Balboa Park History 1972
January, 1972, San Diego Magazine. The Restoration, by Robert Ward (illus.).
Due in large measure to the prodigious efforts of Mrs. Frank Evenson and her Committee of 100, San Diegans can now, after 50 years of vacillation and uncertainty, walk along Balboa Park’s El Prado and see the first tangible evidence that their “boulevard of broken dreams” may become whole again. What she had done, simply, is to take her memories of Balboa Park and the Prado area in their early days and convert them, through passionate concern and determination, into the first, realized part of a dream that all of us may now share.
Formed in the spring of 1967, the committee set out to enlist the support of San Diegans in a crusade to preserve as much as possible of the remarkable, visionary “city-within-a-city” designed and executed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Much of his original conception has already disappeared under the ravages of time and neglect, and plans were then afoot to replace the aging, soon-to-be-condemned Food and Beverage Building with variously, some sort of more modern “Spanish-influenced” structure or parking lot, and the signs were that the other temporary buildings of the Exposition were earmarked for this fate also.
Built of lath and plaster, these whimsically baroque plays on a Spanish-Colonial theme (the Food and Beverage Building, the House of Hospitality, the House of Charm, and the Electric Building) were never intended to remain standing after the 1915 Exposition, but the sentimental pressure of generations of San Diegans had kept them, if not exactly intact, at least erect.
The committee felt that the city should undertake to replace the Food and Beverage Building, and eventually the others, with completely new structures, which remained true in outward appearance to the conception of the originals but which, through interior modifications, would be far more functional than the barn-like shells they would replace. Eventually they succeeded in initiating and shepherding through the electorate a $3.5 million city bond issue for this purpose, and the Casa del Prado is the happy result of their efforts.
The new structure, designed by Richard George Wheeler & Associates, AIA, with the consultation of Samuel Wood Hamill, FAIA, is perhaps the single most encouraging thing to happen in San Diego in the last decade, at least from a romantic or visionary point of view. Adhering closely to the initial design by Carleton Winslow, for which the architect was fortunate to have available the original drawings on linen, it is somewhat smaller in overall dimensions, but has been provided with substantially more usable interior space.
The ornamentation of the old Food and Beverage Building was removed before the site was leveled, and castings from these ornaments have been used to faithfully duplicate much of the old facade on the new building. The overall sense of the Winslow design is preserved, but the tendency is toward a leaner, more simplified structure which displays to best advantage the whimsical complexity of the sculptural motifs. The building so perfectly attains its ideals that it is difficult to believe that it has not been in the park for 50 years or more, along with its neighbors.
Of the many San Diego residents who cherish memory images of the original Prado, the committee singles out Mrs. Arthur Pratt as one to whom future generations owe a special gratitude. Mrs. Pratt first saw the Food and Beverage Building in 1935 and as an artist was enchanted with the ornate beauty of the structure. Now in her 80’s, she remembers the building in detail. Her contribution of $50,000 made possible the exact reproduction of the original loggia for Casa del Prado. And with extraordinary generosity, she has made an additional contribution of $50,000 to the committee for the recreation of the Electric Building, directly across from Casa del Prado.
Having proven that it is possible to undertake a project of the magnitude of Casa del Prado, and see it through to its full fruition, the committee has now taken on a similar task with the Electric Building. Designed for the same 1915 Exposition by Frank P. Allen, who also did the Cabrillo Bridge, the Electric Building, which now houses the Aerospace Museum, is in at least as bad condition as the Food and Beverage Building was when the city condemned it and precipitated the reaction which resulted in the Committee of 100’s formation.
The committee hopes to put through another bond issue in November for about $3 million, and use these funds to undertake the same sort of program with the Electric Building as proved so successful with the Food and Beverage Building. They would like to see another, totally new structure outwardly identical to the old one in conception but with a large all-weather skylight-covered atrium in the center to open up the gloomy, overwhelming reaches of the former interior. Once again they would like to see all of the ornamental art of the original design retained but the basic structure that bears these sculptures refined and simplified around its original form.
If they should be successful in their efforts, and there is every reason to believe they will be, the two new structures face-to-face across El Prado and the new Plaza Balboa and planetarium under construction a few yards to the east will tie together into a unified visual whole and provide a stunning climax t the long flow of El Prado, the boulevard of one-broken and now-mending dreams.
January 20, 1972, San Diego Union. B-1. Landmarks Favored by Park and Recreation Board Yesterday; Saving Ford, Electric Buildings Urged in Proposal to City Council.
The vote on the issue was 7-2, with Richard Lustig and Dr. Louis Robinson voting against the recommendation to the City Council that the structures be left in the park.
January 30, 1972, San Diego Union, B-3:4. Norval Richardson, president of Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Hall of Science, spoke at Café del Rey Moro; fund raising has goal of $750,000; $100,000 raised.
February 4, 1972, San Diego Union, B-3:1-2. City Council yesterday authorized call for bids on construction of inner dome of Planetarium.
March 23, 1972, San Diego Union. B-3. Committee of 100 hopes to replace park’s Electric Building, by Beverly Beyette.
Reconstruction of Balboa Park’s Electric Building — hopefully with some federal and state funds and with a November bond issue – is the next project of the Committee of 100.
The committee, which now numbers 1,000 persons dedicated to the preservation of Spanish-Colonial architecture in Balboa Park, was the driving force behind reconstruction of the Food and Beverage Building, now called Casa del Prado.
Architect Richard George Wheeler, who designed Casa del Prado, has been working on preliminary sketches for a replacement for the Electric Building which he would like to see called Casa del Pacifico.
Wheeler is thinking in terms of a rectangular building, two stories, with a large glass-roofed patio, similar in concept to the famed Gallery of Victor Emmanuel in Milan, Italy.
On the ground floor might be shops and displays of the wares of all the nations that border on the Pacific Ocean and several restaurants. In a landscaped center courtyard there might be kiosks for dining.
The second floor, says Wheeler, might contain meeting rooms overlooking the glass-roofed patio. Wheeler says there would be room to park about 325 cars, some underground.
The building, says Wheeler, would contain about 60,000 square feet of usable space, whereas the present Electric Building has 52,000 square feet.
March 23, 1972, San Diego Union, B-14. EDITORIAL: Spirit of ’76
The proposal by the Committee of 100 to replace the shoddy Electric Building in Balboa Park with a Casa del Pacifica to house exhibits from Latin America and nations on the Pacific littoral is an idea whose time should be here.
April 5, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:3-4. Mrs. Jeanette G. Pratt donates $50,000 to assist the Committee of 100 to duplicate ornament on Electric Building; ornament to be removed from building and duplicated in permanent form for new building,, which may be called “Casa del Pacifico.”
April 23, 1972, San Diego Union, B-13:1. San Diego Downtown Association supports construction of a $3.5 million educational and cultural center in Balboa Park, which may be called “Casa del Pacifico.”
May 2, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:2-4. Films by Roger Tilton on Hawaii and Apollo 16 liftoff to be shown at Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater.
June 2, 1972, San Diego Union, B-3:6-7. The San Diego Zoo’s reserve account should be used to enhance and increase te overall public appeal of Balboa Park, according to Michael Babunikis, city’s legislative analyst.
July 13, 1972, San Diego Union, B-5:1-3. A class from Morse High School yesterday took an inspection tour of the Electric Building as part of a project in their independent studies program; the students hope to make recommendations that will be incorporated in renovation plans for the historic building.
July 15, 1972, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. John Mulligan to be in charge of developing audio-visual program for Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater.
July 16, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1. Confrontation recalled; changes bring welcome clam to Southeast Park, by Michael Grant.
July 21, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:2-3. A $5 million bond issue for the renovation of the Electric Building is one step away from the November ballot; the City Council yesterday agreed to docket the item for consideration at its August 10 session but, at the same time, councilmen expressed doubt as to its appropriateness.
July 22, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:4. The proposal to place a $5-million bond issue on the November ballot to rebuild the Electric Building has run into strong opposition; Mrs. Bea Evenson, president of the Committee of 100, is spearheading the drive; she is opposed by Mayor Wilson, a majority of the City Council, the Parks and Recreation Board and the Inter-Museum Council; they oppose placing this single issue before the voters in November.
July 28, 1972, San Diego Union, B-3:1-3. Several organizations which are backing efforts to renovate the Electric Building have reached an accord on details of the proposed budget it was announced yesterday; the Klee Wyk Society, San Diego History Center, Historic Sites Board and Committee of 100.
August 11, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:8. A bond issue is headed for the November ballot; the Council supplied the 6 votes necessary to adopt a resolution of necessity and convenience for a $2.2 million proposal for the renovation of the Electric Building and a $1.6 million proposal for the renovation of the Ford Building; adoption of the resolution is required before the city can officially place the issues on the ballot.
August 16, 1972, “The Museum of Man: Its Architectural Heritage,” manuscript by Samuel Wood Hamill, F.A.I.A.; San Diego History Center Research Archives.
August 18 – 27, 1972, San Diego American’s Finest City Week.
August 20, 1972, Environment Day (Sunday) – Balboa Park.
August 21, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:5-8. Finest City fete brought crowd to Balboa Park yesterday; day-long event coordinated by the city’s Human Resources Department.
August 23, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:3. City ballot propositions were officially placed on the November ballot by the City Council.
August 31, 1972, San Diego Union. Balboa Park Electric Building bonds stirs sharp controversy.
The Electric Building at Balboa Park should not be rebuilt but instead should be destroyed as it was originally intended to be, Philip L. Gildred, president of the San Diego Fine Arts Society, said yesterday.
September 1, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:2. Family of Major Reuben H. Fleet gave $400,000 for exhibits in Hall of Science.
September 6, 1972, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-4. The Inter-museum Council supports Propositions B and C on the November 7 ballot, architect Robert D. Ferris said yesterday at a conference in the Electric Building, Balboa Park.
Date ?, Source ?. Proposition C seeks city bond issue for $1.67 million to refurbish the Ford Building as the new home of the Aerospace Museum.
September 23, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Elizabeth Eager: ” . . . our world-famous Spanish baroque complex in Balboa Park . . . Our dedicated Committee of 100 has worked . . . to save our cultural-centered Balboa Park buildings. A monumental result is the handsome, authentic Casa del Prado.
October 3,1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Elizabeth Davidson: “Several times I have driven to town with my friends and they always wish to see our beautiful Balboa Park. I have never once asked them to see the high-rise along the waterfront.”
October 6, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Hamilton Marston: “Hopefully . . . we will not make major commitments of a piecemeal nature and questionable priority like the current proposals to replace the Electric Building or replaced the Ford Building.”
October 8, 1972, San Diego Union, D-2:3-4. Women’s groups associated with four San Diego museums will jointly sponsor a dedication party for Balboa Park’s new completed Plaza de Balboa from 5 to 8 p.m., October 20; sponsoring groups are the Covey of the San Diego Natural History Museum, the women’s committees of the Fine Arts Gallery and the Serra Museum and the Museum of Man’s Klee Wyk Society.
October 8, 1972, San Diego Union, AA-7:5-7. Plaza de Balboa, the newest addition to Balboa Park, will be dedicated in a ceremony October 20; the illuminated 60-foot fountain at the center of the plaza will be officially turned on by Mayor Wilson and water development pioneer Fred Heilbron during the ceremony at 5 p.m.; A cocktail buffet supper to celebrate the dedication is being planned the same evening by leaders of the Natural History Museum, the Fine Arts Gallery, Serra Museum and Museum of Man; Mrs. Carlton Sell and Mrs. Dwight Warner are co-chairman for the party.
October 9, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Robert L. Wallace, Professor of Art History, San Diego State: “El Prado will be one of the finest educational complexes in the nation.”
October 10, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:2-6. Planetarium Spectacular: 70-millimeter IMAX projector under construction for Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater.
An audiovisual spectacular that will make Hollywood’s silver screen seem like home movies is coming to town.
The world’s most sophisticated motion picture system will be installed in the new Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center, nearing completion in Balboa Park. It will open next March.
The heart of the system is a specially-designed, y0-millimeter IMAX Projector, now under construction in Gault, Ontario, at the laboratory of Multi-screen, Inc.
The projector will have a 180-degree fish-eye lends as do the cameras that have been at work for months filming everything from Apollo blastoffs to Hawaiian dance festivals for the planetarium.
“The image from this unusual projector will cover some 80 percent of the dome surface,” explained planetarium executive director Michael Sullivan.
A single frame of the color film being made for unique San Diego productions has a picture image measuring 2 by 2 and ¾ inches.
“This is the largest film format ever shot,” Sullivan said. “As a result the picture quality on the dome is going to be just spectacular.”
The film actually dwarfs anything every projected in any conventional movie theater, including shows like Cinerama and Panavision.
This will give planetarium visitors an eye-popping, three-dimensional, wrap-around experience. The picture from the projector will extend to the limit of the viewer’s peripheral vision – side-to-aide, down, in back of his head.
“You can imagine what this is going to be like for viewers when we project such scenes such as one shot for us from a B-25 winging through the Grand Canyon,” Sullivan said.
“I think a lot of people are going to grab their seats, it will be so realistic.”
Sullivan said the planetarium will pay $235,000 for the unique projector. Announcement of plans to acquire it, he explained, was withheld until negotiations on the contract were complete.
The size of the projector, not including film storage and delivery units, will be 67 inches high, 68 inches wide and nine feel long. The projector will weight 3,000 pounds. The film will be spooled on reels 42 inches in diameter.
The film will run horizontally through the machine at a rate of six feet (24 frames) a second. This is three times more footage than used by Cinerama-type projectors.
A 15,000-watt xenon arc lamp in the illumination system generates so much heat that the projector will be cooled by water flowing at a rate of 10 gallons a minute.
Sullivan said there is one other IMAX projector in operation today. That machine is featured in the Cinesphere at Ontario Place, an entertainment center in Toronto.
The Toronto projector produces a picture on a curved screen which is very wide by cinema standards but not nearly so expansive as the San Diego picture will be.
“This is the first time the IMAX has been adapted with a fish-eye lens that will put a good sharp image on a true dome,” Sullivan explained.
In addition to the IMAX, the planetarium also will have standard 70-millimeter projectors of Cinerama type in addition to the 10,000-star Spitz planetarium projector being built for the space theater.
All these projection machines will be employed in a typical show at the park facility. At certain times, they will run simultaneously, coordinated by computer.
The films of earthy scenic wonders are being integrated into the planetarium shows very purposefully to make visiting the center a rewarding, memorable experience.
There also will be highly realistic space travel simulations in the shows.
“One of these we are making now is called ‘Voyage to Outer Planets,’” Sullivan described. “In one scene, I think is particularly good, we land on a moon of Jupiter. After landing, we see Jupiter come around and eclipse the sun. The atmosphere kind of freezes out . . . It’s really beautiful”
Sullivan said some of the scenes being made are reminiscent of some of those in the cinema “2001.”
There also will be plenty of the traditional planetarium show, in an improved way. Education and scientific authenticity will be prime goals of the planetarium, Sullivan assured.
But, innovations have been added to get the planetarium off the ground, into space, to simulate orbits about the earth, moon and planets and to reproduce the roll, pitch and yaw of space craft.
Add a dash of entertainment and you have the billing for next March in the park.
Sullivan has no illusions about other institutions standing still with the old-fashioned planetarium show. He believes other space theaters as good as San Diego’s eventually will follow.
Sullivan, however, is equally certain that when it opens the planetarium here will be No. 1 in the world.
“It is not only a new generation of planetaria,” he said, “it is a beginning of a new medium.”
October 11, 1972, San Diego Union, A-3:1-5; B-1:4-5. Walk-through of $4.5 million Hall of Science and Space Theater, by Cliff Smith.
Balboa Park’s Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater is being constructed something like a fine Swiss watch — the hard way.
The theater building, comparing with the artfully-styled gold watch case, is finished, and it is beautiful.
But inside the theater still is virtually a shell.
Installation of the works to make the theater tick — a works far more complex than any watch movement — is just beginning.
The charge of the workers is to construct the best audiovisual system in the world. The goal is to project the theatergoer into space and through time, to move him freely throughout the solar system and plunge him into spectacular earthly scenes, al with the most realistic degree of simulation ever achieved.
Yesterday area newsmen got a glimpse of the work going on in the theater and a detailed briefing of how the system will work during a preview “walk-through” of the $4.5 million facility.
There is an interesting story in almost every part of the theater-equipping process.
Right now workers are erecting a hemispherical projection dome, 76 feet in diameter, inside the theater. The dome will be unique in several ways.
For one thing, explained theater director Michael Sullivan, the theater will be the first planetarium without walls and have a “sky” extending al the way to the floor.
“In the typical planetarium the viewer has the feeling of being in a dark well looking up,” Sullivan said.
He said that the worst part of this typical situation is that, no matter what image is projected onto the dome, the viewer remains fixed to earth. This is because of the dark surrounding walls that serve as ever-present visual reference.
In the new theater, viewers no longer will be grounded because there will be no walls in view.
To achieve this, both the dome and the theater seating floor had to be designed with a 25-degree downward tilt. Thus, the theater seating arrangement is like a steeply tiered amphitheater inside a ball that extends down under the front row, overhead behind the last row, and down to the floor on both sides.
The material had to serve as a brilliant projection surface, like the movie screen, suitable for several types of projection equipment. There will be a star projector, a planet projector, at least two Cinerama-type motion picture projectors, a 70 millimeter IMAX projector with a lens that will cover 80 percent of the dome with a movie and special zoom projectors with a 1 to 22 image size variability.
The dome surface also had to be acoustically transparent. The theater will have a three-dimensional “moving sound” system to go with the 3-D visual imagery. Seventeen big speakers will be scattered behind the projection dome. More speakers will go under the theater seats.
There also was air conditioning to worry about. Massive penetrations of the dome for air ducts was out of the question.
To satisfy all these requirements the come surface will be constructed of a “scrim” material which is simply sheet metal with small, even-spaced holes drilled through 22 percent of the material surface.
October 12, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Spencer L. Rogers, explaining purpose of shift in museums.
October 13, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, E. Miles Harvey, explaining why museums are to be shifted.
October 17, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Ferdinand F. Fletcher: “Six times “special interests” have tried to destroy the beautiful Spanish-Colonial architecture in Balboa Park and the adopted Bartholomew Plan. Six times the people of San Diego have said ‘No, this is our park and these are our buildings which we love.’ The issue of Proposition B is clear. The Electric Building must be replaced. Do you want to replace it with a landscaped parking lot, or do you want to replace it with a beautiful, useful building, displaying museum treasures which heretofore we have never had the room to display?
October 20, 1972, San Diego Union, B-4:5 and October 21, 1972, D-1:3. The new Plaza de Balboa and fountain — in front of the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park — will be dedicated from 5 to 8 tonight; the fountain will be started by Fred A. Heilbron, longtime chairman of the San Diego County Authority, and representative of Mayor Wilson; the fountain highlights the 120,000 square foot plaza; flower beds, trees and russet inlaid tiles dot the plaza.
October 20, 1972, San Diego Union, B-19:5-7. Representatives of the San Diego Civic Arts for Youth will entertain at the dedication of the new Golden Fountain in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Balboa this evening; Mayor Wilson will be the featured speaker for the dedication beginning at 5 p.m. today; the Women’s Committee of the San Diego Natural History Museum is sponsoring the ceremony.
October 23, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Richard Amero . . . Park Rebuilding Plan Draws Fire.
Editor: Balboa Park is overcrowded with buildings.
To rebuild the Electric Building is contrary to the advice of the original architect Bertram Goodhue. The Museum of Natural History and the Aerospace Museum has found this building inadequate.
What miracle of architectural drawing can reconvert what originally was a town hall in Majorca into a modern museum when its floor plan, windows and arcade were meant for something else? The same argument also applied to the California Building, for its rotunda is awkward for the uses of the Museum of Man. It will be equally awkward for the Serra Museum.
As for the Ford Building, there is already a sufficient body of evidence detailing its inadequacies and incongruity.
October 26, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, William C. Knotts: “Let’s get behind and preserve the cultural heritage we have on hand.”
October 26, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Mrs. Victoria Devinne: “Unless Mr. Richard Amero is in communication with the spirit world, it is hard to see how he is so sure of the opinions of the long-deceased Bertram Goodhue, who designed our universally-admired Prado in Balboa Park. It is sad when a man is not longer around to defend his work, especially when the criticism comes from a few nit-picking modern architects who were trained in the building block school and have no sense of history.”
October 31, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Harry R. Hughes: “The important improvements which have been made in the park have been brought about by individual citizens and the taxpayers who supported them.”
November, 1972, San Diego Magazine. Publisher’s Point, by Edwin Self — Restoring the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
On the issue of whether to faithfully rebuild the baroque dream palace now called the Electric Building in permanent form along Balboa Park’s El Prado (Proposition B), people seem either to instinctively dig the romantic beauty and Spanish splendor of these buildings or they do not.
Happily, whenever the people of San Diego have been consulted the majority has voted to preserve and to restore Architect Bertram Goodhue’s magnificent conception of a Spanish-Colonial city-within-a-city created for the 1915 Exposition.
Oddly, it has most often been City Hall and other “practical” leaders through the years who have seemed blind to El Prado’s haunting architectural symmetry and to the deep psychological and emotional needs for beauty and harmony these exquisite old structures have filled for San Diegans for half a century.
November, 1972, San Diego Magazine. The Love for El Prado, by Bea Evenson, co-chairman, Committee for Yes of Proposition B.
Six attempts have been make in the past to destroy the 1915 Exposition buildings in the El Prado area of Balboa Park, but each time the people have risen up to defend them. Without El Prado, there would be no Balboa Park.
There was a similar outcry when the old Food and Beverage Building was condemned and the proposition to replace it was put on the ballot in 1968. The people again spoke to defend their park and passed the bonds by 72 percent.
November, 1972. Pamphlet: VOTE ‘YES’ ON PROPOSITION “B” — SAVE YOUR PARK.
November, 1972 – May, 1973. San Diego Junior Theater . . . an activity of the San Diego Recreation Department.
PURPOSE: To provide the young people of San Diego with the widest and most meaningful theatrical experience possible. These experiences shall be derived from a balanced offering of:
- Major productions whose specific aim is to instill an abiding appreciation of live theater, which will continue to enrich youthful lives into maturity thereby contributing to the cultural heritage of the community.
- A workshop curriculum incorporating classes, a specific goal of which is to provide practice in the skills of theater for those young people who desire active rather than vicarious participation.
DRAMA WORKSHOP: San Diego Junior Theater’s vigorous year-round program features workshops in creative dramatics, formal dramatics, voice and diction, choral speaking, pantomime, body movement, and stagecraft. These classes are open to young people ages 8 to 18. The semester fee of $20.00 is payable in September, February and June. All classes are held in the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park. During the school year, classes meet on Tuesday afternoons, Thursday afternoons, and in two sessions on Saturdays. The classes, which are divided into age groupings, meet once a week for two hours.
PRODUCTION SCHEDULE FOR 1972-1973:
RUMPLESTILTSKIN November 10, 11, 12 – 17, 18, 19
SNOW WHITE February 2, 3, 4 – 9, 10, 11, 12
CINDERELLA March 16, 17, 18 – 23, 24, 25
BYE BYE, BIRDIE May 11, 12, 13 – 18, 19, 20
November 1, 1972, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A27. Proposition B leads propositions in financial support.
Date ?, Source ?. The man who served as the attorney for the 1935-36 exposition — Walter Ames — said yesterday proponents of city Proposition B have misrepresented the $5 million bond issue as a matter of saving the park.
November 2, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Frederick L. Ryan, Professor Emeritus, San Diego State: “We should make the best use of the valuable resources that have been handed down to use, particularly in the choice we must make about the Electric Building. Here is a valuable resource that can be rebuilt to house another valuable resource, the Museum of Man.”
November 5, 1972, San Diego Independent. Balboa Park to celebrate 104th birthday this afternoon at 2 at the new Plaza de Balboa in front of the fountain.
November 6, 1972, San Diego Union, B-3:3. Birthday party at new Plaza de Balboa sponsored by Committee of 100.
November 7, 1972, ELECTION: Proposition B — replace Electric Building ($5 million)
YES 132,615 (45%)
NO 161,292 (55%)
Proposition C — rehabilitate Ford Building for Aerospace Museum
YES 160,785 (55.3%)
NO 129,729 (44.6%)
November 9, 1972, San Diego Union, B-7. Balboa Park buildings backers determined.
San Diego city voters said no to two bond issue propositions for remodeling two Balboa Park buildings on Tuesday’s ballot.
With final returns counted, Proposition B, a $5 million bond issue to rebuild the Electric Building and preserve its ornate Spanish-Colonial facade, received 131,179 votes, or 45.1 percent in favor, and 150,721 votes, or 54.8 percent against.
Proposition C, a $1,670,000 bond issue for updating the park’s Ford Building as the future home of the Aerospace Museum, received 160,785 yes votes, or 55.3 percent, and 129,729 no votes, or 44.6 percent.
“The voters may have been confused by this moving of museums,” said Mrs. Bea Evenson, chairman of the Committee of 100, which backed the plans to restore the Electric Building.
“We don’t intend to give up at all,” she said. “We feel that there was something in the measure the voters didn’t like and we intend to research to find out what it was.”
The vote she said, “wasn’t a refutation of Balboa Park or the building. But the ballot was too crowded, and that may have been a factor.”
Colonel Owen Clarke, USAF, retired, director of the Aerospace Museum, said he was very disappointed. “We have no immediate plans except that we will remain in an unsafe, inadequate building.”
The museum board of directors “will try to formulate some type of plan to safeguard the priceless collection of aircraft, books and library,” Clarke said. That plan might be seeking help from foundations supporting educational and cultural institutions.
James Milch, chairman of the Park and Recreation Board, who had advised the City Council against placing both bond issues on the ballot, said Tuesday’s vote indicated “people are interested in parks that are more germane to everyone’s interest.
“They are interested in parks for greenery, for trees, for playing fields and recreation centers and not to special interest concepts.”
Milch had said putting the issues on Tuesday’s ballot was ill-advised because the city was developing an overall priority list for all park and recreation needs to be placed before the voters in a bond measure on the 1973 ballot.
Philip L. Gildred, president of the Fine Arts Society of San Diego and co-author of a ballot argument against Proposition B, said its defeat showed the voters are more concerned with parks and open spaces rather than congesting any area.
Major General Lowell English, USMC, retired, director of the Museum of Man, said he was “naturally disappointed on the defeat of Proposition B. We will just have to find some other solution to our problems of space.”
November 9, 1972, San Diego Union, B-7. Toa, Kiwi bird, given to San Diego by the New Zealand government as part of the city’s 200th anniversary celebration, died Tuesday at San Diego Zoo; had been under treatment for an infection for several weeks.
November 11, 1972, San Diego Union. EDITORIAL: Balboa Park Vacuum
Defeat of Proposition B last Tuesday is a disappointment to those who hoped to see the old Electric Building in Balboa Park razed and rebuilt. Failure of Proposition C to muster a two-thirds majority also shelves a plan to refurbish the Ford Building as a new home for the San Diego Aerospace Museum.
We are reluctant to conclude that either of these votes reflects a lack of concern by San Diegans for the future of Balboa Park. It might be more accurate to judge that the two bond proposals failed because San Diegans are very much concerned about the future of the park, whether these projects fit properly into long-range plans for development of the park and, if they do, whether the scale of priorities justifies undertaking them at this time.
In 1961 the city council adopted a master plan drawn up by the consulting firm of Bartholomew and Associates to guide development of Balboa Park over a fifteen-year period. The Bartholomew plans has been followed in some park developments, but ignored in others.
Tuesday’s election could serve as a mandate to city officials to review the Bartholomew plan and adjust it where necessary to accommodate new thinking about the future of the park.
If San Diego knows exactly where it wants to go with Balboa Park, which institutions should be there, and the facilities they will require, it will be easier to place proposed projects in perspective in the city’s capital improvement program. The existence of a viable plan for the park, and a commitment to follow it, should make voters more inclined to support any projects that require financing with bond issues.
November 12, 1972, San Diego Union, 23:1-5. Casa del Prado fete planned, by Marie Stanton (illus.).
One year ago the smell of fresh paint was still fresh. The landscaping had a newly planted look. And the rooms were quiet except for an occasional hammering of a workman.
But that was before November 14, 1971, the day the big black wrought-iron gates and massive wood doors of Casa del Prado swung open to the public. Today, the fresh paint has a somewhat worn patina, the landscaping is luxuriant and the rooms are filled with noises, the noises of children and adults doing active things, such as rehearsing a play or a new ballet or conducting a demonstration of bare root planting.
In fact, thousands of San Diegans over the past year have used the building. A survey for five months of the building’s operation (conducted from April through August) showed more than 82,000 persons used the building. That’s about 16,500 persons a month and a considerable increase for the building which replaced the old Food and Beverage Building where, in its last stages. young aspiring ballerinas danced around buckets on rainy days when the roof leaked.
The transformation from a condemned building which had limited use to a multi-purpose structure to fill the needs of contemporary San Diegans of all ages was a story of civic pride for thousands of San Diegans including the Committee of 100, the Botanical Garden Foundation and numerous arts and recreation groups which worked for the passage of a bond issue to finance the construction.
That is history now. And on the weekend the Casa del Prado will celebrate its first birthday, Saturday and next Sunday, the anniversary will be marked by an open house in the building with attention centering on the Garden Center rooms of the first floor.
The open house will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on next Sunday. Sponsoring the event will be the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation, Inc. and its 43 affiliated groups with the cooperation of representatives of the other recreational organizations using the building.
“In observing the first anniversary of the building, the foundation and affiliated groups will be expressing their gratitude to the voters for providing the recreational and cultural headquarters in their passage of the bond issue to replace the old Food and Beverage Building,” explained John Farleigh, open house chairman.
The open house is planned to show off the rooms used by the gardening and other groups to launch the Botanical Foundation Memorial Library, according to Mrs. William E. Betts, Jr., Botanical Library chairman and Foundation social chairman.
The open house will include a public display of the Botanical Memorial Library in Room 104 where new custom-made bookcases and the first donation of books, paintings and other items will be shown. Wood paneling has been installed in the library by foundation volunteers to complement the bookcases. The library committee will accept donations of books and other items during the open house.
The library is intended to provide the San Diego area with a central library covering all botanical, flora, horticultural and related subjects, Mrs. Betts said. The idea for a comprehensive botanical library has long been a dream of local horticulturists, dating back t when the garden center was proposed on the site of the Casa del Prado. “It is our hope that local botanical minded persons will give, loan or bequeath to use their collections of books and related materials for use by all San Diegans interested in horticulture,” Mrs. Betts said.
In addition to remaining open during the open house hours, the library will be the location for a brief 3 p.m. ceremony next Sunday when three outstanding friends of San Diego home gardeners and floriculture groups will be honored, Mrs. Betts said. Their identity will be kept secret until the special ceremonies, she said. Refreshments will be served in the library before and after the ceremonies.
Other special events of the weekend will be the San Diego-Imperial Counties Iris Society fall show in Room 101 during open house hours. Iris blooms will compete for prizes as will flower arrangements.
Other garden center rooms on the first floor of the Casa del Prado will have artistic displays, demonstrations and educational exhibits reflecting their various interests and showing their activities. These will be open during both open house days.
Open house visitors on Saturday are invited to drop in on youth classes in the building, according to Mrs. Donn DeMarce, president of San Diego Civic Arts for Youth. Ballet, theater, orchestral and vocal groups will by studying and practicing at regular scheduled Saturday classes on both the first and second floors, Mrs. DeMarce said.
On Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m. a special program will be presented by youth groups which made Casa del Prado their home The program is scheduled for presentation in the south patio unless inclement weather forces it inside to Room 101.
For the program the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet will give a preview of a new Christmas ballet it will present in December, Mrs. DeMarce said. The San Diego Junior Theater will present an excerpt from one of its four plays of the season. The San Diego Youth Chorale will sing selections from its repertoire and instrumentalists from the San Diego Youth Symphony also will perform.
During the past 12 months since the completion of the building, the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation has been working to supply the Garden Center rooms on the first floor with equipment and facilities not provided by the city. These include a large projection screen, a large ceremonial flag, kitchen supplies and equipment and props for displays and exhibits.
The foundation also has obtained and installed with city help more than 100 storage lockers for use by affiliated groups and is currently cooperating with the city to build additional storage facilities for bulky display materials used by all of the groups for their public exhibits.
The six-year foundation organized by the San Diego Floral Association is headed by president Stanley W. Miller. Other officers include Larry Sisk, first vice president; Mrs. Joseph J. Kenneally, second vice president; Harry Haelsig, treasurer; and Mrs. Walter E. Bunker, secretary.
The foundation recently reported that during the first nine months of this year there were 330 garden group meetings in the building. This is just more than 35 meets per month, or just over one a day. And in its five-month survey, the city found the building had been used 1,563 times or 313 times per month by all groups.
Garden groups which meet in the building have a total membership of about 1,500 and youth groups using the building have up to 2,000 youngsters participating. In addition more than 10 other city-sponsored groups use the building, including Senior Citizens, round dancers, playground dance, square dancers, Highland dancers, folk dancers and the Congress of History.
November 13, 1972, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-4. Map showing existing roads in Balboa Park, roads planned by 1973-74 and roads that will be eliminated by 1977-78.
November 19, 1972, San Diego Union, F-20:6-8. Two-day open house celebration of the first anniversary of the Casa del Prado will be concluded today with a full program of exhibits, entertainments and ceremony.
November 21, 1972, Park and Recreation Board Minutes. i. Facilities Committee
- Balboa Park – Gold Gulch Area – General Plan
David Roberts displayed and explained a proposed General Development Plan for the Gold Gulch area, which is the major under-developed area in central Balboa Park and calls for an area for active and semi-active group activities, a Japanese Garden, Australian Garden and Shade Garden. The steep grade in the south end of the canyon would be modified by importing fill to provide a usable slope. Large groves of Australian trees will be planted in this area. The fill would also permit the completion of the formal avenue tree planting on the northeasterly side of President’s Way, improving the appearance of a major entrance to the Park. The south entrance of the Organ Parking lot will be relocated and an adjacent small semi-developed parking lot will be landscaped. Grassy meadows will be developed in the group activities area which will also contain a meeting circle and an area which can be used for group picnics or handicraft activities. The Zoro Garden area will be developed into a Shade Garden, planted with ferns, begonias, fuchsias, etc. Interesting water features will be included in the Shade Garden and the area between the House of Hospitality and the Electric Building. Mr. Roberts said the only real modification would be the filling of the area at the southern point at President’s Way.
Mr. Yamada moved that the General Development Plan be approved in concept, subject to landscape plans, the motion was seconded and carried unanimously with one abstention (Leyton).
November 23, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, John Kuzma, Sub-Dean, San Diego Chapter American Guild of Organists, does not want new road near Spreckels Organ.
November 23, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Edward S. Barr, objects to new road near Spreckels Organ: The Organ Pavilion is the only park building with a musical voice, designed to beautify and enrich our environment. Why further suffocate her with car noise?
November 25, 1972, San Diego Union. The proposed $1 million expansion of Balboa Park’s Fine Arts Gallery is not subject to a vote, City Attorney John Witt said yesterday.
“I presume the museum expansion is for park purposes,” said Witt. “It is common around the country for city parks to have galleries in them.”
“You don’t have to have a vote of the people to build a street through the park,” Witt added. “Quite contrary, I draw the conclusion that if the building is for park purposes, you could clearly build it.”
Witt’s response was to questioning from Larry Sisk, an interested citizen who contended the city charter requires a two-thirds vote on any park land used for building.
“The Fine Arts Gallery proposal for a new building would remove a large portion of land at the eastern end of the present gallery from park purposes,” said Sisk. “Every effort must be exerted to enlarge the park’s open space when possible.”
Deputy City Manger John Lockwood said the park land is not being conveyed to the gallery. “We are permitting a structure in the city park which they’ll turn over to us.,” he said. “We get the building in return for maintenance.”
November 27, 1972, San Diego Union, 10:1. William Cox appointed director of public relations for Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater.
December 6, 1972, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, C-1. Space theater dome finished with ceremony (illus.).
The last of 900 panels which form the geodetic dome of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater in Balboa Park was slipped into place yesterday.
Three times to be exact, as cameras clicked.
It was the symbolic finishing of the dome which forms the projection screen for the theater.
Members of the planetarium board gathered in the unfinished structure — which will be open to the public in the spring — to watch the final plastic triangle taped into position by Capt. Norval R. Richardson, H. Louis Bodmer and Joseph Hojnicke, technical representative of the Spitz Corp., which built the dome and is building the two-ton star ball projector.
Richardson, president of the board of the Hall of Science, which forms the other half of the structure at the east end of the Prado, said the dome is the best in the country and ins unique in that it tilts at a 45-degree angle.
This permits the audience seated on the carpeted tiers of seats to look straight ahead at the hemisphere, rather than looking up as in most theaters.
Bodmer, who has been associated with the project since its earliest plans in 1957, said all of San Diego and the state will benefit from the space programs to be presented there.
The giant, complex star ball, capable of projecting a view of the night sky of an part of the earth at any time of the year, is due to arrive in mid-January, Michael Sullivan, executive director said.
It will be shipped in two air-conditioned vans and will be insured for $1 million.
Yesterday as the 25 men connected with the building praised the progress, workmen were laying carpeting in the entry hall. In the space theater, the walls, floor tiers and stairs will be carpeted for extra sound insulation.
Sheldon Campbell, president of the planetarium board, said one of the remarkable things about the building is that the bid contract price of $1.8 million is less than was projected. That figure does not include the star ball and other projectors as well as the computers which program them. George Hatch was architect for the building.
December 6, 1972, San Diego Union, B-3:4. Newly constructed dome inside Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater.
Busy executives took time out here yesterday to make like tourists in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.
Instead of Michelangelo’s paintings, the executives craned their necks to marvel over a completely blank ceiling.
The focus of interest was a newly completed dome inside the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater in Balboa Park.
The admirers, mostly officers of the non-profit theater and its adjoining Science Center, gathered mainly for a ceremonious installation of the last dome panel.
Photographers of several varieties were present to record the event for posterity.
Board chairman Dr. Bernard Gross proclaimed the dome “the first of its kind in the world and the finest of any kind.”
Another board member calculated that the white hemisphere encompassed about 8,500 square feet. He ventured that the 22-percent-perforated-dome paneling, called “skrim,” was pierced with nearly 100 million holes.
Most of those who came stayed for the better half of an hour. They watched the dome from different viewpoints on the floor. They exchanged assurances that all was right. The house lights were dimmed and raised in all possible combinations for the inspection.
A casual observer might be justifiably perplexed over how a bare ceiling could command such attention.
One reason is that the dome is tilted down 25 degrees. No planetarium has ever done this before and it will dramatically improve the show.
Another reason is that the dome is big, 76 feet in diameter, the largest in the Western Hemisphere and the third largest in the world.
Most important, however, is that the dome is a high-precision engineering marvel of precise curvatures forming a projection surface for the most complex “movies” ever attempted.
As such, the dome is the first critical element of production hardware, installed in the theater. Other key elements, like super-wide angle projectors, unique star and planet projectors and a big computer, are still to come.
Next March the theater will open and people will be able to take the most realistic simulated space trips ever offered.
“I have put in several planetarium domes,” noted Joe Hojnicke, a supervising engineer for Spitz Laboratories, Inc. of Chaddsford, Pa. “But this is the finest and biggest I have ever had the pleasure of installing.”
“It is the largest Spitz has ever constructed and installed. Almost everything about this project is unique.
“This will be the first space flight simulator in the world capable of putting the viewer out into deep space. There are one or two facilities that can get you out as far as the moon but no farther.”
December 7, 1972, San Diego Union, B-5:7-8. 70-millimeter movie camera taking color close-ups of Apollo 17 launch for Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater.
December 11, 1972, San Diego Union. Panel to view Arts Gallery addition site, by Michael Grant.
Balboa Park Committee members have agreed to examine first-hand the environmental impact of a proposed addition to the Fine Arts Gallery in the park before passing judgment on it.
December 12, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:3-5. Rare tree spared; Art Gallery privately-financed 12,326-square-foot expansion wins Balboa Park Committee 8 to 4 okay, by Mike Grant.
Date ?, Source? City Council to study Balboa Park road closure.
Two basis plans for closing the Prado are of Balboa Park to auto traffic will be presented to the City Council at a conference tomorrow.
The options are the result of a study made after the City Council agreed at a November 22 meeting to close the Prado area to through traffic on an experimental basis.
Deputy City Manager John Lockwood said he would recommend to the council that the one-month experimental closing be scheduled for February.
Access to parking lots in the central Prado area is the major difference in the two plans. One would allow autos into those lots including the Plaza de Panama from the east; the other would close the central area to autos entirely.
The latter plan, Lockwood said would almost certainly require setting up an intra-park transportation system to carry park goers from distant lots to the central area.
Both plans would close Laurel Street westward across the Cabrillo Bridge, blocking western access to El Prado except by foot or bicycle.
Lockwood said the February closing date would be recommended to give activities in El Prado time to advise their patrons of the change in traffic and parking procedure.
Date ?, Source ? Laurel Street Closing Planned in Park.
The Laurel Street extension will be closed to traffic on an experimental basis for one month early next year, the City Council decided yesterday.
The Council directed City Manager Kimball Moore to prepare reports on the closing of the street and on transportation systems within the park after citizens’ objections were heard on proposals for a new road in the park.
The one-month experiment, expected in January, would allow bikes and pedestrians on the street.
The action came after a council conference session to discuss a city Parks and Recreation Department report calling for a two-lane overpass crossing the Cabrillo Freeway at Upas Street, an extension road off Cabrillo Bridge south around El Prado into President’s Way in front of the Organ Pavilion, and the closing of Laurel Street to all traffic going through the park.
The report also called for additional parking in the Morley Field area.
Heinz Wolf and his son Charles of 1529 Upas Street, opposed the development which would “cut up the park, damage shrubs, create air pollution and further shake the foundations of the buildings in the area.”
“It seems wrong to continue letting people drive their cars straight through the park with no intention of stopping to enjoy it,” Heinz Wolf said.
Councilman Jim Bates said the park is for the people.
“Stop accommodating the auto. Let’s close El Prado on a trial basis,” he said.
Bates then made a motion to close the street for six months.
Councilwoman Maureen O’Connor said she was concerned with possible traffic congestion in the area if the streets were closed.
Councilman Gil Johnson said he was in favor of the street closing on an experimental basis as long as there were adequate signs showing persons how to get to other parking facilities.
Assistant City Manager John Lockwood suggested the council not close the street until after the Christmas season. The councilmen unanimously agreed to close the street after the January conference.
December 13, 1972, San Diego Union. City Council to study park traffic plans; implementation of experiment to close Laurel Street entrance on agenda (map showing options of trial closing of central Balboa Park to autos).
The city today will take its second tentative step into exploring the ways and byways of the Balboa Park of the future.
The City Council already has agreed to close Laurel Street (El Prado), the main traffic artery through the park, for one month on an experimental basis.
Today it will consider various plans on implementation of the experiment. The desired result is a plan to turn Balboa Park back into what is called a “people park: while at the same time avoiding the requirement of taking a long hike just to get there.
Accessibility is a key question. It also is the primary difference between the two basis plans to be laid before the council today, according to city officials.
Both plans would block Laurel Street to the west of the Cabrillo Bridge. One plan would allow autos to enter the centrally located Plaza de Panama parking lot from Park Drive and President’s Way.
The other plan would shut off the central Prado area completely, forcing park goers to use parking lots considerably farther away.
The second plan almost certainly would require installation of an intra-park transportation system, Deputy City Manager John Lockwood said.
In its 1972 Balboa Park Traffic and Parking Report, the Parks and Recreation Department recommended that such a system be implemented in the future and that the eastern end of El Prado be closed to autos.
However, setting up such a system for only one month would be expensive, Lockwood said.
Whatever implementation, the council chooses, Lockwood said he would recommend the experiment be conducted during February, which would allow park activities ample time to advise their patrons of the temporary changes in traffic procedure.
December 13, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1:3. The new $3 million dollar planetarium scheduled to open early next year is facing a higher operating deficit than anticipated. City asked to boost its one-only subsidy from $103,000 to $203,000. City Council must approve request.
December 13, 1972, San Diego Union, B-4:3. National Endowment for the Arts awarded $5,500 federal grant to Hall of Science for displays.
December 14, 1972, San Diego Union, A-37. The Globe Theater has been encouraged to begin plans for a third theater by the Balboa Park Committee of the San Diego Park and Recreation Board.
A proposal to build an 800-seat theater adjacent to the Globe’s present plant in Balboa Park was presented to the committee Monday by Lowell Davies, Globe president, and the committee voted five to three with two abstentions, for a motion to encourage the project.
The Globe proposal, which has been discussed for several years, would call for the new house to be built in the small canyon just east of the Globe’s Cassius Carter Center Stage.
December 14, 1972, San Diego Union. A Navajo loom, made as the Indians made them with found objects, was manipulated in traditional Navajo techniques by C. Norman Nicks at a meeting of San Diego Creative Weavers Guild at the War Memorial Building, Balboa Park, yesterday (illus.).
December 14, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Mary Jessop, proposing park bicycle, jog tracks.
The City Council will close Cabrillo Bridge and El Prado in Balboa Park to cars experimentally in February rather than build another road and three bridges in the developed west side of the park.
The money saved might be used to provide a shuttle bus for people not wanting nor able to walk, run or bicycle from parking areas. There are plenty of parking places and accesses t them from Park Boulevard.
Congestion on weekends and holidays occurs because bicycles, pedestrians and joggers increase, not because more cars use El Prado them.
The undeveloped area east of Park Boulevard includes facilities for outdoor recreation and space for more when funds become available. A track for marathon running and bicycle racing are proper used for Balboa Park. More roads for cars are not.
December 14, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, R. Affleback, opposing Laurel Street closing.
Editor: Regarding the City Council’s actions to close Laurel Street to automobile traffic. The Union reported the action after the council heard “citizen’s objections.” As are as can be determined from the article, the term “citizens” is defined by Heinz Wolf and his son, Charles.
Did the City Council hear from any other citizens who might be affected by this order?
The owners of Café del Rey Moro, Old Globe Theater or citizens who reside in west San Diego who would be denied access to Balboa Park by closing the only access to the park from the west also should have been heard.
It is possible the action taken by the council is not entirely legal. Many citizens are being denied their right to park access without due process.
It appears that the City Council has completely ignored the recommendations of the Balboa Park Commission and the City Park and Recreation Department.
December 14, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1. City Council delays Balboa Park traffic test; City alters Laurel Street shutdown; conference yesterday was set to work out final details; number of persons involved with Balboa Park spoke in opposition to council plan to close the street west of the Cabrillo Bridge..
The City Council yesterday delayed its experimental closing of Balboa Park’s Laurel Street extension until March and directed the city manager to develop a “people-moving” system to the park’s El Prado area.
The council, after a special conference, and the Parks and Recreation Board to review the following plan:
- Close the main traffic artery to traffic until 7 p.m. and forbid parking on Plaza de Panama.
- Allow for passenger drop offs at Plaza de Panama, but direct traffic back across Cabrillo Bridge west of the park or southbound to parking lots along President’s Way and Park Boulevard.
- Close the eastern section of El Prado to the Natural History Museum area.
- Asked City Manager Kimball Moore to report on a possible “people-moving” shuttle system from outlying parking facilities now little used.
December 14, 1972, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. City yesterday told Balboa Park planetarium to trim its budget.
The city yesterday told the new Balboa Park planetarium to trim its budget, use allocated unused funds and open its doors in January before considering a working capital advance.
City property director William MacFarlane, in a letter of San Diego Hall of Sciences president Norval Richardson, outlined “corrective measures” for the planetarium to take before city officials will look into a request for $100,000 advance money on the new operation.
“As seen as we have received our commitment to implement the recommendations, we will reconsidered a request to the City Council for a working capital advance,” the letter said.
Richardson could not be reached for comment last night.
The planetarium, which received a once-only subsidy of $103,000 from the city for its first year operation last June, has requested the $100,000 loan to offset lower than anticipated income from private sources.
One problem is the planetarium now foresees and income of only $305,000 for the fiscal year. Last June the projection was about $425,000 from private income, including income from ticket sales and concessions.
The 350-seat facility is scheduled to open its doors across from the Natural History Museum March 10.
However, MacFarlane said in his letter the planetarium is advised to open at least, in part, in January when the $3 million facility is expected to be ready. This would crate added revenues, he said.
MacFarlane also requested a reworking of the cash flow at the non-profit organization and “a closer review of estimated expenditures from January to June, 1973.”
The city officials also suggested that $50,000 set aside for a special fund raising activity — but apparently not used — be included in the Hall’s cash flow. The money was budgeted last June by the city for a special science display but the event was not held.
“This revenue allocation should be reflected in your cash flow statement under other revenue,” MacFarland said.
The small Hal of Science exhibition now stored in the park’s Electric Building is scheduled to move to the new facility early next year.
Money for construction, raised through a revenue bond, is not affected by the operating money shortage. Another $750,000 for purchase of equipment and property development is also proceeding on schedule.
The city gave $103,000 last year to get the operation going. Four separate studies have been conducted which concluded the planetarium would be self-sufficient, like the San Diego Zoo, after its first year of operation.
December 19, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, Judy B. Reaves, happy City Council has had the courage to close Laurel Street to through traffic.
December 19, 1972, San Diego Union. Letter, G. R. J., suggests building a bridge across 395, a tunnel under the park at Upas Street, and exit on Florida Drive.
December 20, 1972, San Diego Union, B-7. Art Gallery annex okayed.
December 24, 1972, San Diego Union, A-37. Old Globe studies proposals for new theater.
December 24, 1972, San Diego Union, C-2. EDITORIAL: Too Many Cooks . . . Balboa Park Needs Firm Plan.
One of the unique qualities of Balboa Park has been its ability to accommodate so many disparate interests and activities of San Diegans and their visitors. It is roomy enough for Sunday strollers and picnickers, for tennis players and golfers, for the nation’s most distinguished zoo and the crowds its attracts, for a cluster of fine galleries, museums and theaters, for meeting facilities and for recreation.
Now Balboa Park is confronted with two additional problems which it finds more difficult to accommodate. One is the growing pressure of automobile traffic.
Something certainly needs to be done. However, the experimental closing of Laurel Street, cutting off the only traffic artery through the park, is a drastic step, one which may damage substantially the usefulness of the park.
Of even greater significance, in the long term, is the hazard of piecemeal development, following no plan reflecting a consensus of what San Diegans want Balboa Park to be in the future.
The Bartholomew Plan, adopted in 1960 as a blueprint for park development, has not been followed. Without a master plan and a commitment to follow one, it is inevitable that disputes will arise in making changes in the park, and we are seeing symptoms of that today. A planned expansion of the Fine Arts Gallery has raised a cry of over-building. A plan to raze and rebuild the old Electric Building has been challenged as not in keeping with the general architectural pattern of the Prado area and as violating the open space concept. The hopes of the San Diego Aerospace Museum to move into the old Ford Building runs counter to the Bartholomew recommendation to tear that building down.
San Diego has many public-spirited citizens sincerely concerned about the future of the park and its institutions and facilities. Indeed, there may well be too many cooks hovering over the civic broth. The city government receives advice on Balboa Park from an 11-member Park and Recreation Board, a 19-member Balboa Park Committee, the governing boards of museums in the park, and its own staff specialists in planning. It is no wonder that differences arise.
Planning studies are expensive and time-consuming, but it is hard to see how the city can resolve the kind of conflicts surfacing over the future of Balboa Park and avert mistakes in development without reviving the concept of a master plan. The plan could deal with the problem of access to the park and the movement of traffic within it, as well as the fate of present structures and the space requirements of institutions located there or hoping to be located there in the future.
Whether the Bartholomew Plan is to be revised or whether a fresh plan is to be developed is not as important as assuring that San Diego knows where it is going with Balboa Park and commits itself to getting there.
December 25, 1972, San Diego Union, B-16:1. Star projector on way; will display 10,000 stars on dome of theater.
The star projector for the new Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater-Hall of Science in Balboa Park is scheduled to leave Chaddsford, Pa., in two vans on Wednesday.
Joseph Hojnicke, installation supervisor for Spitz Laboratories, Inc. , said the vans will arrive here January 3.
The projector will display 10,000 stars on the dome of the theater with unrivaled accuracy and clarity, according to Hojnicke.
He said the instrument will be insured for $1 million during the journey. He said the inside of each van will be kept at a constant temperature of 72 degrees to protect sensitive lenses.
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