Balboa Park History 1960
January 1, 1960, San Diego Union, B-1:1-2. Auto-racing lease at Balboa Stadium expires.
January 5, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:8. Robert E. Fleming wants temporary convention hall in Ford Building.
January 6, 1960, San Diego Union, A-5:1-2. “Reluctant Debutante” new hit at Old Globe, by Constance Herreshoff.
January 6, 1960, San Diego Union, A-11:7. Fiesta group votes to continue events.
January 14, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:6. Council group urges Balboa Stadium lease renewal of Stadium Racing Association.
January 16, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:7-8. Meeting January 26 to decide fate of Fiesta.
January 16, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Letter Walter Rein praising creation of Balboa Park as a ventilation channel.
January 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:7. San Diego Union name contest for baby gorilla which arrives at San Diego Zoo last December 6.
January 18, 1960, San Diego Union. B-2:8. E. G. Galley for temporary use of Ford Building as a convention hall.
January 20, 1960, San Diego Union, A-20:4-5. Councilmen favor auto racing lease in Balboa Stadium.
January 23, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:4-5. Car driver “pinched” twice in Balboa Park squeeze while trying to drive through Conference Building.
January 24, 1960, San Diego Union, A-11:7, A-22:4-6. Council sets meeting on Auto Racing; Tuesday session due on request for stadium lease renewal.
January 24, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. Two hundred cats to become park’s top dogs; two shows at once, by David Dow (illus.).
January 25, 1960, San Diego Union, A-11:7-8, A-13:3. Poll opposes auto racing; most residents near Stadium object to noise, parking woes.
January 25, 1960, San Diego Union, A-11:4. San Diego Zoo – care of gorillas like any baby’s.
January 25, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:7-8. White Persian cat wins best-in-show (illus.).
January 25, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:2. EDITORIAL: Consider the Patients.
There is a place for auto racing in our community. But surely that place is not hard by the U. S. Naval Hospital in Balboa Park.
January 27, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:4-5. Action tomorrow on stadium racing.
January 27, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:6. Postponing 1960 Fiesta called likely.
January 28, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:6. San Diego Zoo – man fell into alligator pit while trying to steal a seal to win a bet; he ended up in jail.
January 28, 1960, San Diego Union, A-27:4-5. Sixth Science Fair set for April 9-12, by Bryant Evans..
January 31, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:1. San Diego Zoo – story of Gagi and Bongo, two gorillas, those two giant bronze gorillas at Zoo were favorites with local children, too, in real life. by Holger and Helen Jensen (illus.).
February 5, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:4-5, A-22:1-2. Board of Education should purchase Balboa Stadium for its true value if it wants to keep auto racing from the stadium, Councilman Frank Curran said yesterday.
February 11, 1960, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-1. First contract scheduled for crosstown freeway.
February 12, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19:4. City Council okayed auto racing lease for 5-years for Stadium despite protests.
February 14, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17. San Diego Zoo – “Copy” is top name for gorillas in Zoo contest (illus.).
February 14, 1960, A-40:1-3. Two-day Camellia Show opened in Conference Hall yesterday (illus.).
February 23, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:3. Firemen prevented a major fire in the Electric Building yesterday afternoon; electrical short circuit damaged cables under a stairwell and scorched flooring.
February 23, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:3-6. San Diego Zoo – Councilmen hear Zoo plans; moving sidewalk, ape exhibit projects stressed in report on financial needs, by Roy C. Johns (illus.).
The City Council yesterday joined the holiday crowd at the zoo for a first-hand report on the tourist attraction local tax money is helping to maintain.
The zoo’s board of directors invited the council to visit after individual council members suggested that (there) might be no further needs for the tax levy of two cents for each $100 assessed valuation which is earmarked by law for the zoo.
Councilmen toured the zoo and heard Howard Chernoff, chairman of the board of directors, and Dr. Charles Schroeder, managing director, explain needs and future plans.
The tour moved quickly by established features of the zoo and stressed additions that are planned.
The councilmen saw:
- The present “ape alley” and the site of a planned $200,000 “great ape exhibit,” which Schroeder said will be the first in the world to exhibit gorillas behind unfenced moats.
- The old bird of prey flight cage which is being converted into a walk-through “tropical rain forest” for the display of 400 tropical birds, reptiles and turtles. Chernoff said there will be “no exhibit like it in the world.” The cage will be ready in June.
- The site for a $150,000 moving sidewalk up the face of a canyon within the zoo. It was explained that this facility, to be completed by mid-July, will make all of the zoo, instead of the present 20 percent open to persons on foot who because of age or health cannot walk to some exhibit areas now.
- The deer mesa where alterations will remove many of the fences and permit the zoo buses to drive among the exhibits.
- The nocturnal animal exhibits which will be remodeled to display those animals to the zoo’s daytime visitors.
A number of areas not open to the Washington birthday crowd at the zoo also were shown the council members. They included the commissary butcher shop where five horses a week are butchered to feed carnivorous animals and birds; the zoo hospital; its laboratory where post-mortems are performed on every specimen which dies, and the nursery which has reduced the zoo’s infant mortality rate from 80 to about 10 percent.
Chernoff said the autopsies performed at the zoo laboratory and shipment of the vital organs to major research centers has been an important contribution to medical research, particularly on cancer and high-blood pressure.
In the zoo hospital, Dr. Werner Heuschele exhibited the capsule gun used to give medicine and anesthetics from a safe distance to dangerous animals.
February 24, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:4. Annual Engineer’s Week banquet at 7:30 p.m. in Balboa Park Club Friday; technical exposition on display in parking lot near Conference Building, Saturday and Sunday.
February 24, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:1. Curtain door of Organ Pavilion stuck on its roller hinges; Douglas Ian Duncan, civic organist, is presenting his weekly Sunday recitals on an electric organ moved onstage.
February 25, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:3-4. Spring Home Fair slated April 22-27 in Electric Building.
February 27, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:7. Directors suspend Fiesta del Pacifico; door is left open for future renewal.
March 13, 1960, San Diego Union, B-4:4-6. Joshua Sloane’s shouts gave us a park, by Jerry MacMullen.
March 20, 1960, San Diego Union, C-2:7-8. C. M. Henderson opposed to freeway in Balboa Park.
March 25, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Hugh Strong claims Balboa Park barrier to hazards of smog.
March 27, 1960, San Diego Union, B-1. San Diego Zoo – museums, Zoo plan “Park Sunday.”
March 29, 1960, San Diego Union, A-18:3. Atomic exhibit slated to open tomorrow through April 15 in Electric Building.
March 30, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:8. Charlotte Anderson says “park hobbyists” were evicted from Balboa Park “only six months ago.”
April 3, 1960, San Diego Union, A-25:4-6, A-26:7-8. Five institutions invite San Diego to “Sunday in the Park” next weekend.
April 4, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:4. Atomic future on display now in Balboa Park.
April 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19:1-2. Three hundred and one at Science Fair to explain exhibits.
April 9, 1960, San Diego Union, B-16:1-2. Council voted Laurel Street bypass; hearings ordered on plan to relieve jammed traffic through Balboa Park.
April 10, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19:1-2. Four museums, San Diego Zoo plan open house.
April 10, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19:2-3. Curiosity brings varied exhibits at 6th annual Greater San Diego Science Fair which opened yesterday, by Charles Davis.
April 10, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19:4-5. Science Fair start attracts 5,000 (illus.).
April 11, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:6-8. “A View from the Bridge” playing at Old Globe.
April 13, 1960, San Diego Union, B-1:3. The Tennis Patrons Association yesterday urged the City Council to expand the Morley Field tennis center from its present 10 courts.
April 14, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:5. San Diego Zoo – 300-lb. baby elephant arrives at Zoo (illus.).
April 14, 1960, San Diego Union, A-23:5. San Diego Zoo accused in worker firing because she is getting married to another employee.
April 18, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:6. Three thousand five hundred worshipers attended Easter services at Organ Pavilion yesterday (illus.).
April 20, 1960, San Diego Union, A-18:1. San Diego Zoo – baby hippo makes Zoo debut.
April 21, 1960, San Diego Union, A-6:4-5. Home Ideas Fair opens tomorrow in Electric Building.
April 21, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:1. San Diego Zoo – suspect held in theft of hawk at Zoo, missing hawk found safe.
May 13, 1960, San Diego Union, A-26:5-6. City officials have notified the Stadium Racing Association that future violations of the contract for the use of Balboa Stadium will result in an immediate recommendation to cancel the contract.
May 17, 1960, Balboa Park Master Plan, by Harland Bartholomew and Associates.
- 10. Evidence of termite infestation and dry rot was found in all of the Palisades Area
buildings and in all the Prado Area buildings except the Fine Arts Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Botanical Building and the Museum of Man.
- 10. Balboa Park Club
The facade of this building was constructed of wood and stucco in 1914 and the remaining structure as added of the same materials for the 1935 Exposition. The facade has architectural significance and the building’s use in appropriate for the park. However, when used for public assembly purposes the combustible construction violates the fire regulations of the Building Code. The structural frame is inadequate. The building is maintained in a fair state of repair at high costs and has a life expectancy of between five and ten years.
- 10. Conference Building
This stuccoed, wood-frame building was constructed for temporary use for the 1935 Exposition. It has no architectural significance and is used for various public assembly purposes. In this use it violates the fire regulations of the Building Code. The structural frame is inadequate and the building is kept in a fair state of maintenance at low maintenance costs. The life expectancy is between five and ten years.
- 10. The Federal Building
This building was constructed of permanent materials for the 1935 Exposition, with eventual conversion to a theater planned. It is structurally sound and in a fair state of repair. Maintenance costs are low. The building houses an appropriate park use (Municipal Gym Annex) but is not realizing its potential. The wooden floor of the building has a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years buy the remaining structure has an interminable life expectancy. Its architectural significance is negligible.
- 10. The Ford Building
This was built as a temporary structure for the 1935 Exposition with a concrete foundation, a structural steel frame and wood and stucco walls. The use at present is for dead storage. If used as a public assembly place it would seriously violate the fire regulations of the Building Code. Architecturally the building lacks significant interest. It is in a poor state of repair. In its present dilapidated condition the building has a life expectancy which varies with its component parts. The foundation and structural frame have indefinite life expectancies but the stuccoed wood sheathing has such a limited future life that immediate removal appears warranted.
- 10. The Zoo
The San Diego Zoological Gardens, better known as simply “The Zoo,” occupy approximately 91 acres of the north central part of Balboa Park. The Gardens are operated by the Zoological Society of San Diego under a special occupancy permit from the city. The Zoo is supported by a small city tax levy (two cents per $100 valuation), gifts and paid admissions, the latter constituting the major source of revenues to maintain an annual budget in excess of $1,800,000.
At the close of fiscal year 1959 the Zoo advertised its wild animal collection, numbering more than 3,600 specimens, as the world’s largest. The animals are exhibited by family groups in a sub-tropical setting which covers four mesas and three canyons. Throughout these areas of the Zoo that have been landscaped every specimen tree, shrub and plant have been identified. Frequent buses convey visitors over three and a half miles of roadways on a 50-minute tour, although a majority of the exhibits can be viewed on foot. The Zoo includes one of the world’s largest reptile exhibits and a most complete primate collection. Outstanding exhibits include the Indonesian Proboscis Monkey, Australian Koalas, African Hunting Dogs, Gorillas, Galapagos Tortoises, Northern Elephant Seals, New Zealand Kiwis, a Snow Leopard from the Himalayas, a Sacred Crane from Japan, Okapi from the Belgian Congo and the more usual Hippos, Rhinos, Lions, Tigers, Elephants, Giraffes, Orangutans, Bears, Kangaroos, Penguins and Camels. One the north and south sides of one mesa are two of the largest free-flight cages in the world, one of them containing birds of prey, including the American condors.
The new entrance building contains a large, modern restaurant overlooking the Flamingo Pool, as well as the Administration Offices and Gift Shops. There are also two picnic grounds and several paved terraces for those who wish to bring their own lunches. A new feature of the Zoo is the children’s section where all exhibits and food service booths are at child’s eye level.
May 17, 1960, San Diego Union, 17:4. Superior Court Judge William A. Glen ruled yesterday in deciding a year-old suit that religious groups and their activities have as much place in the park as on the sidewalks; city’s proposed buildings are also proper.
The question of permanent usage by such groups or for such activities was not raised in the friendly suit brought against the city by an attorney, W. E. Starke, Glen said.
In his 18-page memorandum opinion, Glen also held that the City Council could erect an exposition center in the park or remodel the ford Building for that purpose without asking the voters.
He said an April 6, 1957, election defeat of a convention hall bond issue did not mean “that under no circumstances should any portion of Balboa Park be used” for such a facility.
Glen further concluded that the city was not abusing its temporary use of space and buildings in the park for various administrative offices. He noted that only a small portion is being used for that purpose and that efforts are being made to find room elsewhere.
Starke filed the suit February 4, 1959. He and Aaron Reese, assistant city attorney, said then that the action was a “friendly effort to clarify the city’s rights under its charter and the state constitution.
The San Diego Council of Churches and five taxpayers joined the suit in behalf of the city.
On the religious question, Glen held that banning of religious activities would deny free speech and excluding religious groups would result in discrimination.
As for the convention hall or civic auditorium proposed for the park or remodeling of the Ford Building, Glen observed that Starke conceded the facilities are proper park uses.
“No distinction can be based upon the name attached to a community building, whether located in a park or elsewhere,” said Glen. “It is the use to which the building is put that determines whether it is a proper park use.”
May 31, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:2. EDITORIAL: “Yes” on Prop. C.
If enacted by the voters, the position of assistant park and recreation director would be placed
under the city manager’s control for hiring and firing purposes. It merits favorable action by
June 2, 1960, San Diego Union, A-29:2. San Diego Zoo – disease fatal to “Copy,” zoo’s gorilla.
June 4, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:5. San Diego Zoo – African animals reach Zoo.
June 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:3. City Council yesterday heard budget requests of cultural organizations; sport hall of champions a newcomer to the group.
June 10, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19. Board of Education seeks land in park near freeway.
- Transfer of city-owned Balboa Stadium to school system.
- Transfer of remaining land, including land occupied by San Diego High to San Diego Junior College.
Proposals would require two-thirds vote; planned for placement on November ballot.
June 15, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17. State Division of Highways spokesman said landscaping and traffic will be disrupted as little as possible during construction of 4-level stack in Balboa Park.
June 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-25:4. City Council asked City Manager George Bean yesterday to arrange a meeting with Board of Education to discuss possible transfer of Balboa Stadium for school purposes.
June 22, 1960, San Diego Union, 15:1-8. Old landmarks falling victim to path of freeway; park trees felled for new route; Daley Corporation and R. M. Price Construction Company building the interchange under a $3,493,413 contract (illus.).
June 24, 1960, San Diego Union, B-1. Change told in City Park Department.
Reorganization of the Park and Recreation Department was outlined yesterday to the City Council by City Manager George Bean and Tom Fletcher, an assistant to Bean.
Fletcher told the council that the changes were made “along functional lines to provide a more modern and efficient organization.”
The recently created post of assistant park and recreation director and a proposed new job of landscape architect are placed in the administration division under the park and recreation director.
The park division has been divided into five sections: nursery and landscaping; street trees; west, east and Balboa Park maintenance districts. The Balboa Park maintenance district is a new one, removed from the east district because of the city’s growth.
Two former park activities have been moved to the Department of Public Works for more efficient operation and to remove duplications. They are the shop, moved to the DPW equipment division, and the beach cleaning-erosion control, moved to the DPW division.
Park custodial activities have been moved to a new community service section, which also will provide maintenance services, Balboa Stadium operation, and related services.
A new Kearny Mesa district has been added to the recreation division of the department, bring to eight the number of districts in the city.
The Park and Recreation Department’s proposed 1960-1961 budget is $3,236,295,up from the present year’s $3,073,961.
June 28, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:3. Conference on aging in Conference Room, Balboa Park; more than 100 opened two days of discussion yesterday.
July 1, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:1-3. Starlight Opera opening linked to culture festival, by Natalie Best.
July 1, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21;3-4. “Kismet” charged with excitement, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 3, 1960, San Diego Union, E-1:3-5, E-3:4-8. “Julius Caesar” opens Tuesday at Old Globe.
July 4, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7. R. H. Flournoy writes Balboa Park is not idea for freeway.
July 5, 1960, San Diego Union, A-23:1-2. Shakespeare fete opening tonight.
July 6, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:1-2, A-15:1. Bard’s tradition reigns in park, by Eileen Jackson.
July 6, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:5. Leo Calland will leave park post; recreation director to manage new Hall of Champions.
July 6, 1960, San Diego Union, A-18:6-8. Impressive “Julius Caesar” opens Shakespeare festival, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 7, 1960, San Diego Union, A-22:1-2. New park director expected by September 1.
July 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-1:1-2, A-2:2-4. Twenty-one million program for Balboa Park offered to City Council.
July 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-1:1-2. Bartholomew study proposes build, move roads.
July 8, 1960, San Diego Union, 1:1-4. Mayor Dail says proposal to convert the Ford Building into an auditorium is not feasible because, according to the Harland Bartholomew report, it is “too small, at wrong location, too expensive, and inadequate.”
July 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-2:2. Mayor Dail yesterday praised Bartholomew firms’ report.
July 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-2:1-2. Highlights listed in Balboa Park plan.
July 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:1-3. Freeways to change park; lines superimposed on aerial photo of Balboa Park show how face of southwestern corner will be altered by four-level interchange of Crosstown freeway and Cabrillo freeway.
July 10, 1960, San Diego Union, A-22:4-6. City receives Leo Calland’s retirement letter.
July 13, 1960, San Diego Union, A-8:3-5. “As You Like It,” directed by Allen Fletcher, classed as beautiful production at Old Globe; second play in 11th annual National Shakespeare Festival.
July 14, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7-8. Mrs. William Paxton Cary writes all San Diegans want a beautiful theater at Marston Point in Balboa Park.
July 15, 1960, San Diego Union, A-25:4. Ruling delayed on 6th Avenue zoning change; office building sought at northeast corner 6th Avenue and Palm Street.
July 16, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:2-4. Work on freeway to block three streets to Balboa Park (map).
July 16, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7-8. D. F. Franke writes people need voice on Balboa Park; area just west of Pershing Drive would be an excellent site for a convention building and center; does not like liquor in the park.
July 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-28:1.5. Highway to Miss (Kate) Sessions tree, a tipuana at the northwest corner of Pico Street and Balboa Avenue, Pacific Beach (illus.).
July 20, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:1-4, A-18:1-2. Showcase concert presented at Balboa Park Bowl, by Charles Davis.
July 21, 1960, San Diego Union, A-8:1-2. Lifelike sounds filled Balboa park Bowl Tuesday night; Earl Bernard Murray and the San Diego Symphony opened their 1960 summer season with an all-Tchaikovsky program, by Alan M. Kriegsman.
July 21, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:4-7, A-22:7-8. San Diego Zoo – moving sidewalk, rain forest opened, by Alfred JaCoby (illus.).
July 21, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:6-7. Embarrassing moment: sidewalk came to a sudden shuddering stop on first run.
July 21, 1960, San Diego Union, A-29:3. The House of Pacific Relations will celebrate its 25th anniversary Sunday with a grand march symbolizing past, present and future on the lawn near the international cottages in Balboa Park.
July 22, 1960, San Diego Union, A-9:1-2. Audience acclaims “Paint Your Wagon” opening in Balboa Park Bowl last night, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 22, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:1-5. “Hall of Champions” unveiled yesterday; praised.
The attractively remodeled section of the House of Charm building embraces a display room containing 10 large glass trophy cases for various sports and a handsome wood-paneled Hall of Champions room in which oil-painted portraits of honored athletes are hung. It is equipped with motion picture equipment for projection of events in which the San Diego champions participated.
Newly appointed curator Leo Calland and members of the Breitbard Foundation hosted the one-day preview. The hall, officially to open to the public in October, is the latest project of the Breitbard Athletic Foundation, with backing of city and county officials.
July 23, 1960, San Diego Union, A-7:1-2. Symphony slated “Music in Paris” Tuesday under the direction of Earl Bernard Murray, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 24, 1960, San Diego Union, A-24:6-8. “Circus Day” August 5-6 in Puppet Theater (illus.).
July 24, 1960, San Diego Union, C-2:8. Roberta Boyer writes freeway in park unfair to children.
July 24, 1960, San Diego Union, E-1:3-5, E-3:4. “Hamlet” is rare revival for Old Globe; William Ball becomes actor again to repeat 1955 success with Fletcher, by Regina O’Connell (illus.).
July 24, 1960, San Diego Union, E-1:4-8, E-3:7. Symphony salutes a musical city; works of Paris composers are featured in Tuesday concert, by Alan M. Kriegsman.
July 25, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:1. Twenty-fifth year of House of Pacific Relations feted; 40 nations join in flag ceremony in Balboa Park.
The 25th anniversary of the House of Pacific Relations in Balboa Park was marked yesterday by a colorful international pageant and march and presentation of flags by representatives of 40 nations.
Costumed representatives of Denmark, China, the Philippines, Poland Mexico and many other nations parades, dance, sang and entertained for a crowd of 1200.
July 25, 1960, San Diego Union, B-1:7-8. Gift to San Diego: Japan Tea House Dedication Set.
The Japanese miniature ceremonial tea house given to the people of San Diego by the City of Yokohama, Japan, will be formally dedicated at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The tea house is at the House of Pacific Relations in Balboa Park
The small tea house, built in Yokohama, was disassembled for the trip from Japan. The city Public Works Department is reassembling it at a site overlooking the pool in the center of the House of Pacific Relations area.
July 27, 1960, San Diego Union, A-5:1-2. Orchestra lacked in “togetherness” last night in Balboa Park Bowl, by Alan M. Kriegsman.
July 29, 1960, San Diego Union, A-20:1-2. Symphony slates “Carmina Burana” and “Belzhazzar’s Feast”; Robert Wagner will direct.
July 29, 1960, San Diego Union, A-20:1. “Hamlet” run starts tonight.
July 31, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19:5-8. “Hamlet” scores triumphant success, by Constance Herreshoff.
July 31, 1960, San Diego Union, C-2:7-8. Violet Jessop Holloway thinks opera house is just what Marston Point, Balboa Park, needs.
July 31, 1960, San Diego Union, C-7:1-8. Seville, a starting point for study of San Diego history, by Richard Pourade.
August 1, 1960, San Diego Union, B-1:1-3. Japanese Teahouse, Garden dedicated in ceremonies (illus.).
San Diego yesterday accepted two symbols of Japanese-American friendship — a teahouse in Balboa Park and a miniature garden at Naval Hospital donated by Tamme Kashiwabara, a former U. S. Navy sailor.
August 2, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:6-7. At the third San Diego Symphony concert in Balboa Park last night, guest conductor Roger Wagner mustered some awesome and powerful sounds from the symphony itself and the San Diego State Summer Workshop Chorus, by Alan M. Kriegsman.
Wagner was always thoroughly in control and his athletic style seemed well suited to the vigor of the compositions — Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” and William Walton’s “Belshazar’s Feast.”
August 2, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:8. Park building leased to United Nations Group.
The City Council approved a lease agreement with the United Nations Association of San Diego yesterday without comment.
Councilman Justin Evenson last week moved to postpone approval until City Manager George Bean had determined the propriety of having the organization in Balboa Park.
Bean, in a report to the council said the Bartholomew report on a Balboa Park master plan approved a park lease as within proper park uses.
He said the organization leased quarters in the House of Hospitality in July 1953 without question. It wanted to move to the former office of the Fiesta del Pacifico at Village Place and Zoo Drive but was turned down.
Instead, the association agreed to move to the Photographic Arts Building adjacent to the House of Pacific Relations, where its presence would be in keeping with the charter of the cottages.
Evenson did not comment on the report. The vote to approve the lease was unanimous.
August 4, 1960, San Diego Union, B-6:1-2. “Vagabond King” revival by Starlight at Balboa Park Bowl tonight.
August 5, 1960, San Diego Union, A-9:4. Youth group rehearsing “Gypsy Baron” for Balboa Park Bowl, August 18 and 19.
August 5, 1960, San Diego Union, A-9:3. “Vagabond King” production applauded, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 7, 1960, San Diego Union, A-33:1-2. Delbert Hughes, San Diego grower, won best dahlia award yesterday at flower show in Conference Building.
August 7, 1960, San Diego Union, C-2:7. James T. Hill likes Ford Building.
August 7, 1960, San Diego Union, E-1:3-5, E-3:1-3. “Music for Dance” program Tuesday at Balboa Park Bowl, by Alan M. Kriegsman.
August 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:1-2. Symphony dance finally arrives, by Natalie Best.
August 10, 1960, San Diego Union, A-8:1-2. “Vagabond King” entering second week.
August 11, 1960, San Diego Union, A-39:1-2. Spanish dancers hailed at San Diego Symphony concert in Balboa Park Bowl, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 14, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19:6. United Nations House opens today at park.
August 14, 1960, San Diego Union, E-2:3-7. Archaeologists view American art; Museum of Man exhibit spans 3,000 years of cultural progress, by Dr. Armin Kietzmann (illus.).
August 15, 1960, San Diego Union, A-11:6-7. New United Nations House opened at park.
August 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-6:3. “Golden Fleecing,” a new Broadway comedy, season’s first for Old Globe; will open its 24th season September 27.
August 18, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:3-4. Casting call issued for “Golden Fleecing” at Old Globe.
August 18, 1960, San Diego Union, A-33:3-4. Beethoven brought out season’s best at Balboa Park Bowl Tuesday night, by Alan M. Kriegsman.
August 19, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:3. Two hundred teenagers offer “The Gypsy Baron” at Balboa Park Bowl.
August 19, 1960, San Diego Union, A-18:2-3. “The Gypsy Baron” to open tonight in Balboa Park Bowl; second biennial summer youth operetta sponsored by the city Park and Recreation Department (illus.).
August 19, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7-8. Catherine M. Martin writes the organ concerts need more appreciation.
August 23, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:1-2. Shakespeare Festival starting.
August 25, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:3. Rodgers and Hammerstein concert Tuesday night in Balboa Park Bowl conducted by Earl Bernard Murray, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 27, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:1-2. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein conducting, to present concert at Balboa Park Bowl next Tuesday evening, by Constance Herreshoff.
August 29, 1960, San Diego Union, A-10:1-2. Nominees announced for Atlas awards.
August 30, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6. Lowland ape, purchased for $1,200 in Leopoldville, enjoys San Diego Zoo (illus.).
August 31, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6, A-17:1-2. Leonard Bernstein arrived in San Diego yesterday with 106-man New York Philharmonic..
September, 1960, San Diego Magazine. A Big Bite Out of Balboa Park, by Wally Homitz.
Date unknown, 1960, Saturday Evening Post. May cities find their parks threatened with extinction by urban “improvements.”
September 2, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:1-2. Lester E. Earnest, Mission Bay Park director, yesterday was appointed city park and recreation director by City Manager George Bean.
September 6, 1960, San Diego Union, A-20:1-2. Senator John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Democratic presidential nominee, will speak at Organ Pavilion Saturday noon.
September 7, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:1. “Li’l Abner,” final show at Starlight, opens tonight.
September 8, 1960, San Diego Union, A-25:4. Trustees elected Howard L. Chernoff, president of Zoological Society, for a second term last night.
September 9, 1960, San Diego Union, A-12:5-7. “Li’l Abner” opening at Balboa Park Bowl win praise as festive musical, by Constance Herreshoff.
September 10, 1960, San Diego Union, B-3:1-2. “Li’l Abner” cast gives merriment, by Constance Herreshoff.
September 11, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:3-5. A-24:1-4. “View from Bridge” wins 6 Atlas awards at dinner, by Regina O’Connell.
September 11, 1960, San Diego Union, E-1:1-2. Symphony sets a record, but can orchestra’s best be better? by Alan M. Kriegsman.
September 14, 1960, San Diego Union, A-8:3-4. “Golden Fleecing,” new Old Globe play; cast named.
September 15, 1960, San Diego Union, A-31:7. San Diego Zoo – “Trib,” 14-month old Lowland Gorilla imported about a month ago for the zoo.
September 15, 1960, San Diego Union, A-32:7-8. A plan to build a two-structure Japanese tea garden in Balboa Park was laid before the City Park and Recreation Commission yesterday.
- Alan Agnew and Harold H. Iwamasa, planners of the tea garden have asked for a 20-year lease and hope to build the garden by next summer.
The chosen location is an area adjacent to the House of Pacific Relations, but Franz Ter Horst, president of that group, has asked that the site be reserved for construction of additional cottages in the Pacific Relations group.
September 16, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:5-6. Malcolm Rogers, San Diego archaeologist, died of injuries suffered last Sunday in a 3-vehicle accident.
September 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-9:1-2. Kingston Trio tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Balboa Park Bowl.
September 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:6-7. Mormon Choir to sing in Balboa Park Bowl September 24.
September 19, 1960, San Diego Union, A-10:1-2. “Golden Fleecing” to open September 27.
September 24, 1960, San Diego Union, B-3:1-2. Mormon singers in Balboa Park Bowl tonight.
September 25, 1960, San Diego Union, E-1:3-6. E-3:1-3. Craig Noel, San Diego Community Theater director, stages 100th production.
September 26, 1960, San Diego Union, A-10:5. A large and enthusiastic crowd was on hand at Balboa Bowl Saturday night to welcome the appearance of the Mormon Choir of Southern California.
September 26, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:4. Quail County Park plans at Encinitas progressing.
September 28, 1960, San Diego Union, A-6:4. “Golden Fleecing” at Old Globe termed hit, by Constance Herreshoff.
September 28, 1960, San Diego Union, A-11:2-4. Science Hall, Planetarium Plans Outlined to Council, by E. G. Martin.
A three-step program for developing a hall of science and a planetarium in Balboa Park, which calls for temporary use of the Food and Beverage Building, was outlined yesterday to the City Council.
Dr. Ernest O’Byrne, president of the San Diego Hall of Science and Industry, said his organization has devised a plan that can easily be put into effect.
“We propose to move into the Food and Beverage Building first,” O’Byrne said. “We’ve been told it would cost between $25,000 and $35,000 to improve the building for our purposes.
O’Byrne, who is the vice president of San Diego State, told the council the second step in the plan would be to build a planetarium on a site across Laurel Street from the Natural History Museum, just east of the Electric Building.
The third step would be to mount a fund-raising campaign for construction of a hall of science next to the planetarium, he said.
The organization’s plan as to sites for a hall of science and a planetarium are in agreement with the master plan for Balboa Park submitted by the St. Louis planning firm of Harland Bartholomew and Associates.
The Food and Beverage Building, built in 1914, houses several divisions of the city Engineering Department. The Bartholomew report said the structure was in such poor condition its life expectancy is less than five years.
O’Byrne said the hall of science could be opened in temporary quarters within a year, displaying exhibits keyed to San Diego’s science interests — space, nuclear energy and electronics.
The planetarium opening would depend upon receipt of gifts pledged or raised in the future, O’Byrne said. He said a projector costs $100,000 and up.
O’Byrne’s organization is sponsoring a benefit premiere of the motion picture, “I Aim At The Stars,” at the Spreckels Theater, October 10, as a kickoff to the fund drive. The film is based on the life of Wernher von Braun, the former German rocket scientist who now works in the Army’s missile program.
The idea of a hall of science and planetarium has been brought up a number of times in the past.
O’Byrne said the location across from the Natural History Museum is particularly suitable, getting the hall closer to the other museums in the park.
September 29, 1960, San Diego Union, A-33:5-7. Plans approved for Fine Arts Gallery wing (architect’s sketch showing how proposed new wing will look when completed).
The city Planning Commission yesterday approved the preliminary design of the Timken-Putnam wing to the Fine Arts Gallery in Balboa Park.
Harry Haelsig, city planning director, told the commission the proposed structure conforms to the architectural recommendations of the master plan for the park.
With city approval obtained construction of the building can begin as soon as directors of the Timken Foundation give their approval.
Frank L. Hope, architect, said the building will be completed in two years.
The million-dollar, white marble structure will be on the site of the old American Legion building, just east of the gallery.
It will house the old masters donated by the Putnam Foundation and other paintings.
Another wing to the gallery is planned on the site of the old Medical Arts Building, west of the gallery. William T. Stephens, Fine Arts Society president, has said this wing is expected to be ready for bidding by the fall of 1961, assuming progress of a money-raising campaign is maintained.
October, 1960, San Diego Magazine. Our of the City – In and About Central Park, by James Britton
October 2, 1960, San Diego Union, B-1:1-6. San Diego Zoo – Zoo is for the children, by Alfred JaCoby.
Forty-four years ago a group of dedicated animal-lovers, headed by a man who was determined to give San Diego a Zoo second to none, organized a Zoological Society. What they developed is now the city’s greatest attraction. Here is a brief story of the Zoo — past, present and future.
Think back a moment and try to recall the first time you ever heard of the San Diego Zoo.
Difficult? Impossible. It’s like trying to remember when you first heard of baseball. Or Southern California’s weather. Or going to the beach.
Baseball and the beach and the weather have always been with us. And sometimes it seems as if the Zoo has always been with us, too.
It hasn’t, of course. Only 44 years ago what is now the San Diego Zoological Gardens was only a clump of gullies and mesas and sagebrush — and a motley (which is a kind word) collection of animals left over from the 1916 Exposition in Balboa Park.
That’s when Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth stepped in. Because of him, San Diego has a Zoo. And because Dr. Wegeforth, who died in 1941, was formally elected the first president of the Zoological Society on October 2, 1916, tomorrow will once again be celebrated as Founder’s Day.
On Founder’s Day, everyone gets into the Zoo free. The gates are open. Adults and children alike pass through the turnstiles without charge.
Every other day it costs 75 cents for adults to go to the Zoo.
Children under 16 are free.
That was the way Dr. Wegeforth wanted it. His credo, his concept, his firmest belief was this: The Zoo is for the children.
Founder’s Day was begun 10 years ago. The trustees, currently headed by Howard Chernoff, a retired executive, and Dr. Charles Schroeder, the managing director, said then in a letter to Mrs. Wegeforth that “if credit for any institution in San Diego could be given to any single individual, that relationship existed in the case of Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth and the San Diego Zoo.” The trustees knew “Dr. Harry” and his beliefs and they knew the finest way to honor him would be to hold an annual free day in his memory.
Dr. Harry liked animals — and he liked other people to like animals, too.
For a new generation, Founder’s Day is a convenient point for recalling, for summing-up, and for predicting the future of our Zoo.
The pure statistics, in summing up, are staggering. Consider just a few: 197,079 pounds of fish were fed to animals last year, for example, and 670.428 persons took bus tours. There are 1,042 species of mammals, birds and reptiles on exhibition — and there were 1,952,879 men, women and children who took a look during the 1959-1960 fiscal year.
More statistics — 300 persons work at the Zoo, earning last year $1,049,707 and 33 cents. Not only that, among their duties was the feeding to animals of 378 pounds of earthworms and 104,000 meal worms as well as 2,890 mice in the bird department, and 9,800 mice and rats in the reptile department.
And still more: A recent patron survey showed that 76 percent of the Zoo’s visitors come from out of the county. California contributed 56 percent of these visitors and the rest of the nation 20 percent.
These latter figures, it may be assumed, are on of the reasons so-called non-sentimental dollar-watching businessmen like the Zoo visitors spend money, and as the Convention and Tourist Bureau put it in a recent resolution of appreciation “the economy of San Diego is in a major degree dependent upon the income derived from visitors to our city” and the Zoo “year after year proves itself an extraordinary tourist attraction.
Summing up some more, the sub-tropical beauty of the Zoo’s landscaping is, perhaps, every bit as amazing as the animals on display. As any home gardener knows, this horticultural beauty doesn’t come naturally in San Diego. In fact, it’s been suggested that a bare patch of land should be set aside and labeled “The Way It Was.” A little plaque could point out that this is, indeed, the way those 100 acres which make up the Zoo looked in 1916.
The plaque might also mention that the Zoo’s plantings are valued at about $900,000 — which is actually more than the animals on display are worth. It takes $50,000 worth of water a year to keep the Zoo green.
All this — the animals, the buildings, the landscaping, even the slices of bread the bus drivers toss to the stubborn bears — belongs to the people of San Diego. Legally, the Zoo is owned by the city, dedicated to the children of the city, and operated by the San Diego Zoological Society, a non-profit corporation. (You don’t have to be a San Diegan, however, to be a member of the Zoological Society; anyone is eligible, and everybody is welcomed.) It will cost about 2.3 million dollars this year to operate the Zoo and most of this money comes from admission fees, society memberships, some gifts, and the various installations on the grounds.
City taxpayers, through a charter-required provision, contribute a tax of two cents for each $100 of assessed valuation. This year about $150,000 will come from the tax and this will pay a little more than 5 percent of the operational costs.
Using these facilities and resources, San Diego has produced the world’s finest Zoo. One of the troubles of being the finest (and who is to dispute this boast?) is that you’ve got to ever expand and improve and surmount problems to stay in first place.
Chernoff in his recent annual report listed three current major problems:
FIRST, there’s the problem of paying the way, a continuing problem. The Zoo must earn most of its own keep and some officials feel the 75-cent admission charge isn’t high enough and an increase could very well be necessary.
SECOND, there’s the problem of parking. More is needed, and Chernoff pointed out, “This is something only the city can do for use. On one recent summer Sunday, some 24,000 persons toured the Zoo; that’s a lot of people and they came in a lot of automobiles.”
THIRD, there’s the problem of transportation within the Zoo itself. A committee of experts currently is seeking ways to make it easier to get around and through and over the Zoo.
So much for the past and present. The Zoo of the future, according to the plans of the present, will be an area where “bars and wires vanish and the world’s largest wild animal collection appears in natural surroundings with a background of sub-tropical vegetation.”
This particular concept was developed in Europe and pioneered in the United States in San Diego. The idea is to make a visit to the Zoo as much as possible like a visit to the jungle veldt and the desert — except that the wild animals (who never had it so good) won’t be disturbing things by hunting down the humans. This is a completely practical situation for both the humans and the animals; the humans have something to look at and enjoy and the animals will get a better diet with comfortable quarters.
What of the immediate future? The new elephant compound probably will be started next year. The big fellows will have some three times the space, fancy cement posts for back scratching, and even a swimming pool. The bars and fences will be gone, replaced by a deep moat. The plans even call for plantings and barricades which will allow spectators to concentrate on the elephants and not on the spectators on the other side.
The giraffes, now near the elephants, will be moved to Deer Mesa, to another of those compounds with neither bars nor fences.
The camels have recently seen their fences replaced with low walls in front. San Diego’s sun gets warm at times and the new camel enclosure features a shade canopy over the viewing area.
All the 32 quarters in the Monkey Quadrangle are being remodeled. A cage is necessary with the monkeys but the new mesh is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible with light-colored walls, which are both comfortable to the eye and easy to clean.
The walrus pups are to get a cool pool in Bear Canyon, and the polar bears will have an enlarged pool, complete with diving platform and slide.
Someday in the far future, the big apes, too, will have open enclosures as will the rhinos. Whenever new displays are opened the effort will be to make them long and narrow, thus providing the animals more room in which to move and also keeping them close to the viewer.
One fanciful dream which should appeal to big game hunters who never leave home would provide a safari tout through the open sections of Deer Mesa, which overlooks Cabrillo Freeway. Imagine climbing into an open safari car and cruising through the jungle plain where wild animals roam at will.
All these plans and more are being included in a master plan for the future. From it, the Zoo’s officers hope will come the Zoo of the future.
And each year, on the first Monday in October, Founder’s Day will be celebrated. Each year, too, perhaps someone will recall a letter Dr. Harry wrote to a friend several months before his death. In it he personified the whole concept of the San Diego Zoo:
” . . . It isn’t the Zoo that we are interested in, as much as it is the education and pleasure the children receive from the institution.”
(In this necessarily brief recollection of the Zoo development, many other San Diegans who worked faithfully to build a Zoo of which to be proud could not be mentioned. No history, however, should forget Belle Benchley, who came to the Zoo as a bookkeeper in 1926, and stayed to become the first woman Zoo director. Mrs. Benchley retired in 1954 and retains the title of director-emeritus.)
October 4, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:1. 10,816 record for Founder’s Day at San Diego Zoo.
October 7, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:1. Dr. Ernest O’Byrne, vice president of San Diego State, is leading a campaign to get a hall of science and planetarium in Balboa Park. The planetarium would be built across from the Natural History Museum.
October 10, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:5. San Diego Zoo – County favors Zoo preserve land lease.
October 11, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:1-2, A-17:2. West Coast premiere of “I Am the Stars” in the Spreckels Theater last night, benefit of San Diego Hall of Science and Industry; institution to be placed in Balboa Park.
October 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:6-8. Maple Canyon Road Design Work Starts; to east Balboa Park flow (map showing route of proposed Maple Canyon road), by E. G. Martin.
Design work has begin on Maple Canyon road — a $1,835,000 street construction job that will be one of the city’s major projects.
The road, formerly known as the Laurel street bypass, will relieve the congestion on El Prado through Balboa Park caused by east-west traffic, E. W. Blom, assistant city manager said.
The project also will eliminate through traffic on Laurel Street hill, the steep hill between State and Union Streets which has the distinction of having stops signs at both the bottom and the top.
The city has budgeted $42,000 for surveying and design work on Maple Canyon road in the current fiscal year. A total of $175,000 also has been set aside this year for acquiring right-of-way.
The five year capital outlay program sets out the following fund schedule for the project:
1961-62 – $300,000 for right-of-way acquisition.
1962-63 – $430,000 for right-of-way acquisition
1963-64 – $888,000 for construction
Martin Bouman, city traffic and transportation engineer, said the route has been decided upon except for a small segment near Robinson Street.
The route will begin at Columbia and Laurel Streets and run up Maple Street canyon beneath the First Avenue bridge to Third Avenue. From there it will follow the present route of Third Avenue to Upas Street turning east on Upas to Balboa Park.
The state Division of Highways has agreed to construct a bridge over Cabrillo freeway to carry the road on its route through the park’s northern section, Bouman said. The road crosses Richmond Street and finally connects with Robinson Street.
Bouman said the city hopes to have the road loan as much like Cabrillo Freeway as possible — with planting and controlled access.
When Maple Canyon Road is completed, one of the main recommendations of the master plan for Balboa Park prepared by the St. Louis planning firm of Harland Bartholomew Associates will be fulfilled.
The master plan also recommended building new roads north and south of El Prado in order to eliminate traffic on the latter street completely. One of the recommended roads would run behind buildings north of El Prado. The other would curve beneath Cabrillo Bridge and carry traffic south of El Prado through the Palisades area.
October 18, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:6, A-21:7. Working session of Inter-American Municipal Organization held in Balboa Park Club yesterday.
October 18, 1960, San Diego Union, B-17:7-8, A-21:8. Balboa Park is “United Nations” of Hemisphere; eighth congress of the Inter-American Municipal Organization in Balboa Park Club yesterday.
October 19, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:4. San Diego Zoo seeks a way for deer to play on back country meadows.
October 20, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:5. County favors Zoo preserve land lease, by Charles Ross.
October 22, 1960, San Diego Union, A-1:4. 100,000 roar welcome to Eisenhower here, by Charles Davis.
Only a few persons lined the route into Balboa Park until the caravan swung into the parking lot behind Spreckels Organ Pavilion where eight helicopters waited for the flight to Chula Vista.
October 22, 1960, San Diego Union, A-1:8. Eisenhower lauds IAMO in address at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista; stresses value of cooperation at local level, by Henry Love.
October 22, 1960, San Diego Union. Chula Vista traffic flows smoothly, by Neil Ball.
October 22, 1960, San Diego Union. Famous Eisenhower smile captivates hosts, by Charles Eischen (illus.).
October 23, 1960, San Diego Union, A-11:7. City’s work facilities to decentralize; growth returning horse era setup; Chollas Yard planned, by E. G. Martin.
October 24, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:8. Eleanor B. Edmiston writes letter bemoaning ravages in beautiful Balboa Park.
Editor: Along with many of my fellow citizens in San Diego I view with sorrow and regret the ravages made in the name of progress on our beautiful Balboa Park. I understand there is to be another section cut off the park on the north side to make way for another freeway and that in time El Prado Laurel Street is to be closed to all traffic, even to those who for the sheer enjoyment and spiritual uplift they obtain choose to drive through the park on their way to business or pleasure.
In the name of progress our world-famous buildings are to be torn down and more modern appearing ones erected in their places.
Surely our prosperous and expanding city can afford to tear down and re-erect one building every two or three years without placing too great a strain on the city’s budget.
The interior of the buildings could be designed to house large club rooms which various organizations in the city could rent.
Additional cafes, milk bars and tea rooms could be installed in these buildings. Rentals from such concessions would help to defray the cost of restoration.
November 1, 1960, San Diego Union, A-18:5-7. San Diego Zoo – first Kongoni antelope arrives at Zoo (illus.).
November 4, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:3. Parley urged on park architecture; Council to decide if Spanish theme is to be retained; Councilman Tharp says Spanish architecture should be dominant theme.
Councilman Ross Tharp yesterday proposed a City Council conference to discuss thoroughly the architecture of buildings in Balboa Park, particularly the desirability of retaining Spanish architecture.
“I think it’s up to the council to set the basic theme of the park and before any major changes are made we should decided on retention of the Spanish architecture,” Tharp said.
He said he has received a number of letters from citizens who protested any plan to deviate from Spanish architecture in carrying out recommendations of the park’s master plan.
Harland Bartholomew and Associates, St. Louis planning firm, submitted a proposed master plan for Balboa Park last July. The city Planning Commission so far has not set a date for a public hearing on the plan.
The proposed master plan recommended use of Spanish architecture in new buildings or remodeling of existing structures in the Prado area of the park.
The report pointed out that one reason for the charm of the Prado area has been the generally uniform architectural treatment of buildings, mostly Spanish Renaissance.
However, it said the requirement of Spanish architecture would not be restrictive since there are many styles of Spanish architecture.
The only new building in the park which has received city approval as to architectural style is the planned Timken-Putnam wing of the Fine Arts Gallery.
The City Park and Recreation Department and the City Planning Commission both have approved the wing, which has been described as “classic Spanish” by Architect Frank Hope.
Great emphasis was laid on the continued use of arcades in the Prado area by the Bartholomew report, which recommended the city require arcades of a uniform character.
The report further recommended arcades be either all white or of a light pastel color, not less than 15 feet in height and built of permanent material, such as concrete, stone or plastered brick.
Councilman Justin Evenson said the biggest problem facing the council is defining Spanish architecture. What is Spanish to one person may not be to another, he said.
November 4, 1960, San Diego Union, A-24:1-2. Eleven chosen for roles in Old Globe’s “Picnic.”
November 9, 1960, San Diego Union, A-11:7. Flag ceremony Sunday in Balboa Park.
November 11, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:8. David Marsh writes freeways destroy Balboa Park’s beauty.
November 14, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:7-8. Sixth Annual Massing of Colors held at Organ Pavilion; Mayor Dail gives principal address at Veterans’ Program, by Charles Ross (illus.).
November 15, 1960, San Diego Union, A-18:4-5. An offer to build a Japanese tea garden in Balboa Park has been withdrawn, Les Earnest, city park and recreation director, said yesterday.
He said S. Alan Agnew of San Diego and Harold H. Iwamasa of San Francisco canceled their plans to build and operate a tea garden, apparently because of a disagreement over the minimum rental to be paid to the city.
November 16, 1960, San Diego Union, A-10:1-2. The Old Globe Theater’s new show, William Inge’s Pulitzer prize winner, “Picnic,” was joyfully received both at Sunday nights’ dress rehearsal and at last night’s opening, by Constance Herreshoff.
November 16, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Irene Hudgins wants Balboa Park saved from freeways.
November 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-19:5, A-29:7. Downtown auditorium under study; rehabilitation of park buildings also considered, by E. G. Martin.
November 19, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:5-6. Rarest, smallest flamingo in San Diego Zoo (illus.).
November 19, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:6. Simon Eishner, a Los Angeles planning consultant, warned of encroachment on Balboa park by freeways last night
November 22, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13;6-7. Jacob Dekema, San Diego district engineer for the State Division of Highways, defends park freeways.
November 26, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:2-3. Appliance Show starts 6-day run in Balboa Park.
November 26, 1960, San Diego Union, A-14:1. Two boys held in bicycle thefts at San Diego Zoo
November 27, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:4-8. A-26:4-5. Balboa Park is member of family, by E. G. Martin; first of three articles on the 86-page Bartholomew report (aerial view of the Prado area)
A funny thing usually happens to a newcomer on his way to becoming a full-fledged citizen of the City of San Diego. At some point along the path leading to the day he can be dubbed a real San Diegan, he adopts Balboa Park as an ex-officio member of his family.
The park’s role in the relationship is like an eccentric but favorite aunt. She may wear outmoded clothes and talk about bygone days too much, but don’t criticize her or try to transform her into a sleek Hollywood starlet type — or else!
This hyper-protective attitude toward the park’s 1,400-acres of canyons, scrub brush, Eucalyptus trees, rococo architecture, grassy lawns and “temporary” buildings which have stood for 25 years or more serves, if nothing else, to tie San Diegans into a cohesive group. Needless to say, it makes anything pertaining to changes in the Old Lady of inordinate interest to every resident.
That is why the recommendations for future development of Balboa Park submitted last July by the St. Louis planning firm of Harland Bartholomew and Associates will be examined closely by citizens and city officials before a tree is touched or a building harmed. You can bet on it.
The Bartholomew report does, in fact, contain some sweeping recommendations aimed at rearranging the park.
For instance, take the Prado area — that portion of the park along both sides of El Prado from Cabrillo Bridge to Park Boulevard, dipping southward to take in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
The report, if its recommendations are followed, would shift buildings and reroute traffic in order to create a permanent museum cultural center.
Traffic, for example, would be routed along the edges of the area.
Cars would be banned (except for emergency vehicles) on El Prado between the California Quadrangle and Park Boulevard.
Some existing buildings would be rebuilt.
Six buildings would be demolished, the list including the Administration Building next to the California tower; the Medical Arts Building and the American Legion Building, both of which are now unused; the Food and Beverage Building and the Electric Building.
Except for the Administration Building, all buildings torn down would be replaced. The Bartholomew report, it should be noted, recommends against demolition of most buildings until new ones are ready to be built.
The Prado area, in the words of Bartholomew, “would be redeveloped as an extraordinary complex of museums.”
“Existing temporary buildings would be replaced with permanent construction, yet the basis form, arrangement and charm of the area would be enhanced and continued with new buildings and old interconnected by a pleasant system of reconstructed arcades.”
Two new peripheral roads are recommended to replace the closed portion of El Prado as traffic barriers [sic]. Cars coming into the park from the west would cross Cabrillo Bridge and turn north onto a new road at the bridge’s eastern end.
The new road would divide into two parts near the rear of the existing Administration Building. One would continue behind buildings on the north side of El Prado to Park Boulevard. The other would loop, via a down ramp, under Cabrillo Bridge, continue south for a way, then turn east to Park Boulevard, running behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Parking in the Plaza de Panama would be eliminated under this section of the Bartholomew report’s recommendations.
What about recommendations concerning existing buildings in the Prado area? The report has the following to say about each of them.
Administration: Should be demolished and site landscaped.
California Quadrangle: This “masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture” should be converted into a theater to function as the nucleus of a “theater center” in conjunction with the Old Globe; St. Francis Chapel continuing to be used for weddings, interdenominational services, and religious pageants. The Museum of Man, present occupant, would be moved to a building erected in place of the Electric Building.
Food and Beverage: Should be replaced by a new building and garden center, the latter possibly operated under auspices of the San Diego Floral Association.
Electric Building: Should be demolished and site landscaped until a new building for the Museum of Man can be erected in its place.
House of Hospitality: Should be reconstructed with a similar, of not identical appearance, in permanent materials.
House of Charm: Should be demolished and its site reserved for a proposed Sports Museum.
Medical Arts Building: Already scheduled for demolition to make way for a new west wing of the Fine Arts Gallery.
American Legion Building: Already scheduled for demolition as a site for the new Timken-Putnam wing of the Fine Arts Gallery.
The report recommends retention of the Old Globe, Fine Arts Gallery, Botanical Building, Natural History Museum, Spreckels Organ Pavilion and Spanish Village with additional landscaping or additions to some or all.
A site just east of the Electric Building, opposite the Natural History Museum, should be reserved for a proposed Museum of Science and Industry and Planetarium. The report recommends building a large fountain and overlook at the eastern end of El Prado.
Finally, the report’s Prado area recommendations has something to say about the architecture of new buildings. It said, in essence, that great care should be given to choosing architectural styles of new buildings so they can harmonize with existing Spanish architecture.
The report said Classic Spanish architecture has a number of variations which should satisfy any desire for variety. Arcades in the Prado should be retained, the report emphasized strongly.
November 27, 1960, San Diego Union, A-26:3. An estimated 2,500 persons an hour visited the Electrical and Home Appliance Show in the Electric Building, Balboa Park, yesterday afternoon.
The show climaxes a two-week campaign on the theme “Make Your Home Happier With New Appliances.”
November 28, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:7-8. Palisades Changes Envisioned; landscaped pedestrian overlook would replace Ford Building, by E. G. Martin (illus.).
Imagine yourself standing at the ticket booth in Balboa Park’s Palisades area where tickets to the Star-Light Opera are sold. You are looking north toward the cluster of cottages which comprise the House of Pacific Relations.
Assuming that the recommendations of the St. Louis planning firm of Harland Bartholomew & Associates are adopted en toto for this section of San Diego’s favorite Old Lady — Balboa Park — your view would be something like this.
In front of you, the present broad asphalt parking lot would be a grass lawn.
The circular Ford Building, on your left, would be gone. In its place would be a large landscaped overlook with possibly a fountain as its centerpiece.
On your right, the Municipal Gymnasium would be gone. The Federal Building next to it would be remodeled and the activities which now take place in the Balboa Park Club would be in it.
The row of buildings on the western side of the present parking lot would be gone — the Conference Building, the Palisades Building and the Balboa Park Club.
The House of Pacific Relations would still be there. And south of it, there might be a Japanese Tea Garden.
Behind you, the Balboa Bowl would still be in use unless its function is jeopardized by the noise of the new multi-level interchange for the Crosstown Freeway at Cabrillo Freeway.
All of these changes, of course, will occur over a period of years, according to recommendations of the Bartholomew report. The recommended timetable for demolition of the Municipal Gymnasium, for instance, would depend on construction of a similar facility in the Morley Field area of the park.
“The Palisades area,” says the Bartholomew report, “would be served by an outer loop road. Through much of its length this road would follow the crest of the mesa and provide magnificent views across Cabrillo Canyon. This road would go around the outside of, and be below, the “Ford Building” overlook.
As for the present buildings in the Palisades area, the Bartholomew report recommends the following:
House of Pacific Relations: The present cottages of this “unique civic activity” are sufficiently sound that they may be retained in their present use for an interminable time assuming normal maintenance and repair.
Municipal Gym: The expected life of this building is on the order of 10 years. However, all active recreational facilities should be located in the Morley Field section and the present building should be removed as soon as a new municipal gymnasium is constructed.
Ford Building: Unsuited in its present dilapidated state for any use except dead storage without major repairs. It would cost more to convert the Ford Building to an auditorium or a Museum of Science and Industry than to build a completely new building. It should be torn down and site developed into a pedestrian overlook. But the southern basement could continue as a storage place for scenery of Star-Light Opera.
Conference Building: Has a life of between five and 10 years but should not be used for public assembly because it is in direct violation of the building code. Should be removed and site landscaped.
Palisades Building: Should be removed not later than 1970, preferably by 1965. No building replacement on site.
Balboa Park Club: This building has a residual life of between five and 10 years beyond which time the maintenance cost will in all likelihood become excessive. Should be demolished and its uses consolidated in renovated Federal Building.
Federal Building: Should be converted to accommodate uses currently in Balboa Park Club.
Balboa Bowl: In its present use, the bowl constitutes an attractive and important cultural asset and an appropriate use for Balboa Park. Needs some remodeling. However, no funds should be spent on improvements until there has been sufficient experience with the freeway system (and interchange) noise to demonstrate that the site is usable. If it becomes necessary to build a new bowl, a site east of Park Boulevard adjacent to a new parking lot at the Zoo would have several advantages.
November 27, 1960, San Diego Union, A-26:3. An estimated 10,000 persons saw latest in appliances in Electric Building yesterday afternoon.
November 28, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:3. Appliance Show visited by 50,000 yesterday..
November 29, 1960, San Diego Union, B-1:7-8, B-8:1. Planning unit urges Park Boulevard relocation, by E. G. Martin.
One of the more striking proposals in the Balboa Park Master Plan, submitted by Harland Bartholomew and Associates, St. Louis planners, is the firm’s suggestion to relocated much of Park Boulevard.
This could be accomplished for about $280,000, Bartholomew says.
The relocation, the reports says, first of all would create more parking for the San Diego Zoo — the prime attraction in Balboa Park — by use of the present paving for parking lots.
If the master plan is adopted, Park Boulevard would be relocated from a point just north of Naval Hospital to a point near the War Memorial Building. The new road would run below the brown of Florida Street Canyon.
Between the relocated Park Boulevard and the Zoo entrance, parking could be provided for 2,760 vehicles, which would meet almost all of the zoo’s future estimated parking requirements, according to the report.
Bartholomew proposes a 15-year, three-stage program for carrying out the improvements recommended in the master plan. The first five-year program would cost about $7.5 million, the second about $7.75 million and the third about $6 million.
“Past financing of improvements in Balboa Park has been quite unusual in comparison with other cities,” the report notes. “Much of the money that has gone into park development in the past has come through public subscription, a good part through funds raised for the two expositions.”
This method can provide for much of the improvement contemplated in the master plan, the report continues. Included would be the two wings to the Fine Arts Gallery, the Planetarium, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Garden Center and the Museums of Man, Science and Sports.
These facilities alone would account from some $9 million of the $21.5 million overall cost of master plan improvements. The remaining $12.5 million would have to be financed by public funds.
Taking the cost of the first five-year program along, Bartholomew says $4,290,000 would come from private sources and $3,245,000 from public funds. The $3,245,000 far exceeds the amount budgeted for park improvements in the city’s five-year capital improvement program, $438,600.
“Without making an exhaustive analysis of the sources of funds to carry out the plan it would appear quite likely, if not probable, that it would be necessary for the citizens of San Diego to pass one or more relatively substantial bond issues in order to carry out the master plan for Balboa Park,” Bartholomew says.
In summarizing the financing of the master plan, Bartholomew concludes that Balboa Park currently costs the taxpayers $875,000 a year, which includes some capital improvements, maintenance of buildings and grounds, operating costs and contributions to cultural institutions within the park.
“Current attendance at the park is estimated at 5,200,000 persons annually,” the report says. “Thus, the current expenditures amount to approximately 16 cents per visitor.”
Attendance, however, is expected to increase to about 13 million annually by 1975 which would lower the per capita cost per visitor to 14 cents after spending the $21.5 million on improvements, Bartholomew notes.
“When the park is completed with museums in permanent buildings better suited to their needs, with more convenient parking facilities for the zoo and a more attractive over-all park development, it is quite likely that the tourist business attracted by the park will be three times the present and will represent an annual expenditure in San Diego of approximately $150 million a year,” the report says.
“The expenditure of even two or three times as much as proposed in the improvement program would not be considered illogical to attract a new industry that would bring an equivalent return to the community.”
(Bartholomew’s summary of improvement costs based on 1960 prices follows.)
November 30, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:1-3. Appliance Show ends run tonight.
November 30, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:8. Chapman Grant does not like Art Museum’s proposed “supermarket” architecture.
December, 1960, San Diego Magazine, 60, 126. Heed the Voices and Save the Park, by James Britton.
The best way to educate adults and offspring alike as to good city planning, or environmental design is to spread out samples for them to try on for looks and fit. Such a sample is the hauntingly nostalgic Main Street of Disneyland, in which all the charm of your oldest memories is recreated and all the offensive clutter of real main streets deleted. Another sample of man-made improvements on the natural environment is the string of dream palaces along El Prado in Balboa Park. Mrs. Edmiston is right: they — or at least their spirit — should be preserved.
Are your city councilmen equal to the challenge? Are they run-of-the-mill politicians willing to settle for run-of-the-mill solutions to grown problems in most cases? It must be said they have occasionally stirred themselves to sponsor imaginative projections, as in Mission Bay and “University City.” But a couple of commendable efforts does not excuse them from lapsing into dull answers for Balboa Park.
Vigorous prodding might change the official picture, but who’s going to do it? The danger is death by cultural committee: most of the town’s cultural projects are in the many-fingered but anemic hands of committees and boards whose members are often more concerned with being good Organization Men and Organization Women than they re with the vitality of the arts involved.
Such committees readily impress the City Council in the absence of stronger voices for they give a passing semblance of representing the community. An example is the Fine Arts Society’s governing board, which is laboring to bring forth a wing for the Fine Arts Gallery. Plans were published in November. They are not at all in the same mood or spirit, the same “style” that prevails now along El Prado. Robert Mosher, one of the architects for the Fine Arts Gallery wing, describes his firm’s approach in this case, as “derivative Spanish Plateresque,” meaning that there will be faint suggestions of the same style as the Gallery itself. That to my way of thinking is the worst kind of mistake, as in the many derivative Federal Style Postoffice around the country.
On the basis of its half-completed plans, the Fine Arts Society has been advertising for contributions to the building fund, promising immortality, no less, to those who give. Basically it is a worthy cause, and I would recommend that gifts be accompanied by requests that plans be revamped to reflect the architectural character of El Prado.
There has been published a wretched rendering of the Timken Gallery, which the City Council intents to allow, yea welcome as replacement for the dilapidated palace just east of the Fine Arts Gallery. It would not do to comment about this architectural effort on such flimsy evidence except to say that a “modern” building, whether made of marble or cheese, will at one stroke destroy the grant continuity of nostalgic Spanish which makes El Prado San Diego’s most talked-about display. Both the Timken wing and the Fine Arts Gallery west wing will be in currently fashionable modes. They might even be acceptable architecture — anywhere but along El Prado.
While San Diego is in the process of killing off its main architectural distinction, San Francisco is doing exactly the opposite — bringing the dead back to life. The grandiose Palace of Fine Arts (near the Golden Gate Bridge) was built about the same time as our Prado buildings, also of “temporary” construction and also part of an exposition. The Palace in its days of exposition glory etched such a rich memory in the mind of one San Francisco youngster that, at the height of his moneyed seniority a couple of years ago, he gave a million dollars, no less, to rebuild it in permanent materials. The city itself, realizing that many others felt the same way about the Palace, added another million for the rebuilding.
It remains to be seen how far $2,000,000 will go at today’s construction prices. The important thing is that San Francisco is making an effort; a spirited individual and the town’s officials have shown dollars-and-cents determination to preserve on of the unique features from out of the colorful local history. Note that what they would be preserving is the spirit of the original building, not the flesh. Not a scrap of the original material (mostly chicken wire and plaster) would remain.
The very idea of copying ancient buildings has fallen into disfavor of modern eyes, as architects strained to bring in the exciting new way of building, based on new methods. Yet just suppose that never again was there to be built any copy or replica of historic landmarks. After a sufficiency of time and erosion, the Earth would be completely erased of such perishable treasures as the Taj Mahal and Chartres Cathedral. Looked at thus, there is clearly need for more not less, attention to periodic re-housing of the spirit of the great architectural designs from the past.
The spirit of El Prado is worth that kind of attention, even though the buildings to be copied were mostly copies in the first place. The “practical” designs prepared by the Fine Arts Society and the Timken Foundation should be rejected by the City Council, which should insist on architecture that conforms better with the spirit of El Prado.
This need not be as expensive or as inconvenient as it sound. The truth is that the spirit of El Prado was pretty much a matter of dazzling facades, behind which practical layouts of space for exhibition purposes were arranged.
It would be desirable to rebuild as permanently as money will allow, but there would be no reason against rebuilding those facades in cheap lath and plaster similar to the original materials, especially since we would be dealing frankly with facades — mock-ups or stage-sets if you will. After all, the original “temporaries” lasted 45 years.
The chief opposition to such a program might be architects whose vanity was slighted and the New York bankers, administrators of the Timken funds, who would probably favor in stereotype terms a prideful freestanding monument. However, there is plenty of room in the area to lay out all the floor plans now planned for the wings and still preserve existing facades and arcades.
My reasoning here is architectural heresy, I know, and the potent ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright will plague me, but I am proposing that we consider first and foremost the psychological value of the Grand Illusion that is — or was — El Prado. This psychological value is not only for tourists. Everyone, whether he knows it or not, needs occasional reminders that there is some background, some heritage, behind his spinning days on earth.
What we have along El Prado, without quite realizing it, is an intensely interesting architectural museum which people come to see. (One is not to be confused by the fact that this museum is outside its own walls, and that within its walls are other museums!) In the nature of the case, the “exhibits” are full-size copies of “old master” buildings (Some good and some no-so) which originated in other places and times. Also part of the architectural exhibit is the very interrelatedness of the buildings, a masterpiece of environmental design. It’s a museum that could be made even more impressive by further refining the historical evocations. It could not possibly be improved, but only destroyed by proceeding with the two misconceived “practical” buildings now fixing to muscle into the grand parade of El Prado.
December, 1960, San Diego Magazine, 61. San Diego’s “Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts,” by James Britton.
Surprise. This scale was made to show the traffic arteries now being built in Balboa Park. Incidentally it is graphic evidence of what a superb center for the performing arts San Diego could have with a little effort. Indeed, the lower left corner in this view looks like just such a center fully flourishing complete with parking.
The circular structure is the mammoth Ford Building, a majestic piece of architectural design usually underestimated because its front view is its weakest feature. It could be splendidly revised into an opera house with grandest foyer and the grandest circular promenade deck in opera history.
Next to the Ford Opera House is the Bowl now used for summer symphony and Starlight musicals on a rather too cozy sharing basis. If might be fitted with sides and a roof if freeway noise becomes a problem. The two enormous rectangular buildings could be revised for rehearsal halls, workshop cares or whatever is needed.
The square roof at the left edge of the model belongs to the Federal Building, a gigantic, solid, concrete affair capable of being adapted into an acoustically engineered symphony hall seating 2500 or 3000 lovers, symphony lovers. It was in fact designed to be a civic theater and was given to the city with the understanding it would be completed as such.
One excuse for not competing the Federal Building has been that there was not enough parking space. But, as the model partly shows, the canyon back of the building is going to be filled in and paved for parking. With this new and ample parking in mind Bartholomew & Associates, hired to survey the park, suggested that the Federal Building be used as a king-size banquet hall, replacing the Balboa Park Club.
It may be doubted that an enormous banquet hall will be needed in the park, what with all the new banquet facilities built or planned by hotels. On the other hand, it cannot be doubted that a home of its own is needed and deserved by the San Diego Symphony, which is bound to grow in answer to the rapidly growing audience for good music. Therefore, I believe the Federal Building should be converted into a symphony hall. A really good architect could transform this hulking box into an architectural wonder; nothing less will be good enough for San Diego.
December 1, 1960, San Diego Union, A-3:1-8. Crosstown freeway section underway (illus.)
December 2, 1960, San Diego Union, 29:3-4. City Council sets December 13 conference over design of Timken-Putnam wing; Councilman Russ Tharp concerned about the planned Timken-Putnam wing not being in conformance with present Spanish architecture; Councilman Justin Evenson said the difficulty lies in answering the question: “What is Spanish architecture and what is not?”; design was approved by the Planning Commission and the city Park and Recreation Commission.
December 2, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:6-7 Harry L. Foster writes Ford Building best bet for auditorium.
December 3, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:4-5. Balboa Park Christmas Center opens tomorrow.
December 4, 1960, San Diego Union, C-2:6-7. A. O. Nelson writes Balboa Park will be ruined unless citizens preserve park buildings.
December 5, 1960, A-21:1-3. Christmas Center opens; music, carols cast Yule spell over Balboa Park (illus.).
December 5, 1960, San Diego Union, A-21:5-8. Polar bears move to new home at San Diego Zoo, by Greg Pearson (illus.).
December 5, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:6. Susan Jones, 14, writes if there is anything you can do to save the park, do it.
December 9, 1960, San Diego Union, 28:6. Conference on design of Timken-Putnam wing scheduled for Tuesday canceled.
December 11, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:2-3. San Diego Zoo – Koala bear shows offspring.
December 11, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:4-5. Shelter Island “Friendship Bell” dedicated.
December 12, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:6-7. Delia A. Severin writes freeway noise may destroy Balboa Park Bowl.
December 12, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Beatrice Warren objects to changing architecture of Balboa Park.
December 15, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:6-7. Lucien C. Atherton writes planned destruction of park must stop; objects to Bartholomew plan.
December 16, 1960, San Diego Union, A-25:4. San Diego Zoo completes water conservation pool; located at foot of deer mesa in the lowest canyon of the zoo.
December 17, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:5-7, A-16:1-3. The City Planning Commission yesterday strongly urged acquisition of 1,765 acres in the Mission Gorge area for development of a major new city park.
December 17, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2. Philip P. Martin writes all citizens should protect city’s park.
As a boy in San Diego I had the pleasure of knowing Father Horton for over a year before his death. My father, Patrick Martin, always spoke of him as a man of remarkable foresight and great generosity.
Father Horton gave Balboa Park to the citizens and future citizens of San Diego. Balboa Park has already lost 300 acres to non-park usage. Let us zealously guard the remaining 1,100 acres.
My father served the city as a park commissioner along with George Marston and Miss Kate Sessions in the early development of the park before the first exposition in 1915. They retained John Morley who was park superintendent for so many years. It was he who aided and advised by Miss Sessions planted the many trees and lovely shrubs. Many of the trees torn out for the freeway interchange were 40 to 50 years old. It was hard to see them go, nearly as bad as seeing old friends pass away.
Citizens of San Diego should protect the remaining palms, eucalypti and cedar deodara from further destruction. They act as a backdrop for the architecture of the buildings.
I knew the artist who was responsible for the castings made for the original buildings. Mr. Pianso, a dedicated man, took them from originals in Seville, Granada and Madrid.
To me, Balboa Park is still a pride and joy. I think it is the desire of nearly everyone to keep El Prado area just as it was during the first exposition. But we know the temporary buildings have long outlasted their usefulness and many are a hazard to life and property. They must be renewed.. Let us keep the replacements as near as possible in outward appearance to the originals. They are a proven entity; they have received worldwide acclaim; in fact they are a part of our old-world heritage transplanted to a new world setting among semi-tropical vegetation..
December 18, 1960, San Diego Union, A-36:1-4. San Diegans are proud and jealous: Balboa Park, the Big Green Heart, by Nick Williams.
Wide-eyed youngsters, drowsy sunbathers and culture-seeking San Diegans stream daily to the heart of the city — the big, green heart called Balboa Park.
“The people are proud and jealous of the park,” said Les Earnest, city park and recreation director. Sprawling over 1,400 acres at the edge of downtown San Diego, Balboa Park outstrips in size and attractions San Francisco’s 1,000-acre Golden Gate Park [sic!] and New York’s 840-acre Central Park [sic!].
Five million people yearly visit and participate in the abundant activities of the park. The Bartholomew Report, a master plan for Balboa Park created for the city by Harland Bartholomew and Associates of St. Louis, estimates it as a billion-dollar investment for San Diego.
Many things to many people, Balboa Park beckons its visitors to rub shoulders with history in the Prado area, current events in the Palisades, fellow athletes in the Morley Field area and grass and trees in the Golden Hill and Sixth Avenue picnic grounds, the most frequented facilities except the Zoo.
As big as the park seems now, it must have appeared larger to the 2,300 San Diegans in 1868 when the set aside the 1,400 acres, worth $6,000, for a big city park. For the next 20 years attractions for the tourist and citizen were a dog pound, trash dump and a few cattle grazing where their Asian and African cousins would roam 40 years later.
Led by the Ladies Annex of the Chamber of Commerce, San Diegans began to take an interest in the canyon-riddled field in 1889. The ladies planted a strip of trees along the Sixth Avenue edge of the park and a picnic grove and dirt-fairway golf course were begun in the shadow of Golden Hill.
City Park, in name, died in 1910 when plans were made to have an exposition in the park in 1915 to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. Balboa, the city said, would be a proper name, for the park’s view of the ocean was thought similar to the explorer’s when he discovered the Pacific [sic!].
The 1915-1916 Panama-California International Exposition sired Balboa Park’s recreational and cultural wonderland of 1960.
Art works and animals left from the exposition spurred the development of the Fine Arts and Zoological Societies. The Natural History Society and Spreckel’s Organ Pavilion settled in the Prado. Balboa Park was on its feet.
The park has washed its face and surrendered 300 acres to freeways since 1936, but has remained a big park with subdued tastes.
“If a large municipal park is what this city wants, and I think it is,” Earnest said, “then it cannot be allowed to be chopped into small pieces.”
Earnest said he is looking forward to some planned large projects. The Fine Arts Society will expand its present building to the west in a wing containing galleries, an auditorium and a statue garden.
The Hall of Science and Industry will step off with exhibitions in the Food and Beverage Building and has proposed a planetarium on the east side of the Prado. A Japanese tea house will be constructed south of the House of Pacific Relations to replace the one that gave way to the Children’s Zoo.
There are big plans for Balboa Park, the big, green heart of the city.
December 18, 1960, San Diego Union, B-7:4-7. San Diego Zoo – ducks converge on zoo; free food; no shooting.
December 18, 1960, San Diego Union, C-2. G. H. H. writes in protest of inroads on Balboa Park.
They are not content with the complete devastation they have wrought at Sixth and Date but now are talking of cutting down through Sixth and Upas Road.
I remember two years ago when some wanted the Sixth and Date corner for an auditorium; it was twice voted down by the citizens. What about the freeway — why were we residents not give a vote on it?
Now they want to ruin the architecture of the park buildings and demolish the Ford Bowl. With some money spent on it, it could be an idea spot as an auditorium with ample parking and central location.
December 19, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:7. Adrian L. Wheeler writes about butchery being wrought on park for freeway-road construction.
The powers that be have ruthlessly torn out the Date Street end of the park.
Now they are going to tear through the Upas Street end of the park and put another unneeded freeway there.
The city fathers say it is necessary to sent all this traffic through the park.
Go to the park and see what is being done and going to be done. Can you see how, legally, our park can be given over to the traffic lords?
December 20, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2. Gloria Scot Bauman warns against further destruction of Balboa Park and its buildings.
December 21, 1960, San Diego Union, A-15:8, A-18:1-2. Mayor Dail reveals new study on convention hall; survey set on Ford Building, William L. Pereira of Los Angeles hired to examine cost estimates submitted by Harland Bartholomew and Associates and those submitted by C. J Paderewski, a San Diego architect.
Bartholomew’s firm was paid $35,000 to draw a master plan for Balboa Park which included a study on the Ford Building’s rehabilitation. His recommendation was to tear down the building because it would cost too much to remodel it.
Paderewski a year ago submitted on behalf of the San Diego Convention and Tourist Bureau cost estimates in which he said it would take a million to $1,100,000 to remodel the building as q 3,750-seat auditorium with exhibit space.
“The Ford Building hasn’t been dropped as a possible temporary public assembly hall,” Dail said. “The Pereira report will be ready in a couple of weeks and the council will discuss it.”
The mayor added that Pereira has not been able to conclude that the Paderewski or Bartholomew cost estimates were realistic. Bartholomew estimated it would cost $2,108,000 to convert the Ford Building into a 5,000-seat auditorium.
Dail’s remarks were prompted by an appearance before the council of Ivor De Kirby, a vice president of the Tourist and Convention Bureau. De Kirby said the city should begin a crash program to rehabilitate the Ford Building to give San Diego an adequate meeting hall within the next year.
- San Diego lost 10 million dollars of income from conventions which would have come here in 1961 if the Ford Building had been rehabilitated.
- San Diego is one of three cities in the United States over 250,000 population without an adequate auditorium.
- San Diego is competing with 35 other California cities for convention business, compared with 16 years ago, due to smaller cities getting into the business.
- Tourism (and conventions) is San Diego’s third largest industry and the only one controllable by local citizens
Dail said the council cannot decide on rehabilitating the Ford Building when it has such widely differing cost estimates, ranging from Paderewski’s $1,100,000 to Bartholomew’s $2,108,000.
The mayor also said that a downtown master plan, now being drawn by the city Planning Department in cooperation with San Diegans, Inc. will recommend a downtown location for a public assembly hall, including exhibit space and meeting rooms.
Dail, in the past, has suggested locating such a hall in the courthouse, state office building area.
Harry Haelsig, city planning director, said the downtown master plan probably will be ready in mid-February. He confirmed that it will recommend a downtown location for a public assembly hall.
In answer to questions later, City Manager George Bean said that Pereira was hired on a flexible fee basis. He estimated the fee will be about $500.
Bean said that one of the troubles with the Bartholomew and Paderewski figures was their difference in approaches.
“Bartholomew’s figures were based on reconstructing the Ford Building so that it would fully meet municipal building code requirements,” Bean said. “Paderewski’s figures were not.”
December 22, 1960, San Diego Union, A-17:6. A-19:1. Joint program for convention hall proposed; state aid to county city eyed, by E. G. Martin.
December 23, 1960, San Diego Union, A-13:6, A-15:2-3. Time factor, auditorium plans linked; State Senator Hugo Fisher proposal; two other cost estimates weighed; Fisher proposed city-county-state participate in brand new facility.
December 25, 1960, San Diego Union, C-2:6-7. Mrs. Charlotte Getz wants to know why City Council wasted taxpayers’ money by hiring Bartholomew and Associates to prepare a master plan for Balboa Park.
How in the wide world would Bartholomew and Associates of St. Louis know what the people of San Diego need and want?
Now that two years and $30,000 have been wasted, we are still waiting for more hearings before we can get under way with any construction work.
Meanwhile, construction costs continue to rise and time marches on!
December 28, 1960, San Diego Union, B-2:6-7. P. W. Murphy writes let the people vote on convention hall; What would be wrong with Mission Bay Park?
Return to Amero Collection.
BALBOA PARK HISTORY
1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 | 1904
1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909
1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914
1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924
1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934
1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944
1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949
1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954
1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959
1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964
1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974
1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984
1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994
1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999