides, forget the Pine and Eucalyptus that show up on the horizon, but concentrate on the rocky wash, of scraggly native chaparral — and that’s all there was to Balboa Park when the Trustees dedicated it and energetic citizens went to work on it. As an object lesson in what can be done, as well as a bit of native scenery, I hope that canyon is never touched.

That fairly well fills in the picture of the park prior to the time that most of you knew it.

Well, I’ve rather digressed, but I wanted to make the point about the ____ because the next step after the Parsons Plan was the preparation for the first Exposition. Expositions are a form of show business, and show business is certainly illusion. The 1915-1916 Exposition is responsible for the present character that is so fine and so universally acclaimed and that is practically a miracle.

San Diego was a little place of about forty thousand when it determined to have an Exposition. But it had some men who were really big. I can’t name them all so I’m not going to name any of them. But they started out to get the best services in the country to build the best Exposition that the country ever had. They went back to Brookline and contracted with the Olmstead [sic] office to take care of the landscape architecture. For many years after Fredrich [sic] Law Olmstead [sic] did Central Park in New York, and particularly between 1910 and 1920 that office was tops in the landscape profession. They sort of spoke only to God. The architecture was turned over to Bertram Goodhue, one of the giants in American architecture. In the relatively few commodities [sic] that have a Goodhue structure all the citizens know about it and they tell their visitors. Here in San Diego we have a whole flock of them. Some of them have been torn down and about every so often somebody gets the urge to demolish another one. There haven’t been any Rembrandts for along time and there won’t be anymore Goodhues even after the war. Let’s sort of realize what we have here.

Anyway, these Exposition promoters knew the best were and they put them to work for San Diego. Actually, as it turned out, the temperament of the Olmstead [sic] and the temperament of the Goodhue officer were such that they wouldn’t mix. They got in an awful row about the aesthetics of Laurel Street and the Olmsteads [sic] withdrew from the picture. But the best in the country had a crack at it anyway. It ended by Mr. Goodhue, Carleton Monroe Winslow, Frank Allen and Mr. Morley finishing the job and you can still [sic] the manner in which they did it.

That’s how it is that we have the essential development and the specific character of this great area. That, too, is why we have much of our population that was here four years ago — or B. C. After the first Exposition the city realized that they had something too big and too grand to tear down. They put it to use; it became the center of much of the finest community activity and the basis of much of the most productive advertising that San Diego has ever had.

Small societies grew with the park into fine institutions, such as the Fine Arts Society, the Natural History Society, the Floral Association, and the San Diego Museum and the Zoological Society. Other activities grew from the facilities that were created for the last Exposition. Prior to the occupation by the Military, Balboa Park had something cultural, recreational and educational to offer every citizen and every visitor. Some of them are more keenly aware of the fact now than they were before.

You’ve shared this park with the visitors from all over the world. We’ve had royalty obviously thrilled with the place, and I always supposed that royalty was rather hard to thrill. We’ve also had the unfortunates, who were thrilled to spend the night on a park bench. We’ve had mental giants like Einstein — and we’ve had local and imported brack-pots, too. We’ve had Madame Schumann-Heink, and we’ve had eighty aspiring little Rachmaninoffs pounding eighty pianos on the stage of the Ford Bowl. We’ve had Sally Rand and we’ve had some other strippers whose bubbles burst the next morning in police court. We’ve had Mrs. Roosevelt and President Roosevelt, and I haven’t a doubt that we’ll have Mr. Roosevelt visit us again as President of the United States.

But right now we have the military. It isn’t as bad as you think. You may still visit the museums; you may still picnic; you may still play your shuffleboard and roque, and you may still shoot your arrows and your golf.

Balboa Park was a great peacetime asset. One of the most satisfying memories I have is of the night of December 9th when over a thousand soldiers and officers came into the park after a trip from San Luis Obispo through a veritable downpour. From the general down, they had the jitters just like the rest of us. But they had fund [sic] a wonderful spot for a breather, a place to get ready for whatever was ahead of them. Believe me, they appreciated the park. It was apparent the night and early morning, and again a week later when the Navy ran them out.

We’ve sort of skimmed over the surface from the beginning to the present. I haven’t told you of the mechanics of the park — they are not your worry. I’ve tried to give you, perhaps, a little fuller appreciation of the park you used to use completely and you will use even more fully again. In this thought of the future, I’d like to get in just a little evangelism before I’m through.

You know, of course, that the park is now a military established to a great extent. That’s as it should be and it is a blessing that we have it to make available in this crisis. As a military establishment, it’s a good one. As a park, it’s pretty thoroughly washed up. Buildings for an art school are one thing and buildings for barracks and training schools are something else. If you don’t think so, go around and count the plumbing. Now the government needs those buildings and areas. After the war San Diego will need them in a direct ratio to the increased number of San Diegans.

We talk much of planing for the peace. I can’t plan our economic and social relations with our allied and our foes. But I’ve given some thought to the peacetime plans for Balboa Park. It’s going to cost money to restore those buildings and areas for park purposes; it going to cost a whale of a lot of money, a lot more money than the city can be expected to devote. It’s going to take government help and plenty of that. We call all foresee that after this war San Diego is going to need many, many things. But be sure that you see the whole picture. Remember what Balboa Park has done for our people and our visitors. It doesn’t take much imagination with this experience behind us, to see what it can do in the future. In our peacetime planning, be sure that the restoration of Balboa Park and its return to our people is placed high on the city’s priority list of post-war problems. I don’t know of anything that can do more for our people’s mental and physical recovery and readjustments.

August 1, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:4. Balboa park pool used by 500 children daily; swimming tank open half time.

August 3, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:2-3. Thomas M. Russell elected president of Zoological Society.

August 3, 1943, San Diego Union, A-8:2. Irish Colony slates party at San Diego Women’s Clubhouse Sunday afternoon.

August 9, 1943, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

In a discussion of post-war rehabilitation of Balboa Park it was deemed desirable to retain the

Palisades area as a large recreational area.

August 15, 1943, San Diego Union, A-14:1. Russell names committees for Zoological Society.

August 15, 1943, San Diego Union, A-14:4. Adams Avenue Business Men’s Club proposes post-war Fair.

August 22, 1943, San Diego Union, A-3:2-5. Two Exposition Buildings used by Navy Nurses; House of Hospitality used as headquarters for Navy nurses.

Two former San Diego exposition buildings in Balboa Park have been converted into quarters for Navy nurses attached to the Naval hospital.

The quarters were opened officially with a formal open house attended by more than 400 naval officers and guests yesterday afternoon. All nurses attached to the hospital are residing in the new quarters.

Buildings which formerly housed the exposition international drug store and House of Hospitality and House of Hospitality and were visited by thousands of persons have been converted into comfortable living quarters for several hundred nurses.

Spacious reception lounges for the navy women have been decorated with carefully selected tapestries and painting. One large garden in the park and a patio have been given exclusively to the nurses for sun bathing and lounging during spare hours away from the rigors of their hospital work.

Main headquarters for the nurses’ center is the former House of Hospitality. Outdoor tables, shaded by umbrellas, have been retained from the former exposition café and are used for informal games and afternoon refreshments. The main dining room has been kept in much of its original form and is used to feed all the hospital nurses.

Large rooms on two floors of both the café and drug store building have been partitioned off into living quarters for the nurses. One or two women are assigned to each space.

The fair buildings have been converted into nurses’ quarters under the personal supervision of Capt. Morton D. Willcutts (MC), U. S. N., medical officer in command of the hospital, and Comdr. Mary D. Towse (NC), U. S. N., chief nurse.

Navy nurses hold rank equivalent to that of officers.

August 28, 1943, San Diego Union, A-4:1. Navy personnel build chapel at Naval Hospital.

August 29, 1943, San Diego Union, D-1:1-2. The 6th annual Balboa Park Mounted Troop Horse Show will be held on the ring at the Balboa Park Riding Academy today.

September 5, 1943, San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. San Diego Zoo exhibits gnu only few weeks old.

September 5, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1, B-14. Natural History Museum staff kept busy in war atmosphere; research continues despite Navy taking over building, by Richard F. Pourade.

September 18, 1943, San Diego Union, A-3:3. Naval Hospital gives employees honor awards.

September 19, 1943, San Diego Union, B-5:2-3. City policies clarified on park buildings return.

September 19, 1943, San Diego Union, C-6:2-4. San Diego’s Day Nursery plan praised as aid in winning war.

September 25, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:8. Captain Lloyd L. Edmisten named head of Balboa Park Naval Hospital.

September 30, 1943, San Diego Union, A-9:2-3. American Humane Society of Albany, New York, to honor mongrel dog Sunday afternoon in ceremonies at 6th and Laurel, Balboa Park; dog summoned aid for two men trapped in a refrigerator last month.

October 1, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Plans for huge new post-war airport on the eastern end of Mission Bay told.

October 13, 1943, Minutes of Board of Park Commissioners.

Board adopted names of Zoo Drive, Florida Drive and Cabrillo Drive.

October 17, 1943, San Diego Union, A-5:2-3. Guanacos, recently imported from a Chicago zoo, are making friends here; San Diego Zoo acquires pair of cousins to camel.

October 18, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:2-5. Capt. Josiah E. Green, San Diego naturalist, now Marine captain on Guadalcanal, sends rare collection of reptiles, insects to San Diego Museum of Natural History.

October 22, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:2-5. Museum of Natural History receives pair of stuffed customers . . . Emperor penguin and Ringed penguin from Antarctica, by Richard F. Pourade; also received a cigar box from Pt. Barrow, Alaska containing swallowtail butterflies.

October 25, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:7-7. Park “Cleaned” by elephant; Duchess made good scavenger; star elephant of Arthur Brothers Circus here now seen under canvas at Lane Field; performed the other day for convalescent sailors at the Naval Hospital.

October 31, 1943, San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. Annual event scheduled Saturday at San Diego Women’s Clubhouse; House of Pacific Relations Fiesta will maintain traditions of nations.

November 1, 1943, San Diego Union, A-3:5. Natural History Museum nature walk topic to be Balboa Park plants.

November 4, 1943, San Diego Union. Project to rehabilitate historic sites planned; vision of San Diego related to Realtors by Sam W. Hamill, architect and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Civic Committee.

November 7, 1943, San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. Rare sable antelopes exhibited at San Diego Zoo; captured as small animals and raised in the New York area.

November 7, 1943, San Diego Union, A-17:6. Balboa Park Navy concerts year old.

November 7, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:1. W. A. Kearns, director of the department of physical education and public recreation, holds San Diego recreation program weak in spots, by Melvin Mayne.

November 11, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:4-5. Navy opens hospital for men’s dependents.

November 14, 1943, San Diego Union, A-16:4. Six thousand dollars set aside for work on Memorial Park in southeast San Diego.

November 14, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:5-6. Balboa Park Horse Troop will celebrate 8th birthday.

November 21, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:5-6. San Diego Zoo raises rare pigeon native to jungles of New Guinea.

November 21, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2-4. Architect John S. Siebert’s sketch of post-war War Memorial Building.

November 28, 1943, San Diego Union, A-7:2-3. Hippo offspring to make debut today at San Diego Zoo.

December 1, 1943, Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Plan approved to construct an underpass beneath the Park Boulevard from the Naval Hospital to the Pepper Grove to form a connection with the temporary hospital in the exposition area of Balboa Park; the Navy to fill in the tunnel and remove the approaches to Pepper Grove within six months after the evacuation of the temporary hospital.

December 3, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Vote on people of War Memorial site proposed; many protest against using Lane Field Baseball Park for a War Memorial Building.

December 5, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:8. Modern fireproof ball park included in post-war development plans; sketch by Sam W. Hamill.

December 9, 1943, San Diego Union, A-6:2-3. Charles E. Rinehart, 30-year resident, dies; president of San Diego Area Council of Boy Scouts for 11 years; instrumental in restoring Indian Village in Balboa Park for use by the Boy Scouts.

December 10, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:4. Realignment of Highway 395 expected soon, State Senator Ed Fletcher revealed yesterday.

December 10, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:5. Bear attack on child in pit at San Diego Zoo subject of law suit.

December 13, 1943, San Diego Union, B-10:4. Navy graduates 578 Hospital Corps students.

December 14, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2. War Memorial Building urged at Lane Field.

December 19, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2-5, B-10:3-4. Civic Center, architect’s vision of two decades ago, becomes today’s reality.

December 19, 1943, San Diego Union, C-2:6-8. House of Pacific Relations plans Christmas program Wednesday at the San Diego Women’s Clubhouse, by George W. Ryan, Jr., president.

December 23, 1943, San Diego Union, A-2:4. Naval Hospital Yule program, gifts planned.

December 26, 1943, San Diego Union, A:1. San Diego suspends war effort momentarily to celebrate Christmas.

December 26, 1943, San Diego Union, C-9:5-7. Christmas art shown at Fine Arts Gallery on Pine Street.

December 27, 1943, San Diego Union, B-1:2. Rare ptarmigan specimen from Kiska given to San Diego Zoo.

December 31, 1943, San Diego Union, A-1:3-4. President’s aid pleads, “Stay away from San Diego.”

Date unknown (possibly 1943). SUMMARY OF MILITARY AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES IN THE SAN DIEGO AREA, 1941, 1942 and 1943, National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.

Page 5

  2. Military Facilities

Navy: Employment and hiring schedule for civilian personnel of principal naval establishments

(discussed below) is a follows:

1941 1942 1943

Aug. 3,649 Jan. 5,500 May 6,600 Jan. 8,700

Nov. 4,638 Feb. 5,500 June 6,800 Mar. 9,700

Dec. 4,926 Mar. 6,000 Aug. 7,980 May 9,491

Apr. 6,400 Aug. 10,500 (est.)

Nov. 11,000 (est.)

Headquarters, 11th Naval District: Most of the buildings are located on the waterfront. Personnel and office space requirements are still expanding.

Naval Training Station, Rosecrans and Pacific Highway, had 361 [sic] civilians in March, 350 in May. Peak will be 351.

Naval Air Station, located on North Island, adjacent to the city of Coronado, has 5,493 civilians in March, 5,917 in May. This establishment will add 1,033 civilians during the next 6 months, reaching 6,950 in November 1943. (This is higher than the previously established peak of 5,400 for March 1944.) Houses will be constructed in Coronado to serve the additional civilian personnel.

Naval Operating Base: Located in National City, this establishment has been under constant expansion since 1939. Construction is still under way. Had 1,407 civilians in March, 1,494 in May and will add 246 to reach 1,740 by November.

Naval Supply Depot: Located on Point Loma, this facility had 1,007 civilians in March, 1,026 in May and will have 1,063 by November 1943.

Balboa Park Station: Used for training. Recently a 3,000-bed addition to San Diego Naval Hospital was completed in the Park.

Naval Radio Station: Located on Point Loma and on Chollas Heights.

Marine Corps Air Base: Located on site of Camp Kearny.

Page 6

Naval Hospital, San Diego: 6,000 beds (including Balboa Park addition). Recommendation has been made by 11th Naval District Medical Officer that a 60-80 bed addition be constructed at the Naval Hospital for civilian dependents of naval personnel.

Naval Hospital, Oceanside: Located within boundaries of Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, this hospital is scheduled for completion in August 1943. An approved hiring schedule for 89 civilian workers within six months includes 23 clerks (6 male and 17 female) and 66 maintenance workers (40 male and 26 female). “The hospital expects to hire these locally.”

Captain Schwartz hopes he can recruit his maintenance staff from among construction workers now employed on the reservation. Dormitories for 120 naval personnel are being built at the hospital.

Camp Joseph H. Pendleton: Located near Oceanside on the Santa Margarita Ranch, this training camp was very recently fully activated for a full complement of 20,000 Marines.

Approval was recently given for the construction of a huge laundry on post. This will necessitate a very large civilian recruitment.

Labor requirements as of June 5 were as follows.

Needs by

June 5, 1943 November 1, 1943

Male Female Male Female

Quartermaster 125 35 10 10*

Post Exchange 6 60 8 80

Laundry 0 0 60 240**

100 additional positions requested but not yet authorized.

** 100 women believed to be available locally.

Fallbrook Ammunition Depot: This facility was completed in July 1942, with over 130 igloos, and large inert storage areas. The depot lines to the east boundary of Camp Pendleton and the town limits of Fallbrook.

There are now 135 civilians (110 men and 25 women) and a labor battalion of 300 Negroes. Immediate civilian needs are for 8 laborers and 10 clerks. Additional needs to November total 57. Twenty-five of the latter (21 female and 4 male) will be need in the new ammunition building to operate belting machines.

Military personnel includes 16 navy officers, 50 petty officers, 15 enlisted men and 300 Negroes in the labor battalion.

Camp Elliott: Headquarters, First Marine Force. Located north of city limits of San Diego.

Marine Corps Base: Rosecrans Street and Pacific Highway in San Diego.

Rifle Range: Marine facility located south of Camp Callan on the east side of Pacific Highway.

Pages 38-42.

G Recreation

San Diego has long evidenced interest in a well-developed program of public recreation. The City Recreation Department and private agencies have been coordinated through a local recreation council organized several years ago. As wartime demands were placed upon San Diego the council, as the War Recreation Coordinating Council, served as the clearing house for the total recreation program and related programs affecting the welfare of the service man and the war worker in the area. As of January 29, 1943, this group was slightly reorganized as the San Diego War Recreation Council, and will devote its efforts more strictly to the recreation needs of the community.

The San Diego City budget for 1942-43 included the following items”

Playgrounds and Recreation

Salaries and wages $95,912.74

Maintenance and supplies 15,440.00

Outlay 950.00

Total $112,302.74

The total budget represents an increase of $9,587.85 over the budget for 1941-42.

The Department staff includes 75 activity leaders, some of whom are specifically concerned with the women’s program.

The City of San Diego had a large and active program of recreation in the public parks. The nucleus of the program was Balboa Park, where the buildings and other facilities of the expositions became a part of the recreation system. The Navy has taken over the park for Camp Kidd, in addition to many of the playgrounds part of the time, the municipal pool part of the time, and the two large auditoriums. The Army also is using some of the municipal park facilities. Buildings formerly used for indoor recreation programs have been converted into dormitories.

Early in 1942 San Diego filed an application for Lanham funds (Docket 4-444) in the amount of $68,000 to provide playgrounds to meet the loss of some of the public park facilities. The Vita Area Board approved this request in July 1942. On February 1, 1943, the FWA Regional Program Review Board turned down the project. All of this time the need for these facilities, like the _________ of the school grounds, has been increasing rapidly. ____________ out again that it is the failure to provide such facilities for supervised recreation in an area where the normal opportunities for healthful recreation are lacking because of increased congestion, which results in a “youth problem” reaching dramatic proportions. It is hoped that the recent change in FWA policy regarding civilian recreation will reopen this project.

Beach recreation is popular during six months of the year. The Police Department provides a competent life-saving corps. The armed services have recommended that there is a need for locker facilities at the beaches. It is understood that the city and county are considering means of providing these appurtenances.

San Diego is faced with major recreation problems of meeting the needs of the service men stationed near San Diego or using the city as a leave center, and of the industrial workers whose demands for leisure-time activities go round-the-clock. Federal assistance has been sought on the service-connected need; an application is now in process for Lanham Act funds to provide funds to operate a recreation program for the civilian war worker.

The following major commercial rec. facilities are now in operation: 25 moving picture theaters; 1 ice skating rink, 6 bowling alleys, 13 billiard parlors, 10 dance halls, 7 riding academies, 4 golf course, and Lane Field (Pacific Coast League Baseball Park). All commercial recreation facilities are being used to capacity and new installations have by no means kept pace with population growth. One new theater and two bowling alleys are the main additions, except for the very ordinary type of night club, of which about a dozen have been added. The ever-increasing number of war workers compete with the military for admission to skating rinks, theaters and bowling alleys.

The Federal Government has provided the following recreation facilities designed primarily for service men:

San Diego City

  1. Spreckels Building, renovation and furnishing, $45,000. Dedicated December 18, 1942.
  2. Mission Garage Dormitory: Purchase, rehabilitation and furnishing, $135,000. Dedicated October 11, 1942. Operated by USO-Army-Navy YMCA in connection with the adjoining Army-Navy YMCA building. This building provides approximately 20 bedrooms on the second floor. The YMCA provided the connecting building.
  3. Parmalee Dohrmann Building: Lease, renovation and equipment, $23,000. Dedicated June 20, 1943. Operation by USO-JWB.
  4. Masonic Temple Building (Docket 4-534): $137,800 – ($60,000 for purchase). Lease or purchase, renovation and equipment of building to provide 40,000 square feet of space for recreation and for sleeping accommodations. Application now in Washington, D. C. for renewal and approval by FWA.

USO-YMCA operates one recreation center for Negro service men. It is being used beyond capacity and the need for additional facilities is urgent. In addition to the Negro personnel now in and near San Diego, new battalions are being sent to Camp Pendleton. The USO regionally has decided to establish another operation in the vicinity of the existing one, and for that purpose an abandoned Japanese Church will be used. Space will be provided for overnight lodging, and the Navy has indicated that some of the cots recently purchased will be available.

National City: On December 15, 1941, a Type D. Federal Recreation Building was completed. It is operated by the city.

Chula Vista: A Type D Federal Recreation Building completed in December 1941. Operated by the USO.

Oceanside: Since May 25, 1942, USO-YMCA, NCCS, JWB have been operating a two-story Federal Recreation Building, obtained after prolonged condemnation proceedings.

El Cajon: (Docket 4-429) – Presidential approval was given in October 1942 for the lease and renovation of a building. In April 1943 Presidential approval was given for an additional allotment to increase the size of the facility. PBA is the construction agency for the Federal Recreation Building. It is a local operation.

At the present time the community is operating a small service men’s center in temporary quarters. It is planned that this center will be operated for Negro service men primarily from Camp Lockett when the Federal building is completed.

La Jolla: Type D Federal Recreation Building completed March 6, 1942. Operated USO-ARMY-NAVY YMCA.

Old Town, San Diego: USO-NCCS operating a recreation center.

Pacific Beach: USO-NCCS operating a recreation center.

Camp Lockett: __________________ facilities here except for a number of ___________ in the camp. It is 40 miles to El Cajon which has limited recreation facilities. Due to the presence of Negro troops at Camp Lockett, it is essential that some recreation center nearer than San Diego be available for their use. The Federal Building in El Cajon, approved in October 1942 and now under construction, would release space for the establishment of such a facility.

Overnight accommodations for service men and women continues to be an acute problem. It was estimated by the recreation committee that the number of service men on leave in San Diego is close to 50,000 on weekends and between 25,000 and 35,000 on weekdays. These figures probably are conservative, since three USO operations alone report a combined daily attendance of 25,000. Theaters, eating places, night clubs are jammed. Service men are on the streets at all hours, with the peak between 4 p.m. and midnight. By actual check 10,000 men entered the Army and Navy YMCA between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. of a Saturday night.

Existing plans will require 1,800 WAVES by September, bringing the estimated total of service women in the area to over 3,000.

The Federal Recreation Building operated by the USO-Army-Navy YMCA clears the furniture from the social hall and sleeps approximately 300 men. This is in addition to the 400 beds in the rooms of the regular structure, and is the only facility of its kind to date. The proposed facility in the Masonic Building will be designed to permit maximum use of its space for overnight lodging. The Navy recently purchased 700 cots to be used in the recreation centers for overnight lodging. The number of beds which are needed, as estimated by the military and by men working in the general field of military recreation, runs well over 5,000.

Provision of such accommodations for 5,000 persons challenges the ingenuity of the community, but more than that, it is challenged by the physical limitations of space, equipment and supervision. The problem must be attacked from two sides at least — the provision of more facilities and the staggering of leave periods. The only intelligent approach is for the military — Army, Navy and Marine Corps — to schedule leave periods or passes so that the cumulative impact upon San Diego is more evenly distributed through the week. Camps close to San Diego can ease the strain on housing and transportation by bring the men to San Diego in military vehicles and returning to camp at the end of the evening.

At the last session of the Legislature, California recognized a responsibility for solder overnight housing and added this type of facility to the list of those activities eligible for participation in the $2,500,000 civilian defense fund. Funds for this purpose are available to communities on a dollar-matching basis.

Recreation facilities designed primarily for civilians:

In San Diego, as in every other city or town adjacent to military establishments, there is an acute problem in finding accommodations for service men’s families, whether for a few days or for a few months. The Red Cross has been performing whatever service it can with the limited funds at its disposal for this purpose.

Red Cross has located within the city a women’s clubhouse which could be obtained rent free. The organization would assume responsibility and direction of the establishment, but funds must be obtained for maintenance and some personnel. This matter is receiving the concerted attention of the city and Red Cross, and it is hoped that funds may be obtained. It would be used as an emergency center where these families could be sent for a short period of time while the Red Cross works out a more permanent arrangement for them.

Recreation facilities are available for use at Federal Public Housing Authority projects. Their full use, however, is denied because of the limitations of the San Diego Recreation Department’s budget. An application for Lanham funds to assist in providing critically needed recreation programs for civilian war workers is being prepared. Commercial facilities do exist in San Diego, and some few have been added since the war-created influx of population began, but for the most part they are not of a wholesome nature for young people; they are not located to lessen demands upon the strained transportation; they are not adequate to meet the needs of the people requiring leisure-time activities.

It is hoped that the recent change in FWA national policy in making available to communities Lanham funds for civilian recreation will have an early beneficial effect on the San Diego situation. The city is now in the process of preparing an application for a War Services project which will supply funds for maintenance and operation of a community-side recreation program.

It will be operated in parks, playgrounds, schools and community recreation facilities in the housing projects. Operation of all these facilities would be under trained leadership for a greater number of hours than is now possible with the limited recreation staff of the San Diego Recreation Department.

On the public housing projects the following facilities are available.

Linda Vista: (4,850 family units) – Community Center building is inadequate for a project of this size. It is used primarily for church services. School playgrounds are not available since rejection of Docket 4-444. Project Service Division of Project Management has developed 25 jungle gyms throughout the development and cleared some areas adjacent to them. Plans are under way to bring out recreation leadership from the project. The City Recreation Department will conduct a short training course. This leadership would be used on the elementary and high school yards after school hours.

NEEDS: Larger community building for indoor activities, including adult clubs and groups. If San Diego is given Federal financial assistance, paid leadership for recreation activities should be provided.

(End of excerpts. For complete article visit the Pacific Southwest Region of the National Archives.)

Return to Amero Collection.


Main Page

1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 | 1904
1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909
1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914
1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924
1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934
1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 1939
1940 | 1941 1942 1943 1944
1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954
1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 | 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987 1988 | 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999