Balboa Park History 1946
January 6, 1946, San Diego Union, II, B-1:1-2, B-2:3-4. City planning sticks close to Nolen survey despite changes; the city has pulled out of the plan to construct a hall of justice and the county will build in alone for its own use; the harbor department urges the city council not to give the state a site for a state building at Pacific Highway.
January 7, 1946, San Diego Union, A-7:5. Engineers from the 11th Naval District Public Works Department will join civilian engineers tomorrow in beginning of a survey of city property now occupied by the Navy in Balboa Park in order to make estimates of rehabilitation costs, W. Allen Perry reported last night.
On December 18 the Navy moved its western gate from the California quadrangle east to the Plaza de Panama. It marked the first withdrawal of the Navy from any part of the park area it has occupied since early in 1942.
Observers point out that the Ford Building was never included in the Navy compound and could be used now for a city recreation center. The Ford Building houses a vocational school.
January 12, 1946, San Diego Union, II, 1:4. In its 71st annual meeting the San Diego Natural History Museum Society yesterday elected six directors. J. W. Sefton, who has been president since 1922, announced that the Navy has given no indication when it will release the museum. It has been used as an adjunct to Naval Hospital since start of the war with exhibits stored in the basement.
January 22, 1946, San Diego Union, II, 1:5-6. Malcolm J. Rogers quits as head of San Diego Museum of Man; Malcolm Farmer, member of staff, to succeed him; Rogers resigned after 20 years of services as curator and acting director; museum building now occupied by Navy.
January 25, 1946, San Diego Union, A-7:6. Reginald Poland predicts Fine Arts Gallery in park to open soon; only a skeleton Navy staff now is carrying on work in the building.
February 6, 1946. Groundbreaking for Cabrillo Freeway.
February 10, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:8. Uniform cages for “small fry” at San Diego Zoo.
As the first step of a carefully planned expansion program, the zoo has just completed a set of modern, uniform cages to house many of the smaller animals, it was announced yesterday by Charles Cotant, president of the San Diego Zoological society.
Located in the northeast corner of the zoo, the new unit contains squirrels, porcupines and other smaller rodents.
Formerly these animals were scattered all over the zoo; many were in out of the way cages. Whereas formerly some of the animals were shy and reticent, now in their new homes they have become more friendly and congenial, according to zoo officials.
A large-scale landscaping program also has been started in and around the small animals unit.
Plans for other improvements, called for in the society’s post-war plans, were discussed at length at the February luncheon meeting of the zoo’s directors yesterday.
February 17, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:2-5. Trail broken on Cabrillo Freeway’s 6th Avenue extension.
February 17, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:1. City recreation expansion plan nears completion; surrender of park buildings by Navy key to program; cost set at $45,000; Pauline des Granges appointed general supervisor of playgrounds and community centers; Ralph Smith appointed supervisor of municipal athletics.
February 22, 1946, San Diego Herald, 1:4, 5:4. Death came to Willie, a black swan at the San Diego Zoo yesterday, in one of the cruelest acts of vandalism on record here. Police said today that two sailors poured lighter fluid on the birds feathers and then touched it with a match. A peaceful resident of the zoo for 22 years, Willie was a native of Australia, valued at $200.
February 24, 1946, San Diego Union, C-2:1-3. Civic Light Opera to use Wegeforth Bowl at San Diego Zoo for summer season, by Constance Herreshoff. Everyone likes seeing light opera in Wegeforth bowl’s beautiful sylvan setting. Many of us have pleasant memories of the light operas produced there before the way. If San Diego runs true to form, Wegeforth bowl’s 1200 seats will be filled at every opera performance.
February 24, 1946, San Diego Union, C-5:1-5. Red Cross work at Naval Hospital praised.
February 27, 1946, San Diego Union, Ap5:3-5. Seals caught for San Diego Zoo; first time in five years, land at waterfront.
March 3, 1946, San Diego Union, A-3:1. San Diego Zoo seeking giant pandas from Szechwan. Szechwan has altered its disposal procedure of the animals now, Mrs. Benchley said, and plans to export two of the pandas a year in exchange for a year’s university fellowship for two of its eligible young men.
March 3, 1946, San Diego Union, A-3:2. Ted McRorey draws animals at San Diego Zoo.
March 3, 1946, San Diego Union, A-3:5. Museum of Natural History not in full use until next year.
Museum exhibits are now scattered in 36 different storerooms from here to Utah.
March 3, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:3-5. Air Institute plans erection of $154,000 building on bay front.
March 9, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:1. Naval Hospital choir to give seven services.
March 16, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. Naval Hospital choir will present cantata.
March 17, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:5-8, B-16:4. City proposes park area as new meeting’s center; Community urged to convert Federal Building to usage, by Henry Love (dwg.)..
March 23, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:1, A-3:6. Camp Callan building deal closed by City; transfer effected in payment of $200,000 to Army.
March 24, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:6-8. City Manager Rhodes wants ten blocks cut off mall plan.
March 30, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:3. Naval Hospital recital slated.
March 30, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:2-4. Raffy, giraffe, disinclined to leave present quarters at San Diego Zoo for north.
March 31, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:3-4. Raffy set on rearward view of trip.
March 31, 1946, San Diego Union, B-7:2. Mirror pool remodeled for waterfowl just west of café entrance at San Diego Zoo.
April 4, 1946, San Diego Union, B-12:2. City refuses Navy return of park buildings pending an agreement between the city and navy on restoration of all city property occupied by the Navy during the war as an annex to the Naval Hospital.
April 5, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:6. City Manager Rhodes to ask city auditorium in Balboa Park.
April 7, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:1. City Manager Rhodes sees Ford Building as new center to obtain conventions, by Henry Love..
April 13, 1946, San Diego Union, A-2:6-7. Cost of park restoration estimated under $1,000,000 by Construction Quantities of Los Angeles.
April 13, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:5. Naval Hospital group to sing “The Crucifixion,” a cantata by Sir John Stainer.
April 17, 1946, Minutes of a special meeting of the City Manager’s Park Rehabilitation Committee, held in the District Officers’ Club, Balboa Park, Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman G. Aubrey Davidson. Members present; Mr. Davidson, Mr. Sessions, Dr. Bard, City Manager Fred A. Rhodes; ex officio members, Mr. Calland and Mr. Perry, Mr. Arthur Kennedy, representing Construction Quantities, Mr. Loveck and Mr. Wohler of the company, attended the meeting.
Mr. Kennedy delivered the report to the Committee and made a general statement on the structure of the report as outlined in the letter of transmittal. The total cost estimate, based on the Navy’s labor contracts in effect during the compilation of the report, amounted to $531,149.02. On the basis of an anticipated labor increase of approximately eighteen percent to become effective May 1st, the total figure will increase to $668,800.00.
Mr. Rhodes raised the question of the figure to be used in submitting the report to the Navy. Mr. Davidson expressed his opinion that the figure shown in the report should be used, and the Navy put on notice that the expected increase will raise that figure to approximately $700,000.00.
Mr. Davidson stated that the purpose of the survey and report was to arrive at the amount required to put the buildings and areas back in the condition existing at the time the Navy occupied them in 1941. He questioned whether the Navy would do the work or appropriate a sum for the work to be done under the direction of the City Manager. Mr. Kennedy was convinced that it would be impossible for the Navy to prepare adequate plans and specifications for Navy bids on the work, therefore, an appropriation would be made to the City.
Mr. Sessions questioned whether the estimate was ample to cover overhead changes, taxes, insurance, etc. and care for general and sub-contractors. Mt. Kennedy stated that the breakdown on the report showed about $175,000.00 for labor, $30,000.00 for material and $180,000.00 for fixed charges. Combining the direct labor charges, and the proportion of labor in the fixed charges would amount to a total labor output of about $260,000.00. This, combined with the materials, would bring the contractor’s work to approximately $300,000.00
Mr. Rhodes questions the procedure from this point.
Mr. Sessions discussed the use value of the buildings and area during the time of military occupancy, since the Government has paid for similar occupancies in other parts of the country. This item might be used to offset claims the Navy may make for improving the property during their use. Mr. Kennedy stated that he knew of a hotel in Santa Monica and in Van Nuys for which the Navy had paid from fifteen to twenty-five cents per square foot per year. He also agreed to furnish an estimate of the use value or rental charges based upon the square footage of the buildings and area occupied.
After further discussion, it was moved by Dr. Bard, seconded by Mr. Sessions and unanimously carried that the report submitted by Construction Quantities on the cost of reconversion be accepted as a basis for negotiation with the United States Navy, and that the estimate be forwarded to the City Manager for his action, and to request the City Manager to take every measure possible to expedite the recovery of the buildings and areas for public use.
Mr. Rhodes was of the opinion that it would be more desirable to negotiate directly with proper Navy representatives on the basis of a letter setting forth the figures based on the prevailing wage scale, subject to revision in the event of a wage increase, rather than to attempt to negotiate through the City Council. Mr. Sessions stressed the desirability of striving to reach a settlement which would turn the buildings and areas back to the City in their present shape and provide the sum shown in the cost estimate for their reconversion.
It was moved by Mr. Sessions, seconded by Dr. Bard, and unanimously carried, that the meeting adjourn.
April 20, 1946, San Diego Union, A-6:3-5. Forum speakers split evenly on mall topic.
April 21, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:3-4. Abraham Riseman, Exposition building’s decorator, dies.
Mr. Riseman came to San Diego from New York and established a decorating firm. In 1915 he was engaged to decorate many of the exposition buildings in Balboa Park.
April 25, 1946, Letter, From: C. W. Nimitz, Fleet Admiral, U. S. N; To: Senator Downey; Serial 842P40 4 15 12; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
My dear Senator Downey:
The Secretary of the Navy has referred to me for reply your letter of April 10, 1946 relative to the facilities taken over by the Navy in Balboa Park, San Diego.
According to information received from the Commanding Officer, Naval Hospital, San Diego, the main buildings in Balboa Park, including the Museum and Fine Arts Gallery have been evacuated. These, with the land, at present, are a subject of negotiation between the San Diego authorities and the Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, as to the restoration necessary preceding the city’s re-acceptance.
The Navy desires to retain temporarily the building now being used as the Nurses’ Home. The Navy will move out of this building as soon as suitable accommodations can be obtained for the nurses.
The Navy also desires to retain temporarily the buildings being used for the Hospital Corps School in Camp Kidd which, although in Balboa Park, are at some distance from the buildings which were used for temporary hospital facilities. Currently, efforts are being made to find another location for this school so that these buildings may be returned to the City of San Diego.
The Bureau of Naval Personnel maintains a Bachelor Officers Quarters and Transient Officers Mess at Camp Kidd. These will be closed prior to 30 June, 1946.
The request that Laurel Street through the Park be reopened was probably made to the Commandant, Eleventh Naval District. The Commanding Officer, Naval Hospital, San Diego stated that there was no reason known to him why it could not be opened at this time. Information on this subject has been requested of the Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, and the information will be transmitted to you when it is received. It is not anticipated that there will be any objections to reopening Laurel Street.
The Navy will continue to make every reasonable effort to relinquish occupancy as soon as practicable of all buildings in Balboa Park.
C W NIMTIZ
FLEET ADMIRAL, U.S.N.
April 26, 1946, Letter, From: A. H. Gray, Acting Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego 30, California; To: Chief of Naval Operations; ND11/NH16/A1-1/? (Serial No. P-22895); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Naval Facilities, Balboa Park, San Diego, California
Ref: (a) CNO ltr Op40H/bhm Serial 852P40 to Com11, dated 19 April 1946.
- In reply to ref. (a) the Department is informed that the Navy has vacated all buildings facing Laurel Street in Balboa Park, San Diego, which includes the Museum and Fine Arts Gallery, and has offered to return these buildings to the City and to open Laurel Street to the general public providing the City will assume responsibility for police protection of these vacated buildings..
- The City Manager of San Diego, acting on recommendations of the Park Commission, has declined to accept custody of the buildings in question, at this time, and has recommended that the Navy retain custody until after the Park Commission has had time to study the engineering survey report covering the estimated costs of restoration of park buildings and grounds. For this reason it is impracticable to open Laurel Street to the general public, since this would involve the removal of all barriers to this area, with the resultant responsibility of the Navy to furnish police protection for all unoccupied buildings in Balboa Park.
- The Commanding Officer, U. S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, states that it will be necessary for the Hospital to continue the use of the House of Hospitality (Bldg. No. 215) for Nurses’ Quarters; the Canadian Legion Building (Bldg. No. 233) for Commissioned Officers’ Mess; and the area known as Camp Kidd, which is used for Hospital Corps Training School, until a later date. However, the use of these buildings and Camp Kidd by the Navy will not affect the opening of Laurel Street.
- Negotiations between the City of San Diego and the Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, regarding the restoration of park buildings and grounds, are proceeding satisfactorily and, it is hoped, will result in an early settlement of this case.
cc: BuDocks (F-50
CO, NSNH,SD A. H. GRAY, Acting Commandant.
April 30, 1946, San Diego Union, B-12:3-5. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, chief of naval operations, speeds park return to San Diego.
May 1, 1946, Minutes of a special meeting of the City Manager’s Committee on the Rehabilitation of Balboa Park, held in the Officers’ Club, Balboa Park, Wednesday.
Following luncheon, the meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. by Chairman Davidson. Present: Mr. G. Aubrey Davidson, Mr. Fred A. Rhodes, City Manager, Mr. Frank Young, Dr. Howard B. Bard, Mr. Roland Hoyt, Mr. Glenn Rick, Mr. Leo Calland, Mr. Arthur Kennedy and Mr. Herbert Loveck of Construction Quantities and Mr. W. Allen Perry.
Mr. Davidson reviewed the previous action of the Committee and questioned Mr. Young on the wage scale base on overtime above forty hours per week for labor costs. He stated that the current agreement in San Diego permitted additional hours on Mondays through Fridays at time and one-half over forty hours, and double time other days.
Mr. Kennedy stated that the estimate was prepared on the basis of double time for all work over forty hours.
Mr. Hoyt entered the meeting.
Mr. Young mentioned the fact that he found no allowance for lumber required for scaffolds. He suggested that an individual analysis be made of the summary of each building toward the end that all man-hours, materials and situations would be adequately covered. He questioned the possibility of restoring $6,000,000.00 of work for the proposed $531,149.02.
Mr. Kennedy stated that the man-hours had actually been more or less padded on the overall basis, to which had been added the overhead costs — all of which could be substantiated with the Navy.
Mr. Young felt that the estimate should provide for the subcontractors percentage on overhead costs and an additional percentage for his particular craft.
Mr. Davidson requested the Committee to determine the policy to be followed in amending the report to be submitted to the Navy, and raised the question of an adequate allowance for complete restoration of the staff and exterior plaster on the Prado buildings.
Mr. Rhodes suggested that the current pay schedules and unit price costs be adjusted to the quantities as shown, and an allowance for a general contractor be included in the new report. It was his opinion that the staff and plastering should not be included in this restoration report, but should be submitted as a separate request in view of the Navy’s former promise to do this work.
Mr. Kennedy was of the opinion that the City could rightfully claim the staff and plaster restoration since it was not possible for the City to go in and do this work during the Navy’s occupancy and the Navy left it undone. Furthermore, since the Navy did not do it when it should have been done, the cost is now greater.
Mr. Young suggested that both spot and detail checks be made on the data indicated in the report and these findings be adjusted to the new wage scale and the contractor’s allowance.
It was moved by Dr. Bard, seconded by Mr. Rhodes and unanimously carried, that the Chairman of the Committee be empowered to obtain the services of Construction Quantities and Mr. Frank Young to check and restudy the survey, report and estimate.
Upon motion of Dr. Bard, seconded by Mr. Hoyt and unanimously carried the meeting adjourned on call of the Chairman.
May 2, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:2-3. Conversion of Ford Building into auditorium hits snag.
Glenn A. Rick, city planning director, wrote Rhodes that before the commission can act it must have referred back to it by the city council a previous recommendation for an auditorium site at the head of the proposed Cedar Street mall.
May 7, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:8, A-2:3. City Council shelves Cedar Street Mall; City to concentrate on remodeling the Ford Building as a civic auditorium.
May 8, 1946, Letter, From: Construction Quantities, 124 West Fourth Street, Los Angeles 13, Calif.; To: City of San Diego, Calif., Balboa Park Board.
As discussed with you, we are submitting, herewith, an Estimated Use Value on Park Buildings occupied temporarily by the U. S. Navy. The unit used is 20 cents per square foot per year.
Building Use Values
Canadian Legion Building (4/21/44 – 4/21/46) – 2 years
3300 sq. ft. x 2 years at 20 cents 1,320.00
Medical Science 19,840
War Memorial 18,700
Food and Beverage 52,000
Better Housing 32,225
Red Cross 11,600
House of Hospitality 47,625
House of Charm 14,850
Floral Association 3,000
Photographic Arts 1,600
Pacific Relations 12,000
Palace of Education 22,000
Palace of Entertainment 15,250
Calif. State Armory 27,000
Municipal Gym 27,000
Federal Building 24,000
Globe Theater 8,100
Curiosity Shop 768
Old Tavern 1,826
339,384 sq. ft.
Above buildings occupied 12/10/41 – 5/10/46 – 4-1/2 years
339,384 sq. ft. x 4-1/2 years @ 20 cents 305,445.00
TOTAL BUILDING USE VALUE 306,765.00
Land Use Value
Assuming a value of $10,000.00 per acre to be amortized over
a period of 14 years.
83.77 acres x $10,000 x 4-1/2 years use divided by 14 269.261.00
TOTAL LAND USE VALUE 269,261.00
May 8, 1946, Letter, From: Benjamin Perlman, Captain, U. S. Navy, General Inspector; To: Commandant; ND11/EN3-17 BP/Ns Serial A-429, National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Inspection of Naval Activities in Balboa Park, San Diego, in Regard to Expediting Release of Property Not Navy Owned; and Recommendations – Report of.
- Inspection of naval activities in Balboa Park, San Diego, as to the earliest termination of use of non Navy-owned property and the return of same to City authorities has been made, and is herewith reported.
- Preliminary Facts
(c) Use of Buildings #1, #17, #22 and #24 in Balboa Park has been formalized, after occupancy by the following documents: (1) Official Release by City dated June 20, 1945; (2) Permit Agreement between San Diego Society of Natural History and United States; (3) Permit Agreement between Fine Arts Society of San Diego and United States; (4) Permit Agreement between San Diego Museum Association and United States.
(d) Certain other buildings and grounds were taken over by the Navy by direction of the Commandant. Building #233, former Canadian Legion Building, was offered free by the City to the Naval Hospital, it no longer being wanted by the City.
(e) City could not legally charge rent for use of buildings or grounds.
(f) Permit Agreements with the three above-named societies provided for certain lump sum “rental” payments for the period from March 5, 1943 to June 30, 1945, and certain monthly payments thereafter until terminated.
(g) Navy also provided for monthly rental of a residence for housing and exhibiting the Fine Arts Gallery.
(h) Cost of public utilities, maintenance, landscaping, etc., has been covered mutually by the Navy and the City.
- Facts as to Present Occupancy
(a) All buildings facing Laurel Street, i.e., Hospital Unit #2, the subjects of the City Release and the Permit Agreements (par 2(a)), have now been vacated by the Naval Hospital, the last being the Nurses’ Quarters, Bldg. #215 (former House of Hospitality)
(b) The Commissioned Officers’ Mess, Bldg. #233 (former Canadian Legion Bldg.) is in use by the Hospital. It can be vacated at any time. Being on the exterior side of Park Boulevard and not adjacent to Laurel Street, it is not one of the structures in the present clamor for Park use.
(c) Hospital Unit #3, the Camp Kidd Hospital Corps Training School, is in use. Captain Jacobs states it can be vacated within several weeks. BuMed in letter dated April 30 desires this school be moved back to main hospital reservation, classes of 600 be continued, and the Balboa Park facilities be vacated as soon as practicable and not later than December 31, 1946.
(d) Hospital Unit #4 consisting primarily of wards is idle and can be vacated immediately.
(e) Hospital Unit #5 consisting primarily of bag rooms is idle and can be vacated immediately.
(f) Hospital Unit #7, consisting of storage buildings can be vacated immediately; but suitable storage place would be required elsewhere for stowage of surplus materials until disposed of.
(g) Camp Kidd, consisting of BOQ’s, barracks and Officers’ Mess, can be vacated. Transient personnel can be housed in facilities elsewhere. The Mess fills an important need for recreation and morale of transient officers, which cannot be adequately met by any other existing facility. However, this need must be secondary to the more important consideration of urgency in terminating Navy’s occupancy of Balboa park, and final arrangements with the City concerning restoration. The number of officers on board the Mess has shrunk from a maximum daily of 251 to 144; the number of officers received during a month from 533 to 264; and the number of meals served in the Closed Mess during a month from 8534 to 4782. Average daily meals in Closed Mess during April 1946 were 34 breakfasts, 46 lunches, 80 dinners, with a maximum of 108 dinners. Within the last few days, the figures average 33 breakfasts, 35 lunches and 41 dinners. The number of meals served daily averaged as high in the first quarter of the calendar year 1946 as at any time previous, i. e. 361. However, in April 1946 in shrank to 221.
- Facts As to Restoration.
(a) Each of the three Permit Agreements stipulates that the “Government shall, in accordance with terms of a release from the City of San Diego, executed June 20, 1945, restored the building comprising the premises when the use and occupancy of the premises is terminated.”
(b) The Release by the City stipulates: “That when the Government shall relinquish the use and occupancy of said buildings, it will restore each of said buildings to the condition to which it existed at the original date of occupancy thereof by the Government (March 5, 1943) upon demand by the City; damages resulting from acts of God and/or earthquakes, flood and/or other disaster, excepted.” This “applies to specific buildings: Bldg. #1, San Diego Society of Natural History; Bldg. #17, Fine Arts Society of San Diego; Bldg. #22 and #24, San Diego Museum Association (also known as San Diego Museum of Man).”
(c) Commandant in letter dated April 1, 1943 to City Manager, stated in regard to holes made in floor of Museum Building for plumbing: “This letter is being written to assure you and Mr. Abbott that the Navy will return these floors to you in as good condition as when taken over by the Navy.”
(d) Commandant in letter dated March 15, 1946 to City Manager, requested that the City accept custody and responsibility of the buildings facing Laurel Street (excepting House of Hospitality then in use). This is to be done in advance of any financial settlement on restoration.
(e) Park Director in letter dated April 6, 1946, to City Manager advised that the Park Commission in acting on this proposal, (par. D), recommended against accepting the buildings from the Navy until a satisfactory financial agreement for restoration is achieved, inasmuch as the Navy had not make a financial agreement with the City for restoration of these and other buildings and since acceptance of the buildings would make the City responsible for their maintenance, protection and policing.
(f) City Manager in letter dated April 12, 1946, to Commandant forwarded the Park Director’s letter and recommended that the Navy retain custody of the buildings until after the Park Commission would have had time to study the report of a survey carried on by engineers employed by the City. This survey “has proceeded to a point where some discussion can be had as to the estimated cost of restoration.”
(g) Commandant in letter dated April 26 to CNO advised CNO of this refusal of the City to accept custody, and of the necessity therefore of the Navy’s keeping Laurel Street closed for protection of the unoccupied buildings. “Negotiations proceeding satisfactorily” and early settlement expected.
(h) City Manager’s attitude was that it is the Navy’s responsibility to restore the buildings to their former condition before turning them over to the City, and to police the street and vacant buildings until then. (San Diego Union of May 3, 1946.)
(i) Captain Fogg, District Public Works Officer, had orally informed the City Manager that the Navy Department’s policy was to settle restoration by cash payments in lieu of actually undertaking the physical work of restoration.
(j) Commander Phipps, PWO of Hospital, in a memorandum dated December 19, 1945, stated that at that time the City Manager would prefer that the Hospital not press for return of the buildings to the City.
(k) Captain Fogg had orally reminded the City Manager that figures of restoration costs must be in detail rather than lump sum and be reasonable and just, in order to stand Navy Department examination prior to approval.
(l) Each Permit Agreement stipulates that a 60 days’ notice in writing to Permittor to terminate agreement is required.
- Opinions re Restoration:
(a) Captain Fogg is on the opinion that the City Manager is not desirous of receiving money in settlement for restoration, because the City Council might decide to use the money for other purposes, and City Manager therefore seeks to have the Navy undertake the work of restoration.
(b) Captain Fogg is of the opinion that the costs of restoration as determined by the survey has not been definitely set or declared, pending what he believes are City’s efforts to raise the figures from approximately $500,000 to $1,000,000.
(c) Captain Fogg is of the opinion that the City will avoid weakening its position through accepting partial custody in the meantime.
(d) The undersigned is of the opinion that the Navy could clear the situation by advising in writing: (1) that it has vacated all buildings facing Laurel Street, and is ready to vacate all other buildings and grounds of the Park now in use by it; (2) that it is awaiting estimates of the survey from the City in order to undertake negotiations for a cash settlement of restoration costs; (3) that such settlement is the policy of the Navy Department instead of actual work by the Navy; (4) that City present survey report for negotiations without delay; (5) that the Navy is as desirous as the City to make the Park available to the public, and urges the City to take custody of vacated buildings pending settlement; (6) that there are no Navy patients in the Park; and (7) that Navy personnel of the currently occupied spaces do not constitute a hazardous traffic problem if Laurel Street is opened to the public.
(e) When a favorable opportunity presents itself during negotiations, the Navy should seek acquiescences of the City in continued use of the Officers’ Mess building in Camp Kidd, and the Officers’ Mess in the Canadian Legion building. The restoration costs to be included in the settlement, though Navy continue use of these buildings.
(a) Action be taken in line with paragraphs 5 (d) and 5 (e) above.
(b) Action be expedited in vacating remainder of buildings now in use, except the two Officer’s Messes. Action on the latter to be governed by the City’s reaction to feelers for Navy’s continued use. If City declines such concession, these two buildings should be vacated promptly.
(c) Notices of termination to be presented to the three Permittors immediately.
(d) Provide suitable storage elsewhere for the materials now in Hospital Unit #7. Incidentally, at this moment, this Unit presents an unsightly scene of a junk yard.
/s/ BENJAMIN PERLMAN
Captain, U. S. Navy,
May 8, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:2 (Bad microfilm copy in San Diego Public Library). A2:2. Council revived battle over Cedar Street Mall; referred program back to Planning Commission; pushed auditorium plan.
May 8, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:5-6. City pools to open to public this summer.
May 9, 1946, San Diego Union, A-11:3-4. Navy to proceed with care in return of park to City.
The city manager’s remarks obviously stirred up some indignation among real estate officers, who claim they would be blamed later if the navy came up on the short end of restoration negotiations.
May 9, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Glenn Rick declares Ford Building is “white elephant.”
Rick declared he felt it would be unwise to spend half a million dollars on the wrong location for a convention hall and maintained the Ford Building is not easily accessible, either by private or public transportation. Rendering it more accessible would mean only additional expense, he asserted.
May 10, 1946, Letter, From: L W. Jacobs, Captain (MC) USN, Medical Officer in Command; To: Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, D. C.; Via: (1) The Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego, California: NH16/L9-3; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
SUBJECT: Moving of the Hospital Corps School from Camp Kidd – Tentative Plans for.
Reference: (a) BuMed ltr. BUMED-P-MFD NH16/L9-3 dated 30 April 1946.
- In compliance with reference (a), the facilities of the Hospital Corps School, U. S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, can be returned to the main grounds of the hospital within approximately a month.
- The complement of 600 students can be accommodated with the present facilities and the proposed staff of twelve (12) officers and thirty-eight (38) enlisted men, in addition to the Nurses detailed as instructors.
- No structural changes are indicated.
/s/ L. W. JACOBS
Captain, (MC) USN.
May 12, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2, B-16:3. Shelving of Mall plan would leave City with several alternatives; parley set Tuesday.
May 13, 1946, Memorandum, From: J. W. Allen, District Medical Officer, 11th ND; To: Captain Benjamin Perlman, USN, General Inspector, 11ND; ND11/NH16/(I-a); Declassified 4/5/89; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Report of Inspection of Naval Activities in Balboa Park, San Diego, In Regard to Expediting Release of Non-Navy Owned Property, Comments on.
Ref: (a) Your conf. ltr. ND11/EN3-17 BP/NS, Ser. A-429, dtd. 8 May 1946.
- The District Medical Officer concurs, generally, in the report and recommendations made by the General Inspector on the above subject. The following added information is submitted.
- Since the inspection made on 8 May 1946, the nurses have been removed to the main hospital reservation from Building No. 215 (formerly House of Hospitality).
- All buildings in Unit No. 2; that is, buildings along Laurel Street; have now been vacated and Government property has been removed for storage.
- The U. S. Naval Hospital Corps School, now housed in Hospital Unit No. 3 (Camp Kidd), could be transferred to the main hospital reservation in a few weeks, provided the number of men under training did not exceed 600.
- Hospital Unit No. 4 is now entirely vacated, with the exception of one building which is housing the laboratory of Epidemiology Unit No. 80. This unit will be moved to the main hospital laboratory this week, and all Medical Department property from this unit will be placed in storage.
- Hospital Unit No. 5 has been vacant for some time and has been declared surplus.
- Hospital Unit No. 7 is now being used for storage of surplus Medical Department material. These storage facilities are particularly accessible to the hospital and to the Park buildings. A barbed wire fence has been erected around these buildings, and a security watch is maintained at all times. It would be rather impracticable and somewhat costly to remove the material stored here to some other location. Much of the material has already been declared surplus and will probably be removed and disposed of, in accordance with current directives, within a short time. Other items of equipment, now stored out in the open and which contribute to the unsightly condition mentioned in the subject report, will also be disposed of within a short time. These buildings can then be vacated promptly.
/s/ J. W. ALLEN
District Medical Officer
May 13, 1946, San Diego Union, B-12:4-5. Reopening of Balboa Park buildings due.
Immediate action to reopen three public institutions in Balboa Park will be taken as soon as the Navy releases these buildings but at least two months will elapse before the public can be admitted to them, it was disclosed yesterday.
May 14, 1946, Memorandum; From: A. K. Fogg, Public Works Officer, 11th Naval District; To: Chief of Staff, ND11/NH16/ A1-1, A16-3 (PW); Declassified, 4/5/89; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Release of Balboa Park by Navy.
Ref: (a) General Inspector’s conf. ltr. to Comdt. ND11/EN3-17 Serial A-429 dated 8 May 1946.
- Immediately following the outbreak of the war, the Navy took over certain buildings and areas in Balboa Park for emergency hospital and training station purposes. They comprised the buildings and areas now retained with the exception of the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Man. Due to provisions of the City constitution whereby Balboa Park property cannot be leased or sold, the City took the position that it would not opposed such use by the Navy but that it could enter into no leases for it. Consequently, there is no written agreement or lease covering it. However, by Resolution 78659 of Sept. 21, 1943, the City Council stated “Be it resolved by the Council of the City of San Diego as follows:
That any claims which the City may or might have against the United States Government for the value of the use and occupation by the Government of said buildings, or for damages suffered by the City arising out of or occasioned by such use and occupation, be, and the same are, hereby, waived, under the express condition and for the consideration that within a reasonable time, not to exceed six (6) months after the termination of the existing National Emergency, the Government will vacate such buildings, and wholly at the Government’s expense, repair and restore them to the same condition in which said buildings were at the time they were taken over by the Government; provided, however, in case structural changes or improvements have been made by the Government in said buildings, which in the judgment of this Council will not interfere with the purposes for which said buildings were formerly used by the City and the cultural and educational or societies that occupied the same, the Council may be resolution waive the right to require the Government to restore such buildings to their original condition, and accept them in their altered or changed condition.
Be it further resolved that the waiver of the City’s right to claim compensation for the use and by the Government of said buildings, or for damages occasioned thereby, as in this resolution provided, shall not be construed as preventing or estopping to any degree whatsoever any person, society, institution or group that was occupying any of said buildings by permission from the City at the time the same were taken over by the Government from claiming or asserting against the Government any rights which they may have to compensation or damages by reason of or arising out of the taking over of said buildings by the Government.”
- The Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Man were taken over by the Navy for hospital purposes in March, 1943. The City was, again, unable to enter into leases for these buildings, even as a third party, but stated that it had no objection to working agreements being entered into between the Government and the Associations concerned to cover restoration of the Associations’ personal property and payment of expenses incurred as the result of the Associations’ inability to occupy the premises formerly used by them. Such agreements were entered into. The payments were called “rents” in the agreements but actually were reimbursements for expenses.
- The first step in the process of restoring leased properties is to secure from the owners a list of restoration items desired or required. To this end, the City has had a Committee and a firm of engineers working since late last fall on the preparation of such a list and estimates of cost to accompany it but it has not yet been presented for consideration. I have spoken to both the Mayor and the City Manager from time to time about the desirability of expediting its submission in order to expedite return of the Park Buildings to the City. This will necessarily have to be checked by the Navy as recommendations cannot be submitted to the Department without substantiation. Finally, to get this of record, a letter, signed by the Commandant, dated 15 March 1946 was written to the City Manager requesting the City to accept custody and responsibility for the buildings and to open up Laurel Street for public use prior to the settlement of costs of restoration. This offer was declined. Neither the Mayor nor the City Manager seem to be in any particular hurry to get back into the Park, as far as I can judge from conversations with them. I believe that the statements appearing in the papers from time to time have originated from other sources largely.
- We cannot go ahead with closing out this matter without considering the City’s desires in the matter of restoration but I concur in Captain Perlman’s suggestion in paragraph 5 (d) of ref. (a) that we again advise the City in writing of our desire to expedite settlement.
A K FOGG
Public Works Officer
11th Naval District.
May 15, 1946, Letter, From: A. H. Gray, Acting Commandant, Eleventh Naval District; To; Chief of Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; ND11/NH16 (A7-Am) Serial W-3349; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Moving of the Hospital Corps School from Camp Kidd – Tentative Plans for.
- It is recommended that the transfer of the Hospital Corps School from Camp Kidd to the main grounds of the Hospital at San Diego be accomplished not later than 15 June 1946.
- H. GRAY
cc: MOIC, NH, SD.
May 15, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:3, A-2:2. Cedar Street Mall tossed back in Planners’ laps.
May 16, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:1-4. Planning group weighs Federal Building and Ford Building in Balboa Park as auditorium candidates.
Preliminary estimates made in reports to the city manager and reported to the city council put the cost of converting the Federal Building at $200,000 and the Ford Building at $500,000. Neither included the cost of access routes.
May 20, 1946, Letter, From: A H. Gray, Acting Commandant, Eleventh Naval District; To: Mr. F. A. Rhodes, City Manager, City of San Diego; ND11/NH16/A1-1/A16-3 (PW); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
My dear Mr. Rhodes:
In my letter to you of 15 March 1946 I stated that the Naval Hospital had completed use of the buildings in Balboa Park facing Laurel Street, with the exception of the House of Hospitality and requested that the City accept custody and responsibility in order that Laurel Street could be opened to the public and the City could make such use of the buildings as it desired. In your letter of 12 April 1946 you requested that the Navy retain custody until after the Park Commission had time to study the report of the engineers, employed by the City to make a survey of the items and cost of restoration. It was also indicated that no buildings would be accepted for return until such time as a satisfactory financial agreement for restoration is achieved.
Since that time there has been considerable publicity in the local papers adverse to the Navy’s position in the matter and protests have been lodged with the Secretary of the Navy relative to it. The retention of guards and fire protection has been considered necessary in view of the City’s desire not to accept responsibility. The House of Hospitality has been vacated so that the Navy is now out of all buildings along Laurel Street. Arrangements are being made to vacate buildings at Camp Kidd at an early date. The engineers; report has not been received as yet.
It is understood that City officials have been advised orally of the Navy’s general policies and requirements in the matter of restoration of leased properties but it is desirable to have these of record. Before such cases can be closed out and financial settlement made, it is required by the Navy Department that the Commandant submit a report on the following items for all Government-owned improvements.
Value in place,
All of the above to be submitted in sufficient detail to permit of checking by the Department.
It is also the policy of the Department to make financial settlements with the owners in lieu of actual restoration by the Government. Under this arrangement, title to the improvements passes to the owners, the value of the improvements being deducted from the restoration cost.
It will be apparent from the above that receipt of the engineers’ estimates referred to above is an essential first step in negotiating a closure of this case. It will also be apparent that a considerable time element is involved in coming to an agreement on values and in processing the matter through the Navy Department after agreement is reached locally.
The Commandant is very appreciative of the past cooperation of the City relative t the Navy’s occupation of Balboa Park and is desirous of returning it to public use at the earliest possible date. He is willing to consider any suggestions that the City may care to offer to further this end.
Your comments would be appreciated.
A H GRAY
May 23, 1946, San Diego Union, A-9:2-3. San Diego policy blamed for park opening delay.
Washington, May 22. A policy tussle between the city of San Diego and the navy about conditions under which the service will return Balboa Park buildings and land to the city was rekindled here as the navy blamed the city for the delay in reopening the park to the public. The navy already has vacated park buildings along Laurel Street, including the Fine Arts Gallery and the Natural History Museum, but Fred Rhodes, city manager, has declined to accept them until the city park commission looks over a navy engineer’s report on what it will cost to restore the navy-acquired Balboa area to its pre-war condition, Adm. D. C. Ramsay informed Sen. Sheridan Downey (D-Calif.).
May 29, 1946, Letter, From: F. A. Rhodes, City Manager, City of San Diego; To: Captain A. H. Gray, Acting Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego 30, California; ND11/NH16/A1-1/A16-3 (PW); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
My dear Captain Gray:
Answering your letter of May 20, I wish to state that the considerable publicity which you mentioned, was not of my making. It was just a case of poor writing of a bit of news which was rewritten by a man who didn’t know anything about the subject and wanted to make a story. He certainly succeeded. The reporter stated he was sorry such mistakes happen; but once in a while, they do.
I have since stated that I had no quarrel with the Navy; and if there was any delay in accepting the buildings in Balboa Park, it was my fault and not that of the Navy. That still stands.
The City employed a firm of engineers to make an estimate of cost of rehabilitating the Park buildings. These estimates were based on wages which prevailed at the time the estimates were started. Due to the fact that on May 1, 1946, a new labor wage scale agreement was entered into throughout the San Diego area, it was necessary to completely revise the cost estimates of rehabilitating the buildings in Balboa Park occupied by the United States navy. This revision should be completed and approved by the City within about two weeks and copies filed with your office. I have felt it was necessary then to have representatives from the Navy and City go over the buildings, checking the items outlined in the report, so that both may be sure the estimates of quantities are correct. After this procedure, I see no reason why the City should not accept the buildings and open Laurel Street; but I can readily understand it would be some time before actual settlement could be made.
You understand, of course, that the improvements made for the hospital occupancy were primarily for the operation of such an institution and would have little value for park purposes. In most instances, these alterations were detrimental to use of the building for civilian programs. We feel there can be little improvement value deducted from the restoration cost mentioned in your letter of May 20.
The City of San Diego was happy to be in a position to accommodate the Navy in providing these buildings for war emergency use; and I am positive all the Navy officials stationed in San Diego appreciated the value to the Navy at that time. There has never been any controversy between the City and Navy officials, both having always cooperated to obtain beneficial results.
Yours very truly,
/s/ F. A RHODES,
June 1, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:1, A-2:5-6, A-6:5-6. George W. Marston, San Diego’s honorary first citizen, dies; merchant who helped growth of city was 95.
June 1, 1946, San Diego Union, B-2:1. EDITORIAL: GEORGE W. MARSTON
It is given to few men to love long enough to reap as full a measure of satisfaction from his earlier efforts as Mr. Marston gathered through the years. Long regarded as the community’s first citizen, his advice and counsel were sought by scores of groups and individuals up until his last illness. They had learned to lean heavily upon his opinions and decisions.
June 2, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:4, A-B:4. City mourns Marston’s death; remembrance period proclaimed by Mayor Harley Knox.
June 2, 1946, San Diego Union, B-16:7. City recreation budget $400,000 for fiscal year starting July 1 will be met partially by an estimated income of $146,000, Leo Calland, recreation director, said yesterday; Mission Beach and water sports are expected to produce about $70,000; the stadium’s midget auto races, motorcycle events, football games, soft drink concessions, parking lot and school board contract are estimated to produce about $59,100.
June 5, 1946, San Diego Union, B-12:2. Simple, quiet services mark Marston burial.
June 6, 1946, San Diego Union, B-3:1. Leo Calland says recreation agencies are not a cure for youth evils.
June 7, 1946, San Diego Union, A-7:5. Sam Hamill, chairman of the Metropolitan Plans Committee, proposes City Council and City Planning Commission pursue plans for a mall for public buildings between Civic Center and Balboa Park; also advocates inner belt freeway route.
June 11, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:6, A-3:7. Bulk of Marston’s estate goes to son, four daughters; $43,000 bequeathed to other individuals, institutions; petition for probate entered.
June 12, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:3-4. Board of Education expressed disapproval of City using Russ Auditorium as a public meeting place; said City should have its own theater or auditorium.
June 13, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:4. Balboa Park swimming pool will reopen for summer season Saturday.
June 15, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:5, A-2:3. Naval Hospital waste charged; usable equipment tossed in city dump; Senate Small Business Committee investigating.
June 20, 1946, San Diego Union, A-11:2. City Park Commission estimate yesterday set at nearly $1,000,000 the cost of repairing 23 Balboa Park buildings to pre-Navy occupancy condition.
Members of the city park restoration committee will confer tomorrow with Capt. Alden K. Fogg, 11th Naval District Public Works Officer, in the first step toward settlement of municipal claims.
Terms approved by the committee may be placed before the city council at its meeting next Tuesday, said City Manager Fred A. Rhodes.
June 24, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:2. Haida Indian collection of everyday tools, utensils, gathered by the late Dr. B. K. Wilbur, received at the Museum of Man.
June 25, 1946, San Diego Union, B-12:5. Camels moved into modern quarters at San Diego Zoo.
June 29, 1946, Letter, From: F. A. Rhodes, City Manger, City of San Diego; To: Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego, California; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Enclosed are two copies of the estimate of reconversion costs of the buildings in Balboa Park. This estimate was prepared by Construction Quantities, a Los Angeles firm of engineers. The labor costs are based upon the present Labor Union wage scale.
It is requested that you have your engineers check the estimate in detail. All items upon which there is a difference of opinion, can then be brought out at a conference between Navy representatives and the City’s Rehabilitation Committee. As soon as you have had the itemized list checked, the City would then be willing to take possession of the buildings and release the Navy from the obligation of keeping the area closed while negotiations are progressing.
It is generally understood that the Navy is not yet ready to vacate the Officers’ Club in the building formerly known as the Educational Building and also the Officer’s Club located on Park Boulevard, formerly known as the Canadian Legion Building. The City will not insist that these buildings be vacated immediately; however, if the park is open to the public, it would probably be necessary for the clubs to maintain a man at the door to prevent non-members of the club gaining admittance. The Navy personnel stationed in San Diego have always maintained friendly relations with the citizens in the past. It is desired t have that feeling continue in the future.
In looking over this report, I note there is no credit given on the salvage value, on the theory that improvements put in for the benefit of the Navy were not improvements required by the City. It would, therefore, appear that some of the buildings, which have to be removed entirely, might be disposed of by the Navy, and a salvage value obtained by the Navy.
These matters, however, will be discovered by your engineers and amicably worked out in future conferences.
/s/ F. A. Rhodes/City Manager.
July 5, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:3. “Mikado” tonight in Wegeforth Bowl at San Diego Zoo.
July 9, 1946, San Diego Union, A-8:5. “Mikado” presented in lively fashion.
July 14, 1946, San Diego Union, C-2:1-3. Large families will get break in Wegeforth Bowl’s presentation of “Mikado”
July 14, 1946, San Diego Union, D-1:1-8. Thirteenth annual show recalls history of Silvergate Riding Club.
July 16, 1946, Letter, J. B. Oldendorf, Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy, Commandant Eleventh Naval District; To: Mr. F. A. Rhodes, City Manager, City of San Diego; ND11/NH16/N19 (PW); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
My dear Mr. Rhodes:
Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of 29 June 1946 with which you forwarded the detailed claim for restoration of Balboa Park. This is now being checked over. Further conferences on the subject will be arranged with you by Captain Fogg, if necessary.
I am very well pleased to note that the City is agreeable to the retention of use of the Officers’ Mess buildings by the Navy until such time as other provisions can be made. This action on your part will be highly appreciated by all. Arrangements will be made to maintain a man at the door to prevent intrusion by non-members, as you suggest.
The Navy has all the data it requires on the City owned buildings. It is my intention to recommend to the Navy Dept. that payment in cash to the City be made in lieu of actual restoration in such amount as may be finally decided upon. Retention of these buildings by the Navy is not necessary for such negotiations as remain. In line with your suggestion, I desire to turn the keys to those buildings over to the City, remove the guards from the gates and open the grounds to the public at the earliest possible date. I would appreciate confirmation from you as to the date the City will take over.
It will probably be necessary to keep the Government-owned buildings locked until such time as final disposition is approved by the Navy Department. It is assumed that there will be no objection by the City to entrance into the Park of personnel necessary for dismantling them, should this procedure be decided upon.
Very truly yours,
J B OLDENDORF,
Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy
Commandant, Eleventh Naval District.
cc: MOinC, USNH, SD,
Dist. Medical Officer.
July 18, 1946, San Diego Union, B-14:3-6. Indian Village, erected at cost of $150,000 by Santa Fe Railroad for 1915-1916 Exposition and then turned over to Boy Scouts, now being burned by Fire Department.
July 21, 1946, San Diego Union, A-9:2-5. Swans become parents at San Diego Zoo.
July 22, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. Site of Indian Village to become beauty spot.
July 26, 1946, San Diego Union, B-12:1. City Manager Rhodes says City not ready to take park.
He said that he was ready to take it at once but this his committee on park restoration asked him to wait until Washington approves a proposed settlement for damages to park buildings during the Navy’s wartime occupancy.
July 27, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:2-4. Three hundred lassies enjoy outing on lawn at 6th Avenue and Palm Street, Balboa Park, on All-City Junior Girls’ Play Day.
July 29, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:3-4. New exhibit for flamingoes at San Diego Zoo.
July 29, 1946, San Diego Union, A-6:4-5. “Chocolate Soldier” in Wegeforth Bowl at San Diego Zoo.
July 31, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:2-3. City Council grants indoor sports zoning change so physically handicapped may have a clubhouse on the block bounded by Redwood, Quince, Albatross and Front Streets.
August 13, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:5-6. Plans for developing park, topic of the Union and Tribune-Sun radio forum Friday night at 9:30 over KFSD.
Appearing on the forum will be Milton P. Sessions, Dr. Howard B. Bard and Roland Hoyt, members of the Park Commission, and W. Allen Perry, park director.
Among topics to be discussed will be the status of the movement to turn back the heart of the park to the city, a development on which many of the city’s plans for cultural activities hinge.
August 15, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:2-3. Radio forum to give park facts tomorrow.
August 16, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:6-7. Park group to explore San Diego’s beauty on forum.
August 17, 1946, San Diego Union, A-2:1-4. Croquet-related sport played by 80 in club.
August 18, 1946, San Diego Union, A-7:3-4. San Diego Zoo issues first book of series on denizens.
August 18, 1946, San Diego Union, B-4:2-4. Donal Hord, sculptor, cuts “El Colorado” in black diorite.
August 26, 1946, San Diego Union, B-5:1-2. San Diego Zoo gets whistling swan.
August 28, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:5.. City Council approved conversion of Federal Building into a 2700-seat auditorium at cost of $300,000.
September 3, 1946, San Diego Union, A-8:2-4. Sloths problem at San Diego Zoo; two-toed creatures view scenery from reverse angle; hang by their toes head down, by Richard Gottschall..
September 17, 1946, Letter, From: ? ; To: BuDocks, Attn: F-5; ND11/NH16/A1-1/A-16-3 (Ser. No. P-24213); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Balboa Park, San Diego, California – Claims of the City of San Diego arising from the use thereof by Navy.
- In December of 1941 an area of approximately 66 acres, together with all City owned buildings and improvements located thereon in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, excepting three museum buildings, were taken over for Governmental use in furtherance of the war effort. The museum buildings, consisting of the Fine Arts Gallery; the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Man, were taken over on March 5, 1943. It was found that before the City owned buildings could be used for the purposes required, it was necessary to make extensive alterations. These alterations were made. In addition to the alterations to the City owned buildings, other buildings and improvements were needed and were constructed at Government expense. The Army also constructed buildings on certain other lands in Balboa Park in December of 1941 and the early part of 1942. Some of these buildings were transferred to the Navy in September 1944 and the remainder were transferred in October of 1945. These Army installations are designated Units 4 and 5 and Spanish and Indian Villages on maps forwarded herewith. These installations occupied an area of approximately 26 acres.
- At the time of the initial occupancy by the Navy of the original 66 acre tract, together with improvements located thereon, the City of San Diego in letter dated December 24, 1941, enclosed herewith as encl. 1, advised “that the City of San Diego is powerless to lease to the Government any portion of Balboa Park or the buildings located therein and that necessarily, therefore, the Government’s occupancy of the buildings and the portions of Balboa Park required by it must be based upon such wartime power and authority as the Government may possess.” The City has never changed from this position and although the matter has been discussed at length with City representatives to try to obtain a lease or permit from the City to cover the Government’s use of Balboa Park and the buildings located therein and set forth the Government’s obligations arising from said use, nothing could be done because of the refusal of the City to change the position taken by the City that it had no power to lease the park property.
- Permits were obtained for the use of the Fine Arts Gallery; the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Man buildings from the respective museum societies which occupied these buildings. At the time of the execution of these permits, the City executed a release which released the Government from any and all claims arising from or because of the use and occupancy by the Government of the said buildings on condition “That when the Government shall relinquish the use and occupancy of said buildings it will restore each of said buildings to the condition in which it existed at the original date of occupancy by the Government (March 5, 1943) upon demand by the City; damages resulting from acts of God and/or earthquakes, flood and/or disaster, excepted.” At the time of execution of the foregoing release by the City, indication was made that the City would claim restoration for the remainder of the property used by the Government in Balboa Park similar to the requirements set forth in the conditions contained in the aforesaid release.
- When it was determined, early in 1946, that there would probably be no Navy need after June or July 1946 for the Balboa Park property, the matter of returning said property to the City was discussed with City representatives. The City’s representatives indicated that the City intended to make a claim for the cost of restoring the park property, including the museum buildings, to the condition which existed at the original date of occupancy thereof by the Government.
- Thereafter, the City employed the “Construction Quantities,” a Los Angeles firm, to make the estimates of restoration costs. In making the estimates, a representative of the Public Works Department, Eleventh Naval District, accompanied the “Construction Quantities” employees and checked the items and quantities at the site during the survey.
- All Naval personnel has been removed from the Park property except for a security watch and employees at the Officers’ Clubs, located in buildings formerly known as Educational Building and Canadian Legion Building. All collateral equipment has also been removed and all that now remains is considered to be fixtures or real property. The result of negotiations to have the City retake possession of the premises immediately and assume responsibility of all property located thereon, pending settlement of City’s claims, is stated in Encl. 4 in letter from the City of San Diego dated September 12, 1946.
- The City of San Diego, by letter dated June 19, 1945, submitted the report of “Construction Quantities” as the basis of the City’s claim for use of the Balboa Park property. This letter, together with the estimate, is forwarded herewith as encl. 2. The estimate was checked by the Public Works Department, Eleventh Naval District, and the City was informed that certain items could not be justified, that they would have to be eliminated in some cases and changes in others and that credit would have to be allowed for any salvage value of Government installed buildings, improvements or alterations. The City replied that the estimate as submitted failed to include certain items which had been overlooked and that these items should have been added to the original claim. It was further stated that they would look into the items which were objected to and revise their statement of claim and make an allowance for salvage. After thee preliminary discussions a meeting was held July 24, 1946 in the office of the Park Commission in Balboa Park. The City was represented by the City Manager and the City Park Commission. The Eleventh Naval District was represented by the District Public Works Officer and the District Planning Officer. The items in the claim of the City which were questioned and the items the City claimed should have been included in the original estimate were discussed fully. During the discussion the City agreed to submit a revised estimate. The original estimate of the cost of restoration was for the sum of $947,855.82. The revised estimate and settlement offer of the City is for the sum of $790,850.33, and, in addition, the City to receive title to Government buildings, improvements and alterations located on the park property. This offer is considerably less than the original claim submitted by the City. The revised estimate is set forth in letter from the City to ComEleven, dated July 29, 1946, and is forwarded herewith as encl. 3. All items of the original claim of the City as revised have been checked and have been found to be in line with the present costs of material and labor in the San Diego area. The quantities of the items to be restored have also been checked and have been found to be fair and reasonable and not in excess of what will be required to restore the premises. Encl. 4 sets forth itemized costs, together with justification of the balance sheet items submitted in the revised estimate. In substantiation of the value of the Government owned buildings and improvements, bids were requested from local contractors (1) on the basis of demolishing and removing the buildings with the contractor to retain the salvage material and (2) the contractor to demolish but the salvage material to go to the Government. All contractors refused to bid on the basis of the Government retaining the salvage material; but did submit bids on demolishing and removing the buildings with salvage to be retained by the contractor. These bids did not include the removal of concrete foundations or slabs. These bids are considerably below the $50,000.00 figure agreed to by the City as the fair salvage value of these improvements. The $50,000.00 figure covers only the salvage value of the Government owned buildings and improvements in Units 2 and 3 and Spanish and Indian Villages and does not include materials installed or used in altering and remodeling City owned buildings. Estimates made by the Public Works Department show that the salvage value of the materials used or installed in altering and remodeling the City owned buildings will not exceed the cost of their removal and, in many instances, it is estimated the salvage value will be less than the cost of removal. The alterations and remodeling which was done by the Government will have to be removed before the buildings can be used by the City for City purposes; the alterations and remodeling being of a type that would serve only the purposes of the Navy. Consequently, the alterations and improvements installed in the City owned buildings has no salvage value over and above the cost of removal and in view of the additional fact that unless extreme care is exercised in removal of this material, damage costs to existing buildings will exceed the salvage value of the material, it has therefore been agreed, after making a complete survey, that it is fair to set up the salvage value of this material against the cost of removal thereof on even terms and to have the one balance the other.
- The Government owned buildings located in Units 4 and 5 have been sold at public sale and removal will be completed by the end of September 1946. These buildings have not been included in the buildings, alterations and improvements proposed to be transferred to the City at the $50,000.00 figure. The City has agreed to allow the Government to continue to use the two Officers’ Clubs in Balboa Park as long as they are needed as these buildings have not been included in this survey.
- Encl. 5 consists of two maps and a summary. Map (1) shows the area occupied and map (2) shows the area occupied and, in addition, has been marked to show the City owned buildings and the Government owned buildings in Balboa Park. The summary shows the dates of occupancy and the estimated minimum fair rental of the City owned lands, buildings and improvements. This enclosure gives a good picture of the area occupied and readily reveals the many benefits and advantages, not to mention the convenience enjoyed by the Government in the use of this property in furtherance of the war effort. The estimated minimum rental of $498,292.89, while not an issue in the proposed settlement, gives a fair idea of the minimum rental the City would claim if it saw fit to make such claim, in addition to its claim for restoration.
- Encl. 6 sets forth the list of Government owned buildings, improvements and alterations in Units 2 and 3 and in Indian and Spanish Villages, together with their estimated cost.
- In conclusion, after considering all factors involved, it is recommended that the offer of the City to accept the sum of $790,850.33 and the transfer of title to the City of all Government buildings, improvements and alterations located in Balboa Park in Units 2 and 3 and Indian and Spanish Villages and in consideration thereof to release the Government from any and all claims of any nature whatsoever arising from the Government use and occupancy of Balboa Park be approved. It is considered that the subject officer of the City of San Diego as set forth above is fair and equitable. It is recommended that a form of Release Contract, setting form the terms and conditions of the offer of the City as set forth, be forwarded for submission to the City of San Diego so that when funds are available there will be no delay in the execution of the Release Contract in a form acceptable to the Navy Department.
(Article ends here. The Pacific Southwest Region of the National Archives should be checked in an effort to locate missing sections.)
September 24, 1946, Letter, From: J. B. Oldendorf, Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy, Commandant, Eleventh Naval District; To: Fred A. Rhodes, City Manger; ND11/NH16 (PW); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
The settlement proposed by the City of San Diego, as set forth in letters from the City dated June 29, 1946; July 29, 1946 and September 12, 1946 regarding the Government’s use of the Balboa Park property, has been forwarded, together with recommendation that it be accepted, to the Navy Department, Washington, D. C. As was recently agreed to in conference in my office that the City would accept return of the Park after the aforesaid recommendation had been made, please be advised that the custody of said Park property will be returned to the City on October 1, 1946.
I wish to thank you for the many past favors that have been granted by the City and assure you that they are appreciated.
Very truly yours,
J B OLDENDORF
Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy
Commandant, Eleventh Naval District.
September 27, 1946, Letter, From: J. B. Oldendorf, Commandant, Eleventh Naval District; To: MOinC, U. S. Naval Hospital, Balboa Park, San Diego, California; ND11/NH16/A1-1/? (Ser. No. P-24331); National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Surrender of Possession of Balboa Park to the City of San Diego.
- Arrangements have been made with the City of San Diego for the surrender of possession of the Balboa Park property to the City of San Diego on October 1, 1946.
- It is requested that a formal tender of possession of the property be made to the City of San Diego. It is suggested that it be accomplished by the delivery of the keys to the Park buildings to the City Manager at his office in the Civic Center, San Diego, California on October 1, 1946. A letter of transmittal should accompany the delivery of the keys, stating that the keys are being delivered and that the Government considers the delivery thereof as a formal surrender of possession of the Park property to the City. It is suggested that the delivery of the keys, together with the aforesaid letter be made by yourself or your executive officer.
J B OLDENDORF
(In writing) Del. By Lt. (jg.) Perry, 9/30.46
October 1, 1946. U. S. Navy returned buildings in Balboa Park to city.
October 2, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:1. G. Aubrey Davidson, San Diego’s new first citizen.
October 2, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:6-8. City takes over Balboa Park from Navy; exclusion of public for year probable.
Yesterday the navy returned Balboa Park to the city.
What it meant, City Manager Fred A. Rhodes explained to the city council yesterday, is that the guards who keep the public out and let the navy in are paid for by the city instead of by the navy.
The city manager said that the public would be excluded from the park grounds, probably for another year to prevent damage to partially wrecked buildings. Meanwhile, he said naval officers with passes would be admitted by the guards to visit the two naval officers’ clubs maintained within park confines.
“I think we are in a very poor position when we let the military proceed through the park to their clubs, while our own citizens are turned back,” declared Councilman Charles B. Wincote.
“People can’t even use Cabrillo bridge to walk to the zoo,” commented Councilman Walter W. Austin in referring to a statement by Rhodes that pedestrians would not be permitted to pass though the park on Laurel Street. He said the guards will pass civilian vehicular traffic.
Wincote insisted that the navy should relinquish its club near the Ford building.
“I’d like a report on this club business,” he said. “If the public is kept out, the club should close.”
Wincote moved for a report. Austin wanted to leave the affair in the hands of the manager. Mayor Harley E. Knox said that the manager’s dealing with the navy are not completed and that any such action as that proposed by Wincote would be premature.
“We’re just letting the navy wind us around . . . ” Wincote had said when someone else started speaking. “I come from a navy family,” he continued. “The navy won’t run out on paying to repair whatever damage it has done.”
Councilman Charles C. Dail withdrew his second to Wincote’s demand for a report on the officers’ club situation. Wincote announced he was not withdrawing his motion, but it died for lack of a second, and a motion to leave the problem in the hands of the manager carried.
“I think the navy would appreciate some good straight talk,” insisted Wincote.
The discussion started when Dail proposed that the council adopt a policy of returning the park to the public at the earliest practicable moment. Rhodes said it would take at least a year. Councilman Austin commented that the council “should not sit by while the public waits for use of its park.” Rhodes said that numerous temporary navy buildings in the park cannot be wrecked until his deal with the navy is complete.
“We can’t start repairs until after we get our $790,000 from the navy,” he said.
“You can’t satisfy the public that way,” Austin had insisted.
October 3, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:2-4. More salvaged lumber in sight for San Diego; temporary navy buildings clutter former garden spots in Balboa Park between El Cid statue, organ; Navy barracks near Ford Bowl in Balboa park will soon be razed and converted into lumber for homes; City “inherits” park barracks.
Navy barrack-type buildings to be left in Balboa park for the city to use as it sees fit promise a new and valuable supply of building material for veterans’ homes, City Manager Fred A. Rhodes said yesterday. Camp Callan has almost been exhausted as a source of such material, he said.
Until the navy pays the city the $790,000 its local representatives have agreed is due to finance restoration of park buildings and grounds, Rhodes said he will be powerless to start razing the structures.
Meanwhile, he and Russell Rink, assistant to the manager, are studying the entire park situation. As soon as the settlement is completed, he said, they will be ready to move.
First task will be to get wartime temporary structures out of the way. They will hasten homes for the veterans and clear the park in preparation for restoration and new construction, preparatory to throwing the park open to the public.
The city manager said that the $790,000, which he hopes to receive soon from the Navy department, is a figure agreed upon by the city and 11th naval district officers after a survey of rehabilitation costs made by a firm of Los Angeles engineers for the guidance of the city.
October 6, 1946, San Diego Union, A-12:3-4. Waterway denizen ready for work; Beavers take up abode in Bear Canyon at San Diego Zoo.
For the first time in many years, a pair of beavers have “registered at the San Diego zoo it was announced yesterday at the Balboa park institution.
Mr. and Mrs. Beaver already have established themselves in a “furnished home,” at the top of the bear canyon near the northeast corner of the zoo. They have “dug in” a stream, and probably will try to build one of the dams for which they are famous. So far, it is underwater work, but occasionally the busy little animals come up for air — and a glance at curious San Diegans.
When Mrs. Belle Benchley, executive secretary of the San Diego Zoological society, was at the Salt Lake zoo recently, she admired the beaver exhibit. The zoo director, explaining that beavers are plentiful in the inter-mountain region, offered to send a pair to San Diego, and they arrived yesterday.
The sharp-toothed American beaver, at one time plentiful in many parts of the nation, have become scarce in some states and are now protected by law.
October 16, 1946, San Diego Union, A-9:1. City Council approves Park Repairs Fund.
City councilmen yesterday approved unanimously the use of $25,000 from the Camp Callan fund for the restoration of the Balboa park open air pipe organ and rehabilitation of a nearby municipal gymnasium for use of the city recreation department.
Mayor Harley E. Knox said he opposed taking any money out of the Camp Callan fund until removal of building materials from the camp is completed.
“We have $200,000 there that we don’t need for any other purpose right away,” replied City Manager Fred A. Rhodes.
The mayor also wanted to know where the city would get new flooring for the gymnasium.
“We won’t get any,” said Rhodes. “We can repair what is there.”
Reports from the park had been that the heavy, once glass-smooth floors were in a sad state of repair as the result of the navy’s wartime occupation of the park.
October 20, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:2-3. Lapwings additions at San Diego Zoo.
October 23, 1946, San Diego Union, A-9:3. Improved walks sought in park.
When Vice Mayor Walter W. Austin asked yesterday if anything could be done to improve walks in the vicinity of roque courts and other recreational facilities in Balboa park near Sixth Ave. and Elm St., Leo Calland, director of recreation, said that anything done in that vicinity would have to be undone later “when they improve the new entrance to the park.”
No action was taken, but it developed later that the two men were talking about different areas. Calland was referring to the tennis courts west of Park blvd. in the vicinity of the zoo.
Austin said he probably will seek action on walks near the roque clubs at an early meeting.
October 25, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:4. Navy’s Wartime Park Use Becomes Legal.
Wartime use of Balboa Park by the navy was made “legal” by a retroactive use and occupancy permit to be prepared by federal attorneys and City Atty. Jean DuPaul, so that the city may be paid the $900,000 it claims due for restoration of park buildings..
DuPaul, in explaining the new arrangement yesterday, said that G. E. Arnold, assistant city manger now in Washington, had telephoned him of the navy’s desire for a document granting the navy permission to use the park for the period from about Dec. 7, 1941 to Oct. 1, 1946.
The navy reportedly was told that it might use the park for wartime activities and the city was told the navy would restore any buildings altered to meet the navy’s needs.
What the navy wants, DuPaul said he understood, is an opportunity to fulfill that verbal arrangement rather than to pay a claim for damages for properties appearing to have been used without permission.
October 27, 1946, San Diego Union, A-7:1. Ninth annual Fiesta of the Nations set by Pacific Relations group at San Diego Women’s Clubhouse.
October 27, 1946, San Diego Union, A-10:2-3. Best name for baby chimp will earn pass at San Diego Zoo.
October 29, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:1. Kate Sessions to be honored by Pacific Beach Chamber of Commerce.
November 1, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:3-4. Major W. E. Barker, game warden, lauds San Diego Zoo.
November 1, 1946, San Diego Union, A-6:3. City planning Organ Pavilion reopening soon.
Reopening of the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion in time for Thanksgiving open air service is the aim of City Manager Fred A. Rhodes, he said yesterday.
Most of the wooden benches that were in the area in front of the organ have been damaged or destroyed in the five years in which the navy occupied the park, he said, and must be repaired or replaced.
The organ has been kept in condition throughout the war period, but needs an organist before regular concerts can be arranged, in keeping with a long-established pre-war practice.
Just as promptly as he believes it can be done with safety, Rhodes said he will reopen that park to the public. One institution that probably will be reopened soon is the Old Globe Theater, used by a little theater group before the war.
The entire Palisades area will be thrown open relatively early, Rhodes said. Crews will be put to work without delay in the recreation building, he said, so that it may be restored for use of the city’s youth for various athletic games.
The city is not waiting for the $790,000 navy representatives have agreed is due the city for restoration of buildings damaged by the navy while it was in possession of the park.
November 2, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:3. Navy weighing Cabrillo National Park’s opening.
November 3, 1946, San Diego Union, A-17:2. “Kimba” winning name for baby chimp at San Diego Zoo; Evaristo Perez chose name.
November 3, 1946, San Diego Union, B-1:6-8. Organ will delight music lovers again.
November 9, 1946, San Diego Union, A-4:4. Pacific Beach Chamber of Commerce honors memory of Kate Sessions.
November 10, 1946, San Diego Union, A-15:2-4. Eldon Blocker, animal keeper, leaves San Diego Zoo for job in Fresno.
November 14, 1946, Special Delivery Air Mail; From: R. H. Meade, by direction of Chief of Bureau; To: F. A. Rhodes, City Manager, City of San Diego; ND11/NH16/N19 (PW) FL-12:mmd; National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region.
Subj: Claim of the City of San Diego for restoration costs of the buildings in Balboa Park, San Diego, Calif., furnished to the Navy in the absence of a formal contract.
The claim of the City of San Diego, California, for restoring the buildings in Balboa Park is properly a claim for relief under Section 17 or the Contract Settlement Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 649), as the claimants have furnished to the Navy the use of Balboa Park and appurtenances thereto since December 10, 1941, and relied in good faith on the written and oral instructions of the Navy Department relative to restoration of the premises after the evacuation of same by the Navy.
A claim for relief under Section 17 of the Contract Settlement Act must be submitted in writing and shall be under oath, verified by the claimant or by the proper officer of the claimant, and shall be accompanied by the affidavits of the representatives of the claimant and other persons having knowledge of the relevant circumstances. The claim should be prepared in accordance with the principals and procedures established by Regulation 12 of the Office of Contract Settlement under the Contract Settlement Act (Enclosure 1). It is requested that these requirements be fulfilled and the matter forwarded immediately to Bureau of Yards and Docks, FL-12.
Very truly yours,
R H MEADE
By direction Chief of Bureau.
Enclosure 1: Regulation 12 of the Office of Contract Settlement.
cc: Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego, Calif.
District Public Works Officer, 11ND
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
November 16, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:3. Rear Admiral John J. Manning, chief of the bureau of yards and docks, has recommended a $790,000 navy payment to the city of San Diego for Balboa Park restoration costs and sent his recommendation to the department’s general counsel for a last-minute checkup on legal phases of the transaction.
November 19, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:5-6. What’s new at San Diego Zoo? will be forum subject.
November 19, 1946, San Diego Union, B-14:4-5. United States loan speeds Civic Theater project.
Early start on plans and specifications for the conversion of the Federal Building in Balboa Park into a municipal theater with a seating capacity of 2700 was assured yesterday when the federal works agency in Washington advanced $15,200 to pay for the plans.
City Manager Fred A. Rhodes said the action, reported by The Copley Press Washington Bureau, will enable him within a few days to contract with H. Louis Bodmer, San Diego architect, for preparation of plans for the conversion, which it is estimated will cost $384,020.
The theater with a seating capacity 500 greater than Russ auditorium will have a sloping floor and a large and completely equipped stage, Rhodes said.
The money advanced by the FWA will have to be repaid, without interest, before construction begins, Rhodes said, but he explained that use of the city’s credit with the federal agency will permit immediate start on plans, without awaiting budget allocations next June.
November 19, 1946, San Diego Union, B-14:5. Park fund delayed.
Further delays in restoration of Balboa Park and its return to public use developed yesterday when City Manager Fred A. Rhodes was informed by the navy that the city’s claim for funds had not been made on the proper forms and that a new claim, accompanied by supporting affidavits, must be filed.
The city, which gave the navy permission to use the park in the early days of the war, has been seeking $790,000 for restoration of buildings altered or damaged by navy occupancy. The navy still maintains an officers’ club in the area from which the public is excluded.
December 1, 1946, San Diego Union, A-6:3. Food for animals poses price problem at San Diego Zoo; the end of OPA (Office of Price Administration) had made grain easier to obtain, but has sent the price of bananas, oranges, lettuce and celery out of sight..
December 9, 1946, San Diego Union, II, 1:2-3. Blestok antelopes arrive at San Diego Zoo from Africa.
December 15, 1946, San Diego Union, A-16:3. The set of chimes recently presented to the City will herald the anniversary of the birth of Christ.
December 19, 1946, San Diego Union, A-16:3-4. Payment for damages to park delayed again.
Washington, Dec. 18. – A navy agreement to pay the city of San Diego $840,000 to finance restoration of Balboa park veered into another delaying headwind today. General counsel for the navy bureau of yards and docks came up with this new demand. City Manager Fred Rhodes must submit an itemized claim of damages to the park as a result of navy occupation for wartime hospital purposes. The claim must list damages to buildings and land taken over by the navy to show how the $840,000 figure was arrived at, the counsel advised Rear Adm. John J. Manning, yards and docks chief.
A counsel spokesman expressed some puzzlement that the itemized claim had not already reached the bureau here. He described it as a “protection” to the navy, pointing out that the Balboa park restoration cost was “unusual,” in that it was not based on any prior written agreement.
The new twist to the park transaction probably will hold up the payment for weeks. For even after the itemized bill is received here, it must be checked carefully by yards and docks officials, the counsel spokesman explained.
The counsel’s ruling that an itemized-item restoration claim must be filed by the city came, ironically, right after Mayor Harley Knox of San Diego, had blamed “federal red tape” for delay after delay in the navy payment.
“Six weeks ago they promised it (the payment) in two weeks and it still is to come,” the mayor told the Kiwanis club in San Diego. “Balboa park will not be fully useful until that $840,000 is paid and we can’t tell when that will be.”
December 22, 1946, San Diego Union, A-5:3. Captain M. C. Erwin, retired Rear Admiral, recalls how he “captured” Balboa Park for Navy.
How the municipal park was taken over was disclosed by Erwin as a humorous sidelight in the vast expansion of the Naval Training Center, where he served from 1940 to 1942 under the late Capt. Henry Gearing as executive officer in charge of construction. From a station equipped to handle 2000 recruits, the facility expanded into a center which handled a wartime peak of 33,500.
War plans called for naval occupation of the park, but just after the Japs struck Pearl Harbor the navy discovered an army brigadier general already has set up headquarters there. This raised grave questions of protocol, but Erwin — then only a three-striper — saved his superiors no end of embarrassment by executing an informal operation of his own.
Loading two trucks with bluejackets, he drove to the park, posted sentries at every building, established guard posts — and then inquired politely at army headquarters if the navy could help them in moving. The army departed.
Another minor crisis occurred a few weeks later, when three large transports called here to rush marines to the South Pacific. The state of our preparedness being what it was, the leathernecks were armed with most of the training center’s drill rifles — and it was necessary to fashion wooden weapons for schooling the boots that by then were arriving at a rate of 5000 a week.
In the park, Camp Kidd mushroomed as a center annex. Erwin rented an old boiler and converted it to gas to provide steam for a temporary outdoor galley, where food for 7000 men was prepared. What had been a Shakespearean theater was converted into a scullery.
December 22, 1946, San Diego Union, A-6:2. Park carillon will be heard Christmas Day.
The Balboa Park chimes will peal a Christmas message at civic dedication rites Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. The event in Plaza de California, before the steps of the California Building, will be the first public program to be held in the park since the war began.
Dr. Howard B. Bard, former mayor and member of the city park commission, will preside over the dedicatory ceremonies from 1 to 2 p.m. Principal guest speaker will be Major General Arch Howard, U. S. M. C., whose topic will be “Balboa Park in the War.”
Mayor Harley Knox will formally receive the gift of the chimes from Dr. Frank Lowe, who presented the 32-chime carillon to the city in honor of his mother, Mrs. Ona May Lowe, of 2555 Fifth Avenue. Roland Hoyt, park commissioner, will unveil the dedication plaque.
December 24, 1946, San Diego Union, II, 1:1. Naval Hospital to remain principle peacetime unit; Vice Admiral Ross T. McIntire, now on leave here, tells of institution’s plan, by Howard O. Welty.
From a load of 1200 patients when the war started, the San Diego hospital grew to a peak of 12,068 in December, 1944. More than 170,000 men received treatment there during the four-year war period. The institutions currently has about 1500 patients.
December 25, 1946, San Diego Union, 1:3. City to accept gift of chimes at Balboa Park.
December 25, 1946, San Diego Union, A-6:3-4. Mrs. Florence Scripps Kellogg yesterday gave to the City eleven lots of La Jolla Shores to be acquired by the City and named Kellogg Park.
December 26, 1946, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-10:1. Dedication ceremony of new Balboa Park chimes.
Hundreds attended dedication ceremony of new Balboa Park chimes yesterday held in the Globe Theater, the first public program in the park since the war began.
Dr. Frank Lowe presented the chimes to commemorate the peace and to honor his mother, Mrs. Ona May Lowe of 2555 Fifth Avenue.
The gift was accepted for the city by Mayor Harley E. Knox. . . . .
Introductory remarks were made by Dr. Howard B. Bard. Milton P. Sessions, president of the Board of Park Commissioners, spoke on “The Parks and the People.”
Other speakers were Major General Arch Howard, U. S. M. C., retired, and W. Allen Perry, director of parks. Invocation was by Dr. Roy Campbell.
Sacred selections were sung by the San Diego Community Chorus. . . . . Lt. Paul D. Perry gave a carillon concert.
December 26, 1946, San Diego Union, A-1:4, A-4:5. Park program attracts crowd; Carillon dedicated at public concert.
Ceremonies originally scheduled in Plaza de California were transferred to the adjacent Globe Theater shortly before opening time but attracted an overflow crowd.
After introductory addresses by W. Allen Perry, parks director; Milton P. Sessions, chairman of the park commission, and Maj. Gen. Arch Howard, U. S. M. C., retired, Lt. Paul D. Perry, Carilloneur, opened a one-hour concert with his “Canterbury Chimes” signature.
December 30, 1946, San Diego Union, B-4:3. De Brazza Guenon monkey born at San Diego Zoo; second one born in captivity.
Return to Amero Collection.
BALBOA PARK HISTORY
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