Balboa Park History 1955
January 16, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:3. All-breed dog show set for February 13 in Electric Building.
January 19, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:7-8. Council approves $6 million water bond issue for March 8 vote; pay raise proposal for mayor and councilmen also to be on ballot.
January 19, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:7-8. The city Park and Recreation Commission yesterday agreed to a site for a civic theater in Balboa Park.
The commission adopted a resolution in which it defined the general areas as “east of Park Boulevard, between Laurel Street and the Veterans Memorial Building and Florida Street canyon.”
Leo Calland, parks director, said the resolution will be submitted to the Planning Commission next Wednesday for consideration. The Park and Recreation Commission met with the Planning Commission last week to discuss possible sites.
The resolution said the exact site will be determined on the basis of architectural engineering and cost studies to be submitted at a later date.
Calland said the commission felt the general area defined in the resolution would best suit the interests of the park, the theater patrons and the public at large.
The commission’s decision ended a six-month controversy over the best place to build the theater. Some wanted it at the downtown plaza, but others feared such a site would not provide adequate parking and would leave no room for enlarging the theater in the future.
The approved site will provide room enough for a theater with a 10,000-seat capacity, if desired, the commission said. It will also leave room for future expansion and ample parking space.
January 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:7-8. Crosstown freeway plan offered; state commission to adopt route if councils approve it.
January 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:1-2. Planners approve sports arena site on Mission Bay; action on proposed theater in park delayed by city commission.
January 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6. City councilmen back freeway proposal.
January 30, 1955, San Diego Union, C-2:1-3. J. J. Burke thinks city should donate site in Balboa Park for a convention hall and save “a million or two dollars.”
February 2, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:4. Auto show opens today in Electric Building.
February 3, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:4. Auto show visited by 12,000.
February 4, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:4. Overflow crowd jams Auto show; 4,000 inside.
February 5, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:8. Electric Building – Auto Show.
The San Diego International Auto Show continued last night to draw crowds to the Electric Building in Balboa Park. For the second continuous night show officials briefly called a halt to ticket sales to prevent overcrowding.
February 5, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5. Convention of National Association of Soil Conservation Districts in Conference Hall.
February 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:6. Electric Building – Auto Show to be held annually.
February 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:7-8. San Diego Zoo – Mr. T. J. Martin of Gordo, Ala., millionth visitor (illus.).
February 9, 1955, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. The City Planning Commission today will consider a proposed site for a civic theater in Balboa Park near Laurel Street, east of Park Boulevard.
February 10, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:7-8. The City Planning Commission yesterday adopted without argument an approximately 25-acre site for a proposed civic theater in Balboa Park. Action had been postponed for two weeks to permit members of the planning group to study the site recommended by the park commission.
In adopting a map of the site for recommendation to the City Council, the planning commission also adopted a second map on the proposed sports arena in the Mission Bay area. The site was approved two weeks ago.
February 11, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:4-5. Annual Dog Show to open Sunday in Electric Building.
February 14, 1955, San Diego Union, A-9:3-4. Electric Building – Cocker Spaniel best dog in show; more than 2,000 persons attended Silver Gate Kennel Club event.
March 1, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4. More than 50,000 flowers valued at $250,000 will go on display at opening of Pacific Flower Exposition in Electric Building Thursday night.
March 1, 1955, San Diego Union, B-3:3. Old Globe crowd braves rain; is reward with “The Fiesta Flamenca,” by Constance Herreshoff.
March 3, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:1. Flower fete on tonight at park.
March 3, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Mrs. P. W. Murphy writes volunteer workers can beautify Balboa Park; wants parking space near the main park buildings.
March 4, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:4. Electric Building – 500 view displays at Pacific Flower Show.
March 5, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4-5. Two thousand gather at Flower Show, by Bryant Evans.
March 6, 1955, San Diego Union, A-18:1-2. Flower exhibits in Electric Building viewed by 3,500; Garry Hall, Oceanside, won acclaim for his flower designs arranged during a half-hour solo performance on the stage.
March 6, 1955, San Diego Union, A-30:1-2. Museum of Man – fabrics and patterns from Peruvian graves at Museum (illus.).
March 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-6:3. Pacific Flower Exposition closed last night after attracting more than 10,000 visitors; Mrs. Allan Zukor, chairman, announces it will become an annual affair.
March 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:1-8. Ford Building – Schools agreed to pay $24,000 to renovate Ford Building; their lease expires next year.
March 14, 1955, San Diego Union, B-12:8. Carol Sperry favors (Japanese) tea house rebuilding.
Have estimates as to its rehabilitation been seriously attempted? Would it be cheaper to tear it down and rebuild?
March 22, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5. San Diego Zoo – Parky, fugitive kangaroo, back in captivity after leaping over a four-foot wall to freedom 23 hours earlier (illus.).
March 23, 1955, San Diego Union, A-6:2. Seventh Home Show opens Saturday in Balboa Park..
March 24, 1955, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-25:1. Museum of Natural History asks $5,000 fund aid from School Board.
March 24, 1955, San Diego Union, B-3:3. Orchid show in Food and Beverage Building Saturday and Sunday.
March 25, 1955. Text of “What a Civic Theater Could Mean to Community Development,” speech by Frank Lloyd Wright in the House of Hospitality.
March 25, 1955, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-3:1-5. Frank Lloyd Wright arrives to survey auditorium plans.
March 25, 1955, San Diego Union, 17:1-2. Frank Lloyd Wright to survey Auditorium plans; give talk in Copper Room of Café del Rey Moro.
Efforts of San Diego to equip itself with a community auditorium will be studied here today by Frank Lloyd Wright, architect.
Wright, world renowned for his unusual approach to architecture and civic planning, will arrive this morning from Phoenix, where he operates the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, architectural school, Taliesin West.
After a press conference at El Cortez Hotel, Wright will be conducted by Glenn Rick, city planning director, on a motor tour of possible auditorium sites, principally in Balboa Park. The City Planning Commission recently recommended a site on the east side of Park Boulevard, between Laurel and Upas Streets.
Invited to accompany the architect on the tour, to start at 11 a.m., were Mayor Butler, Frank Hope, planning commission director, and G. Aubrey Davidson, pioneer San Diego planner.
At 8:30 o’clock tonight in the House of Hospitality at the park, Wright will speak on “What Civic Theater Could Mean to Community Development.” The event, for which all seats have been sold, is sponsored by the local alumnae of Mills, Smith, Scripps, Stephens, Vassar and Wellesley colleges.
An amplifying system will be set us to carry the speech to the Copper Room of Café del Rey Moro, adjoining the House of Hospitality auditorium so those attending a dinner in Wright’s honor my hear, Mrs. Sim Bruce Richards, committee chairman, said.
The dinner, to start at 6:30 p.m., also will honor Dr. Lynn T. White, Jr., president of Mills College, Oakland, and his wife.
Fielder-Lutes, a leading proponent of plans to erect a civic theater here, will introduce Wright.
March 26, 1955, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-10:1-3. Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, streeses need for Civic Theater; Recommends Park Site, by Bruno Ussher.
March 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:2-3. Frank Lloyd Wright praises San Diego for civic spirit; famed architect calls opera-theater plans hopeful sign; 700 hear talk (illus.).
San Diego’s spirit in planning for an opera house and a civic theater exemplifies one of the hopeful signs of the nation’s future, Frank Lloyd Wright, the internationally famous architect, said here last night.
Wright, who is 85, was interviewed at El Cortez Hotel before he addressed 700 persons in the Balboa Park House of Hospitality.
“It is regrettable that such a spirit is not manifest in many other parts of the country,” he said in the interview.
In his address at the House of Hospitality, Wright said the park is a natural site for a community theater.
“It is near town, but not too near, and there is plenty of space available for parking,” he said.
He said in a question and answer session during his talk that a convention hall and theater “are completely different things.” They should not be combined, he said. He added that community theaters should be built to accommodate no more than 1,000 or 2,000. Repeat performances would take care of audience demands, he said.
Wright toured the city with Glenn Rick, city planning director; Frank Hope, planning commission director; and G. Aubrey Davidson, pioneer San Diego planner.
Wright said in the interview that he would rather trust the voice of the people in affairs of art than the decision of politicians or what he called vested interests. He said the people too often mistake civilization for culture.
He said centralization had reached its apex and that cities must plan a spreading-out process.
“Our cities were built on the premise of fear,” he said. “They are copied from models of ancient cities, that were built and planned to protect the populations from invasion.
“We have done nothing to improve the old-fashioned city except to cram it with more gadgets. Thus, the inevitable deterioration in the future.”
Wright said the basic reason for the slow expansion of culture in the United States involved the misuse of America’s scientific gifts.
“We have a magnificent tool kit full of scientific implements,” he said, “but we have never understood how to use them.”
Wright’s appearance here was sponsored by six women’s college associations — Mills, Smith, Scripps, Stephens, Vassar and Wellesley; Mrs. S. Bruce Richards was chairman.
A dinner at Café del Rey Moro preceded Wright’s talk and also honored Dr. Lynn T. White, Jr., president of Mills College, Oakland, and Mrs. White.
Mrs. David Porter presided at the evening meeting. Fielder Lutes, a leader in plans for a civic theater, introduced Wright.
March 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:1-3. Hundreds visit Orchid show in Food and Beverage Building.
March 27, 1955, San Diego Union, F-1:1-8, F-4:5-6. Home Show opens in Electric Building.
March 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5. Home Show attendance at new peak.
April 1, 1955, San Diego Union, A-21:2-5. Annual “Fiesta of the Pacific” backed by Hotel-Motel group.
April 3, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:1-3. Prognosis: Frank Lloyd Wright on Theater.
Editor’s Note: Last week Frank Lloyd Wright, the famed architect, spoke in San Diego on “What A Civic Theater Could Mean To Community Development.” In view of the interest demonstrated by the overflow audience, The San Diego Union, without necessarily indorsing his views, publishes verbatim excerpts from his remarks.
“Our culture can’t afford to go on without the theater. We can’t allow the theater to lapse, we can’t depend on television, movies or whatever you have. They are no substitute for the theater, for the actual performance of the play. I think we are getting to a point where we have carried push buttons almost far enough. . . . we are getting to be egg-headed, goop-bodied, with one finger to push the button . . .
“The theater needs rescue. If we don’t come to the assistance of the theater pretty soon, I don’t think we are going to have the theater in the old sense at all. The theater needs a rebirth, perhaps a new birth . . . The theater has no means of meeting the competition that it has to meet today. It needs an entirely new — well, shall I say — machine? It needs some new building, entirely new. That building would not be one like the old theaters. You see, the old theater was really a peep-hole in the wall through which you viewed something. It actually was a peep-show, wasn’t it? . . . The actor was truly separated from the audience. He had very little chance to be truly artistic in his art, and he had to force everything, and the result was something not very pleasant.”
“I don’t know how serious you are concerning this matter of the theater, but I’ve been in your town, looking around at places to build it, and it seems to me there is one very good place, one that seems to be crying out for an accent in the way of a nice building . . . and that’s right in your beautiful park . . . that would be the place for the theater . . . near town and not too near and plenty of parking in front of it, and the building out in the back, and you’d have space for the high basement we need.”
“I think it would be whatever the public would pay. That would determine the quality of the theater to be built and the size of it somewhat, too, but I don’t think they ought to start in for much less than three-quarters of a million dollars.”
“I don’t know of any other way to solve a building problem except by getting a good architect. . . . The most shocking thing I have ever witnessed is the way people get their architects. It is utter carelessness and ignorance. They invite some ignoramus to plan a building — something that is going to last 300 years, that is going to represent them to posterity, that is going to characterize them all their life long and the lives of their children as well. Why the very best and most intelligently developed material in the world is not good enough! And people pick it up, take it out of a magazine and call a carpenter in to determine what kinds of buildings are going to be built.”
“I think after all it is up to you. You are going to have the theater you want if you are any good at all, and I don’t know why you aren’t good down here I this end of things. You’ve got a wonderful situation . . . great fashioning of ground and sea and harbor and forest. You haven’t done much with it except the park — I think the park is delightful . . . We are the ugliest civilization the world has ever seen and we are trembling on the verge of the intent to make it beautiful.”
April 3, 1955, San Diego Union, F-8:1. Electric Building – Final day of Home Show in Electric Building..
April 5, 1955, San Diego Union, A-20:6. “My Three Angeles” is hit at Old Globe, by Constance Herreshoff.
April 6, 1955, San Diego Union. Razing of Park Teahouse (illus.).
The old Japanese Tea House in Balboa Park was being razed yesterday to make way for the Children’s Zoo. The Tea House and Garden was created for the 1915 Exposition, but has been closed since World War II when it was condemned. The two-acre site of the building and garden was allocated by the City Council in November. L. W. Willingham is the workman.
April 8, 1955, Point Newsweekly. Art of the City, by James Britton . . . A Wright Theater for Us?
This will be a “May Dayish” report, for I was privileged to spend a morning, noon and night last week in the presence of an indestructibly great man. Frank Lloyd Wright is probably the nearest American living equivalent of Sir Winston Churchill. Each received titanic leadership because he was able to see and boldly express basic needs of the times. It would mean nothing to protest that the one is a mere artist, the other a statesman. Both are prime ministers to the Lord of Creation.
At the invitation of architect John Lloyd Wright of Del Mar, I waited at 8 a.m. for the descent of Father Wright at Lindbergh Field. He came from Phoenix in a TWA air beast that looked grimy enough to have flown from another planet. When he appeared at the plane door, the unearthly accent heightened. Here was a being that radiated superhuman poise, even at a distance — and at the age of 85. He did not stumble from the plane like his scurrying follow passengers. He alighted. Before seeking out his little knot of greeters, he turned and swept an appreciative eye over the beast that carried him. He — at 85 — was the only passenger to do so.
The alertness and sense-ability was continuous. When he entered the back door of the terminal, he stopped and said: “Why so many?” He had already found a fault in San Diego architecture: too many columns cluttering the interior!
As we went out the front door, he stopped again. “There it is . . . They always put it right in the middle, smash you in the nose with it . . .” He was attacking the flagpole!
9:30 a.m. — A press conference convulsed the Copley press men as they scratched down Wrightisms they knew would meet a Copley Linotype: “Crucify the realtors! . . . They are the worst enemies of progress . . . Politicians (and he named McCarthy) know if you scare the people, they’ll give you anything you want . . .”
11:00 a.m. — A tour of the city, escorted by City Planning Director Glenn Rick, Planning Commission President Frank Hope and G. Aubrey Davidson. Relentlessly the lord and master of architecture laid on strongly condimented comments. Of Architect Hope’s San Diego College for Women: “Is it a college or a glorified prison? Of the Town and Country Hotel: “The new brutality . . .” Of Torrey Pines Public Housing: “Man’s inhumanity to man . . .”
Wright called “mediocre” the site officially proposed by the planning commission for a civic theater (Park Boulevard opposite zoo parking). He liked the proposed La Jolla theater site on Scripps Institution campus (but not the Scripps buildings).
Mr. Architect, his head full of ideas of his own, could not see remodeling the Federal Building (originally intended as a theater). He distinctly fell in love with Promontory Point (in the park near Sixth and Grape Streets). This is the spot referred to in his lecture as Aubrey Davidson’s idea. Actually, Arthur Marston has talked up this one most, and it was for years first choice of the City Planning Department. Wright made it clear he favored the site for a theater, not a convention hall. “Conventions, I’d like to see abolished.”
1:30 p.m. — Lunch at Hotel del Charro, guests of beauteous Mrs. Alan Witwer, longtime friend of F.L.W. Wright said he had withdrawn from circulation the definitive exhibit of his work that was seen in Los Angeles last year, because the models and drawings are getting beat up. But Pare Lorentz, incomparable film director remembered especially for “The River” and “The Plow That Broke the Plains,” is constructing a color movie based on Wright’s buildings in use. Said F. L. W., “There never before has been a good film on architecture.”
8:30 p.m. — The Lecture. The most invigorating cold shower since Raphael Soriano, another good and “arrogant” architect, spoke and sputtered six years ago at the Fine Arts Gallery.
Frank Lloyd Wright gambitted straightface: “I don’t want to sound as though I’m selling you my theater design, but what else can I talk about? . . . I’ve been trying to build my idea of a theater for 40 years, but have been stopped by one thing or another . . . When I was with Adler and Sullivan in Chicago, we built The Auditorium, and some thirty other theaters. Not one was bad acoustically . . .
He described the theater he designed in 1949 for Hartford, never built because of local bigotry. His driving idea is that “The Theater needs perfect equipment to put in on a par with the movies.” He believes in arena-type theater, sculptural in impact rather than framed like a painting.
The Hartford design is hexagonal in floor plan. One angle of the hex holds a revolving stage, divided in the middle. The hidden half can be lowered to the basement for “setting” while the front half is in use.
Said Wright: “We made a single ceiling that would go over player and listener . . . The ceiling is a drum really. It is subject to tension, as sensitive as you please. The floor of the stage is also a drum-head, can be tuned as desired. . . . Here we have perfect acoustics . . . Every nuance can be heard . . .”
I have seen the drawings and model of the Hartford theater, though they were not shown to me by the Wright family. It appeals to me as one of the best of Wright’s master idea, and will be the crown to his singular career — if ever built.
Strangely enough, it looks more in keeping with the terrain and building types of San Diego than of Hartford, and is perfectly suited to our park. Point will shortly carry more details and pictures.
While the august architect and work hurler wounded as many civic leaders as he enchanted, at least one key citizen to whom I talked is infected with the idea that the Wright theater should be built here — privately if not publicly. I would not solve all our needs, but there is no question that it would magnetize residents and tourists alike
The audience stood spontaneously when Frank Lloyd Wright entered the lecture hall. Could San Diego do better for itself than to indulge the fondest dream of a proven immortal?
April 8, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Harry Warburton says build theater in Balboa Park.
April 10, 1955, San Diego Union, A-26:1-3. Easter parade in Balboa Park.
April 11, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4. Bonham Brothers Boys’ Band No. 9 in Balboa Park Bowl (illus.).
April 11, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Nell Cava for theater in park.
April 13, 1955, San Diego Union, B-16:1. R. W. Snyder, architect, succumbs.
April 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:5-7. Conference Building – 28th annual Spring rose show; winners named.
April 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:3-4. Phoenix College band will give free concert tomorrow in Organ Pavilion..
April 19, 1955. ELECTION: Tenth Avenue Shipping Terminal
April 20, 1955, San Diego Union. HEADLINE: Dail is elected mayor of San Diego; Port bond issues win by 3-1 margin.
April 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:1. Eleventh Spring Fair opening set in Balboa Park tomorrow (illus.).
April 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-30:4-5. City ignores Union music ban in park.
Five Balboa Park buildings in which San Diego union musicians will not play after April 30 are still for rent and there are no plans to curtail their use, Leo Calland, city park and recreation director said yesterday.
The executive board of San Diego Local 325 of the AFL, American Federal of Musicians, has barred its members from playing after April 15 at private clubs and after April 30 at public rental facilities that have not agreed to use union musicians exclusively.
April 22, 1955, Point Newsweekly. Art of the City: (Reginald) Poland Regained?, by James Britton. Urges reinstatement of Reginald Poland as director of the Fine Arts Gallery following the resignation of Thomas Robertson.
April 22, 1955, San Diego Union, C-1:8. 101 freeway through San Diego, National City approved.
April 22, 1955, San Diego Union, C-1:5-6, C-2:1. Annual Spring Fair will open tonight, by Maureen Connolly.
April 23, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:1-2. Convention hall study underway by Forbe and Lyte of Stanford Research Institute.
April 23, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4. Bright displays mark opening of Home Fair.
April 27, 1955, San Diego Union, C-1, C-2. Eleventh Annual Spring Fair of Modern Home Ideas will open at 6 o’clock tonight in the Electric Building, by Maureen Connolly.
April 30, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:1-3. Model railroaders convene in park (illus.).
May 4, 1955, San Diego Union, A-14:1-2. Warren Beach, the man who may become director of the San Diego Fine Arts Gallery, will arrive in the city by plane tonight.
May 5, 1955, San Diego Union, A-29:4-6. Henry E. Calloway, chairman, announced yesterday that more than 1,000 young pianists from city and county are expected to participate in the seventh annual piano festival, September 25, in Balboa Park Bowl.
May 6, 1955, Point Newsweekly, 16-17. Beauty Spot? San Diego’s trademark is in ruins.
Lionel van Deerlin, Channel 10 newsman, took his listeners on a trip into Balboa Park the other night, and on his way to the attractions he stopped at a park gift shop to look over the postcards.
Van Deerlin speaking:
“One (postcard) that caught my eye particularly displayed a symmetrically perfect shot of :’The Botanical Building and Lily Pond, Balboa Park, San Diego, Calif.’ On the reverse side the postcard carried this description:
” ‘One of the beauty spots in world-famous Balboa Park, where the visitor has an opportunity of studying many exotic and rare tropical plants.’
“The Botanical Garden? Sure, I remembered it as a kid. This seemed like a choice place to begin my refresher course as a tourist host. And it’s only a block from the little store where I’d bought my postcard. To the Botanical Building!
“But there a surprise awaited me. The place looked more like a bombed-out railroad station in Germany or northern Italy. Virtually every window had been punched out, with the jagged edges left to greet the lover of rare and tropical plants, drawn by those postcards.
“As I rounded the Botanical Building to the south side, I found a visitor scratching his head over the military-type sign: ‘Restricted Area – Keep Out.’ On the ground lay a window frame — exactly where it fell or was yanked out by vandals — and a bottomless washtub, source unknown.
“The man mistook me for a fellow tourist. And I was glad he did, because then I didn’t have to answer when he cracked, ‘Is this their park or the city dump?’
“Well, the boarding-up job was not perfect, and I climbed inside the abandoned structure.
“The first impression you get inside is that the old place isn’t too far gone, at that. Steel girders remain intact, and most of the redwood lath is still in place in the roof — the way it was built to greet visitors to San Diego’s first fair 40 years ago.
“And inside the place today, you have the feeling of stepping into an untouched jungle. The palms need to have dead fronds tripped away, of course, but the vines swarm with green leaves, and in almost every open space some plant, like this lilium auratum, blooms against the depressing backdrop. Apparently they haven’t been told that no one cares!”
Van Deerlin has spotted a San Diego landmark which for millions throughout the work is virtually a trademark of San Diego.
The Botanical Garden was built in connection with the 1915 exposition and when the exposition closed it was operated by the city until 1941.
Through all those years it was one of the central attractions in world-famous Balboa Park. As Leo Calland, city park and recreation director, says, “probably more pictures of the Botanical Garden have been distributed — in books, magazines and on postcards — that of any other feature of the park.”
But in May, 1941 [sic], the U. S. Navy took over a large area of Balboa Park for wartime operations. The Botanical Garden was included in the area taken over, although the Navy, of course, has no use for it.
The public was restricted, and so were city caretakers from entering the area. At the war’s end the park area was returned to the city, and the Navy provided the city with funds for restoring facilities which it had used, damaged or converted. But the Navy took the position it had not used the Botanical Garden, so no reimbursement. The garden had not been used, merely neglected.
Several years ago the City Building Inspection Department condemned the structure as unsafe.
It began life as a Santa Fe station, and was dismantled and reassembled in the park. Structural members are heavy steel girders. Lack of paint and maintenance work let rust eat heavily into the metal.
Restoration would require structural repair, sandblasting and painting. Meantime, because some supports are rusted through, the structure is a hazard in the event of a heavy storm or earthquake. So the “Restricted Area – Keep Out” signs have been posted.
Calland reports that the City Park and Recreation Department provides some care for the thousands of rare plants in the garden, in the fond hope that some day restoration will be accomplished.
In 1947 a structural engineer drew plans for restoration of the Botanical Garden and the adjoining greenhouse. He estimated the cost at $20,000 to $25,000. Nothing was done.
In 1954, at the City Park and Recreation Commission’s request, the city engineer A. K. Fogg made a rough estimate on rehabilitation.
Prices had gone up since 1947, and deterioration had continued in those seven years. Fogg estimated it would cost $37,248 to restore the Botanical Building, and another $29,250 to restored the adjoining greenhouse.
On July 20 last year, the Park and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to ask the City Council for a $37,248 appropriation from the capital outlay budget to restore the Botanical Building. The commission decided not to recommend restoration of the greenhouse because of the cost factor.
And there the matter rests. The City Council struck the item out of the capital outlay budget. This was no capricious act — the Council was wrestling with a proposed capital outlay budget totaling many millions. In order to begin work on some of the most pressing street and utility repair and expansion work it upped the city sales tax from one-half per cent to one per cent.
The Council has heard no strong voice from the citizens of San Diego demanding restoration of the city’s ancient trademark.
Says Calland, “I think the Botanical Garden restoration would have a dollars and cents effect on the city’s tourist business, let alone its esthetic value to the community.”
Says Van Deerlin: “When we advertise to the world, 1,400 acres of the most beautiful park in the world, and then lead out visitors to a tin can heaven, someone’s being cheated. The tourist? Yes, but he can take his family next time to Golden Gate Park or lots of other places. Who, then? The people of San Diego, merchants, service industries and everyone who derives benefit from the tourist business. Indirectly, that’s all of us.”
San Diego, with a half million population, is muffing a park maintenance job it managed with spectacular success when it was a city of 100,000.
May 6, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:5-6. Warren Beach, assistant director of the Columbus, Ohio, Gallery of Fine Arts, lauds San Diego Gallery, by Emily Stoker (illus.).
May 9, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2-5. A near-capacity audience heard Mothers’ Day Music Festival yesterday afternoon at Balboa Park Bowl presented by San Diego High School students (illus.).
May 14, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:4. San Diego Zoo – three mule deer escape though hole in fence; attendants continue search.
May 18, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:1-2. “Caught in the Act” promises pleasure, by Edwin Martin.
May 19, 1955, San Diego Union, A-21:1-2. City Planning Commission studies golf course sites on Torrey Pines Mesa; speaking in opposition were retired Superior Court judge Charles Haines, Dr. John Comstock, former science director of the Los Angeles Museum, Joseph Wright of La Jolla, and Colonel Arthur Fischer, director of the Natural History Museum.
May 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:1-2. “Caught in the Act” joyfully received, by Constance Herreshoff.
May 28, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:2. EDITORIAL: San Diego Heritage.
On the east entrance of Cabrillo Bridge is a tablet which was dedicated in 1928 to the memory of the San Diegans who had the vision in 1868 to plan for the park which today is one of the city’s most distinct assets.
The tablet, which cites the founders of Balboa Park for “foresight and civic wisdom,” reads:
“May 26, 1869, on the petition of Alonzo E. Horton and Ephraim W. Morse these 1,400 acres of pueblo lands were dedicated by trustees of the city — Jose Estudillo, Magnus [sic] Schiller, Joshua Sloane — to be forever a public park.”
Eighty-seven years ago the need for such a park seemed remote. The long-range planning of these men should provide an example for San Diego in other community endeavors today.
May 29, 1955, San Diego Union, A-16:1-4. East San Diegans will dedicate 37-acre Colina del Sol Park at noon Saturday (scale drawing).
June 4, 1955, San Diego Union, A-B:5-6. Boy Scout circus at Balboa Stadium visited by 20,000 (illus.).
June 5, 1955, San Diego Union, A-33:4. Ball stadium plan brings objections; 500 protest to City Council against Balboa Park site.
Leo Calland, park and recreation Commission in February approves the baseball stadium site in Florida Street Canyon as a desirable feature of the park.
June 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2-3. Petitions backing park stadium filed; 483 ask Council to authorize use of Balboa Park site by Padres.
June 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2-3. Group opposes commercial use of park.
June 7, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Letter, John Cole, objecting to use of Torrey Pines for golf course.
Why should the Chamber of Commerce urge the building of a golf course with private capital?
Is there any question that if private capital was used the golf course building on public lands could ever be closed to the public?
June 8, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4. Baseball opponents plan rally to fight proposal for baseball stadium in Florida Street Canyon; Carmack Berryman, president of Save Balboa Park Committee, will hold a public meeting at 8 p.m. Friday in Roosevelt Junior High School Auditorium.
June 8, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4. Fifty letters, petition backing baseball stadium in Florida Street Canyon.
Letters from proponents said the attitude of opponents was only negative that the San Diego Padres were league champions and deserved support, and that a new stadium would eliminate parking problems and insure better crowds/
Opponents said the stadium would disturb a quiet neighborhood, patients in Navy Hospital and the rural atmosphere of the park.
June 8, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:6. Letter, J. H. Van Nice, favors baseball park in Florida Street site.
June 9, 1955, San Diego Union, A-19:4. Chamber of Commerce asks Balboa Park Ball Stadium; Board unanimously backs canyon site; John D. Butler, representing Better Sports, Inc., tells plans; 1,439 sign petitions favoring park site; Alonzo de Jessop, representing a group of property owners, opposed the site and want the park developed “along the lines for which it was originally dedicated.”
Directors of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce today unanimously indorsed the Florida street canyon in Balboa Park as a suitable and desirable site for a baseball stadium. They approved its inclusion in the city’s master plan.
June 9, 1955, San Diego Union, A-24:1-2. Chamber of Commerce directors ask Botanical Building restoration; also favor removal of adjoining glazed exhibition building as “a dangerous hazard to public safety.”.
June 9, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:6. Mrs. Hertha Conway writes Balboa Park’s purpose shouldn’t be changed.
Editor: It may be well to look into the record to determine just how the wonderful Balboa Park came into existence. I am by no means certain, but from long-time residents the story is that the park was to be preserved as near as possible to the natural appearance of the terrain. This would definitely rule out a ball park or any other commercial project.
Roads, trash disposal, golf links and parking have already removed most of the original park. It takes close watching now to get a look at a road runner or rabbit, which flourished when we first came to San Diego. It might do our small fry some good to walk through the wilderness section of the park, instead of hitting the roads at 60 and seeing nothing but a few crushed bunnies.
What about the Navy Hospital? Will it stand for the raucous sounds emanating from a ball park? Will the rest of the park be destroyed to make parking space? And, with a commercial foothold, will restaurants, bars, and other such businesses be permitted?
It is time for the City Council to start saving some of old San Diego, including the park. San Diego is notorious for two things — commercialism and lack of civic pride. The cause and effect is obvious.
What is the matter with the mesa across the San Diego River? Two big schools and our new hospital are located there. There are good access roads — and the whole mesa to park in. Why Balboa Park? If it is a commercial project, let the promoters dig up private land, the same as any housing development or business.
The park belongs to all San Diego, and not to some one special interest. And I am a rabid Padre fan, too.
June 10, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:1-2. Port of San Diego, San Diego Zoo neutral on ballpark plan.
June 10, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:1. EDITORIAL: Ball Park Debate.
Emotions are being stirred in the controversy over the possible construction of a new baseball park in Balboa Park. Perhaps this is the natural thing, with many persons having firm convictions on either side.
But it behooves city officials, who must make the final decision, to render judgment on the facts of the case, not the emotions.
The present baseball park occupies valuable city property which could be used better for other purposes. The stadium is antiquated and in disrepair.
There are the basic premises from which decisions must start. The questions then are: Should the ball park be on public property and be publicly owned? If so, should it be located in Balboa Park?
None of these questions can be answered in the interest of the entire city with a contest of petitions or letters. The decision can’t be made properly by counting the names of ardent protestants or adherents. Anywhere the stadium is located there will be protests and some support.
This is not to say there is not a proper place for debate on the pros and cons of the issue. Those on both sides should be heard.
But when the debate is over the arguments of these people, not their emotional feelings, must guide the planning commission and the City Council if the decision to be made is based on consideration of the overall welfare of the entire city.
June 11, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2-3. Five speakers opposed Padre’s move to stadium in Florida Street Canyon; 450 hear protests against ball park.
June 12, 1955, San Diego Union, A-26:1-2. City, County offer pupils recreation.
June 12, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:1-3, F-3:3-8. San Diego Zoo – Zoo for small fry; 18-month study unveiled, by Julia G. Andrews (illus.).
June 15, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:6. Hearing called today on park baseball field; Planning Board chairman sets hour limit.
June 15, 1955, San Diego Union, A-24:3. U. S. Navy to get more land at Rosecrans.
June 15, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. EDITORIAL: Which way will Mission Bay go?
June 16, 1955, San Diego Union, A-21:8, A-30:1-2. City Planners reject Balboa Park stadium; vote 4-2 against ball field (illus.).
The City Planning Commission yesterday voted 4 to 2 against including a baseball stadium in Balboa park in the city’s master plan for public buildings.
Commissioners Victor Lundy, Sibley Sellew, Charles Salik and Frank Hope, voted for a motion by Lundy which said Florida Street Canyon in Balboa Park is not a suitable site for a baseball stadium as proposed by Better Sports, Inc., which proposes to build a new field for the San Diego Padres.
John Murphy and Charles Taylor voted against the motion. Commissioner Quintin Whelan was out of town.
The vote came after a two-hour hearing before 200 persons.
John Butler, an attorney and former mayor, said after the hearing he was disappointed with the committee’s action.
“In view of this decision, it is uncertain whether Betters Sports, Inc. will pursue the pending proposal for a lease of the land from the city,” Butler said. “The final decision will be made, possibly tomorrow by the directors of Better Sports, Inc.”
Butler is a director of the group.
Mrs. Mona Andreen, deputy city attorney, said five of the City Council’s seven members must vote in favor of the stadium to overrule the planning commission’s action.
The commission’s decision was greeted by cheers from a large crowd that heckled Butler and other speakers for the stadium early in the hearing.
Lundy, Sellew and Salik said favorable consideration of the stadium was ill advised now at a time when the Stanford Research Institute is considering Florida Street canyon among the sites it will recommend to the Council for a civic auditorium.
Murphy and Taylor said some civic development of Florida Street canyon was necessary as the best protection for Balboa Park.
Glenn Rick, city planning director, said he could not personally recommend the Florida Canyon site for the stadium. He did not explain his decision at the meeting. He said afterward he favored a stadium site in Mission Bay Park.
Rick said the Harbor Department said it needs Lane Field, which it currently leases to the San Diego Padres, for tidelands development.
James Reading, city traffic engineer, said there would be no traffic congestion during night baseball games if the stadium were built in Florida Street canyon. He said, however, some street improvements and regulation would be necessary to handle traffic after Saturday and Sunday games.
Butler said the city attorney and park and recreation commission has ruled the baseball stadium was a legitimate park use.
Rick read an opinion from City Attorney DuPaul that said the stadium could be built without a vote of the people, pay parking lots could operate in the park and there was no law against selling beer or intoxicating liquor in the park.
Arguments for the stadium were outlined principally by Butler; Bruce Hazard, a Chamber of Commerce director; Ed Riley, AFL Central Labor Council; Jerry Rudrauff, a director of Better Sports, Inc., and Ed Peterson, who identified himself as a baseball fan. They were:
- Need for the stadium as a civic improvement in San Diego.
- Inability of the city to maintain all of Balboa Park as a park.
- Desirability of private financing, as proposed by Better Sports, Inc.
- Little possibility of jeopardizing the zoo as a tourist attraction.
- Little traffic congestion compared with other central sites.
- Lack of noise because of the distance from the park to the homes in the neighborhood.
- Need for a home for the San Diego Padres who advertise San Diego.
- Need for the stadium for other civic events, such as outdoor conventions and junior sports activities.
“We need the stadium for conventions and for jobs,” Riley said. “Strangely, I find myself in complete agreement with the Chamber of Commerce.”
Principal opposing speakers were George W. Fisher, an attorney; Duane Maley, a football coach; Otto Ketelsen, a businessman; Stuart Lake, an author; Armistead Carter, a retired property owner, and Alonzo Jessop, a jeweler. They stressed:
- Depreciation of home values in the neighborhood.
- Noise from crowds, loud speakers and traffic.
- Traffic congestion.
- Interference with the zoo.
- Undesirability of allowing a commercial enterprise in the park.
- Eliminating Florida street canyon as a site for a golf course or civic auditorium.
- Introducing alcoholic beverages into the park.
- Possibility of using city funds to make improvements needed by the baseball club, such as streets and access roads.
In a letter to Mayor Dail, William Templeton Johnson, a member of the Board of Park Commissioners from 1920-25, yesterday reiterated his opposition to a baseball stadium in the park.
The park and recreation commission will vote on the proposal Tuesday morning. The Council is expected to act after receiving recommendations from the planning and park and recreation commissions.
June 16, 1955, San Diego Union, A-30:1-2. Planning Commission urges two 18-hole Torrey Pines golf courses.
June 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-19:3. Sports Group abandons its Balboa Park plan; rejection by City Planning Commission cited in statement.
Better Sports Inc. yesterday gave up the proposal to build a 15,000-seat baseball stadium in Balboa Park for the San Diego Padres and other civic uses.
Directors of the nonprofit corporation — John D. Butler, Fielder Lutes, Jerry Rudrauff, Al Schuss, Jim Robinson, Mitch Angus and Tom Hamilton — issued a statement announcing the action:
“For the past several months Better Sports Inc. has sought to advance a plan for creation of a baseball stadium in Florida Street canyon of Balboa Park,” it said.
“The plan involved the cooperation of Better Sports Inc., the San Diego Baseball Club and the city of San Diego. It was proposed with these facts in mind:
“1. That Pacific Coast League baseball is a civic asset and has an important place in the recreational life of the city of San Diego.
“2. Lane Field is woefully inadequate and the land is vitally needed for purposes more closely in line with the tidelands trust.
“3. That economics preclude the possibility of building a new stadium by private capital.
“4. That, unlike many other cities, San Diego is not capable at the present time of creating such a facility by expenditure of public funds.
“The plan outlined by Better Sports Inc. was predicated on the use of a portion of the Florida Street canyon area of Balboa Park. Financially the plan was feasible only at this site. In addition the raising of sufficient money to make the project possible would have required practically unanimous public support and approval.
“Since the city planning commission has rejected by 4-to-2 vote the inclusion of the canyon site as the location of a baseball stadium in the city master plan and since violent feeling against the proposal was expressed at its hearing, the ingredients necessary for success seem to be lacking.
“The directors of Better Sports Inc., therefore, are reluctantly abandoning their proposal.
“The board of directors wishes to thank the San Diego Baseball Club for its cooperation and assistance and to thank the many public-spirited citizens who have signed petitions, made pledges for membership and worked for the success of this plan.
“All membership subscriptions which have been received by Better Sports, Inc. and are now held in trust will be returned to the subscribers as soon as possible.”
Butler said the corporation will remain in existence.
“We will be happy to listen to a better plan for the stadium or any proposal to improve sports facilities in San Diego,” he said.
June 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:5-6. Hearings requested on by land use; Scott asks Council for Park Commission re-examination before making decision.
June 21, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:6. Letter – Bill Bledsoe blasts opponents of golf course in Florida Canyon.
June 24, 1955, Point Newsweekly, 7-8. New baseball stadium in the park; Padres ask to be evicted.
June 24, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:6. Balboa Park Bowl – Capacity crowd saw Star-Light Opera revive “Mikado” last night in Balboa Park Bowl.
June 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:1-2. Dail says use channel to aid Bay Park.
June 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-2:1-5. California American Legion State Convention opened in Balboa Park Bowl last night.
June 27, 1955, San Diego Union, B-14:2. San Diego Zoo – EDITORIAL – Children’s Zoo.
The addition of a children’s zoo to the present San Diego Zoo will provide another fine addition to one of the city’s proudest attractions.
June 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-9:4-5. Two-year plans urged for Mission Bay aid.
July 1, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:5. “Caught in the Act” ends tomorrow at Old Globe.
July 2, 1955, San Diego Union, B-12:2. EDITORIAL: Case for Auditorium.
July 2, 1955, San Diego Union, B-12:7-8. S. Jon Gudmunds, USNAS, claims Charlie Cannon as Ko-Ko turned Gilbert and Sullivan’s comedy, “The Mikado,” into a farce.
July 3, 1955, San Diego Union, A-20:5-6. San Diego Zoo – summer schedule.
July 3, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:4-8. “Wonderful Town” is next at Starlight.
July 5, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. Farce also reigns in “Wonderful Town.”
July 5, 1955, San Diego Union, B-4:7-8. Letter, Mrs. E. G. Gui, says the plan to take 50 acres out of Balboa Park for a private enterprise masked as a sport is the same class “as the parking scheme.”
July 5, 1978, San Diego Union, B-4:7-8. Letter, Herbert Hensley, does not like dogs running free in park.
The park board has better enforce its own rules or take down those ignored signs.
July 6, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:8. Letter, C. H. D. Roth, says stadium golf links, tennis courts, picnic grounds, swimming pool and ballpark are “the enjoyment of the people.”
July 6, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:8. Letter, A. J. Troyer, says, for his money, one could not fine a more suitable spot for a ball stadium than Florida Canyon.
July 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5-7. “Wonderful Town” on tonight.
July 8, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4-5. Lively music marks “Wonderful Town” in Balboa Park Bowl, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 10, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:4-8, E-3:3-8. Question and Answer: Warren Beach, Fine Arts Gallery’s new director, on art..
July 12, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:7-8. San Diego Symphony to open concert series at Balboa Park Bowl tonight; Robert Shaw, musical director and conductor; Beethoven’s “Overture to Egmont” to lead 7th season.
July 13, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:3-4. San Diego Symphony opens 7th summer concert series by Thomas R. St. George.
July 13, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:3-4. Friendly audience greets symphony orchestra, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 16, 1955, San Diego Union, A-9:5-7. National annual Shakespeare Festival opens July 22 at Old Globe (illus.)
July 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-31. San Diego Fencing Association lunges, parries and cuts – touché – on Wednesday nights in Municipal Gymnasium in Balboa Park (illus.).
July 17, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:1-8, E-8:1-3. Old Globe’s natural Shakespeare Festival opens six-week run, “Hamlet,” “Taming of the Shrew,” “Measure for Measure” are billed, by Bruno Ussher (illus.)..
July 17, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:1-3. “Brigadoon” opens in Balboa Park Bowl Thursday (illus.).
July 19, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:6-7. Rudolf Serkin to offer 3 piano concertos in tonight’s Balboa Park Bowl concert (illus.), by Lester Bell.
July 20, 1955, San Diego Union, A-10:1-2. Rudolf Serkin triumphs with Robert Shaw in concerto fiesta, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 20, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:3. Shakespeare fete getting final touches.
July 22, 1955, Point Newsweekly, 12-14. Traffic: San Diego State Society seeks to avoid complete strangulation, by James Britton.
July 22, 1955, San Diego Union, A-10:1-2. Bagpipes, plaid spice opening of “Brigadoon,” by Constance Herreshoff.
July 23, 1955, San Diego Union, A-8:1-2. Starlight awaits millionth patron.
July 23, 1955, San Diego Union, A-8:3. Shakespeare festival opens at Old Globe with a performance of “Measure for Measure,” directed by B. Iden Payne.
July 23, 1955, San Diego Union, A-16:4-5. Shakespeare fete praised at opening by Constance Herreshoff.
July 24, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:1-8. Symphony offers “Dido and Aeneas” at Ford Bowl Tuesday.
July 24, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:6-8. “Brigadoon” continues run at Star-Light Opera.
July 25, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:5-7. Festival’s “Hamlet” hailed as remarkable performance, by Constance Herreshoff . . . Allen Fletcher, director, and William Ball, “Hamlet,” both from Carnegie Institute of Technology.
July 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:4-5. “Taming of the Shrew” offered at Old Globe, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4-5. Stanford Research Institute report on Convention Hall due August 17.
July 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:6-8. Margaret Harshaw, Metropolitan Opera soprano, with sing at third symphony concert by San Diego Symphony tonight in Balboa Park Bowl.
July 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-24:1. “Opera Night” at Balboa Park Bowl, by Constance Herreshoff..
In its “Opera Night” concert, directed by Robert Shaw Tuesday night, the San Diego Symphony took listeners on a musical journey from 17th century England to 19th century Germany. The concert was in the Balboa Park Bowl.
July 31, 1955, San Diego Union, A-33:1-2. Federal Building – recreation round-up.
Hundreds of hobbyists and members of crafts clubs, 58 city playgrounds and participants from every phase of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department’s summer program will take part in the annual Recreation Round-Up in Balboa Park, August 26, 27 and 28.
July 31, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:6-8. “Kiss Me Kate” returns to Starlight.
July 31, 1955, San Diego Union, E-8:1-4. Old Globe, Bard well treated, by Bruno Ussher (illus.).
July 31, 1955, San Diego Union, F-7:1-4. Palisades Building – Dahlia Show next Saturday and Sunday in Recital Hall (illus.).
August, 1955, Public Assembly Facilities for San Diego, Stanford Research Institute, Stanford, Calif., by James H. Forbes, Jr. and Frederick P. Lyte, 54-57.
Division on opinion of proper uses of Balboa Park
Frederick Law Olmsted’s opinion
Cost of land
Land characteristics and environment surrounding area
Availability of sufficient land
August, 1955, San Diego Magazine, 18, 68. The City Observed, by James Britton on revived emphasis on converting the Federal Building (in Balboa Park) into a civic auditorium
The point is that daring and original architects could bring a grand new sense of order to the choked section of the park around the Federal Building. By diverting most of the parking to the rear of the cluster of buildings there, the plaza on which they face could be freed of parked beetles and restored as it deserves to gardens and promenades. Ideal place for sculpture and maybe a fountain.
August, 1955, San Diego Magazine, 29-36. The Old Globe Shakespeare Festival.
“Twenty years after,” by Craig Noel., 31-12, 66.
“Shakespeare was an actor,” by B. Iden Payne, 32-33, 63.
“Letter of introduction,” by zelda schumann-heink wilmert, 34-35, 64.
August 1, 1955, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. Dahlia Show opens Saturday in park.
August 2, 1955, San Diego Union, A-1:5-6. Benny Goodman, the clarinetist, arrived in San Diego yesterday afternoon to go into rehearsal with Robert Shaw and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra for tonight’s concert at the Balboa Park Bowl.
August 3, 1955, San Diego Union, A-10:4-7. Starlight Opera will revive “Kiss Me Kate” tomorrow night at Balboa Park Bowl.
August 4, 1955, San Diego Union, B-20:1. Balboa Park Bowl filled for concert by Benny Goodman, by Constance Herreshoff
August 5, 1955, San Diego Union, A-6:3-4. Starlight scores with “Kiss Me Kate” at Balboa Park Bowl, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 6, 1955, San Diego Union, A-8:3-4. “Kiss Me Kate” still untamed.
August 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-12:1-2. Beverly Correll, Dahlia Show queen, picks best dahlia in exhibit..
August 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:1-8. City considering survey to determine how many park buildings can be preserved; lath house, condemned in 1941, needs repair; $37,250 to build lath house and $29,250 to rebuild hot house; two sites favored for Art Gallery wings, by Peter Kaye (illus.).
The city is considering a survey to determine how many buildings in Balboa Park can be renovated and preserved.
Ed Blom, assistant city manager, said most of the buildings in the park were built as temporary structures for the 1915 Worlds’ Fair. He said others were constructed for the 1935 Exposition.
“We are considering a study to determined what buildings can be saved,” Blom said. “The city cannot afford to replace them or maintain them. We can’t keep them as they are and we would hate to lose them.”
“Our big chance is to hold another international exposition and invite exhibitors to build permanent structures.”
Leo Calland, city park and recreation director, said the Park and Recreation Commission has recommended that the city employ a structural engineer to determine what buildings can be preserved and how much it will cost to maintain them.
Calland said all buildings in the park are being used except the Medical Arts Building and American Legion Building. They are to the west and east of the Fine Arts Gallery on the Plaza.
Both these buildings were constructed in 1914-15, renovated in 1935 and condemned in 1946.
“Neither building has a foundation,” Calland said. “They are just resting on wooden blocks. In any other climate they would have collapsed.”
Calland said he believes sites of these buildings should be reserved for future wings to the Fine Arts Gallery. He said temporary parking lots may be laid out if the two buildings are torn down before wings to the Fine Arts Gallery are erected.
“Long-range plans by the Park and Recreation Commission contemplate additional parking around the perimeter of the park, such as in the open area east of Park Boulevard,” Calland said.
At least two buildings in the park will be renovated this year if the City Council Thursday approves a capital outlay budget recommended by City Manager Campbell. The are:
- The lath house of the Botanical Building, which was condemned in 1946. Campbell has recommended $37,250 to rebuild the lath house. Another $29,250 is required to rebuild the hot house of the Botanical Building, Campbell said this is a desirable project but it cannot be financed now.
- The Ford Building, which has been used by city schools since World War II. Blom said the schools have agreed to pay $24,000 to renovate the building. Their lease expires next year. Blom said $15,000 will be spent to repair the building this year and the remainder next year.
Various uses have been proposed for the building. Blom said they include a civic theater, aviation museum and National Guard Armory.
Calland said repair of the buildings would range from painting and replastering to almost total reconstruction. He said there never had been a survey to determine their condition.
“Recent developments are favorable,” Calland said. “I am glad to see that money may be appropriated to repair the Ford and Botanical buildings. If the Fine Arts Gallery gets two new wings it will be the biggest improvement in years.”
August 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-21:1-2. Beverly Correl, Dahlia Show queen, selects best flower in Recital Hall after judges deadlocked on two blooms yesterday (illus.).
August 8, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:4-5. Summer symphony to feature Lukas Foss, pianist, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 10, 1955, San Diego Union, A-14:4-5. The Voice of American will beam by radio to Europe a recording of an August 28 Spreckels Organ Pavilion concert.
August 11, 1955, San Diego Union, A-20:1-2. Symphony scores in fifth concert of summer series by Constance Herreshoff.
August 14, 1955, San Diego Union, A-27:1-8, A-30:1. State is financing high-speed routes with gas tax fund; city, county join in constructing limited access highway projects, San Diego freeway net grows, by Peter Kaye (map).
August 14, 1955, San Diego Union, A-30:1-3. Conference Building – weekly square dance.
August 14, 1955, San Diego Union, A-36:1-3. San Diego Zoo – new signs in Spanish identify animals (illus.).
August 14, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:6-8. E-4:1-5. The Old Globe’s “Hamlet,” a stellar phenomenon; William Ball, an absolute actor, by Bruno Ussher.
August 14, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:6-8, E-6:1. The Berlioz “Requiem,” music in the grand style, will be give a first performance here Tuesday night in the San Diego Symphony concert to be directed by Robert Shaw in Balboa Park Bowl, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 14, 1955, San Diego Union, E-8:1-2. “Song of Norway” opens at Balboa Park Bowl Thursday.
August 15, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:6-7. Early period music is presented at Old Globe, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 16, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:7-8. Berlioz’ “Requiem” at Balboa Park Bowl tonight.
August 16, 1955, San Diego Union, A-23:4-5. “Song of Norway” opens Thursday at Starlight.
August 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-1:1-2, A-2:3-4. Convention Center costing 7.5 million recommended here; four square blocks in downtown San Diego picked by Stanford Research Institute.
James H. Forbes, Jr., project leader, read the recommendations yesterday to the City Council and city planning commission. He submitted copies of a report that cost the city $15,000 and took five months to complete. . . . .
Forbes said most of the sites in Balboa Park would be forced to depend on existing streets that are inadequate for heavy traffic.
The report also cited inaccessibility of downtown hotels and restaurants in Balboa Park and difficulty of winning public sanction to use part of the park for the recreation and convention center.
August 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-1:2. Proposals at a glance.
Highlights of the Stanford Research Institute report on recreation and convention center possibilities for San Diego are:
- Erection of three multipurpose buildings — convention hall, sports arena, concert hall and little theater — on a four-square block area in downtown San Diego at a total cost of 7.5 million dollars.
- Seating capacity of 8,000 (permanent) and 3,000 (portable) in a 195,000 square-foot convention-hall arena; 3,000 seating capacity in a concert hall and 600 to 700 seating capacity in a little theater.
- Use of the area between Ash and Cedar Streets, First and Third Avenues.
August 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-2:1-4. City officials praise Stanford Research Institute’s Report; pledge consideration; “What we required,” Mayor Dail says.
Councilmen and other city officials yesterday praised the Stanford Research Institute’s recommendation for a downtown recreation and convention center and promised quick consideration of the report. They commented as follows:
MAYOR DAIL – It is an excellent report. I have always believed general obligation bonds were the only methods of financing. It is a good site based on factual data and technical reasons. The information is what we required.
COUNCILMAN BURGENER – I am extremely pleased with the thoroughness of the report. We must determine the relation of the center’s benefits to the public with the expense of general obligation bonds.
COUNCILMAN SCHNEIDER – This was an excellent job. I accept the report and feel it is so well done that the entire city could be content with it.
COUNCILMAN CURRAN – The report is particularly good in considering the effect of the Highway 101 freeway and its bisecting of the area to the north.
COUNCILMAN KERRIGAN – This is a pretty thorough report. It is a clear and concise analysis. The site is almost ideal. Financing is up to the people.
COUNCILMAN EVENSON – This is an idea site for the facility. I believe general obligation bonds are the best and cheapest method of financing. It was an excellent presentation.
Councilman Williams was absent on vacation and unavailable for comment.
FRANK HOPE, chairman, city planning commission – The report was excellent. Parking is something to think about. The site is OK.
GLENN RICK, CITY, city planning director – It was a fine job. The proposal will stand or fall on parking, condemnation of the land and proposed uses of the concert hall and little theater.
MITCH ANGUS, Convention and Tourist director – We have not had time to study the report. From what we have heard it is very interesting. The executive committee and board of directors will meet soon to review the report.
August 18, 1955, San Diego Union, A-9:1-2. Final summer concert, a “Pops” presentation by Ferde Grofe, scheduled for Tuesday.
August 18, 1955, San Diego Union, A-10:2. Robert Shaw given ovation for “Requiem.” By Constance Herreshoff.
August 19, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:4. The Stanford Research Institute’s plan for a $7,500,000 downtown recreation and convention center was indorsed yesterday by the board of directors of the San Diego Opera Guild.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-14:1-2. Robert Shaw proposes symphony tour of nearby cities.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:1-8, A-49:1. The proposed convention center.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-35:1-8. Proposal for the proposed San Diego center envision cultural and sports facilities as well as accommodations for convention and trade activities; development to attract many events; tourist attraction described in Stanford Research Institute study; general obligation bonds explained.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-35:7-8, A-49:1 City organizations studying report by Stanford Research Institute; first reaction toward location and financing plan is favorable; annual profit — city surplus of $83,000 is estimated.
August 21, 1935, San Diego Union, A-35:78. Convention center site selection made by using 12 criteria.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-40:7-8. Hobby “Round-up” next weekend.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:1-8. Midsummer finale; a sort of report from behind stage, by Robert E. Nichols (drawing of prop men getting odder and odder requests from directors).
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:4, E-8:1. Restoration plays proposed for Old Globe, by Bruno Ussher.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, E-6:3-6, E-8:1. Recreation Round-up August 26-28, presented by San Diego Park and Recreation Department, to feature music.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, E-6:3-6. Palisades Building – San Diego Junior Youth Symphony concert in Recital Hall.
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, E-6:3-8. Ferde Grofe conducts his “Hudson River Suite” Tuesday night in Balboa Park Bowl, by Constance Herreshoff (illus.).
August 21, 1955, San Diego Union, E-6:7-8. Next Sunday afternoon the Voice of America will broadcast to Europe an all-Dupre program to be played by Esther Wright of Pittsburgh on the great organ in Balboa Park.
August 22, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:3. Old Globe lists plays for next season.
August 23, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:1. EDITORIAL: Fine Season, Fine Finale.
Much in the fashion of old-time Louisiana tradesmen who rewarded business associates with special gifts, “lagniappe,” the conductor, soloist and musicians for tonight’s “summer symphony” concert have donated their talent.
Neither Ferde Grofe, pianist Howard Wells or the orchestra will profit from the “bonus’ concert. . . . The general fund of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association will be the beneficiary of the income from this all-American program.
Thus the seven-concert season ends on a note of festive triumph. Robert Shaw’s previous two years of artistic and box-office success set such high standards that one wondered if the dual progress could continue.
It did. Such has been the popularity of the programs that attendance has increased 48 percent over that of the year before Mr. Shaw arrived.
The success has not been limited to that of the box office. The concerts have aroused interest all over the nation for the artistic perfection attained, the production difficulties solved and the innovations made.
Listeners heard something new, an original composition by Robert Kurka which the association commissioned him to write; Back and Vivaldi and Mozart represented the old. Hector Berlioz’ “Requiem” was the “biggest.” Its score calls for a chorus of 300, giving many young singers from city and county schools a great experience with a great conductor.
It all respects, it has been a fine season!
August 25, 1955, San Diego Union, A-19:3. Symphony’s finale stirs enthusiasm, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 25, 1955, San Diego Union, A-19:4-5. Starlight Opera will resume the “Song of Norway” at 8:30 o’clock tonight (illus.).
August 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-7:1. Recreation Round-up will open today.
August 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2. Federal Building – Hobby Show opens with 216 displays.
August 27, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:2. EDITORIAL: Big, Beautiful Voice (on recording of organ concert by Voice of America)..
August 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-18:1-2. Two-day art fiesta at Spanish Village to open next week (illus.).
August 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-27:1-4. Detailed plans for “Festival of Pacific” envision Mardi-Gras type exposition, by Sam Blair.
August 28, 1955, San Diego Union, C-2:1-2. EDITORIAL: Festival Can Be of Benefit to San Diego.
August 28, 1955, San Diego Union, E-6:3-8. Program of Marcel Dupre’s works at Organ Pavilion this afternoon played by Esther Wright ; San Diego’s salute to France, by Constance Herreshoff (illus.).
August 29, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:1-2. San Diego sends France good will message; Nixon joins in Voice of America transcription from Balboa Park.
August 29, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4-5. Pacoima dachshund named bests of show in Balboa Park.(illus)
August 29, 1955, San Diego Union, A-14-4-5. Audience pleased by Youth Symphony in Recital Hall, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 30, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. EDITORIAL: City’s hall plan requires action.
September 1, 1955, San Diego Union, A-7:3-6. “South Pacific” will begin run tonight at Balboa Park Bowl (illus.).
September 2, 1955, San Diego Union, A-3:1-8. Some cool comments on hot day at San Diego Zoo (photos).
September 2, 1955, San Diego, Union, A-8:6. “South Pacific” enchanting in moonlight, by Constance Herreshoff.
September 3, 1955, San Diego Union, B-12:7. Larry Farrel writes police patrol needed to stop damage to Balboa Park.
September 4, 1955, San Diego Union, E-3:3-8. Festival: summer season draws to a close, by Constance Herreshoff.
September 9, 1955, San Diego Union, B-1:2. Chamber of Commerce approves construction of a convention hall in downtown San Diego.
September 10, 1955, San Diego Union, A-9:1-3. Old Globe players to get their awards Friday night, by Edwin Martin.
September 11, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:1-8, E-3:3-8. Who goes to museums and why? By Emily Genauer (illus.)
September 12, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:5. “Caine Mutiny” to be next play for Old Globe.
September 12, 1955, San Diego Union, B-10:2. EDITORIAL: Balboa Park Vandals.
The park is one of San Diego’s most precious assets and it should be preserved as a place where one might relax without fear whether the time be day or night.
September 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2-4. Thirteen players receive awards from Community Theater; Charlotte Henry and Miller Bussway win top honors.
September 17, 1955, San Diego Union, B-12:1. EDITORIAL: Balboa Park Is Civic Jewel.
Frederick Law Olmstead [sic], Jr., world recognized landscape architect was retained by the park commission in 1947, to study Balboa Park. His report reiterated some basic park principles and called attention to some local violations.
He pointed out that then the 1,400 acres of public lands were saved in the 1880s for a “central park” the object was to provide opportunity for outdoor physical recreation and combine such activities with the refreshing effect of spacious, country-like landscape surroundings. In a big city this is unattainable except by devoting a large amount of land in one tract.
Olmstead found that the justifying purpose has often been ignored. “This intermittent yielding to the idea that it was just vacant land available for parceling out to meet any kind of use advocated at the time by any strong pressure group has led to whittling away parts of the original area and greatly curtailing the value for park purposes of what has been retained.”
It may well be that the alteration of the park has been what the people wanted. The buildings and heavy traffic thoroughfares, which tend to destroy to spacious rural character of Balboa Park, do serve a public interest. It would be unwise to make a blanket rule against all changes.
Still the history of great parks record the need for long range planning and continuity of effort, fixed appropriations, and resistance to pressure groups. Balboa Park is a great park. But because some regard it as a grab bag, continuous inroads have been made.
It is well to remember that it now has about 1,300 acres; only a very small percentage of it is level, the rest being canyons and hillsides. Commandeering even a small area of level ground reduces a large percentage of the usable space.
The situation which Mr. Olmstead described — and decried — in 1947 has become worse. The park and recreation commission, under present organization, is powerless to stem the deterioration. It, for example, rejected the recent request for a 200-car parking lot behind Alcazar Garden. The mayor, city council and manager ignored the commission’s recommendation.
A citizens’ advisory committee recently studied Mission Bay to determine the best methods of protecting and developing it. Does not Balboa Park deserve the same kind of study?
A group of citizens should study the long-range needs of the park, reflect the community desires and determine whether or not the park commission should be give some power to plan and promote and represent the park for all the people.
September 18, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:6-8, E-3:5-8. Museum of Man – pottery exhibit opens, by Dr. Armin Keitzmann (illus.).
September 19, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2-3. Warren Beach, new art director, arrives..
September 20, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:2. Museum of Man – EDITORIAL: Museum Mischief.
Museum miscreants are criminals and deserve treatment as such.
September 20, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:7. A. E. Jansen, Chief of Police, writes Balboa Park has adequate policing.
September 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6. San Diego Community Theater appoints Boardman O’Connor technical director.
September 21, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Elwood T. Bailey writes to two criteria that guide Park and Recreation Commission concerning Balboa Park.
What is best for the greatest number of persons?
How can the park best be kept for future generations?
September 22, 1955, San Diego Union, A-19:1. Council asked to buy site for Convention Hall between Ash and Cedar and First Avenue and Third Avenue.
September 24, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5. Group seeks added civic recreation; meeting with Mayor Dail, city officials arranged by civic organizations in the Encanto area..
September 24, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:6-7. 30,000 guests expected; Kids’ Day today offers 6-1/2 hours of fun.
September 24, 1955, San Diego Union, B-2:8. H. K. Raymenton writes unguarded Museum of Man is unique institution; needs adequate staff of guards.
September 25, 1955, A-13:7-8. Second annual “An American Dedication” program at 8 p.m. next Sunday in Balboa Park Bowl.
September 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:5. One thousand play piano at festival in Balboa Park Bowl, by Constance Herreshoff.
September 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:4-5. Second annual American Dedication program at Balboa Park Bowl (illus.).
September 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:4. Stone lantern from people of Yokohama unloaded here; it will be mounted inside main entrance of San Diego Zoo..
September 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-10:4-5. Old Globe scores on “Caine Mutiny,” by Constance Herreshoff.
October 2, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:1-2. “An American Dedication” in Balboa Park tonight; songs, dances tell story of America.
October 2, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:1-8. Balboa Park — a Mecca of Culture — description of Balboa Park and institutions housed there, by Lester Bell (illus.).
Museum of Man
Fine Arts Gallery
Old Globe Theater
House of Hospitality
Foreign Arts Building
Spanish Village Organization Formed
October 2, 1955, San Diego Union, A-24:1-2. Balboa Park trip — short but sweet (map).
October 2, 1955, San Diego Union, A-27:7-8. United Nations’ anniversary program at Balboa Park Bowl.
October 3, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2-8. “An American Dedication” attended by 1200; ninety-minute drama tells nation’s story of ideals, traditions, by Lester Bell (illus.).
October 8, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4. Downtown areas would provide sufficient parking space to accommodate patrons of a 7.5 million dollar recreation and convention center, James H. Forbes, Jr., of Stanford Research Institute, said last night.
October 8, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:7-8, A-14:7-8. Festival of Pacific gets 90 directors.
October 15, 1955, San Diego Union, A-1:3, A-4:1. Colonel Ed Fletcher is dead at 82.
October 16, 1955, San Diego Union, A-35:3. San Diego Floral Association will hold its 47th annual Fall Flower Show next Saturday and Sunday in the Floral Building.
October 20, 1955, San Diego Union, A-25:7-8. United Nations anniversary program scheduled Sunday at Balboa Park Bowl.
October 24, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2. Two thousand hear Mayor Dail speak at Balboa Park Bowl on United Nations anniversary.
October 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5-8. First Fiesta del Pacifico planned here in 1956; cultural event set for park (illus.).
November, 1955, San Diego and Point Magazine, 19, 47. Civic Theater, Continued; two modest proposals for the park, by James Britton (illus.).
Last month we found it would be a great mistake to expect exceptional facilities for music and drama to develop as part of a downtown convention facility. It was no part of our intention to minimize the great necessity for convention facilities, but rather to make clear that cultural facilities should not be cast in the role of step-sister.
A report by the Stanford Research Institute, now being taken too seriously in many quarters, does just that. The Institute suggested lumping theater facilities with mammoth convention facilities on a single site. There is little chance that a satisfying theater architecture could be achieved in that situation within a half-way reasonable budget — if at all.
Mindful that the City Planning Commission, after extensive study, had endorsed a theater site in Balboa Park, we here explore a couple of very wonderful and definite possibilities along that line.
Starting with the specific piece of park favored by the Planning Commission (Park Boulevard, opposite zoo parking), Architect William Rosser worked up a theater design based on beautifully simple geometry (see cut). The exterior appearance would be of a great glass drum. In the daytime this would glitter wondrously as a jewel. At night it would reveal dramatically the swarming humanity within on several levels of circular promenade, and the humanity within would gaze out upon the far-strung jewels of city lights.
Parking in Mr. Rosser’s plan would use flat land, stretching north and south of the theater, and the zoo parking directly across Park Boulevard. The sea of cars would be pushed back at the main approach, where a formal reflecting pool would heighten the spectacle of citizenry drawing to a focus on the stage arts.
The building itself would have crowd-making magnetism.
Mr. Rosser’s basic idea is very splendid, and has the merit of conforming with the expressed decision of the official planners. A newcomer, Rosser could not be expected to realize that the planners often abandon their preferred positions.
Something like the Rosser design would mean starting from scratch on raw ground. Something considerably cheaper, and quite as satisfying could be achieved by remodeling the Federal Building.
The advantage of remodeling the Federal Building is that you start with a reinforced concrete structure, the foundations of which were designed to carry a sloped-floor theater of 3000 seats or more. The fact that this structure was never completed as a theater makes it a monument of ingratitude because it was given to the City by the Federal government expressly for theater purposes. It now has a flat floor, installed originally for exposition use, so the Park Department has happily latched on to it to serve as a gymnasium.
Esthetically hep architects could take this shell and convert into in an attractive theater, big enough even for symphony and opera. Other nearby buildings could be gradually converted in ways adding up to a glamorous entertainment center, a worthy supplement to the museum center discussed elsewhere in this magazine.
For example, the building (another gym) now wedged awkwardly between the Federal Building and Balboa Park Bowl could be transformed into a restaurant. Its stucco walls would give way to glass, and the structure would then be discovered to occupy a superb view site.
This plan implies finding or building some other housing for gymnasium capers, and might be hard to sell to the Park Department, whose head, Leo Calland, is especially proud of his busy indoor sports program.
Just as the buildings along Laurel Street cry out for development as a unique museum complex (see page 20), so the Federal Building and its neighbors around Pan-American Plaza could add up to an equally unusual theater complex. Indeed, theaters and museums would be charmingly interlaced if the potential were fully developed. For one thing, the Ford Building is idea for an aviation and industrial science museum — another local dream so far aborted. Or a museum of theater and motion pictures.
The horror that always rears up whenever conceptions like the above are discussed is parking. It is too bad that Pan-American Plaza has to be a parking lot. The aim should be to reduce the amount of parking in choice spots, yet the City Council has just condemned another beauty sport (back of the Alcazar Gardens) to be black-topped. Park Commissioner Mary Fay is disturbed enough about the trend to suggest with her inimitable straight-faced humor that the name be changed from Balboa Park to Balboa Parking.
Park Director Leo Calland likes the idea of confining parking pretty much to the fringes of the park and providing circulation within his gorgeous acres by way of open-sided buses such as were used during the exposition. This fleet could be decked out in handsome style and could be supplemented by rentable electric two-seaters and even horse-drawn carriages.
Another desirable of traffic control within the park is to build a through route to lighten the jams on Cabrillo Bridge. Tentative plans exist for such a road. It would go through canyons just south or north of Cabrillo Bridge and tunnel under one or two built-up spots.
When all convention activities are siphoned out of the park into a proper downtown facility, the present parking pattern relative to the Federal Building should be quite adequate. If more is needed, it can be developed eastward from the theater. At any rate, parking questions are not enough reason to dismiss a really wonderful prospect. The Federal Building could be made to yield far more impressive results as a theater than could possibly be had nesting in the shadow of the gigantic convention arena now being promoted for downtown.
November 5, 1955, San Diego Union, B-3:1-2. Balboa Park Club – House of Pacific Relations will present its 19th ball and Fiesta of Nations at 8 p.m. today.
November 6,1955, San Diego Union, A-16:1-3. The 19th annual meeting of the county assessors’ advisory committee will be held at 10 a.m. November 16 at the Puppet Theater.
November 6, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:5-6. San Diego Zoo – chimps used in polio tests; vaccine given orally.
November 6, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:6. Flag massing ceremony set today in park.
November 6, 1955, San Diego Union, A-22:1-3. Parakeet, pet show opening in Balboa Park draws 5,000 (illus.).
November 7, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:2-3. Ceremonies marking dead of all wars at Organ Pavilion; ranking military leaders take part.
November 13, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:1-8, D-3:3-8. Warren Beach, Fine Arts Gallery’s new boss, airs some pet ideas on how to run a museum (illus.).
November 13, 1955, San Diego Union, E-1:8. How to crash the movies; Dennis Hopper, ex-Globe actor, gets promising film roles, by Edwin Martin (illus.).
November 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:4-8. Planners OK central site for convention hall-arena; theater in park favored, by Peter Kaye (drawing of downtown convention hall by Frank Hope).
The city Planning Commission yesterday recommended unanimously that a conventional hall-sports arena be built in a four-block downtown area bounded by Ash and Cedar Streets, First and Third Avenues.
The commission recommended by a 6 to 1 vote to reaffirm Balboa Park as the site for a civic auditorium. The recommendations will go to the City Council for approval. . . . .
The commission, by omitting the civic theater on the proposed downtown site, reaffirmed a recommendation earlier this year to build it across from the Veterans’ Memorial Building in Balboa Park. . . . .
Commissioner Taylor voted against the civic auditorium in Balboa Park.
“The only way we’ll get a theater is by adopting it in the master plan of the Stanford Institute for convention facilities,” he said.
The commissioners who favored the park site indicated there was no need for San Diego to concentrate its convention and theater activities. . . . .
Opponents had no organized program but generally favored Balboa Park as a site for convention and auditorium facilities. They were:
Mrs. Marguerite Schwarzman, chairman of the steering committee of the San Diego Metropolitan Forum, who said she believed the convention hall and auditorium should be separated. She said she believed the auditorium should be placed in Balboa Park.
William F. Rosser, an architect, of 3975 Goldfinch Avenue, said he recommended a Balboa Park site because of adequate parking and “exciting” terrain. He presented a sketch of a proposed festival theater in Balboa Park.
Lt. Comdr. M. E. Fisher, U. S. N., ret., of 1282 Upas Street, urged sites in Balboa Park or Mission Bay Park. He said condemnation of land for a convention hall was an “un-Christian act.”
Jacob A. Wapplehorst, 2409 Tulip Street, said public money should not be used for a structure that would allow private interests to benefit. He urged a Balboa Park site.
November 17, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:7. House of Hospitality – care of aged parley today
November 18, 1955, San Diego Union, A-6:1-3. Electric, Home Appliance Show will open next Friday.
November 20, 1955, San Diego Union, A-19:1-3. Pre-Christmas festivities to start in park December 11..
November 20, 1955, San Diego Union, A-32:1-3. San Diego Zoo keeps its eye on elephant seals (illus.)
November 23, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:5. Fiesta del Pacifico asks City Council for $50,000.
November 24, 1955, San Diego Union, A-9:8. Yule lighting in Balboa Park set for 7 o’clock tomorrow night..
November 24, 1955, San Diego Union, A-9:6-8. San Diego Zoo to display lion cubs (illus.).
November 25, 1955, San Diego Union, C-1:5-6. Eighteenth Home Show to open tonight; 200,000 expected at 6-day Balboa Park exhibition (illus.).
November 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:2-4. Christmas lights go on along Christmas tree lane in park (illus.)
November 26, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:5. Record 20,000 see opening of Electrical and Home Appliance Show in Electric Building.
November 29, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6. Electric Show sidelight; even false teeth need scientists (photo showing how stress and strains on dentures can be measured on an instrument used in Naval Electronics Laboratory).
December, 1955, San Diego and Point Magazine, 33. (Drawings) Continuing our campaign to make known the theater possibilities of Balboa Park, we present here Architect Lloyd Ruocco’s well-worn and well-wearing model. When the model was first sprung on key citizens ten years ago, it was a decisive factor in quashing the City’s cheesy plans for converting the Federal Building into a theater.
This magazine’s proposal is that the Federal Building should be converted into a theater and that the convention job should embody some of the virtues of Ruocco’s model. In the plan above, the circular structures are restaurant, lounge and art gallery. Three pie-wedged auditoriums tie into a common staging arena which could be quickly and quietly subdivided as needed.
The aim throughout is amenity for humanity.
December 1, 1955, San Diego Union, A-10:1-2. Eighteenth annual Electric Show closed six-day run in Electric Building last night; more than 185,000 persons visited the show.
December 2, 1955, San Diego Union, A-16:1. The membership of the San Diego County Historical Days Association has indorsed the Fiesta del Pacific scheduled to open July 19.
December 11, 1955, San Diego Union, A-37:1. Museum of Man – exhibit on Juvenile Delinquency in city at Museum to open today..
December 11, 1955, San Diego Union, A-37:7-8. Vice Admiral Wilder D. Baker, USN, ret., will head Science Fair; second county-wide event to be held in park, April 6-10.
December 11, 1955, San Diego Union, A-37:6-8. Construction underway to extend Cabrillo Freeway two more miles; freeway will be clear of all grade crossings for more than 7-1/2 miles from Ash Street at Balboa Park; completed to Friar’s Road late in 1948; cost for engineering and construction was $4,041,343.
December 11, 1955, San Diego Union, A-37:7-8. Yule tree lighting set today in Balboa Park; program sponsored by Chamber of Commerce to begin at 4 p.m.
December 12, 1955, San Diego Union, A-18:7-8. One thousand attend Yule program in Balboa Park.
December 13, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:8. San Diego’s recreational needs last night were outlined at a public meeting attended by 150 residents and civic officials; park and recreation department’s master plan would cost 20 million dollars and take care of the city’s needs to 1960.
December 15, 1955, San Diego Union, A-21:8. Chamber of Commerce yesterday urged restoration of all park buildings.
The recommendations adopted were:
- To oppose demolition of the buildings.
- To advocate retaining their present architectural style
- To request the city to proceed with restoration of the exteriors of the buildings, to maintain and preserve them in a safe condition until a permanent use of the buildings or an approved plan may be developed.
- To advocate restoration and repair of the lath house of the Botanical Building, but not the hot house.
Park plans for the outskirts of San Diego should be coordinated between the city, the county and neighboring communities, Chamber of Commerce directors said yesterday.
December 15, 1955, San Diego Union, B-6:2-3. Cultural tax studied by City Council; voters would have to approve a charter amendment to all city to levy the tax; San Diego Zoo is financed in part by a two cent a $100 assessed valuation property tax.
December 16, 1953, San Diego Union, A-16:3. San Diego should spend an added $20 million dollars for recreational needs, Leo Calland, City parks and recreation director, told the City Council yesterday.
Calland enumerate facilities needed to fill proposed community park and recreation centers.
December 16, 1955, San Diego Union, A-21:2. Council to study pleas for more cultural funds.
December 18, 1955, San Diego Union, A-31:3-8. Park and recreation hearings planned; San Diego’s needs will be detailed in master plan; 20-million dollar long-range development is envisioned for city (map showing part of proposed city park master plan).
December 18, 1955, San Diego Union, A-31:8. The City Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the Stanford Research Institute’s recommendation for a downtown convention center.
Henry Schwartz is chairman of the committee known as Property Owners Against the Stanford Plan.
December 18, 1955, San Diego Union,A-32:1-3. Question of what to do with all buildings along El Prado to come before City Council soon (illus.).
City officials have been considering it for several years but have never reached a decision. This time the problem is being presented to the council in the form of a set of recommendations by Chamber of Commerce directors.
The directors adopted the recommendations after a special Balboa Park committee, headed by MacArthur Gorton, Jr., made a study of the buildings.
These are the alternatives facing the city.
- Renovate all the buildings along El Prado.
- Raze all the buildings.
- Maintain the exteriors of the buildings as a facade but close the interiors to the public.
- Renovate some of the buildings and raze others.
The buildings were constructed as temporary structures for the 1915 and 1935 expositions. They have been in use ever since with only one major renovation. That was financed by a $1,100,000 fund after the Navy returned the buildings at the close of World War II. Most of the funds came from the Navy.
Leo Calland, city park and recreation director, explained the city’s dilemma to The San Diego Union: “The uses most of the buildings are put to do not justify spending the amount of money required to repair and maintain them,” he said.
“Their deterioration is such they will reach the point where someday they will have to come down.”
Ed Blom, assistant city manager, summarized the problem similarly for The San Diego Union last August.
“We are considering a study to determine what buildings can be saved,” he said then. “The city cannot afford to replace them or maintain them. We can’t keep them as they are, and we would hate to lose them.”
The issue was brought to a head last spring when the plaster work on the Food and Beverage Building began falling off, according to Calland. The city Public Works Department recommended removing the plaster ornamentation, which gives the buildings their distinctive Spanish-Colonial appearance.
Calland said the city Park and Recreation Commission has requested a survey to determine the cost of repairing and maintaining the buildings. This study was never authorized.
Now the Chamber’s positive recommendations may force the city to take action. These are the Chamber’s recommendations to the council:
- Demolition of the buildings is opposed.
- Retention of the present architectural style is advocated.
- The city is requested to proceed with restoration of the exterior of the buildings, to maintain and preserve them in a safe condition until a permanent use of the buildings or an approved plan for the central park area may be developed.
- Restoration and repair of the lath house of the Botanical Building is advocated.
The last recommendation will be followed. The city has already budgeted $37,000 for repair of the structure and a contract will probably be let in February, according to Blom.
Calland said all the buildings along El Prado except the Botanical Building are in use. Two of them, which flank the Fine Arts Gallery are used only for dead storage, however. They may eventually become new wings of the Art Gallery.
Before coming to a final decision on the buildings, the council is expected to order an engineering survey to determine the cost of renovation.
“If the buildings are to stay put, we will need public support,” Calland told The San Diego Union.
Through its recommendations, the Chamber of Commerce has given its support. More is expected from other quarters when the matter comes before the council for a decision.
December 19, 1955, San Diego Union, A-17:1-3. “Thumbelina” ballet at Organ Pavilion.
December 20, 1955, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. Playgrounds slate holiday programs.
December 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-1:3, A-3:1-2. Council OKs downtown hall proposal; Convention Center plan adopted after two-hour hearing, by Peter Kaye.
The City Council yesterday adopted the Stanford Research Institute’s recommendation to build a downtown convention center. The center would be in the four-block area bounded by Ash and Cedar Streets, First and Third Avenues.
The council overruled a recommendation of the City Planning Commission last month that a civic auditorium be built in Balboa Park separate from the downtown convention center.
The council paid $15,000 for the Stanford report. It was issued in August. The report recommended that a convention hall, exhibit hall, civic auditorium and little theater be built on the downtown site.
(Statements from proponents and opponents follow.)
December 21, 1955, San Diego Union, A-13:4. San Diego Zoo receives five penguins from Galapagos Islands (illus.).
December 23, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:1-2. City Council asks attorney to obtain Convention Hall site; resolution gives authority to undertake condemnation of four-block area bounded by Ash and Cedar Streets and First and Third Avenues.
December 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:1-2. San Diego Zoo – two horned screamers, first o kind to breed in captivity; guard eggs in their nest (illus.).
December 27, 1955, San Diego Union, A-11:5-6. San Diego Zoo – female orangutan, born Christmas day, is being kept alive in an incubator (illus.).
December 28, 1955, San Diego Union, A-15:5-6. City takes action on convention hall; ordinance lists site in master plan; authorizes officials to buy land.
December 30, 1955, San Diego Union, A-1:3, A-2:6. Governor Knight gets Park Board’s project list; Torrey Pines ranks eighth in list of Tideland Oil funds.
December 30, 1955, San Diego Union, B-1:1-3. Federal Building – City Manager Campbell to seek alternative; opposes use of Federal Building for Roller Derby.
City Manager Campbell yesterday was asked by the City Council to determine if a roller derby can be held in any Balboa Park building except the Federal Building. Campbell said he would report on the question Tuesday.
The council voted 4 to 3 against denying Phil Hayes, roller derby promoter, use of the building. Then it voted 4 to 3 against allowing him to use the building.
Councilman Burgener voted against both motions. Supporting him on the first motion were Councilmen Evenson, Williams and Schneider. Mayor Dail and Councilmen Kerrigan and Curran voted with Burgener on the second motion. Kerrigan opposed the motion which directed Campbell to study other buildings.
Hayes said he would pay the city $10,000 minimum rent for use of the facility through early June. The roller derby is held here three nights a week at Lane Field. Hayes said Lane Field is unsuitable in winter because of bad weather and the Federal Building, which seats 2,200, is the only structure he could use.
Campbell said the roller derby would interfere only with badminton and volleyball in the Federal Building. He said there is sufficient parking in the park during the winter.
Opposing the request were L. C. Kobler, a director of the National Square Dance Convention scheduled for San Diego June 22 to June 25 and John Leib, a director of the San Diego Badminton Association.
The council received letters in opposition from the San Diego Square Dance Federation, San Diego County Badminton Association and the Industrial Recreation Council.
Hayes’ request was for one year. He said the roller derby promoters plan to build an auditorium in San Diego.
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