Balboa Park History 1959
January, 1959, San Diego Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 3, 32-27. The Strength of Irving Gill, by James Britton.
January, 1959, San Diego Magazine, Vol. 11, No, 3, 38-41. The Weakness of Irving Gill, by James Britton.
January 7, 1959, San Diego Union, C-3. Navy big factor in city’s economy; Navy payrolls in country increased in fiscal 1958 to approximately 267 million from 258 million the year before; at the peak of the Korean war the Navy employed 23,000 civilians; work load has stabilized in the area of 18,000; total of uniformed personnel based here believed to average in excess of 110,000 with an estimated 51,000 dependents; between 16,000 and 20,000 retired military personnel residing in the county.
January 12, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13, A-17. San Diego Zoo has a surplus year-old lady hippopotamus up for sale or trade (illus.).
January 13, 1959, San Diego Union, A-1, A-3. Frank G. Belcher, 53, dies following a hunting accident; was president of 1935 Exposition.
January 13, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13, A-14. Work on crosstown freeway to begin with interchange; construction of 8-story unit to start in summer at southwestern Balboa Park (drawing); top deck of structure, carrying eight lanes of U. S. 101 over Cabrillo Freeway, will tower 72 feet (about eight stories) over the lower level.
January 14, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13, A-14. Convention center urged in Balboa Park; 1.5 million cost seen to develop Palisades; advocated by Robert O. Peterson, president of Convention and Tourist Bureau; Ford Building would become a hall seating 5,000 persons; Walter Ames said most major improvements in Balboa Park were made by commercial interests; Karry Foster said 76,000 square feet of Ford Building would be available; Peterson said: “We’d have a 20 million dollar center for 1.5 million dollars.”; group urged to make proposal by William Shea, associate publisher and general manager of The San Diego Union and Evening Tribune.
January 16, 1959, San Diego Union, 16:6. City officials met with representatives of a St. Louis planning firm yesterday to organize the master planning efforts for Balboa Park.
January 17, 1959, San Diego Union, A-12. San Diego Zoo gets Navy gift of $8,000 for ape island exhibit in Children’s Zoo (photo).
The money was contributed by Navy personnel ashore and afloat in the San Diego area.
January 17, 1959, San Diego Union, B-14. EDITORIAL: Under Our Noses: Solution for Convention Site.
For a modest sum, modest in comparison to what a new major convention hall would cost, the Ford Building’s great rotunda can be roofed and converted into an auditorium to seat 3,000 persons. In addition, it has scores of conference rooms and sweeping display areas.
January 19, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2. John Williams writes park convention center a good idea.
January 23, 1959, San Diego Union, A-9. Forty thousand expected at 10-day event; San Diego boat show opens run this afternoon in Electric Building (illus.).
January 23, 1959, San Diego Union, A-18. San Diego Zoo will sell Point Loma estate of Mrs. Henry Clark for $85,000; property deeded to Society last week to finance expansion of Children’s Zoo.
February, 1959, San Diego Magazine, Vol 11, No. 4, 40-42. Art of the City: the CENTER for potentially the finest convention city in America, by James Britton
Keys to success of the Peterson Plan are enormously increased parking in Balboa Park and enormous enlargement of Cabrillo Freeway which runs through the park linking downtown with Mission Valley. It is not generally realized that the State Division of Highways intends to make Cabrillo Freeway eight lanes. This will mean tearing up the most beautiful parkway south of Santa Barbara just as its ripest. It will also mean changing the sense of the scene from a park with a reasonably scaled freeway running through it, to a torrential freeway with certain fragments of the park adjacent.
The traffic increase in Balboa Park, the increase of blacktop parking there, and the increase of commercial activity centering around a convention hall all spell drastic reduction in the park quality of the park, and this at a time when evidence is accumulating that a densing population like ours will need much more park space, several times more park space, not less. This is decidedly a question of the general welfare which is being ignored because the public at large is not adequately represented, certainly not by the present councilmen and mayor.
If, as seems likely, the city council is going to develop a convention business center around the Ford Building in Balboa Park, then it should at the same time announce the setting aside of suitable acreage elsewhere in the city for the major park, or parks that will be needed. Mission Bay Park can hardly be said to fill this need since it is a special purpose park, large aquatic and largely commercial too. There is an opportunity in this connection for some of our large land holders, Roscoe Hazard in Mission Valley for example, or the Fletchers in the Miramar area, to give acreage for parks that could be named in honor of them.
The makeshift of the Hall of Science and Industry to the Federal Building is a precious piece of petty opportunism that reflects credit on no one concerned. It happens that the Federal Building was given by the federal government to the city with the understanding that it would be completed as a civic theater. It has foundations designed for a sloping theater floor, a reinforced concrete shell within which an idea theater shape could be achieved, and potential seating for 3500 with a balcony. If the Ford Building is going to be a convention hall, than it makes more sense than ever that the Federal Building should be a theater, as part of a complete entertainment and convention center that could be the most attractive anywhere.
The Hall of Science properly belongs alongside the other museums — the Museum of Man, Natural History, Fine Arts, all of which are further north in the park along Laurel Street. The structure in that group known as the Electric Building is logical for remodeling into a Hall of Science complete with planetarium.
Fortunately, the City has already signed a contract with Harland Bartholomew & Associates, a St. Louis engineering firm hired for the express purpose of shaping a master plan for Balboa Park. Decisions about convention centers and museums will be held up until the master planners have at least made a preliminary swipe at their job. They were scheduled to start in January, and they will be under a lot of pressure. Will they proceed independently on the basic of planning logic, as planners should, or will they kow-tow to the politicians who hired them?
February, 1959, San Diego Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 4, 42-43. The Putnam and Timken “Gifts” by James Britton.
Due to an outstanding job of misreporting in the daily newspapers, many San Diegans may have the impression that the Putnam Foundation is giving its two-million dollar collection of “old master” paintings to the City, or at least to the Fine Arts Society. The Evening Tribune erred in a four-column head and in its story November 13th. The Union’s headline of the same day was no better but its story by Bryant Evans was essentially accurate: $1,000,000 would build in Balboa Park a Timken Gallery which would become the property of the City, but only on condition that it be leased back on acceptable terms (minimum lease of 50 years) to the Putnam Foundation for exhibition of its collection, which would continue in its ownership.
Actually, none of the works of art in the Fine Arts Gallery belong to the public. Everything except the building belongs to the Fine Arts Society, a private corporation which theoretically could decide at any time to pack up its things and go elsewhere. That’s unlikely, since the Society gets free rent in a city-owned building in a strategic location in a city-owned building, and a large part of its operating budget is from the city coffers. And the Society is quite seriously dedicated to public service.
For many years the Fine Arts Society received gifts from the elderly Putnam sisters who lived in the tiled Palacio at Fourth and Walnut Streets. As their powers declined the bankers and lawyers took a firmer hand. The gifts ceased and the Foundation was formed five or six years ago. Now the Foundation is in effect its own fine arts society, keeping strict control over the Putnam fortune tied up in expensive works of art. In order to keep its tax free status, the Foundation must exhibit its works free to the public. This is has done by lending pictures to major American museums. Now the Foundation is ready to settle down in some one place. It just so happens that the Putnam Foundation management also controls the new Timken Foundation, made up of moneys from another family that formerly gave works of art to the San Diego Fine Arts Society; the Timken fortune in fact built the present Fine Arts Gallery. The sense of the recent sensation involving a total of $3,000,000 was that Timken Foundation dollars would build a new Timken Gallery and the Putnam Foundation would display its pictures there. Thus splendid memorials to two expiring families would be achieved, and the family lawyers and bankers who are directors of the two foundations would retain their accounts indefinitely.
Under the circumstances, it seems odd that the trustees of the Fine Arts Society would “stand up and cheer” as reported in the papers, when they were presented with the foundations’ intentions. It was not so odd that Mayor Dail added a loud executive hurrah: the Putnam-Timken maneuver would mean reduced pressure on the city budget for cultural expenses.
In truth, the Fine Arts Society was being asked to move over and make room for another art-owning private corporation that wants to use part of the park. Literally, the Fine Arts Society has to give up an area in which it hoped to build a wing of its own. Moreover, the Fine Arts Society is expected to return to the Putnam Foundation on long term load many of the pictures given to the Society by the Putnam sisters before the foundation was formed.
One of the early efforts of the Putnam Foundation was to “pack” the Fine Arts Society board with members chosen by the Foundation. Such total eclipse was resisted by the Society but, to judge from the recent cheering, permanent partial eclipse is now acceptable to that body. It remains to be seem what future relations between the two boards will be. Which will dominate?
February, 1959, San Diego Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 4, 44-45. The center for potentially the finest museum complex in America . . . plan showing basic scheme of development by the Fine Arts Society before the Putnam Foundation came along.
February 1, 1959, San Diego Union, F-16:1-2. Two-day Camellia exhibit in Conference Building Saturday and Sunday.
February 4, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-1:8. A plan to develop the Palisades area of Balboa Park into a community center with convention facilities today has the support of the San Diego Downtown Association.
February 5, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-48:1-2. Park uses challenged in law suit; action seeks to clarify city’s right to permit religious services and an exposition center in Balboa Park.
February 5, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-48:1-2. William E. Starke, attorney.
February 5, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-48:1-2. City Charter stipulates “public use” only; attorney Starke thinks all facilities and offices in the park must be open for all the people..
February 5, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21. Use of Park by Religions Challenged; Suit Also Asks Cour to Enjoin Proposal for Convention Hall.
The legality of Balboa Park’s use for religious meetings and as the proposed site for an exposition center was attacked yesterday in a Superior Court injunction suit. The action was brought against the city by W. D. Starke, an attorney who has practiced law here since 1936.
Judge Bonsall Noon signed a temporary restraining order and set February 11 for a hearing on an order for the city to show cause why it should not be enjoined.
The injunction would block the issuance of permits for religious meetings and a proposal to convert the Ford Building into an exposition center.
Starke told a reporter that the lawsuit is a friendly test. Assistant Attorney Anton Reese agreed with the description. Reese told a reporter Starke conferred with the city attorney’s staff before the suit was filed.
“Mr. Starke is performing a public service,” Reese said. “We welcome this lawsuit to obtain a judicial declaration of the city’s rights under its charter and the state Constitution.”
Starke’s suit attacked an opinion by the city attorney’s office November 25 that religious groups may obtain permits for meeting in the park.
It is contended that the state Constitution prohibits a municipality from aiding a religious organization.
The city attorney’s opinion specified that the religious permits could be issued on the same terms and conditions as permits issued to other groups for park meetings, Reese said.
Starke said he favors an auditorium site east of Park Boulevard in the Florida Street area. He said he has not personal objections to the holding of special religious services in the park, such as Christmas services, but he believes even those are illegal.
“I am afraid of the long-term thing,” he said.
Starke explained that by saying other California cities have granted long-term leases to religious organizations for the use of parks and schools. He said these have been held illegal.
“I want the court to spell out how far the city can go,” Starke said. “I have eight grandchildren and I want something of the park left for them.”
Starke’s lawsuit stated that a park auditorium proposal on the ballot April 16, 1957 had failed to carry.
February 5, 1959, San Diego Union. A-21. Balboa Plan Indorsed.
The Downtown Association yesterday indorsed a proposal to develop Balboa Park’s Palisades area into an exposition center.
“Favorable consideration of this excellent plan will be greatly appreciated by the property owners and business firms of downtown San Diego,” James I. Robertson, association president, wrote in a letter to the City Council.
The Convention and Tourist Bureau has proposed remodeling the Ford Building at a cost of 1.5 million dollars to provide an exposition center accommodating 5,000 persons.
The council has referred the proposal to a conference for discussion.
February 11, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-1:3. The executive committee of the Balboa Park Citizens Study Committee will review a proposal to rehabilitate the Palisades area of the park for an exposition center with convention facilities.
February 11, 1959, San Diego Union, A-15:5. Study Asked on Ford Building; Exposition Center Proposal Referred to City Manager.
The Convention and Tourists Bureau’s recommendation that the Ford Building be rehabilitated as a convention hall and exposition center has been referred by the City Council yesterday to City Manager George Bean and the executive committee of the Balboa Park Study Committee.
Bean said that “regardless of the merits of such a proposition, a decision should be held off until the people hired to make a comprehensive study of the park can do so.”
He was referring to the St. Louis consulting firm of Harland Bartholomew and Associates, which the council has hired to draft a master plan for the park.
Bean said the firm has been instructed to push that phase (related to the Ford Building) as rapidly as possible, and should have a report within another couple of months.
Aaron Reese, assistant city attorney, told the council that pending litigation of the permissive uses within the park constitutes, among other things, an injunction against expenditure of any city funds for an exposition center in the park until the litigation is completed.
Reese said William Starke, the attorney who filed the suit against the city, has agreed to stipulate the scheduled events within the park may be held as planned.
Mayor Dail suggested that the Convention and Tourists Bureau recommendation be reviewed by the study group’s executive committee.
The study committee recommended that the Ford Building be retained for some unspecified use, Bean said.
February 12, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-8:1. Superior Judge Bonsall Noon yesterday continued a hearing of a test lawsuit on the city’s right to permit religious services and an exposition center in Balboa Park.
February 16, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13:1-3. Flamingo Lagoon at San Diego Zoo delights visitors and birds like it too, by Bryant Evans (illus.).
February 20, 1959, San Diego Union, A-24:1-2. Acquisitions elevate San Diego Zoo’s penguin flock, pair of Gentoo penguins.
February 22, 1959, San Diego Union, A-25:6-8. Spring Fair of Modern Home Ideas to be held April in Electric Building.
February 23 1959, San Diego Union, A-12:1-2. A 20-ton palm tree, 30 feet tall and spreading 40 feet in its fronds, moved slowly up Broadway yesterday morning on its way to the San Diego Zoo.
February 24, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-16:4. A boy and a girl will be selected as Yo-Yo champions of San Diego County at a contest in Puppet Theater at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
February 25 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-23:3-4. Comedy, iron spark plot of “The Waltz of the Toreadors” at Old Globe.
February 25, 1959, San Diego Union, B-4:1-4. “Toreador Waltz” opens at Old Globe, by Constance Herreshoff.
February 26, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6. Shakespeare Festival — Old Globe to Engage Professional Cast.
Ten professional actors will be engaged for the San Diego National Shakespeare Festival, July 1 through August 10, Craig Noel, director of the sponsoring Old Globe Theater announced yesterday.
“We believe the theater of San Diego should grow with the city,” Noel said. “This is a step forward in offering the community good theater.”
Arrangements have been made with Equity, the actor’s union, to employ the players. Five will be cast in the East by William Ball, recent winner of a $10,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to further American theater.
Ball, who recently received a master’s degree in speech from Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, will direct “Henry IV, Part One,” at the festival. He played the title role in “Hamlet” here in 1955 and may act in the forthcoming festival.
Allen Fletcher, a speech professor at Carnegie Tech, who directed here previously, will direct “Romeo and Juliet” and “Love’s Labor Lost.”
The second five professionals will be cast in auditions held in Los Angeles by Noel, who also will supervise the festival.
Brochures have been sent to campuses on the 11 acting scholarships and the seven technical scholarships which pay college students $300 each. Eight apprentices will be sought locally at $75 each.
The scholarship announcements are expected April 1, and the professional cast will be announced in late May, Noel said.
There will be 64 performances this year, compared with 45 in previous years. The plays will be presented six nights a week with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. There will be no Monday performances.
Plays will not be rotated as in the past. The first show will be staged for several performances, the second and third added to the schedule as casts are ready to perform.
“We feel this is a step forward and we want to continue it,” Noel said, “but we shall await the results of this year’s productions.”
Ball has allocated $6,000 of his grant here for two reasons. He will pay the transportation of five actors from the East and part of their salaries. He also will spend part of his grant at the Actors’ Studio in San Francisco and the Washington, D. C. Arena Stage.
Three weeks of rehearsal for the nine weeks of performance will begin in mid June, Noel said.
February 26, 1959, San Diego Union, A-26:2-3. A 4-day Engineering Exposition opens today in Electric Building.
February 27, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17. San Diego Beltline Freeway Bill is Given OK; Assembly Committee Approves; cost Estimated at 66 Million.
Sacramento, Feb. 26. — The Assembly Ways and Means Committee today approved a bill authorizing a route for the San Diego Beltline freeway.
The freeway, when completed, will connect northern San Diego to San Ysidro and with be the southernmost segment of the San Diego freeway, linking the border to the San Fernando Valley.
The bill, which was introduced by Assemblyman Frank Luckel (R-San Diego), now goes to the Assembly floor. If passed by the Assembly, it will move to the Senate.
The Beltline freeway project is expected to cost 66 million dollars. The state will be reimbursed by about 60 million dollars by the federal government because the project is part of the interstate highway system.
The route for 2.5 miles of another crosstown supplementary freeway — from Laurel and India Streets to Market and 18th Streets — has been approved by the state Highway Commission and construction has been scheduled on an eight-story interchange near the south end of Cabrillo freeway.
The route of the Beltline freeway, skirting the eastern boundaries of San Diego, National City and Chula Vista is still to be set by the Highway Commission, according to Jacob Dekema, district engineer for the state Division of Highways.
Dekema said the Beltline freeway will be the ultimate connecting link between U. S. Highway 80, U. S. Highway 395, state Route 94 and Wabash freeway, and also will carry the heavy north-south traffic of U. S. Highway 101.
More than seven million dollars have been spent to secure rights-of-way through the city for the supplementary crosstown freeway. Clearing of buildings along the city route is well under way.
The crosstown freeway will angle south from Laurel Street to Date Street, then curve north into Balboa park, and head south again on 18th Street.
March 2, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-18:1. “Karakui,” black Persian lamb was born yesterday at San Diego Zoo (illus.).
March 5, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-4:5. 11th annual ______ Show opens tomorrow for a 10-day run in Electric Building.
March 9, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-15:4. San Diego Taxpayers’ Association says proposal to convert Ford Building to a community center with facilities for conventions merits investigation.
March 11, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-1:1. Mayor Charles Dail reelected mayor with vote of 43,205.
March 12, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-10:6. Orangutan baby makes bow at San Diego Zoo.
March 14, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-1:3. “Fiesta for People” slated September 5-19.
March 16, 1957, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-2:4. Mary Jane Richert, president Balboa Park Mounted Troop, fears trails in park will be eliminated.
March 21, 1959, San Diego Union, A-18. Botanical Building opens in park Saturday (illus.)
Balboa Park’s Botanical Building, closed since 1951, is scheduled for public opening next Saturday after a $68,069 renovation.
It will feature 370 permanent displays and several special collections of plants, W. Allen Perry, city park superintendent, said yesterday.
The building, supervised by David R. Roberts, nursery foreman for the Park and Recreation Department, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except Mondays.
The renovation project included replacement of lattice work, restoring the irrigation system, and rebuilding plant beds, Perry said.
Roberts has spent 18 months developing the building’s horticultural displays at the Balboa Park Nursery. He said present exhibits will be young plants which will mature later. One hundred additional species will be added within a year, Roberts said.
Easter lilies will be featured in six display areas on opening day, Roberts said. He is planning displays of tuberous bigonias in early summer, chrysanthemums in October, and poinsettias for Christmas.
An outstanding feature of the permanent collection is a group of more than 60 species of fern which Roberts said would be one of the nation’s finest fern exhibits.
Contributors to the exhibits are: D. J. Hunter, Walter Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Lawson and R. R. Walker, all of San Diego; Howard W. Johnson of La Mesa; J. H. Gridlian of Arcadia; Horace Anderson of Leucadia, and the San Diego Camellia Society.
The Botanical Building was originally a Santa Fe Railroad Station. It was reassembled in Balboa Park for the 1915 Exposition.
March 23, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-1:3-8. Drive pushed to save bridle paths; freeway plans peril park trails.
March 23, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-4:1. San Diego Zoo boarders gulp 156 tons of bananas (illus.).
March 23, 1959, San Diego Union. From five years study a master plan will emerge; Balboa Park — programming for the future, by Gene Malott.
March 25, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-4:3. School supply firms, utility companies and publishers set up 99 displays in Federal Building during 4-day Conference of Elementary School Principals and Superintendents of Elementary School Districts.
March 26, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-1:1-2. San Diego Zoo to get three koala bears, by Joe Stone.
March 26, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-4:3. City Council sets discussion of Balboa Park civic hall.
March 28, 1959, San Diego Union, 13:4-5. Convention and Tourist Bureau to continue its efforts seeking early City Council allocation of Palisades area of Balboa Park for convention facilities.
March 29, 1959, San Diego Union, A-27. Preview of renovated Botanical Building, “originally a Santa Fe railroad station, it was reassembled for the 1915 Exposition in Balboa Park” (illus.).
March 30, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-3:5. Some 3,000 attended 29th annual Easter concert of Bonham Brothers Boys’ Band in Balboa Park Bowl yesterday afternoon.
March 30, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13. Key points in Christ’s life cited at Balboa Park rites yesterday by Dr. Mervin Rosell, an internationally known evangelist.
March 30, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13. Three thousand hear annual Easter concert of Bonham Brothers senior band yesterday, by Gene Malott.
March 31, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-14:1-2. City Council cancels civic hall talk; information not ready.
April 2, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-11:5. San Diego’s 3rd annual Autorama opens a 6-day run in Electric Building Tuesday.
April 2, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-30:1-2. Two hundred San Diego Zoo workers vote today on Teamsters Union representation.
April 3, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, C-1:1, C-12:1-3. Orchids will decorate Conference Building tomorrow and Sunday; roses will color and scent the same building on April 11 and 12.
April 4, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-12:5-8. Tom Lillard, Marine, has role of Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire” at Old Globe.
April 4, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-22:1. Autorama features cars, music.
April 6, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-5:1. Orchid Show in Conference Building sets award record.
April 7, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-19:1-2. “Fiesta del Pacifico” picks James Haugh as finance chairman.
April 7, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-2:3. R. M. Ireland protests plan to increase rates for golf.
April 8, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-8:4-6. Autorama attracts 4,000.
April 8, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-34:3. Jim Frampton calls Old Globe’s version of “A Streetcar Named Desire” stunning.
April 10, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-4:1-2. Glow dominates auto exhibit, by Lew Scarr.
April 10, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, C-1:1-2. Amateur rose event opens tomorrow, by George Dissinger.
April 13, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-4:1. Spring Fair of Modern Home Ideas April 24-29 in Electric Building.
April 16, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-9:5-6. Modern Home Ideas Appliance Show opens April 24.
April 17, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, C-1:4-6, C-10:1. Leon R. Burton, boss of trash collectors, says “We work to beautify city.”
April 19, 1959, San Diego Union, A-20. Old-fashioned gas lights to glow again at Home Fair in Electric Building Friday through April 29.
April 20, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-9:1-2. Four new koalas happy, snug in eucalyptus home in San Diego Zoo.
April 20, 1959, San Diego Union, B-15:5-7. Veterans of Foreign Wars installed officers in mass rite at Conference Building yesterday (illus.).
April 21, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-9:1. Kitchens to “parade” at Home Idea Show.
April 22, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:1-3. Gene E. Mallot writes article telling how land had been taken out of use in Balboa Park and how other attempts to take land had been nipped; 1953 charter provisions which would save land from non-park uses have had to be modified for purposes of highway construction.
April 23, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-4:5-6. Representatives of property owners in the Midway area yesterday protested city plans to operate a public works service yard at Midway Drive and West Point Loma Boulevard; City Manager Bean said the Public Works Department must move its operation from 20th and B Streets immediately to make way for Crosstown freeway.
April 24, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-17:1-2. Home Idea Fair to open tonight; 100 exhibits due and it’s all free.
April 24, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17. Runs 6 days . . . Appliance Fair to open today (illus.).
April 27, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-8:3. Seventy-five thousand see Spring Fair.
April 28, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-1:7-8, A-2:8. The executive committee of the Balboa Park Study Committee today listed six conditions it said should be attached to city acceptance of a plan for use of the Palisades area for an exposition center with convention facilities.
- Balboa Park traffic pattern, as originally recommended in a citizens committee report, must not be materially altered.
- The proposed facility should embody new construction above ground level in compliance with proper standards.
- It should be built to accommodate multi-purpose usage by the community, for non-convention purposes such as music and drama.
- The city and private businesses and industries should share the initial cost.
- Convention activity should not be allowed to disturb present neighboring activities — cultural, educational and recreational — in the park.
- Such convention use of the facility should be on a temporary basis until more adequate and appropriate facilities outside the park can be developed.
April 29, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-16:1-3. Midway area hits work yard plan, by Frank Stone.
April 29, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-1:3. “Scopp” gorilla notes first year of life at Children’s Zoo.
April 29, 1959, San Diego Union, A-15. Ford Building plan discussed; only temporary convention setup favored in park; survey group says Ford Building plan is not “last chance” to solve problem, by Roy C. Johns.
May 2, 1959, San Diego Union, B-16. EDITORIAL: Public Auditorium? Ford Building Holds Answer.
The proposal to convert the Ford Building in the Balboa Park Exposition area into a public auditorium should not be sidetracked.
It would be a serious mistake to let this issue, so vital to San Diego’s cultural, recreational and economic future, sink into a morass of endless debate. There are more “experts” on auditoriums and convention halls than there are on water.
The decision in the end, rests with our elected officials, the mayor and the City Council. Committees can report, planners can plan, and resolutions can urge and counter-urge, and it all comes back to the fact that somebody must act, a decision must be made and implemented.
This must be done on the basis of what San Diego needs. San Diego needs a public auditorium and the best way to get it is by converting the Ford Building. This can be done at a reasonable cost, without the necessity of a bond issue. This would dispose of a trying problem for a good number of years to come. Perhaps, someday San Diego will want a different, larger or better public auditorium than can be provided by conversion of the Ford Building.
But the possibility of getting it is even farther in the future. San Diego has been trying to get one — the perfect one — for 35 years, and nothing has happened yet.
The conversion of the Ford Building, actually a handsome and basically sound structure, will provide an auditorium that can be used for all purposes — cultural and recreational as well as for conventions.
San Diego has long needed an indoor auditorium that could serve as an alternate for the outdoor Balboa Park Bowl. Events could be staged in one or the other, depending on weather, size and desires of the public.
To say that a public auditorium which might be used for conventions is out of place in the park is not correct or realistic. Is the Balboa Bowl out of place? The Palisades area, of which the Ford Building is a part, was built as an Exposition center. Its buildings, including the Ford Building, were designed for the widest public use. The Federal Building was built for conversion into a theater.
There has been enough talk. Nothing more could be added. As to the future uses of the park, the larger interests of San Diego must be the prime consideration. To restrict all the Palisades area to limited uses, serving the interests of only a few people, would be unfair and undesirable. This area was and is an Exposition Center. Let’s make it help make San Diego a better and more prosperous city.
May 7, 1959, San Diego Union, A-19:8. The Fine Arts Society yesterday requested a $35,000 county budget appropriation; $25,000 more than it received from the county in the last fiscal year.
May 11, 1959, San Diego Union, A-19:1-2. Museum of Natural History gains exhibits of birds from the northern margin of the Mexican tropics.
May 12, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Jack Potter writes Ford Building not safe, sound.
May 14, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:3. The Chamber of Commerce yesterday urged the City Council to study feasibility of converting Ford Building into a convention hall.
May 17, 1959, San Diego Union, A-38:4. New Children’s Home on Kearny Mesa expected about July 15; move to new home necessitated by proposed crosstown freeway.
May 25, 1959, San Diego Union, A-18:1. Tenth annual All-Breed Obedience Test brought 100 dogs into competition yesterday in Balboa Park.
May 27, 1957, San Diego Union, B-16:1-2. Sportsmen’s Show opens in Electric Building today; admission for adults is 90 cents.
June, 1959, San Diego Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 8. 54, 100. Art of the City: University of San Diego, an architectural failure, by James Britton.
June 4, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:6-7. Flora Gates writes Ford Building going to waste.
June 10, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:8. Official dates of Fiesta del Pacifico will be September 4-19.
June 14, 1959, San Diego Union, C-1:1-8. Balboa Park converted into an International Conference area for the 12th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization Tuesday.
July, 1959, San Diego Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 9. Letter, Josephine S. Francisco, niece of Richard Requa, with corrections of James Britton’s article on University of San Diego in June concerning her uncle, who was neither Catholic nor Spanish.
July 5, 1959, San Diego Union, E-1, E-3. Expanded Shakespeare Festival “Going Equity” for first time.
July 10, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:5-6, A-24:1. Park called perfect for world talks.
“I have never seen a site more fitting for a conference complex,” Rotary Club members were told yesterday by Nicholas W. Orloff, an interpreter for the International Civic Aviation Organization assembly which ended yesterday at Balboa Park.
July 10, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:3-5, A-24:2. Delegates and officials to the 12th International Civil Aviation Organization assembly yesterday heaped praise on San Diego’s hospitality and its facilities for meetings.
July 12, 1959, San Diego Union, A-11;7-8. Super-roads will be stamped on old landmarks; interchange due by park; big freeway “stack” to rise at 11th, Date; bidding near (drawing)..
July 16, 1959, San Diego Union, A-28:1-2. Albatross added to San Diego Zoo collection.
July 17, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:5. Crown parkway ruling expected soon.
July 22, 1959, San Diego Union, A-6:5-6. Johnny Green, composer and conductor, will be director-conductor of the 8-day Fiesta del Pacifico show in Westgate Park.
July 23, 1959, San Diego Union, A-12:1-2. Singer Peggy Lee and the Kingston Trio will head a two and one-half day Fiesta del Pacifico show called “Stars Over the Pacific” in Westgate Park, September 8-15.
July 30, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-1:1, A-2:4. Roads Snag Master Plan, by Charles Keely.
Robert Horn, project manager for Bartholomew & Associates
Recent metropolitan area transit study showed that on a weekday more than 15,000 cars used Park Boulevard and Laurel Street in the park; 75 percent of these cars are not park bound.
Planned improvements will take 85 of the park’s 1400 acres for freeway systems.
Horn said Balboa Park is now a city within a city, and he doesn’t like it. “We want this place to be a park and not a little city. We want scenery, and a place for passive recreation away from the noise and hurry of the city.”
Cabrillo Freeway – widen between Date and Laurel Streets; Switzer Canyon Road – 40 acres; Crosstown Freeway – 40 acres; Upas Street crossing – 5 acres.
July 30, 1959, San Diego Union, A-47:4-6. San Diego Zoo group favors aquarium.
August 2, 1959, San Diego Union. Dahlia show in Conference Building.
August 3, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:3. Six Children’s Zoo exhibits dedicated.
A plaque and six new exhibits, including a cantilever domed children’s outdoor theater, were dedicated at the Children’s Zoo in Balboa Park yesterday.
The plaque is inscribed with the names of individuals and firms who have donated $100 or more to the Children’s Zoo, which was opened in 1957.
Fred Kunsel, president of the San Diego Zoological Society, dedicated the plaque. It is located near the zoo exit.
Exhibits included the Col. Henry B. Clark Children’s Theater, the Mrs. Elsa Koenig Memorial Clock, situated near the theater, a turtletorium, financed by donations of Oscar’s employees and management in San Diego; a lath house of planting displays, paid for by the Pacifico Junior Women’s Club; the Sherwood Wheaton drinking fountain, and a toucan exhibit, financed by contributions of zoo employees.
The new exhibits bring the total outlay at the Children’s Zoo to about $200,000. It covers one and one half acres, and is designed for youngsters 3 o 10 years old.
The theater, with its cantilever dome roof, will seat 200. All facilities in the zoo have been financed with donations and plans include more exhibits as contributions are received.
Heavy crowds watched the dedication ceremonies yesterday.
August 4, 1959, San Diego Union, A-15:8, A-21:4. Park projects for two years total 1.6 million.
August 14, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:2-3. San Diego Zoo’s “Scoop,” two and one-half year old gorilla, dies after short life.
August 14, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. Lee Shippey, returning to San Diego County after an absence of 30 years, considers Balboa Park “a service center for the entire area.”
August 16, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. One hundred thousand may join downtown Paseo; pre-Fiesta event, August 24, to feature selection of queen, street dancing.
August 21, 1959, San Diego Union, A-19:7. City Council acts to raise tax on property; $450,000 added to budget total in steps toward setting $1.80 rate.
August 23, 1959, San Diego Union, A-9:1-3. Navy expert calls expansion of San Diego hospitals vital, by Bryant Evans.
August 23, 1959, San Diego Union, D-5:1-2. Fiesta events.
August 23, 1959, San Diego Union, G-3:1. Gala warmup scheduled for Fiesta.
August 24, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:1. Dogs have their day at Balboa Park show, 6th Avenue and Palm Street, yesterday.
August 24, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:7. Paseo fills Broadway tonight.
August 24, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2. EDITORIAL: Paseo and Fiesta — Past Helps Our Future.
August 25, 1959, San Diego Union, A-1:2-3. Carolina Aurora Teran, 21, Panama beauty, queen of Fiesta.
August 25, 1959, San Diego Union, A-11:7, A-12:1. Gala downtown Paseo sets Fiesta stage; thousands frolic on Broadway, by E. G. Martin.
August 26, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:3. The City Council yesterday adopted a policy for leasing portions of Mission Bay Park to non-profit organizations which will be reflected in a rent increase for groups such as yacht clubs.
August 28, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:5. The City Council yesterday voted to permit Scripps Memorial Hospital to use 40 acres of pueblo lands on Torrey Pines Mesa for hospital expansion.
August 31, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13:6-8, A-20:1-3. Car show in Organ Pavilion; hobby fair in Federal Building draw thousands to Balboa Park.
September 4, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13:2-4. The 1959 Fiesta del Pacifico will open tonight with a dedication program at 8 p.m. in Organ Pavilion.
September 4, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. EDITORIAL: Fiesta Time in San Diego.
September 5, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13:4-5. “Viva la Fiesta”; revelry begins amid fireworks.
September 6, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:4-5, A-18:1-2. Queen of Fiesta crowned at ball in Organ Pavilion; Carolina Aurora Teran of Panama City dons diadem before 2,000 in park.
September 7, 1959, San Diego Union, A-9:7-8. Twelve hundred salute Fiesta today in gay parade.
September 7, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:1-4. “Stars Over Pacific”; Fiesta spectacle polished in park.
September 8, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:7-8, A-23:1-2. Two hundred thousand cheer colorful Fiesta parade; twelve hundred participate; event is termed “biggest ever”; units pass reviewing stand for hour and thirty-five minutes.
September 9, 1959, San Diego Union, A-15:1-2, A-18:1. Five thousand applaud “Stars Over Pacific”; two-hour show at Westgate Park includes singing, Spanish dancing.
September 9, 1959, San Diego Union, A-20:5-6. “Deer Hunters Night” meeting set for War Memorial Building tomorrow night.
September 10, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:1-2. A record 6,500 persons attended the unusual Tijuana musical review celebrating Inter-American Day at the Fiesta del Pacifico in Organ Pavilion last night.
September 10, 1959, San Diego Union, A-26:1-2. Zoological Society reelects directors; Society now has 3,000 members; an estimated 1,800,000 persons now visit the San Diego Zoo each year, of which 65 percent come from out of the county; Zoo has 280 employees.
September 15, 1959, San Diego Union, A-18:4-6. “Stars Over Pacific” closes run tonight.
September 16, 1959, San Diego Union, A-11:8. The first report on a proposed master plan for Balboa Park will be presented to the City Council tomorrow at 2 p.m. conference.
September 17, 1959, San Diego Union, A-19:1-2. “Pops” concert due in Westgate Park; musical finale set for Fiesta.
September 18, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:5-8. Preliminary draft from Harland Bartholomew and Association Balboa Park plan received by City Council; 13 Balboa Park buildings labeled unfit; Firm rejects Ford Unit as convention hall; Proposes new auditorium, by Roy C. Johns.
Removal of replacement of 13 buildings in El Prado and Palisades areas of Balboa Park was recommended yesterday to the City Council. The report said 11 other buildings should be retained.
Among the 13 buildings labeled unfit is the Ford Building. Conversion of the structure would be “an inconvenient, inadequate and uneconomic solution to the convention center problem,” the report said.
The council received a preliminary draft from Harland Bartholomew & Associates, St. Louis planning firm, on its suggestions for alternate uses of the buildings. Yesterday’s report was the first leading to the firm’s recommendations of a master plan for the park. The master plan is due in a year.
The Convention and Tourist Bureau has proposed the Ford Building be converted to provide a convention facility. The bureau’s request for an early answer on its proposal led to the council asking the Bartholomew firm for an early report on the Palisades area.
Eldridge Lovelace, a partner in the St. Louis firm retained by the city for the $35,000 study, made the presentation.
Lovelace said 11 of the 24 major buildings and groups in the two areas should be retained. He said that three others should be removed and reconstructed along similar lines, but of permanent construction, and 10 should be demolished between now and 1970. He said new structures will be proposed for the sites of some of the buildings recommended for razing.
Lovelace said his firm based its study on two basic considerations: 1. What is, or is not, appropriate park use? 2. That use of buildings must follow standards of the city building codes.
He said three alternate uses for a renovated Ford Building were considered. In addition to a 5,000-seat convention center, they were for a new museum of science and industry and for a relocated museum of man.
Lovelace estimated that conversion of the Ford Building to a 5,000-seat convention center would cost $2,108,000. He said that for $1,953,000 San Diego could construct a new 5,000-seat coliseum similar to that built in Charlotte, N. C., and that for $1,300,000 it could build an auditorium of that size with a geodesic dome.
In addition, Lovelace said, San Diego needs a new convention facility with seating for at least 6,000 persons. He said the area around the Ford Building is too small for such use.
A converted Ford Building convention center would be a “makeshift” arrangement, Lovelace said, but he doubted that it would be temporary. He pointed to the number of structures now in the park which were built for the 1915 exposition and intended for two years’ use but are still standing.
- Said his firm’s master plan proposal would be ready in about a year.
- Praised the “charm” of the Prado area. He attributed this charm to uniform architecture, the arcades and mature landscaping. He said the architectural unity should be retained in any new building three and recommended reconstruction of the arcades.
- Said no money should be spent on improving Balboa Park Bowl until the new freeway is completed to be sure the nearby interchange would not make the bowl unusable because of noise.
- Said Balboa Park is among the city’s biggest tourist attractions and is now making a major contribution to the city’s economy.
- Recommended closing Laurel Street to traffic through the park and replacing it with two roads, one north and one south of the Prado.
- Said that new construction in the park should be of a permanent nature using masonry (concrete, stone or plastered brick).
- Said that Balboa Park has 1,100 acres of effective park area and that whatever is done in one part of the park affects the entire park.
September 18, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:2 Convention Hall site issue raised; Where?
“Where would they build it?”
Jerry Crary, manager of the Convention and Tourist Bureau said that if Harland Bartholomew & Associates considers the Ford Building an unfeasible site for a convention hall he wants to know where it would be feasible.
“It isn’t perfect, but it’s so much better than anything we could build there that there isn’t any comparison,” Crary said of the bureau’s proposal to convert the Ford Building into a convention center.
“If not the Ford Building then what, where, when and now will be convention center we need be financed?” Crary said.
Crary said there is a difference between the Bartholomew reports and cost estimates his group received for converting the Ford Building.
“I feel this is a very thoughtful, thorough report,” Dr. Douglas McElfresh, chairman of the 1957 Balboa Park Citizens Study Committee, said yesterday. “Now I think we should all have a chance to study it.”
September 18, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:3-4, A-23:1. Planners’ findings on park summarized.
Here is a summary of the Harland Bartholomew & Associates recommendations on Balboa Park buildings, with the construction date of the buildings in parenthesis:
Ford Building (1935): 60,000-square-foot structure is considered unsuitable for further use without major repairs costing more than construction of a suitable new building . . . should be torn down and the site developed into a pedestrian overlook . . . southern basement can be retained for Balboa Park Bowl storage.
Conference Building (1935): Should be removed by 1970 and preferably by 1965 . . . until then should not be used for public assembly purposes but can be used for activities having a low-occupancy demand.
Palisades Building (1935): Should be removed not later than 1970 and preferably by 1965 . . . until then its use should be restricted to Park and Recreation Department uses of the recital hall and puppet theater . . . craft center should be moved to a fireproof building outside of Balboa Park.
Balboa Park Club (1915 and 1935): Present uses, except convention gatherings, are appropriate to the park and should be provided for . . . the present building should be removed not later than 1970 and preferably by 1965 . . . it should then be replaced with a similar facility constructed of permanent materials.
Floral Association Building (1915): Has an interminable life expectancy . . . when vacated by association move to large quarters this building should be made available to the House of Pacific Relations.
Photo Arts Building (1935): Has an interminable life expectancy . . . when vacated, as expected, by Association of Camera Clubs, it should be allocated to the House of Pacific Relations.
House of Pacific Relations (1935): a group of 15 modified Spanish colonial bungalows sufficiently sound to be retained in their present use indefinitely.
Federal Building (1935): Should be converted to provide new quarters for the Museum of Man. Such conversion would cost an estimated $35,000 . . . suggested conversion to a 2,500-seat theater is not considered practical because of the $1,152,000 cost and the fact that a municipal theater for San Diego should seat 3,000-3,500.
Municipal Gymnasium (1935): Present use is appropriate for Balboa Park but should be relocated in a new fire resistant structure in Morley Field area . . . present building should be removed prior to 1970 thus permitting the improvement of Balboa Park Bowl and increasing parking facilities.
Balboa Park Bowl (1935): Should be retained and improved for use indefinitely . . . improvements should include new stage facilities, theater-type seating, encircling arcades, adequate screen planting, new restrooms and concession facilities, more direct access from major thoroughfares, more accessible and expanded parking facilities and possibly a retractable roof.
THE PRADO AREA
Administration Building (1915): Should be removed between next year and 1965 . . . site should be appropriately landscaped to improve the approach to the California Quadrangle . . . present use as administrative headquarters for Park and Recreation Department is inappropriate for the park.
California Quadrangle (1915): Now occupied by Museum of Man which should be removed to the remodeled Federal Building . . . not suitable for museum purposes . . . building is architecturally significant and structurally sound . . . Rotunda could be converted into a 500-700 seat “theater in the round” at a cost of $80,000 . . . Gallery would make two small experimental theaters . . . St. Francis Chapel, workshop and boardroom would be retained for those uses.
Old Globe Theater (1935 with more recent additions): Theater has expected life between 10 and 20 years . . . should be retained until maintenance costs become excessive and then reconstructed with permanent materials, preserving the present architectural theme . . . Old Curiosity Shop and Falstaff Tavern have an indeterminate life.
The Medical Arts Building and American Legion Building were mentioned only briefly because they are already slated for demolition to permit additions to the Fine Arts Gallery.
Fine Arts Gallery (1925): Present use in compatible . . . present building has an interminable residual life and with the planned additions should be retained for the use.
Botanical Building (1915 and reconstructed last year): Should continue its present use indefinitely . . . A new glass house should be built.
Food and Beverage Building (1915): Too worn out to justify any major repair . . . is a major hazard to its present occupants, records and equipment and to adjacent buildings, landscaping and zoo animals . . . should be demolished as soon as city engineering divisions, now located there, can be moved outside the park.
Spanish Village (1935): Use is considered appropriate and should be continued . . . structures have an interminable life expectancy.
Natural History Museum (1933): Structurally sound and in good state of repair . . . continue present use indefinitely . . . park master plan should designate an area for expansion of this museum.
Electric Building (1915): Early removal should be planned, with demolition next year recommended . . . A major hazard to the public safety . . . trade shows now held there are inappropriate use for Balboa Park . . . site should be appropriately landscaped until it is feasible to locate a new building there.
House of Hospitality (1915): Present structure has a residual life of five to 10 years . . . should be reconstructed with a similar, if not identical appearance in permanent materials . . . this reconstruction should be undertaken no later than 1970 and preferably by 1965 . . . Patio and Del Rey Moro gardens should be preserved intact during the reconstruction.
Spreckels Organ Pavilion (1915): Should be retained indefinitely . . . master plan should provide for additional landscaping to increase the amount of afternoon shade.
House of Charm (1915): Should be removed at an early date, preferably by 1960 and certainly no later than 1965.
September 18, 1959, San Diego Union, A-23:4. Consultant Tells Center’s Needs
The planning firm which yesterday said a converted Ford Building in Balboa Park would be “an inconvenient, inadequate and uneconomic solution” to San Diego’s convention center problem did have some recommendations on what such a center should be.
However, the report of Harland Bartholomew & Associates did not say where such a center should be, other than to say it should not be in Balboa Park.
The center should have at least 6,000 seats and should be on a site large enough to permit ultimate construction of a 3,000-3,500-seat civic theater-concert hall and a 10,000-11,000-seat arena. It should have parking for 6,000-7,000 cars, the firm reported.
The convention hall itself should have about 75,000 square feel of exhibit space around or below its auditorium, according to the Bartholomew report.
The Convention & Tourist Bureau proposal for conversion of the 60,000-square-foot Ford Building proposes seating capacity for 5,000. The Palisades area now has parking for 1,008 cars.
September 18, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:4-5. Six weekend events to bid Fiesta “adios.”
September 19, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:4, A-24:1-2. Planners’ rejection of Ford Building arouses criticism; restudy due on site.
C J Paderewski, of Paderewski, Mitchell and Dean, surveyed Ford Building for Convention and Tourist Bureau, which, according to Harry Foster, a contractor and vice-president of the tourist bureau, wanted a 2.0 million convention hall to last 15-20 years; Paderewski, who said he agreed with the Bartholomew Plan as a whole, recommended Ford Building be rehabilitated into a 5,000-seat public assembly hall for 1.6 million.
September 20, 1959, San Diego Union, C-2:1-3. EDITORIAL: All Important Public Opinion Omitted from Report Suggesting the Razing (of Ford Building) — “Has the Exposition Center Had a Fair Trial?”
The preliminary Bartholomew Report on what to do about Balboa Park contains, in general, nothing particularly new. It should be considered for what it seems to be: A series of old suggestions packaged as a master plan.
But the report did cause an initial shock, for in putting together many suggested changes, it for the first time offered a glimpse of a park radically changed from what the people have known and loved.
San Diegans long have realized that some of its world-famed old park buildings are going to be torn down. Some are to be replaced by equally beautiful buildings now in or nearing the design stage. Others will have to be torn down in the future, if, of course, the deterioration is deliberately allowed to progress as it has all these years. The sad truth is that many of them are being allowed to crumble through planned neglect.
The Ford Building is an example of a structure which has been allowed to deteriorate. Each passing year, if nothing it done, it will be easier and easier to argue it must be razed.
This report assumes the decision of what should be done with the entire Palisades area, of which the Ford Building is the key. This is the Exposition Center which was created for the 1935-36 Exposition and its buildings were largely designed for the future general uses along somewhat the same lines. This report recommends the breaking up of the Exposition Center, including razing of the Ford Building and four other structures, replacing one, but in general substituting more parking and landscaped area.
This recommendation goes right to the heart of the error of the whole report. Whether the Palisades area should be continued as an Exposition Center, for wide civic and organizational uses and for development of San Diego as an international convention city, is a decision that belongs to the people of San Diego.
This decision should have been made first. It should have been made by the City Council, by civic organizations, and with the full understanding of the people, and then the experts could have been called in to implement what San Diego really wanted.
A lot of time has been lost, and San Diego’s opportunity as an international host city is slipping away. Let’s get on ourselves with the first task at hand, the preservation of the Ford Building. The rest can wait.
September 20, 1959, San Diego Union, C-2:7. Teresa Fink, 12 years old, writes criticism of the Shakespeare Festival this summer is undeserved.
September 23, 1959, San Diego Union, A-15:5-6, A-18:4-6. Tell-tale Japanese fighter leaves San Diego today for an Air Force Museum; said to be the only Zero recovered intact by U. S. forces.
September 24, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:1-2. Routings adopted for Highway 101.
September 24, 1959, San Diego Union, A-28:1-2. Woman reports Balboa Park rape.
September 24, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Don Campbell writes Balboa Park report spotlights “lack of coordination and integration in our metropolitan planning efforts.”.
September 30, 1959, San Diego Union, A-23:4-5. Howard Chernoff heads Zoological Society.
October 2, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:8. Public hearing slated on Ford Building called for October 15.
“I think the Ford Building has stood there long enough,” Mayor Dail said. “Either we put it to some use or dispose of it.”
The mayor said any use of the building for conventions would have to be on a temporary basis and for limited use. He said limited parking spaces in the Palisades area would make evening use of the building impractical.
October 3, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1. San Diego Zoo’s A Treat For The Blind . . . members of the San Diego Braille Club visited the Zoo yesterday; Zoo personnel escorted the visitors on a bus tour of the zoo and concluded with a walking tour through the Children’s Zoo.
October 6, 1959, San Diego Union, A-20:1. Woman raped in Balboa Park, police report.
October 12, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:1. EDITORIAL: Convention Hall Stall.
The conclusion reached by the St. Louis group was not one based on irrefutable facts but on opinion and preference. It was their conclusion this building should be torn down to make way for a scenic viewpoint and conferences and conventions not be held in the Palisades area. It would seem this is a decision that must rest with the people of San Diego and their elected representatives on the City Council.
October 12, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:7. R. E. Fleming writes: “Why should it be necessary to destroy the most substantially built structure in the park in order to obtain our badly needed public hall? Why not spend $100,000 in rehabilitating it for our civic requirements until an auditorium can be constructed commensurate with metropolitan demands. Thereafter, it could be used for the activities of our teenagers.
October 15, 1959, San Diego Union, A-22:1-3. Dail predicts Ford Building decision soon; future eyed at hearing.
Chief spokesman against the rehabilitation proposal was J. Colin Hodge, a member of the Balboa Park Citizens Study Committee, which opposed convention facilities in the park. He received support from the city Park and Recreation Commission, and a number of individuals, including John L. Bacon, Frank Swain and Frank Seifert, former City Council members.
October 15, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. Appliance Show will start November 27; 100 exhibitors to present models at 6-day event in Electric Building.
October 16, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:8, A-22:1-3. Ford Building decision soon; future eyed at public hearing.
October 18, 1959, San Diego Union, A-28:1-3. United Nations Week Starts Today.
October 18, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:1-8. Kate Sessions and San Diego, by Charles Hull, first to two articles.
October 18, 1959, San Diego Union, E-2:1-4. Roundup of Art: Park Gallery Is Nucleus of Numerous Exhibitions By A Variety Of Artists, by Dr. Armin Kietzmann.
October 19, 1959, San Diego Union, A-15:1-2. The Monday Question: Convention Hall Opinions Divided.
October 22, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2. Letter, A. O. Nelson, saying Ford Building should be remodeled for convention use.
Why should a city the size of San Diego find it necessary to go outside for help at big expense to tell us what should be done or not be done with the future of Balboa Park and a convention center?
I believe we have many civic-minded men and women in the city that would help, consider, suggest and develop what is best for the future of our park and convention center.
Today, as the park stands with its beautiful buildings and our adjoining zoo, it is a real asset to San Diego and vicinity.
I believe it is time the men and women of this city demand that the suggested destruction of 12 buildings be given no consideration other than to make them save for future use. . . . I believe the Ford Building should be remodeled for convention use. We have vacant land within the park that can be used for new buildings without destroying our park as we now see it.
October 23, 1959, San Diego Union, 19:1. City Council sets conference on Ford Building for Tuesday at 2 p.m.
October 25, 1959, San Diego Union, B-3:1-4. Kate Sessions: “Generous, Talented,” by Charles Hull, second of two articles.
October 27, 1959, San Diego Union, A-15:1-2. Goya Painting Left To San Diego Gallery
A will bequeathing painting, “Lady With a Fan,” by Goya to the San Diego Fine Arts Society was found yesterday in the New York apartment of Mrs. Lillian Timken.
October 28, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13:4. City Council orders Convention Hall finance study.
The City Council yesterday directed the city attorney’s office to study four possible ways of financing a convention hall.
The council agreed to resume its conference November 24 on the city’s convention needs and possible rehabilitation of the Ford Building in Balboa Park as a temporary answer.
“This shows that we’re going to face up to the problem, even though the answer may not be the Ford Building,” Mayor Dail said.
The council asked the attorney’s office to determine if a convention hall could be built with private capital and operated by the city under either a long-term lease or a lease-purchase agreement.
Councilman Frank Curran suggested the city study the possibility of a “minimum” rehabilitation of the Ford Building so it could be used temporarily for conventions without stifling efforts toward providing an adequate new convention center elsewhere.
Russell Johnson, public relations director for the Convention and Tourist Bureau, which as proposed the rehabilitation, said a program such as suggested by Curran would provide seating for 3,700.
Estimates for the Ford Building rehabilitation suggested by the bureau have averaged about 2 million dollars.
“I do not have sufficient information yet for spending 2 million dollars of the public’s money for a temporary facility,” Councilman George Kerrigan said.
Both Curran and Councilman Chester Schneider said they oppose razing the Ford Building — as recommended in the preliminary report of Harland Bartholomew and Associates — and feel it should be used for some purpose.
The Bartholomew firm, St. Louis planning consultants hired by the city to prepare a master plan proposal for the park, has reported that the park is not a proper location for a convention facility.
It also reported that a new facility more adequate than a rehabilitated Ford Building could be constructed for less than the rehabilitation cost.
October 28, 1959, San Diego Union, B-2:8. Ruth C. Smith writes “Let us endeavor to keep commercial groups and business out of the park. The convention hall is not for a park.”
October 29, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:5-6. Mrs. Lillian Timken, 78, Hid From World.
November, 1959, San Diego Magazine, Vol 12, No. 1, 106-112. How Good is The Bartholomew Report? by James Britton.
November 3, 1959, San Diego Union, B-8:2. Canary Show Saturday and Sunday in Electric Building.
November 4, 1959, San Diego Union, A-26:1-2. Two hyenas at San Diego Zoo from South Africa are the wrong kind.
November 6, 1959, San Diego Union, A-24:5-6. Rufus Choate, 88, calls Ford Building “a symbol of the industrial wealth that built San Diego.”
November 6, 1959, San Diego Union, A-25:1-2. The Contillionaires, a San Diego round dance group, will appear at Balboa Park Bowl Sunday afternoon (illus.).
November 11, 1959, San Diego Union, A-29:1-2. “Live It Up” at Old Globe.
November 16, 1959, San Diego Union, A-10:2-3. Fall appliance show begins November 28 in Electric Building.
November 16, 1959, San Diego Union, A-19:2-3. Tourists furnish most of San Diego Zoo’s funds.
November 17, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-1:5-8, A-2:1-2. Dr. Charles Schroeder estimates that San Diego Zoo needs to spend 5 million dollars in the next five years or so to keep up to date, by Frank Stone.
And Schroeder says he’s wondering where the money will come from.
He said the program will include removal of some obsolete and depreciated exhibits, and construction of new ones.
For example, Schroeder wants to take the great apes in the zoo from behind their bars and put them on moated islands, where they can be seen better.
The estimated five-million dollar cost of the program doesn’t include purchase of any new animals, Schroeder said. He said the zoo can’t carry out the program with its present revenues.
“I don’t know where we’re going to get the money, but the only way seems to be to raise the gate charge,” he said.
But if the present 75-cent gate charge for adults were raised, the majority of those paying it wouldn’t be from San Diego County.
A survey made this year by the zoo showed that between 65 and 70 percent of the visitors come from outside the county.
The zoo’s problem is that, except for some gifts, its only source of funds for capital improvements (and purchase of animals) comes from operating surpluses.
Schroeder said that in the last four years the zoo has accumulated about a half million dollars in surplus money from its operation.
This money is under control of the board of directors of the San Diego Zoological Society, which operates the zoo.
The society employs Schroeder and a staff of between 250 and 350 employees for the zoo operation. But Schroeder said the zoo property and the animals belong to the City of San Diego.
“Like most of the famous zoos of the world, we’ve found this to be the best method of operation,” Schroeder said.
Schroeder estimated that the zoo this year will have a revenue of about $2,138,000 and $1,933,968 in expenses.
The zoo’s sources of income include gate receipts, revenues from bus and guided tours, the restaurant, refreshment stands, gift and photo shops, and a property tax of two cents for each $100 assessed valuation for zoo maintenance, established in 1929.
Schroeder estimated that the tax will yield slightly more than $133,000 this year, or about 7 percent of the zoo’s income.
“This won’t quite pay for our water bill and the costs of feeding the animals,” Schroeder said.
He estimated it will cost $100,000 for animal feed, and up to $42,000 as payment to the city for water for the zoo.
Until 1956, the city paid the zoo’s water bill. In the following year, the city paid for half of it, and the zoo has paid the entire bill for the last two years.
Other sources of zoo income are proceeds from a trust fund of about $60,000 and gifts. The zoo also receives $12,500 a year from the county for its educational program.
Against this income, the zoo has its operating costs and a payroll of $1,100,000 a year, Schroeder said.
Out of its surplus funds, the zoo tries to spend about $50,000 a year for new animals, Schroeder said. These are purchase through correspondence with dealers, and are obtained through swaps with other zoos and as gifts.
“And through our purchases the zoo gives the City of San Diego between $300,000 and $350,000 a year in new equipment and buildings because anything of this type we buy, belongs to the city,” Schroeder said.
He said the zoo board approved projects totaling more than $800,000 for the present fiscal year. But there was money enough to finance only about $600,000 worth of these, he said.
Among the current projects will be a moving staircase from the mesa in the primate area to the canyon near the seal tank, Schroeder said, The escalator will be alongside the condor cage, he added.
November 18, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-8:1-6. San Diego Zoo’s busiest classroom in town, by Frank Stone (illus.).
Many of the visitors to the San Diego Zoo come to do more than just look at the animals.
They come to learn about them.
Of course, the zoo’s main service to San Diego is providing the largest collection of wild animals in the world.
But zoo officials say that so far as they know, the San Diego Zoo, in addition, has the most extensive educational program of any zoo in the world.
It’s an educational program that extends from nursery school to graduate college work and reaches far beyond the boundaries of San Diego.
Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth, founder of the zoo, inaugurated the program 29 years ago. The zoo itself pays for most of the program.
Through the zoo’s educational program, more than 45,000 San Diego city and county elementary school children see and learn about the zoo’s animals every year.
Every second grade student in the city schools system and most of those in second grades throughout the county are given a guided tour of the zoo yearly.
The city schools’ second grade youngsters are taken to the zoo in a 72-passenger bus purchased by the zoo. County second graders come to the zoo in their own buses.
The latest addition to the zoo’s program for youngsters is a series of classes for children under the geodesic dome of the Clark Children’s Theater in the Children’s Zoo.
There, children from nursery school through the third grade learn what animals eat, how they live, how they behave, and how to take care of their pets.
The teacher, Miss Patricia Kline, has movie and slide films to aid her instruction.
Dr. Charles Schroeder, zoo director, said the Children’s Zoo program still is experimental. This is its first year.
The zoo’s other full-time teacher, Mrs. Cynthia Ketchum, annually presents an illustrated lecture to every 4th, 5th and 6th grade class in the city schools on animals of North and South America.
More than 300 students enroll each year in the zoo’s summer program, also conducted by Mrs. Ketchum. It’s a six-week course of a two-hour lecture per week for children from 10 to 13.
Also, there are special tours for high school and college students.
The zoo conducts a special vocational training program for selected students interested in the medical and related biological sciences. The program is conducted in the zoo hospital.
Schroeder said students for the program are selected on recommendation of the city schools.
The school programs are available to public parochial, and private schools, Schroeder said.
At the top academic level, the zoo has a program of research grants for qualified scientists. The grants, usually for short terms, are awarded __________ of the San Diego Zoological Society.
Funds for the grants are donated by the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation. Schroeder said the grants aid studies in such fields as biochemistry, bacteriology, comparative anatomy, physiology, and pathology. The studies are carried out in the zoo’s research laboratory.
For example, one-month research grants were awarded this year to scientists from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California’s Davis campus, Schroeder said.
He said the zoo’s research facilities are made available to qualified scientists who receive financial support for research from other sources than the zoo’s study grants.
The zoo also has special programs for those who otherwise would not be able to enjoy the animal exhibits.
Handicapped children are admitted free and given special treatment, depending on their limitations.
If the children are crippled, young animals are brought to them, Schroeder said.
If they are deaf, visual material is used to teach them, and if they are blind, displays and animals are brought to them to touch, he said.
There is a similar program for the adult crippled. The blind are admitted free and given bus tours once a year. They can touch the animals at the Children’s Zoo, and guides describe the animals in the main zoo’s exhibits.
More than a thousand children from south of the border visit the zoo yearly on Mexican Children’s Day, Schroeder said. Another thousand or more enter free as part of the Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department’s summer program.
Other special school and youngsters’ groups are admitted free from outside San Diego, Schroeder said.
The free admission also applies to all children under 16, city, county and parochial school students, city and county employees and teachers and old age security card holders.
And the zoo is one of the city’s main welcome mats.
Schroeder said the zoo “rolls out the red carpet” and gives special tours for official guests of the city and the Harbor Department.
The Navy also frequently arranges special tours for visiting foreign officers, he said.
November 19, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-12:1-5. City’s tourists come to see San Diego Zoo, by Frank Stone.
Community leaders agree that the San Diego Zoo is one of this area’s greatest tourist attractions in addition to providing entertainment and education for San Diego County residents.
Leaders point to the fact that nearly 70 percent of the zoo’s two million visitors a year come from outside San Diego County, and 40 percent come from outside the state, as an indication of the tourist drawing power of the zoo.
- F. Coggan, vice president and manager of Convair-San Diego, and a member of the Board of Education, puts it this way:
“Our San Diego Zoo is one of the finest assets in San Diego. We have in the zoo a tremendous educational facility for both young and old.
“In turn, the zoo brings to our city a large number of people from other parts of the country and exposes these visitors to the city of San Diego, its climate and its industries.
“This results in many of these visitors returning to San Diego to live and to become part of our San Diego community and an integral part of our industrial picture.”
- E. Stauffer, president of the Convention and Tourist Bureau, said that, apart from its climate,
San Diego’s greatest tourist attraction is the zoo.
“We feature the zoo in all or publicity which is distributed throughout the United States,” Stauffer said. “And the fact that 40 percent of the zoo visitors are from out of state is important to our tourist industry.”
Stauffer noted that Los Angeles is planning a large zoo. “They have seen the importance of a zoo as a tourist attraction in San Diego,” he said.
Rear Admiral Charles C. Hartman, commandant of the 11th Naval District, said:
“I think the zoo is one of the nicest attractions we have here for our own personnel. And it’s just as great an attraction for visiting officers, both from the United States and from other countries. When they come here, we arrange tours, which always include the zoo.”
- M. Klauber, a member of the San Diego Zoological Society board of directors, emphasized the importance of both the zoo’s tourist attraction and educational value.
“The zoo is most important to the city of San Diego,” Klauber said. “Because people come here from outside this area, either primarily or entirely to see the zoo.
“It’s one of the city’s greatest drawing cards, especially among those who have children. The educational program is of great value, too. It’s a kind of education you can’t get anywhere else.”
Anderson Borthwick, another member of the Zoological Society board, said the zoo is one of San Diego’s best attractions.
“The fame of the zoo has spread worldwide,” Borthwick said.
“We can do only one thing with the zoo — we’ve got to improve it to keep it the best there is. I’m thoroughly behind Dr. Schroeder’s expansion program.
“I think that next to building a convention hall — and maybe in preference to a convention hall — the zoo comes tops.”
Dr. Charles Schroeder, zoo director, has said the zoo needs to spend five million dollars in the next five years or so to keep the zoo in top condition.
San Diego County’s leading educational superintendents cite the value of the zoo as an important part of the education of this area’s youngsters.
“The zoo is a tremendous resource for school youngsters to have an opportunity to see animals from other parts of the world,” said Dr. Cecil Hardesty, county superintendent of schools.
‘When we lived in the Los Angeles area, we brought our youngsters down to San Diego to see the zoo. San Diego is tremendously fortunate in having an educational and cultural institution of this kind which is known all over the world.”
Dr. Ralph Dailard, city schools superintendent, said:
“We think very highly of the zoo. It is an important contribution to the education of every child, particularly of those in the second grade level. It’s one of the elements in expanding their horizon. Contact with the zoo and its animals is important in their cultural development.”
The zoo has received hundreds of letters of appreciation from visitors from throughout the United States.
“I think you have the most wonderful and interesting zoo in the United States,” wrote Mrs. William R. Hennig, of Drexel Hill, Pa.
Jerome E. Plitt, of Pearl River, N. Y., wrote:
“I have in the past visited many zoos and museums, both as an adult and as a child, and I cannot recall any instances in my life when I have visited a point of culture and have been so completely fascinated.
“The knowledge that your organization provides for the youth of today and the citizens of tomorrow cannot be measured in intrinsic value, but rather must be considered of values beyond measurement.”
November 19, 1959, San Diego Union, A-50:1. San Diego Zoo adopts sea bird, a California Murre that purrs when glad (illus.).
November 21, 1959, San Diego Union, A-5:3. Thanksgiving rite in Balboa Park.
November 21, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6. Duke, three-ounce Masai lion cub, born at San Diego Zoo Thursday (illus.).
November 24, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-2:1-2. EDITORIAL: San Diego’s World-Famed Zoo is Multiple Community Asset.
Mention the San Diego Zoo to some people and they immediately think of animals — from the stately flamingoes near the entrance to the bears showing off in front of their grottoes in the leafy canyon below the mesa . . .
Or the enchanting Children’s Zoo, of course, where young and old alike can walk among and handle the smaller animals.
To some the zoo is all of this, plus an incomparable collection of plants . . . exotic ferns and flowers.
The zoo is all of these things, to be sure. But it also is much more, as a recent Evening Tribune story series suggested.
At the head of the list, perhaps, is the fact that the world-famed San Diego Zoo is one of the most magnetic tourist attractions we have.
Of great importance, although less well known, is the zoo’s function as an educational institution.
On still another count, the zoo is a sizable capital asset for the city of San Diego and its residents that is continually increasing in value.
All of these different sides of our zoo should be understood in order to appreciate the importance of current plans and hopes for improving the value and attractiveness of this asset in the future.
Dr. Charles Schroeder, zoo director, estimates that the zoo should spend a million dollars a year over the next five years or so to keep this attraction in top condition.
Where will the money come from? Schroeder doesn’t know. But he says he’s sure of one thing: It won’t come from a bond issue or any kind of funded debt.
This brings up an interesting aspect of our zoo, that should appeal to all taxpayers. The zoo not only is one of our most valuable assets, moneywise, it is a bargain for all the services it provides.
San Diego property owners pays 2 cents on every $100 of assessed valuation for zoo maintenance. This year Schroeder estimates that the tax will bring in about $133,000 — about 7 percent of the zoo’s income, and not quite enough to pay the water bill and the costs of feeding the animals.
Main sources of income are gate receipts, revenues from bus and guided tours, the restaurant and refreshment stands, souvenir shops and gifts. A trust fund provides about $60,000 a year, and the county pays $12,500 for its educational program.
Tourists are a major arm of support. Last year nearly 70 percent of the zoo’s two million visitors came from outside San Diego County, and 40 percent of those from outside the state.
Tourists who came here primarily to visit the zoo contribute substantially to our over-all economy.
Their support, along with the other sources of revenues, helps the zoo fulfill its educational function — from free tours for school children to advanced vocational work in medical and related biological sciences.
And the zoo in turn adds between $300,000 and $350,000 yearly in new equipment and buildings — capital assets that become the property of San Diego.
The zoo — just animals” Not by a giraffe’s neck!
November 25, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-4:1-2. Appliance Show in Electric Building slates novelties; official opening at 7 p.m. Friday (illus.).
November 25, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-4:4. One thousand lights will be strung on a 50-foot Community Christmas tree in Balboa Park Friday; Christmas Center, near the Organ Pavilion, will open December 6.
November 27, 1959, San Diego Union, A-1:3. Plane lands in Balboa Park; pilot ran out of fuel (illus.).
November 27, 1959, San Diego Union, C-1:1-6. Santa will ride an electric sleigh; show opens tonight in Balboa Park.
November 28, 1959, San Diego Evening Tribune, A-2:4-5. About 20,000 persons swarmed through the Electric Building for the opening of the 26th annual Electric and Home Appliance Show last night (illus.).
Not only are there scores of new electrical appliances but many new gas appliances are on display in the Palace of Gas at the show.
November 28, 1959, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6, A-14:8. Home Show opens in Yule sparkle (illus.).
November 30, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:3-5. Tree growing in Balboa Park near intersection of Date Street and 9th Avenue given to Imperial Beach for Christmas tree; in path of freeway.
November 30, 1959, San Diego Union, B-9:3. Floral Show December 11-13 in Floral Building.
December 3, 1959, San Diego Union, 1:1. Directors advised to drop Fiesta del Pacifico; lack of interest cited in proposal by executive board.
December 3, 1959, San Diego Union, B-24:1. Officials of the Zoological Society will meet with the City Council today to discuss a recent council suggestion that tax support for the zoo be withdrawn.
December 4, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:2-3. San Diego Zoo to present outlay program; officials promise figures to counter proposal for eliminating city tax.
San Diego Zoo officials yesterday promised the City Council a complete master plan of their projected capital outlay program and a financial analysis of zoo operations.
The zoo officials made the promise at the request of Councilman Chester Schneider, who has suggested that it might be feasible to withdraw tax support for the zoo.
Howard Chernoff, president of the zoo’s Board of Trustees, was spokesman for the five zoo officials who appeared at yesterday’s council conference to give reasons why the zoo tax of two cents should be continued.
Chernoff said a continuing program of capital improvements is needed to keep the zoo a popular tourist attraction. He said 70 percent of the zoo’s two million annual visitors come from outside San Diego County.
He warned of the competition with local tourist business of a proposed Los Angeles zoo, if San Diego does not continue to maintain its zoo as the “Greatest in the World.”
Chernoff said the zoo is forced to restrict its school children’s educational programs to second-grade students. He said he would like to see annual visits for sixth-graders and high school students as well.
“If you need money and can prove it, who’s going to say no,” Schneider said. “If you prove it, I’ll be glad to withdraw my suggestion.”
A vote of San Diego citizens would be necessary to remove the zoo tax from the city charter.
December 4, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:4. C. J. Paderewski, architect, submitted plan for rehabilitation of Ford Building at cost of one million.
C J Paderewski reported to City Council that Ford Building could be converted into a fire-safe structure seating 3,750 at a cost of 1.0 million to 1.1 million.
Paderewski said the seating capacity and cost of the rehabilitated structure were reduced by eliminating the previously proposed mezzanine. He said laminated wood, less costly than steel and fire-resistant, could be used for the roof.
The architect said the present building shell could be encircled with metal studs and plastered. With a sprinkler system this would provide a one-hour fire resistancy. His cost figures include air conditioning. The building’s auditorium, with removable seats, would be ringed with exhibit areas.
Aaron Reese, assistant city attorney, told the council, in answer to a question, that the city could lease the Ford Building to an organization on a 5-year basis to rehabilitate the structure and operate it.
Councilman Schneider suggested financing the work from the city’s capital outlay fund and repaying the fund with proceeds from a suggested 4 percent hotel-motel tax. A city study indicates such a tax would produce enough revenue to pay for the rehabilitation in 3 years.
December 6, 1959, San Diego Union, A-19:4-5. New baby gorilla to arrive San Diego Zoo today (illus.).
December 7, 1959, San Diego Union, A-21:5-6, A-24:4-5. Gorilla arrives as Christmas gift (illus.).
December 7, 1959, San Diego Union, A-30:4. One thousand view Yule display at Christmas center, Balboa Park (illus.).
December 8, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:7-8. New San Diego Zoo gorillas put in quarantine.
December 9, 1959, San Diego Union, 17:1-3. City Council rejects plan to rehabilitate Ford Building; will wait for completion of Balboa Park Master Plan.
Mayor Dail’s attempt to lead the City Council toward rehabilitation of the Ford Building as a convention hall was rejected by a 5-1 council vote yesterday in conference.
Instead, the council agreed it should wait until Harland Bartholomew and Associates, St. Louis planning firm hired by the city, completes its Balboa Park master plan proposal in about six months. The firm already has recommended against Ford Building rehabilitation sought by the Convention and Tourist Bureau.
Dail and Councilman Kerrigan differed sharply on whether the council had already answered that it does not favor the rehabilitation at this time. Kerrigan maintained such a decision had been reached, but the mayor says he does not feel bound by it.
The mayor opened the spirited discussion by asking the council to hire an architect to plan the rehabilitation. He indicated his support for a conversion program suggested last week by C. J. Paderewski, a local architect, to rehabilitate the structure as a 3,750-seat convention facility at a cost of $1,100,000.
“What does it contribute?” Kerrigan asked of the proposal. He then answered, “A second-class convention hall.” Kerrigan continued that he is not convinced San Diegans will not provide a first-class facility.
Dail said he is not sure San Diego will not have to settle for a second-class convention hall. He said he does not feel bound by the Bartholomew recommendations to date and sees no reason to wait until the firm’s report is completed.
The mayor said Raymond Stauffer has said use of the Ford Building is in line with proper uses of Balboa Park as expressed by the Balboa Park Citizens Study Committee’s executive committee. Stauffer, a member of that committee, is president of the Convention and Tourist Bureau. Other committee members contradicted his opinion at a public hearing on the rehabilitation proposal.
“Someone found our (Harry) Handlery, owner of El Cortez Hotel, was going to build a convention center behind his hotel and said, “We can’t have that” and decided we should convert the Ford Building, Kerrigan said. Dail denied that this was the reason.
With the exception of Dail and Chester Schneider, who was not present, the council all voted with Kerrigan. Among the votes to wait was that of Councilman William Hartley, who said, as the dispute between Dail and Kerrigan began, that he would approve hiring an architect to plan the rehabilitation.
December 11, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:1-2. Children, flock are in Nativity Scene at Children’s Zoo; drama of Christ’s birth will take place two weekends in a row (illus.).
December 18, 1959, San Diego Union, A-17:7-8, A-29:1-3. City Council approved yesterday acquisition of the 27-acre Pease lease in Mission Bay and leasing to Del E. Webb Construction Company of a 17-acre bay site for a 5-million hotel.
December 24, 1959, San Diego Union, A-11:2. San Diego Zoo expects one-millionth visitor for the fiscal year today; attendance to date 933,027 visitors; overall 35 year attendance 23,920,991.
December 25, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:7-8. Vickie Love, 7, San Diego Zoo’s millionth visitor (illus.).
December 29, 1959, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. Baby chimpanzee is born at San Diego Zoo, bringing the zoo’s complement of the species to 10.
December 30, 1959, San Diego Union, A-12:2-3. Two 60 pound condors at San Diego Zoo resettled in new cage (illus.)
1958-1959, Department of Public Works, Annual Report.
- 5. In connection with decentralization it is proposed to develop the Rose Canyon and Chollas yards as sites for future Public Works and Utilities operations. Contemplated are provisions for those facilities directly affected by freeway construction in the vicinity of 20th and B. Facilities would be constructed at Chollas for the Street, Sanitation and Equipment Division of the Public Works Department.
- 27. The installation of scales at Arizona fill has permitted control over daily routing of collection vehicles dispatched from the 20th and B yard.
- 33. Buildings Division ~ Since it is proposed to relocate divisional headquarters away from 20th and B, custodial services will be transferred to Public Works Administration Division July 1, 1959.
- 36. The relocation of divisional facilities is anticipated since the proposed crosstown will consume the present location. Probable sites for new facilities are Rose Canyon and Balboa Park.
p. 60. Equipment Division ~ Service station facilities at 20 and B, Chollas and Frontier yards.
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