Balboa Park History 1973
January 9, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. The Ford Building in Balboa Park has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places by Robert D. Ferris, a San Diego architect.
January 4, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:2-4, B-5:1. $270,000 star projector delivered yesterday (photos of half of star projector), by Betty Peach.
The “star ball,” heart of the projection system for the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center, was unloaded yesterday and stored in a basement room.
The two hemispheres, parked side by side on wooded pallets, look like a relief map of the earth with its giant cities emphasized out of proportion.
The bumps and projections are capable of projecting 10,000 stars on the dome of the space theater.
The two hemispheres will be mounted on a pedestal with arc-shaped arms to support it as pivots. A motor in the interior will move the ball.
The “star ball” is unique. It was designed by scientists of the center in conjunction with the Spitz Laboratories in Chadds Ford, Pa., specially for the space theater.
With it in the air-controlled ban, which was gradually changed to match the atmospheric conditions in San Diego were some computer elements, planet, solar and spot projectors.
The entire system, which will include 70-mm film projections with the star projections, will be connected to its computer system and is expected to be operative by mid-March.
Michael Sullivan, executive director, said the system will be able to project such combinations as a trip to the moon.
James Crooks, a board member involved in the star ball design and manufacture, said the larger protrusions on the sphere contain angled mirrors capable of making minute adjustments once the system is installed.
“No other system has the capabilities of this one,” he said. “For example, if we wish to drop down to show the stars along the horizon, the ones which would drop below the horizon can be masked and will not project onto the earth picture on the screen.”
Crooks said standard projections, in all other planetariums, have been from two balls, each representing half the sky, and balanced at opposite ends of a rod.”
January 16, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:6-8. Space Theater to show new dimensions in sound and visual experience.
January 17, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3:4-6. Sheldon Campbell turned theater keys to directors in ceremony yesterday.
January 25, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Closing of Laurel Street section planned to curb park traffic; five members of the council, a bare majority, agreed yesterday to an experimental closing of a key road in the park’s crowded central area for March.
January 25, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:7-8. Park Road Closing Plan Gains — City Council yesterday endorsed closing of El Prado to auto traffic during March.
January 26, 1973, San Diego Union, B-5:1. Space Theater will feature trip to Saturn.
February 8, 1973, San Diego Union, B-2:1-2. Motion picture projector arrived at Space Theater yesterday.
February 9, 1973, San Diego Union, B-6. The Balboa Park Committee has recommended that $1.7 million be included for the rehabilitation of the Ford Building in a $25 million park and recreation bond issue to be placed on the November ballot.
February 21, 1973, San Diego Union. Park Board airs bond issue plans; Ford Building’s renovation for museum rejected, by Otto Bos.
The board voted 5-4 not to spend the $1.7 million deemed necessary to restore the Ford Building and instead endorsed 10 projects which will begin development of the eastern section of Balboa Park, including the Morley Field area and creation of a botanical garden in Florida Canyon.
Board chairman James Milch, noting that voters twice had failed to give enough votes to the restoration in 1971 and 1972, said inclusion of the Ford Building would jeopardize the entire bond package.
February 24, 1973, San Diego Union, B-2:6-7. Michael Sullivan, theater director, said potential of Space Theater is staggering.
February 28, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. The Park and Recreation Board yesterday included $850,000 in the November 6 $25 million bond package for renovation of the Ford Building on a condition that private sources would raise the same amount over the next four years.
February 28, 1973, San Diego Union. Park’s Botanical Building undergoes a facelift . . . It looks as if Guy Schulmeister, a city worker is puzzling his way up a maze, but it’s the Balboa Park Botanical Garden. The scaffolding Schulmeister is climbing has been erected for repairing the structure, erected “temporarily” [sic] in 1915 (illus.).
March, 1973, San Diego Magazine. Moving Through Space and Time, by Herbert Fredman (illus.).
The bon voyage ceremonies and the blast-off last November 1 are still vivid in your memory, even though you are now 153 days out in space. So far all systems have operated smoothly. Now the immense mass of Jupiter, the largest planet, looms ahead. Its 12 satellite moons are an awesome sight; you speculate briefly whether life is emerging on Ganymede. But now you must plan on using Jupiter’s gravity as a giant slingshot to gain added velocity as you aim for Pluto, another 487 days away in space.
A new adventure of Walter Mitty? Too much like late night television? Neither. You are in the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center in Balboa Park, a sensational new facility for San Diegans and for visitors that makes travel through the vast reaches of space more “real” than, say, a jaunt through Mission Valley.
The new development is particularly important because, like the neighboring Zoo, it manages to blend the very best of entertainment with painless education — a combination rare enough so that it should entice vast numbers of tourists and residents.
The current opening of the Space Theater/Science Center complex is the culmination of an undertaking that started 16 years ago, when a committee was formed to create a Hall of Science and Industry here. Over the years the enterprise grew to involve the most advanced technology of any similar project anywhere. “In the Space Theater we have a totally new audio-visual medium,” Michael Sullivan, executive director says. “We have the first Space Transit Simulator, a new kind of star projection system that gives the sensation of space travel. And we have many other kinds of highly sophisticated visual and sound equipment. Altogether we have 88 different projectors simultaneously controlled by a computer.”
Along with the Space Theater, seating 350, is a Science Center, with 8,500 square feet of exhibit space, a lecture hall with 120 seats, and meeting rooms, work shops, library and offices, all houses in an attractive new structure designed by the San Diego architectural firm of Hatch, Heimerdinger & Associates, with Louis Bodmer, AIA, as consulting architect.
The building complex faces the Plaza de Balboa at the end of El Prado and is directly across from the Natural History Museum. Also in the Plaza, where El Prado formerly cut though to join Park Boulevard, is the beautiful new fountain, designed by Delawie, Macy & Henderson.
Incongruously enough, the Space Theater and Science Center is located where the nudist colony entrance was in the 1935 San Diego Exposition. Sheldon Campbell, president of the San Diego Planetarium Authority and an eloquent booster of the Space Theater and Science Center, was an equally fervent fan of the nudist colony in 1935. (He was 38 years younger then.) Campbell recalls that he was a Zoo guard during the Fair, and worked nights to keep enthusiastic fans from climbing the Zoo fences to gain free access to the lurid delights of the Expo grounds.
“The Space Theater and Science Center is the most advanced institution of its type in the world,” Campbell says. “You know how much the San Diego Zoo overshadows the Los Angeles Zoo? Well, the Space Theater outclasses the Griffith Park Planetarium to an even greater degree. For the first time the viewers will not be restricted to seeing the stars and planets from a vantage point on earth — instead we will move through space and time at will.”
The Planetarium Authority was created two years ago by a joint-powers agreement between the city and the county to finance the Space Theater/Hall of Science structure. The Authority sold $3 million in bonds to raise money for the building; it is anticipated that the bonds will be repaid from the new facility’s revenues. Actually operation of the Space Theater and Hall of Science is carried out by the San Diego Hall of Science, a non-profit organization made up of local community leaders. Dr. Bernard Gross, chairman of the board of Chem-Tronics, heads the group.
Along with the $3 million expenditure for the building and related items, another million dollars is being invested in the projectors, sound system, computer and other instrumentation of the Space Theater. Much of this cost has been covered by donations from the Fleet Foundation and from members of the Fleet family. Reuben H. Fleet, an aircraft industry pioneer, is the main who brought Convair to San Diego.
Michael Sullivan, who heads up the newest Balboa Park attraction at the age of 31, is the master of a unique specialty — he has been involved in the development of four different planetariums. After getting a college degree in physics, while discovering an active interest in show business, he started seven years ago with the Denver school system planetarium. He then went to the Museum of Science in Miami as staff astronomer, and opened a planetarium there. Next he started the Andrus Planetarium at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York, and then came to San Diego, to the Space Theater and Hall of Science, a year ago.
“The Space Theater is both a traditional planetarium and a highly innovative film theater,” Sullivan says. “As a result the design had to be a major departure from convention. In the past, planetariums were centered on the elaborate projection hardware, which was surrounded by rows of concentrically-arranged seats. In the Space Theater we have an amphitheater with all the seats facing the same direction, enclosed by a hemispherical projection dome. To handle the high sound levels, the dome had to be acoustically transparent; to accomplish this the dome is covered with thousands of tiny holes so that the empty space covers 22 percent of the surface. There are no walls in the projection dome — the 76-foot diameter dome comes all the way to the floor, and the dome is tilted 25 degrees from the horizon.”
The tilted-dome design allows the Space Theater to have three separate projection areas. One houses 70-millimeter Cinerama-type projectors, Another has a very unusual 70-millimeter IMAX projector with a fish eye lens — a machine that will cover 80 percent of the dome’s surface with a picture that gives the viewer the sensation of being literally surrounded by the action.
Along with these two projection room facilities will be, at the geometric center of the dome, the Space Transit Simulator. This consists of a whole assembly of projection equipment — the four-foot diameter Star Projector or Star Ball, plus planet projectors, image projectors for the earth, moon and sun, and additional zoom projectors. All of these very complex instruments are controlled by a computer and are programmed from a control console located at the rear of the theater.
The first show at the Space Theater consists of two films specially commissioned. One is called Voyage to the Outer Planets, and the other is Garden Isle, made on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. There will also be the standard planetarium fare, enhanced by all the new devices. The two special IMAX films cost the Space Theater about $175,000; they are expected to draw crowds for at least a six-month run and the films eventually may find markets as other similar IMAX machines are installed elsewhere.
All of the Space Theater razzle-dazzle overshadows the Science Center — unfortunately, since the exhibit hall contains a variety of exciting displays with visitors actually invited to touch, try out, participate. A pair of huge parabolic dishes form a whispering gallery where a murmur can be heard 70 feet across the room. An electric stethoscope lets you listen to your own heartbeat. Another display allows you to see how the iris and pupil of your eye operate. You can match wits with a computerized teaching machine; you can make your own op-art posters with a dynamic art machine; you can make music on an electronic device, the theremin, by waving your hands over its plates. The Science Center uses the same show business principles as the Space Theater to make learning things fun. Use of the new facilities for educational purposes will be extensive.
Backers of the new institution think it will give Balboa Park a strong impetus as an attraction both for local residents and out-of-town-guests. Sullivan expects the attendance in the first full year to number 500,000. He plans to present 1,800 full shows a year; each show will last about 45 minutes.
The first optical planetarium was developed by Zeiss in Germany about 50 years ago. It was able to project stars on a ceiling. In the age of radio, people were content with simple sights, and planetariums didn’t change much for a long time. Now, in the age of television broadcasts from the moon, more is demanded by the public — and the Space Theater fills the bill.
March 10, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Black tie dinner and reception last night honoring Major Reuben H. Fleet, major donor of the Space Theater and Science Center; Center opens to public today (illus.).
March 10, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:8; D-1:3-8. Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater to open today; dedication ceremony open to public.
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union, D-1, D-3, D-12. Old ornaments — Greece of San Diego? by Jeannette Branin (illus.).
The crumbling statue of a goddess stands serene, as if surveying the hillside, the city and the glinting ocean.
At her feet lie heroic fallen columns, ornamented with twining vines and clusters of grapes.
All around her, on the hilltop mesa, are remnants of great baroque pediments and capitals, elaborately shaped frames for windows and doors, and heraldic shields.
In the dust, snagging windblown weeds, are leering gargoyles and satyrs, simpering cherubs, posturing conquerors.
Is this the promontory of “sweet Sounion” in classic Greece, beloved by the poets?
No, it is not Greece. It is the Chollas Sanitary landfill storage yard on Ryan Road.
The statuary and the carvings are the cast-offs of the demolished Food and Beverage Building in Balboa Park.
The elaborate ornamentation of the building, on facade, balconies and towers, impressed visitors to the park during the California Pacific International Exposition in 1915.
They had been constructed for that purpose, a very temporary one, from chicken wire, plaster and sisal.
The building and its convoluted decorations were repaired and shored up for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
But soon after that, passerbys in the park began to notice bits and pieces of plaster in the lawns and on the sidewalks.
Inspection of many of the buildings constructed in 1915 revealed that they were in most precarious condition, “held up only by force of habit,” according to one inspector, and responsible city officials shuddered, considering the possibility of injuries and law suits.
Eventually the building was condemned and doomed to be razed.
That was the moment, six years ago, when the Committee of 100 was created as a result of widespread sentiment and indignation.
Mrs. Frank Evenson founded the committee which promoted a successful $3.5 million bond issue to replace the Food and Beverage Building on its site, with as near a replica as possible but of permanent materials.
The ornaments were removed from the old building and used as molds for new ornaments for the new building, Casa del Prado, by Chris Mueller, one of two architectural sculptors in the nation.
After that they were thought to be of no value, no use, and they were hauled away to the storage yard.
But city officials had not considered the souvenir hunting mania of the great American public.
Vehicles ranging from small compacts t pick-up trucks have been driving up to the yard, and their drivers have wrestled and tugged at the smaller pieces and then taken them away.
“Quite a lot was taken away by some students at State, for reasons best known to themselves,” said Bill Gerhardt, construction director of the City of San Diego.
What remains also is of large size, exceedingly cumbersome and heavy as well as crumbling and the would-be salvager would be wise to employ heavy moving equipment and a truck.
Ordinarily anything taken to the landfill is compacted and covered with earth the same day, said Gerhardt.
“But Mrs. Evenson suggested that somebody might enjoy taking a rosette or a cherub carving or some such for their own pleasure,” he said. “She hated to have it all thrown away.”
“We agreed to store it instead of bury it,” said Gerhardt.
“We try to please the public. We don’t always succeed, but we try.”
Gerhardt said that one request would be made of souvenir hunters; anyone intending to sort through the discards should first check at the administration building with Supt. Ed. Mendoza.
“We need to know who’s in there and for what purpose,” he said.
Some of the best of the statuary will be displayed at the annual membership tea of the Committee of 100 at the home of Mrs. Lawrence Klauber from 2 to 4 p.m., March 29.
Mrs. Verne Ridout and Mrs. David Means Miller are cochairmen of the tea which will have as its theme, “The Magnificent Avenue,” El Prado the main boulevard in Balboa Park.
Films of Casa del Prado, the replacement of the old Food and Beverage Building, will be shown, a youth chorale will sing, and original ornaments will be exhibited.
Not among them will be the statue of the personification of California . . . a fully-formed female who embraces the figures of an Indian child and a Caucasian child.
She presides on the windswept hilltop.
For almost 60 years she turned her sightless eyes and benevolent smile on residents and visitors to the park alike
But now her destiny is one with the statues that once stood in the temple at Sounion . . . a return to the earth and oblivion.
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union. Fleet Space Theater show “Out of this World,” by Michael Grant (illus.).
After 15 long years of planning, invention and work, the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater yesterday was ready to open its doors to the public.
The public, however, was not ready for the Space Theater.
They came expecting to see a well-equipped planetarium, and they were not disappointed. But they did not expect to be absorbed in an audiovisual experience that could revolutionize not only planetaria but cinematography as well.
Typical of the reactions were those offered by two ex-prisoners of war, to whom yesterday morning’s special grand opening screening was dedicated.
“Spectacular,” Navy Capt. Howard E. Rutledge said.
“Really fabulous,” Navy Capt. Harry T. Jenkins added.
Jenkins and Rutledge were give a thunderous standing ovation by the audience when the dedication was announced just prior to the beginning of the 43-minute show.
After morning ribbon-cutting ceremonies and two special performances for city officials and dignitaries, the $4.5 million center on Plaza de Balboa opened its doors to the public for the first time.
The Science Center, across the building’s foyer from the Space Theater, is not completed yet. It is expected to open next month.
Mayor Wilson keynoted the dedication ceremonies by proclaiming yesterday “Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Day” in San Diego.
Joining him on the podium were Dr. Bernard Gross, chairman of the Hall of Science board of directors, Capt. Norval R. Richardson, USN (ret.) and Sheldon Campbell, chairman of the Planetarium Authority.
Walter Ames, president of the Fleet Foundation, spoke in behalf of Reuben H. Fleet, who with members of his family contributed $800,000 to construction of the center.
The show offered two films projected onto the Space Theater’s dome by a special projector with 180-degree capability. It is the only such system in the world.
The effect, which as been described as “super-super Cinerama,” left some spectators clutching their armrests, particularly during sequences shot from a helicopter which was zooming over, around, and in one cast through the craggy terrain of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
That is just the effect Edward Creutz had hoped for.
Now assistant director for research of the National Science Foundation in Washington, D. C., Creutz, a former San Diego businessman, was instrumental in the planning that led to the theater’s unique tiled-dome configuration.
He made a special trip to San Diego this weekend to see how his idea, which his contemporaries came to call the “Creutz Effect,” worked.
It succeeded beyond his expectations.
“I didn’t anticipate how useful it might be for other things besides space,” he said.
The Kauai footage, 18 minutes in length, was the hit of the show.
Jenkins and Rutledge, both Navy aviators, particularly enjoyed it.
“I’ve flown all over that island but I haven’t quite taken a trip like that, ” Rutledge said.
“The three-dimensional effect was extremely real,” Jenkins said. “A sand blower, that’s what it felt like,” he said, referring to low-level flying.
Mayor Wilson was similarly impressed.
“How did you like your flight?” he greeted a fellow spectator after the show.
“The word ‘spectacular’ comes to mind, but it isn’t adequate to describe the sensation,” Wilson said.
A second film took the audience on a realistic “Voyage to the Outer Planets,” a simulated treat, with careful attention to scientific detail, to the edge of our solar system.
Both films were embellished with dramatic scores designed to make full use of the theater’s “circle of sound” system.
The first public showing was sold out yesterday afternoon with 150 persons still waiting in line to buy tickets.
Steven Marks of San Diego was one of the 350 to get in for the first show. He said astronomy was his hobby and that’s why he cam.
It was apparent when he and his wife emerged from the theater that he got more than he bargained for.
“This is fantastic,” he beamed. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Was it entertaining? Oh, yeah.”
The program had some bugs in it yesterday. Technicians have been racing against time to have the program ready and they have been polishing it from day to day. Small segments were added, for example, between a preview showing Friday night and yesterday morning.
“We’ve got some work to do yet,” Dr. Leonard Skolnick of Spitz Space Systems, which built and installed most of the Space Center equipment said.
He said the audience would not notice most of the problems. “It’s the type of thing where the artist knows what’s not quite right.”
“We’ve been working on it 24 hours a day,” Skolnick said, “but it’s still not quite up to snuff.”
The public was not complaining yesterday.
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union. “Not a Word”; Man who made it all possible — Reuben H. Fleet, by Lew Scarr (photo).
When the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center is dedicated, the man who made it all possible will be there but has vowed to make no speeches.
“Not a word,” Reuben Hollis Fleet insisted in an interview. “I’ll be there, but I don’t want to be part of the show.”
Fleet, called Major from World War I days (“I can’t seem to shake that name although I’m not ashamed of it.”), 86 on March 6, is in robust health and his reluctance to speak has nothing to do with any infirmities.
It’s just that he will let his public speaking laurels rest with the last address he made, on May 15, 1968, on the 50th anniversary of the United States Air Mail Service. Fleet was the nation’s first air mail pilot.
In a speech of 185 words delivered in the Smithsonian Institution he officially turned over Old 249 the Postal Service’s last mail airplane, to the National Museum, as he said, “To inspire faith in God in whom we trust, courage to strive, and again courage to act, with hope and love for all mankind.”
Those words, although Major Fleet won’t be saying them at the dedication of the space theater and science center bearing his name could well be used again.
It was the Fleet Foundation that advanced funds for construction of the facility. Oddly, Fleet is not a member of the foundation’s board.
“I just supply the money and let them worry about it,” he said with a chuckle.
But why did he supply the money? Why the space theater and science center?
“Yes, you ask me that,” he said slowly, trying to understand himself why he did.
“Perhaps it’s because I think San Diego is the finest city in the world and I wanted to do something worthwhile for it.”
Actually, Fleet, the founder of Consolidated Aircraft Corp., which became the Convair division of General Dynamics Corp., has devoted all of his working adult life to aviation.
To Reuben Fleet, space is a natural extension of that life and with the magnificent space theater and science center he can be sure that it will go on forever.
“The building is divine for it,” he said. “I hardly known any of the (city) council, but they have been wonderful with all of their cooperation.”
Still, Fleet concedes that the enterprise has been a worry. He has fretted right to the last minute about things, such as the late arrival of the theater’s lens.
“You can’t do very much without that,” he said.
Reuben Fleet has lived an ordered life, partly because of military training, but mostly because he has made things work better that way.
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union. Admission Fees on Sliding Scale.
Admission charges to the space theater will range from $1.25 to $2, depending on your age and the time of performance.
The charges for daytime shows on weekdays will be $1.75 for adults and $1.25 for persons under age 18. The charges for weekend and evening performances will be $2 for adults and $1.50 for youngsters.
Possession of a space theater also will get you into the Science Center, a hall filled with unique and dynamic exhibits that will involve visitors in their happenings.
Admittance to the Science Center alone will cost between 35 and 90 cents again, depending on age and time. The details haven’t been worked out yet.
“It may be the best $2 you ever spent,” said theater center director Michael Sullivan. “I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.”
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union. Everyone can go on space trips, by Steve Stibbens.
Comparative education programs offering a lifetime of space trips will be a key element of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center.
Joe Harrington, of the center’s staff, said he has planned three educational programs already and more are in the works.
During the week, students of all ages, from pre-kindergarten through adult school, will use the center.
“We have two courses planned for kindergarten through third grade students and fourth through sixth grades,” he said. “The courses are identical but the vocabulary will change to fit the student’s level.”
Harrington said the course will introduce students to the San Diego skies at the current season, noting position of the sun, moon and stars.
“We want to show the relationship between the earth, sun and moon, proving to the children they all work together as a family,” he said.
Several adult school programs, including evening classes of three or four weeks duration, will offer beginning astronomy and navigation. Harrington said he expects San Diego’s yacht and sailboat community will welcome the courses.
Saturday morning classes in such crafts as model rocketry will be conducted by the center staff. The San Diego Astronomy Club will continue of offer its members guidance in the art of telescope making.
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union. Show time for theater.
The Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center will open to the public at noon today.
Shows in the theater will start at 12:30 p.m. and continue hourly through 4:30 p.m. Two evening shows will start at 7:30 and 9.
Public programs on weekdays will begin at 2:30, 4, 7:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday showings will be at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and at 1, 2. 3, 4, 7:30 and 9 p.m.
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union, X-2, X-7. Quarter of a century in Development, Fleet Space Theater Unique, by Cliff Smith (illus.).
Like a rare gem, the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center developed slowly, dependent on the presence of great energy and just the right combination of elements.
The evolution of the center spanned more than a quarter century. The main sustaining force was the stuff of dreams, faith and a brand of cooperative effort that was uncanny in its scope and duration.
The crystallization process seemingly also was dependent on tenuous, unrelated events — the collapse of an industry, a 1956 TV broadcast, a scientist’s venture to the top of a shaky ladder in an old snuff mill in Delaware.
Execution of a concise plan didn’t begin until 1957. But leaders in the project now recognize events much earlier as having had a stage-setting importance.
According to Dr. J. C. Almy Harding, the starting point was the ruins of San Diego’s World War II defense industry. If it hadn’t been for the postwar recession, TESSIE would never have been created.
TESSIE, he explained, was the dubious acronym for Technical and Scientific Societies Council.
“Chamber of Commerce president Albert Reader asked Dr. (Bernard) Gross to form the group to help cope with local economic problems,” Harding recalled.
“One thing that came out of TESSIE was the idea of creating a kind of scientific and technical museum. The name for this institution selected in 1947 as the Hall of Science and Industry. Most people envisioned it going into the Ford Building.”
The scheme died but TESSIE thrived on for several years. Many of the members were scientists and engineers.
Some of them were destined to become the organizational nucleus of the world’s first true space travel simulator.
Another event of 1947 that may have been influential was an abortive effort to buy and install a sizable planetarium in an old Balboa Park building. The proponents included San Diego Museum Association, the Astro-Physical Society and the San Diego Junior Chamber of Commerce.
The beginning of a successful planetarium movement had to wait until Christmas Day, 1956. Headlined rather prominently I local newspapers was a proposal to build a “multi-million-dollar science museum for teenagers.” The proponents were identified as Dr. Glenn Havens and Robert J. McPherson.
Today, McPherson recalls that the idea for the institution came to him as he watched a television program depicting youth-oriented exhibits in the Boston Museum of Science.
“The concept we started with was limited to an exciting museum with lots of hand-on exhibits,” McPherson said. “The idea of adding a planetarium to the project came later from Joseph Dryer.”
On March 17, 1957, plans for a public meeting to discuss both the museum and planetarium ideas was announced. The meeting was held in the San Diego Hotel on March 20.
Many of those who received special invitations to attend were drawn from the membership list of TESSIE, which had recently been disbanded, because of their expertise in scientific fields.
The minutes of that meeting identify 34 persons who attended. Several of those present now are directors and officers of the San Diego Hall of Science, Inc., the governing body of the new center, and of the city-county Planetarium Authority.
McPherson was named acting chairman and presided at the initial meeting. The organizational name of San Diego Hall of Science and Industry borrowed from TESSIE was adopted and plans for regular monthly meetings were made.
Dryer described his ideas about a major planetarium for San Diego. According to a newspaper account of the meeting, McPherson proposed an immediate merger of the two projects but Dryer said each plan should be pursued separately for the time being.
McPherson recalls that the merger was effected a few weeks later.
Havens became the first president of the organization on August 7, 1957. Two days later the Articles of Incorporation were signed establishing the organization as a non-profit California corporation.
Straightforward execution of the organization’s plans were thwarted for years by various difficulties, including a very large financial need.
The delay proved a blessing because during this period two men who were to become indispensable in upgrading the planetarium in a history-making way joined the project.
They are James Crooks, Jr., an electronics engineer, and Dr. Edward Creutz, a nuclear physicist, who now is associate director of the National Science Foundation.
Together they conceived and developed the idea of building the planetarium with the dome tilted downward before the audience so that the stars would appear ahead and below the horizon as well as overhead.
Additionally, Crooks is credited with conceiving the idea of bringing all of the planetarium equipment under the control of a single computer.
The turning point in adoption of the tilted-dome design concept came one day in the late spring or early summer of 1964, the exact date is uncertain.
That was the day that Creutz climbed the ladder. At the time, the headquarters of Spitz Laboratories, Inc. was in Yorklyn, Del.
Creutz was there to discuss the design of planetarium hardware.
Dr. Armond Spitz arranged to put a star field projection up on the test dome and Creutz climbed to the top of the ladder for the perspective that would give him a fair idea of what a real tilt-dome planetarium view would be like.
“Ed’s experiment on that ladder was the key event,” Crooks recalled. “It led directly to the tilted dome.”
Today the tilted-dome concept is known to planetarium authorities around the world as “the Creutz effect.”
There were many other important steps after that but none with so revolutionary an impact.
Also, by that time the die was cast and nothing could really stop the completion of our jewel in Balboa Park.
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union, X-4:1-2, X-11. Entire section devoted to Space Theater and Hall of Science.
X-4. New center costs $45. Million (photo of Michael Sullivan holding $19,000 fish-eye lens).
The cost of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center is estimated to total $4.5 million.
Three million dollars of this was obtained from revenue bonds sold in 1971. This paid for the construction of the building in Balboa Park, construction of the inner come in the theater, part of the sound system and most of the furnishings.
The other $1.5 million went for theater equipment, science center exhibits, production of theater films and operating expenses. Most of this money has come n the form of outright donations.
The largest contributors have been members of the Fleet family. The Fleet Foundation gave $400,000. Reuben Fleet, his sons and daughter matched this with another $400,000.
Many of the officers and board members of the San Diego Hall of Science have made large donations. The hall is the governing body of the center and theater.
The bond issue was made possible by a joint powers agreement between the city and county governments in July 1958. This created a city-county Planetarium Authority, a financial agent authorized to sell the bonds.
The city leased the land in Balboa Park to the authority. Later the authority subleased the land and new building back to the city.
Then the city gave the Hall of Science, a non-profit corporation, a contract to operate the theater and center. The professional staff to run everything answers to the hall.
March 11, 1973, San Diego Union, X-4, X-11. Executive Director is young veteran; Sophisticated Systems Blaze a Space Trail, by Connie Bruck.
It is truly appropriate that W. Michael Sullivan, executive director of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center, is as anomalous as his facility. Abandon, all who enter this cosmic-transit dome, any pre-conceived notions of planetariums or their directors.
My planetarium experience, for example had been limited to New York’s Hayden: darkened room, mysterious planetarium machine slowly rotating stars above, and mainly the Voice — informative drone of the indefatigable astronomy lecturer, dully synchronized with soporific music.
But here we sit in the tilted dome of the Space Theater, and Sullivan — who is decidedly not the Voice — is describing how the audience in this audio-visual spectacular will be literally surrounded by multi-projections and sound, as they grip their seats with the sensation of moving forward through space, earth-bound no longer.
Dazzling apotheosis of the New Age, this futuristic Space Theater rises out of the archaic planetarium of yesterday.
When plans for this facility first began to germinate 15 years ago, Sullivan was a high school sophomore. Today, at age 31, he is opening his third planetarium, one which has the most sophisticated, innovative equipment and design in the world. Sullivan is, in effect, trend-setting in a new media, and his own rapid stellar ascent bears some re-tracing.
He attended Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., on a theater set design scholarship, took every astronomy course, majored in physics, decided not to go to graduate school and began practice teaching in a Denver High School and nearby planetarium, Sullivan recalls, with characteristic candor, that he started out docile enough (“I regurgitated what they told me to do, how they would do a show,”) not immediately realizing what a natural arena was the planetarium for his experience in theater.
By the time 24 year-old Sullivan went to a new planetarium in the Museum of Science in Miami, Fla., however — the largest Spitz installation in the country until the opening of the Space Theater — the light had dawned. Within a year he was in charge of his facility, and equipped it with the Spitz Transit Planetarium (STP). Sullivan concentrated on simulating space flight. Five other planetariums in this county has been similarly equipped but none had done flight simulation.
The life of a pioneer, however, cannot be all halcyon. Sullivan enjoys recalling one particularly stormy day. Florida’s Governor Kirk was in the audience and the space flight simulator was at his control, via a portable joy stick. He was given instructions about the basic motion capabilities — roll, yaw, pitch — and the audience waited for their representative to move the world, guide his ship of state, but all was still.
After much encouragement, repeated instruction and some embarrassment on the Governor’s impotent part, a faulty connection was discovered and hastily remedied, at which point Kirk’s anxious, over-compensating manipulation of the joystick paid off and his ship indeed moved in a storm-tossed, sickening simulation of rolling, yawing and pitching.
From Miami, Sullivan went to Yonkers, N. Y., to open the Andrews Space Planetarium, part of the Hudson River Art School. The artistic environment provided idea work conditions and resources for Sullivan who for the next four years — with critical acclaim — used his facility as a laboratory, experimenting with further techniques of space flight simulation in inter-media environments, substituting rock and electronic music for traditional classical.
All that experimentation will climax, continue and re-climax at the Space Theater, where Sullivan has spent the past year.
Now, his eagerness for the creative involvement of producing on-going shows is almost tangible. Low-keyed no longer, Sullivan becomes vibrant, electrified, as he talks happily of the future he can invent here, of the light shows and the chamber music, of the oceans, galaxies and bursting novas that will fill this ever-expanding universe of a dome.
March 12, 1973, San Diego Union. Space Theater opening draws sellout crowds.
All the indicators of a hit show were there at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater yesterday.
The first show of the day, at 12:30 p.m., was a sellout.
A throng of people stood patiently in the lobby, waiting for the 2 p.m. show, which also was a sellout.
A long line waited to buy tickets for the 3:30 show, which eventually was a sellout.
Tickets were being sold for the 5 p.m. show.
The cash register was running short of change. There were muted squabbles here and there.
All of the shows on Saturday — the theater’s opening day — were sellouts, too, director of operations Gene Partyka said.
March 13, 1973, San Diego Union. Offer is made for discarded statues.
The Committee of 100 has received a tentative offer for purchase of the discarded statuary and ornamentation that was removed from the Food and Beverage Building in Balboa Park at the time of its demolition.
A number of the pieces, removed from the old building and used as molds for ornamental pieces for the Casa del Prado, which replaced the original building are in the storage yard at Chollas Sanitary Landfill.
A story Sunday in The San Diego Union stated that the discarded ornaments were available t the public, but Mrs. Frank Evenson, chairman of the Committee of 100, subsequently received the tentative purchase offer which she said could mean “as much as $75,000” to the committee.
Said Mrs. Evenson, “I’m very appreciative of the beautiful article that was written. If this does not work out, we will revert to the original idea” of offering the pieces to the public.
Mrs. Evenson said the committee should know within three or four days whether the sale goes though. The tentative purchaser wants the ornaments to use as molds for a project in Arizona. Meanwhile, the artifacts are being held in reserve. Any money realized by the Committee of 100 would be used, said Mrs. Evenson, to further the committee’s work of preserving the Spanish Colonial architecture in Balboa Park.
March 13, 1973, San Diego Union. Extension of traffic ban urged.
Satisfied with the test closing of El Prado area of Balboa Park to traffic, the Balboa Park Committee yesterday voted to recommend the City Council extend the one-month trial period until the closure can be made permanent.
March 16, 1973, Source ? City Plans Mall in Balboa Park . . . The city is moving ahead with plans to permanently convert Balboa Park’s El Prado area into a pedestrian mall and to construct alternate car routs through the park.
March 17, 1973, San Diego Union. Space Theater will feature sun fire gales.
Visitors to the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center will be able to watch fire storms on the sun starting this weekend.
The new Balboa Park facility announced yesterday that it has installed a $25,000 solar telescope and connected it to a closed circuit television monitor in the science center.
“Special lenses will enable people to see solar flares, as well as swirling gas clouds,” said Greg Paris, a science lecturer for the facility.
Solar flares are enormous fire storms on the sun’s surface which expel streams of radiation into space.
Radiation from the flares in the radio spectrum of electromagnetic energy causes noise that disrupts earth communications.
Large sun flares also emit high-energy atomic particles which can be harmful to space travelers.
Thirteen showings of “Garden Isle: and “Voyage to the Other Planets” were scheduled for today and tomorrow in the space theater.
March 25, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, C. E. G., claiming street closing will split park: The present closure of one block is deceptive in that the park, east and west of Cabrillo Bridge, is till tied together. Complete blockage of the street means going up and around Robinson Street to get from one area to the other.
March 26, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Park Traffic Ban Pleases Most Visitors.
March 26, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Strollers revel in mall plan, by Lee Grant.
March 29, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. The City Council yesterday declared its experiment closing of Balboa Park’s central promenade to cars a huge success and voted to keep it that way for at least another four months.
March 29, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. City sets hearing on park bonds; two proposals would put $50 million on September 18 ballot.
Proposed by the city is the $25 million parks and recreation issue consisting of 93 projects scattered around the city.
The other bond proposal would go on the ballot at the suggestion of Mayor Wilson. It would be a $25 million “park reserves” issue similar to Proposition F, the open space bond issue which barely failed to muster last year the two-thirds necessary vote required.
March 31, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, Tuila Goble favors Balboa Park organ air café; nothing is served in the fine restaurant in Balboa Park in the afternoon until dinner or supper time.
April 6, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, Shirley Lemons stating that the café in the park is under new management and luncheon is served continuously from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
April 6, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, M. W., Spring Valley, calling Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater “a waste of money and effort.”
April 10, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3:8. National Endowment for the Arts awarded Space Theater $9,560 to aid in the installation of Spanish programming.
April 11, 1973, San Diego Union, B-10:2-3. EDITORIAL: Prado Closing.
The success of closing a key artery in eastern Balboa Park [sic] to traffic should not blind us to the fact that some problems have surfaced during the experiment.
For example, if private vehicular traffic is prohibited from areas of the park, it is clear that some provisions should be made to assist the elderly and the handicapped to reach them. Additionally, if more people are going to be walking through the park, particularly at night, additional lighting and security will be necessary.
These, however, are problems easily susceptible to solution. They have been far outweighed by the benefits already visible as a result of some traffic restrictions in Balboa Park — cleaner air and a more enjoyable recreational area.
April 11, 1973, San Diego Union, C-6:2. Thursday Club Juniors present check of over $1,000 to Space Theater.
April 12, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:3-4. $270,000 star ball knocked out by discarded candy wrapper and wad of chewing gum.
April 15, 1973, San Diego Union, E-1. Enjoy Balboa Park’s new floral look, by Craig MacDonald.
April 17, 1973, San Diego Union. City Council approved drafting an ordinance for submission to voters regarding a $25.0 million bond issue for improvements to Balboa Park; ordinance should be ready around July 3; Mrs. Miller will send form requesting arguments then.
April 18, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, E-1. Two park bonds to appear on fall municipal ballot.
April 18, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3:7. The City Council yesterday unanimously voted to place a $25.0 million bond issue on the September ballot. There was no discussion on the issues before the council. The $25.0 million bond is for 93 projects scattered around the city, including improvements to a number of neighborhood parks. Some of the projects are a botanical garden in Balboa Park, a new access road to Torrey Pines Beach, renovation of Point Loma and Ocean Beach recreation centers and acquisition of 5-acre mini parks throughout the city.
April 21, 1973, San Diego Union, B-4:8. Ben Casados of Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena will speak on ecological benefits of space research, afternoon of April 29, in Space Theater.
May ?, 1973, San Diego Union. Park event to benefit 8 projects: San Diegans will make their way to Balboa Park tomorrow riding bikes, scooters, and other vehicles — the more unusual the better — for Convergence ’73, sponsored by the United Nations Association of San Diego.
May 3, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, M. L. Jannoch, favoring High School shift from park . . . “Let the ‘Old Gray Castle’ pass with dignity into memory and give Balboa Park back to the people of San Diego.”
May 4, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3:6. A San Diegan will be honored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers tonight at a meeting in Honolulu; James W. Crooks, Jr., and engineer for General Dynamics Corp., Electronics Division plant in San Diego, will received the 1973 western region award for outstanding community service; Crooks will be cited for “promoting better general public understanding of science” in connection with his efforts in helping develop the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater in Balboa Park.
May 7, 1973, San Diego Union, D-3:1. A seminar designed especially for women on “Energy Problems and the Environment” begins today at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center; sponsored and conducted by the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, the program will be a three-hour workshop, repeated four times a day, Monday through Friday, with sessions beginning at 9 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
May 13, 1973, San Diego Union, B-13. The two-acre, $140,000 (rose) garden is planned for the area across from the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center and fountain. David Roberts, park division superintendent, said he hopes to start planting by February and have the garden open in the summer of 1974.
Roberts said the city has set aside $47,000 to pay for the project, but has a tentative offer of a foundation grant to pay for the difference.
May 26, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-11:4. A series of six Sunday morning services at the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion has been scheduled by the downtown San Diego Inter-Church Council.
May 27, 1973, San Diego Union, B-2:4-5. The Committee of 100 is scheduled to hold its annual business luncheon June 12 at the House of Hospitality.
May 27, 1973, San Diego Union, B-4:6-8. Elaborate plans are underway to film the June 30 solar eclipse in Africa for another audiovisual spectacular in the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater; cinematographers will record the eclipse from the edge of Lake Victoria in Kenya in 70 millimeter, super-wide angle Omnimax color, which is the largest film format in motion pictures; the filming production will be part of a three-week African Eclipse Safari in Kenya organized by officers of the new institution in Balboa Park.
June, 1973, Booklet “San Diego Summer – 1973,” published by the Parks and Recreation Department.
June 13, 1973, San Diego Union, B-6. The Committee of 100 yesterday received a $2,500 check from George A. Scott, president of Walker Scott Stores, to aid in the preservation of the Spanish-Colonial architecture along the Prado.
June 14, 1973, San Diego Union, E-1. Florida Canyon in rebirth, by Jeannette Branin (illus.).
A preview of Florida Canyon Nature Trail One was held yesterday. Guided tours, open to the public, will be offered every Friday through Monday beginning in November.
June 15, 1973, San Diego Union, B-9:3. Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater announced that it will substantially expand its program schedule to 54 shows a week beginning tomorrow; a spokesman said shows will be offered Monday through Saturday at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and hourly from 1 to 4 p.m.; Sunday presentation will be hourly from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.; there also will be shows nightly at 7:30 and 8:30.
June 16, 1973, San Diego Union. Summer worship services in Balboa Park organ pavilion will begin June 24, the Rev. Dr. Robert H. Mayo, pastor of First Presbyterian Church and chairman of the Inter-Church Council sponsoring the services, said yesterday.
June 20, 1973, San Diego Union, B-2. Hearing slated on park roads . . . A city proposal to build two new roads through relatively undeveloped sections of Balboa Park will be studied at a public meeting tonight at the House of Hospitality, sponsored by Citizens Coordinate III.
The roads, one running east of the Cabrillo Bridge to President’s Way and the other connecting Richmond Street and Quince Street have been proposed in the event that El Prado is closed permanently.
June 21, 1973, San Diego Union, B-16:1. Tom Sawyer, your world of adventure will never be the same again; the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center has injected a super sonic jolt into your childhood experiments near the banks of the Mississippi; remember the time you talked into the Cave and heard Becky Thatcher answer by whispering into the rocks” The Science Center has taken that whisper into the world’s largest parabolic dishes and gossip with a friend 80-feet away in from of a twin disc.
June 27, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Letter, Robert G. Case, suggesting tunnel for park traffic: . . . build a tunnel from the Cabrillo Bridge along the Laurel Street route under Pacific mall and under Park Boulevard to exit near and join Zoo Place road.
June 27, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, V. R. Santalo, issuing warning on park roads: Trees uprooted and concrete poured is not something that can be undone quickly if at all. We seem to be so dissatisfied with the natural beauty around us that we are ready to sacrifice all on a shrine to the automobile.
July 3, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:8. City planning commissioners yesterday urged the City Council to reopen all of El Prado to automobiles for the benefit of visitors and senior citizens but to leave it closed to through traffic.
A cul-de-sac should be built at the present corner of El Prado and Zoo Drive, by the Natural History Museum, the commission said.
July 7, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Space theater turns in loss of $131,065.
The Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater, the new planetarium in Balboa Park, has ended its first four months of operation with a lot of unexpected red ink.
Deputy City Mgr. Ray Blair told the City Council yesterday that an audit showed the facility ended the fiscal year with $148,503 in unpaid bills and a net deficit of $131.065.
Blair said a small surplus has been expected.
Blair said yesterday attendance for the four-month period was not as high as officials predicted, but he did not present any figures.
The city gave the theater a subsidy of $103,000 last year and some $204,000 was proposed for this fiscal year.
Blair said city officials would have to get together with planetarium officials to try to work out a method of making up the deficit.
The planetarium has been troubled by numerous problems since its opening in March.
In April, a short circuit in the machinery snuffed out the star show for five days. There were problems with the telephones, problems in the sound tracks, some of the exhibits didn’t work and there were technical problems in producing the show.
The planetarium officials, however, had still painted a bright picture.
July 7, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3:1-2. The Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater in Balboa Park is $131,065 in debt and is seeking additional money from the city to clear its deficit; the money is in addition to the $103,000 the city gave operators of the $3 million facility last year and the $204,510 being allocated for the new fiscal year.
Deputy City Manager Ray Blair released an audit to city councilmen yesterday which showed unpaid bills total $148,503.54 as of July 1.
“As can be seen . . . additional cash in the amount of $131,065.55 will be needed to pay all outstanding obligations,” the audit said.
A $198 estimated surplus was forecast in the budget last year for the planetarium by several independent studies.
The problem is the lack of attendance and repeated breakdowns of equipment, Blair said.
City Manager Kimball Moore said the planetarium may be becoming “a perennial cash problem.”
“We may be stuck having to take a big bite our of our contingency reserve for this,” he said.
Blair was directed to meet with the auditor and members of the Hall of Science to work out the financial problems.
The 350-seat facility opened in March. It was built through a special revenue bond which the city also is repaying. The operating deficit is not related to the building bonds.
July 7, 1973, San Diego Union, B-13:2. Casa del Prado play reading set tomorrow in the Valenica Room.
July 8, 1973, San Diego Union, B-5. The City Council has allocated more than $7,000 to keep the carillon concerts and organ recitals going in Balboa Park.
July 9, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:8. City planners have recommended against a height limit around Balboa Park.
July 13, 1973, San Diego Union. El Prado hearing set . . . A July 31 hearing has been set by the City Council to determine whether El Prado in Balboa Park should be permanently closed to the automobile.
July 13, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. The City Council yesterday formally placed two bond proposals on the September ballot. If passed they would add $47.5 million in park and recreation land and facilities to the city.
July 19, 1973, Smart Shopper. The Board of Directors of the Museum of Man has announced its new slate of officers for 1973 and 1974. Mr. John P. Starkey has been elected President.
July 19, 1973, San Diego Union, B-17:1. Retired stockbroker Ken Rearwin will head the Citizens Committee for Propositions A and B, the two park proposals on the September 18 municipal ballot, James S. Milch, chairman of the city Park and Recreation Board said yesterday.
July 20, 1973, San Diego Union, B-5. Mayor Wilson yesterday introduced chairmen of the citizens’ committee for passage of Propositions A and B, the city park and open space bonds on the September 18 ballot.
July 21, 1973, San Diego Union, B-9:2. Zoltan Rozenyai, whose original compositions provide the background music for the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater show “Garden Isle,” will be at the theater in Balboa Park from 3 to 5 p.m. today to autograph record albums of his score.
July 27, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Pat Quinlan writes surplus remaining in city park bond fund could be used to rehabilitate Ford Building.
July 27, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, Carolyn B. Vega, Del Cerro, assailing park shuttle tram program: Why not leave our park a peaceful, quiet, clean place unmarred by the noise and exhaust of those city Jeeps and the voices of tram drivers?
July 27, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Finding of Japanese beetle in Balboa Park stirs alarm.
July 27, 1973, San Diego Union, B-12:1-3. A plan has been worked out to help Balboa Park’s new Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater get out of debt; a late opening date and a shortage of advance chase had caused a $74,378 deficit for the Hall of Science, operators of the $4.5 million facility said yesterday; Mike Sullivan, the planetarium’s executive director, told members of the San Diego Planetarium Authority his organization will ask the City Council for $49,689 to get out of the financial squeeze while the Hall of Science will be asked to contribute the remaining $24,689.
City Property Director Bill MacFarlane said he would advance the proposal to the City Council and added the city manager’s office is receptive to the plan.
“The proposal appears reasonable,” said MacFarlane.
“Had they (the theater) been open in January as planned, I think they would have exceeded their revenue projections.”
The theater operators earlier this year asked the city for additional money but at that time were turned down until the doors were opened and until tighter fiscal operations were started. The manager’s office also asked the Hall of Science to make some contribution toward the deficit.
Sullivan dispelled rumors that attendance had been low and that periodic equipment breakdowns have plagued the theater operations.
Attendance has been better than expected and the show efficiency has been 99 percent, “which is pretty good at eight shows per day,” Sullivan said.
The January opening date, which the theater could not keep, hurt the budget and so did lack of “upfront” money — those funds needed to buy equipment and spare parts, he said.
The theater finally opened in March and has since been hailed nationwide as the most outstanding theater-planetarium in the country.
The city has pledged operating support to the hall during its infancy. Private funds thus far have contributed nearly $1 million to the complex, Sullivan noted.
The city for the fiscal year of 1973 contributed $103,000 out of a $575,000 total budget. The $49,689 would be an additional subsidy.
The planetarium next year will also be asking for some city support, Sullivan said, but it is forecast the facility will soon be self-sufficient.
Meanwhile, the hall has launched a campaign to recruit more backers. It already has 1,043 paying contributors. A mail campaign has also been started asking persons to contribute in return for a film credit during a space show.
Sullivan said his organization has asked the Convention and Visitors Bureau to help recruit business organizations to use the facility when not in public use.
He said recently the theater received an additional source of income when a jewelry organization used the show for a sales presentation.
The planetarium board took no formal action because no quorum was present.
July 28, 1973, San Diego Union, B-8. Final park service sponsored by Inter-Church Council at Organ Pavilion today.
July 29, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, Clifford Graves, La Jolla, expressing dislike of the constant blaring of loudspeakers on the minibuses that circle the Prado and environs in Balboa Park; notes that the average age of the occupants of the buses was “probably 35.”
August ?, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Richard Amero writes letter opposing the remodeling of the Ford Building.
Editor: I urge the people of San Diego to vote on Prop. A in the Sept. 18 election as it includes a provision for reconverting the Ford Building.
The Prado and the Palisades areas of Balboa Park already have too many buildings. Whatever one may think of the Spanish-Renaissance architecture along El Prado, the Ford Building is at odds with all the buildings in the park.
On Jan. 20, 1972, R. E. Graham, assistant city manager, stated that proposals for reconverting the Ford Building would produce “a usable building . . . Not necessarily a thing of great beauty or great joy.”
Architectural historians John Ely Burchard and Albert Bush-Brown refer to Walter Teague’s Ford Building as an example of corruptible and fraudulent “new packaging,” and Arnold L. Lehman considers it with others, as an example of the “adolescent excesses of the industrial designer’s art.”
August 1, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:3:4. The experimental daytime car ban on El Prado will continue for a least two more months, the City Council said yesterday, at least until a shuttle tram service is fully tested.
August 1, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:3. The state Department of Transportation yesterday approved the City Council’s ordinance banning trucks from the southbound lanes of State Highway 163 through Balboa Park during the morning rush.
August 1, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, Caryl H. Goldsmith doesn’t like the “noise pollution” from the people movers; she is a volunteer working in the House of Hospitality.
August 1, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3:5-6. The proposed $25 million bond issue for park and recreation facilities on the September 18 municipal ballot would increase city taxes, city Auditor Bill Sage said yesterday.
August 1, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. The City Council yesterday adopted a policy whereby in some instances neighboring homeowners will be asked to help purchase open-space park lands.
August 8, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, Ro. D. Boswell, criticizes City Council on park action: The daily shutdown of El Prado in Balboa Park and the substitute transportation provided is just one more example of the city councilmen’s interference supposed to improve that which has been pleasing and satisfactory for the majority.
August 8, 1973, San Diego Union, B-9. Debate Travels Down Balboa Park Road Plans: Park Needs South Road, by James S. Milch, chairman San Diego Parks and Recreation Board.
August 8, 1973, San Diego Union, B-9. Band-Aid Cures Won’t Solve (Traffic) Problems, by Olive Wehbring, president of Citizens Coordinate for Century 3.
August 9, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. The city yesterday acquired another 145 acres of former Camp Elliott land from the federal government to add to a natural park in the Fortuna Mountain-Mission Gorge area.
August 9, 1973, San Diego Union, B-2. Beer-drinking tennis players won a victory before the City Council when the council voted to allow beer sales at the Morley Field tennis court snack bar in Balboa Park.
August 9, 1973, San Diego Union, B-18. Richard Amero says Proposition A bad for park.
Editor: Passage of Proposition A would be bad for Balboa Park. In 1925 George W. Marston wrote, “Balboa Park is primarily a place for natural beauty. Although it is one of the largest parks in the country, the time is coming when the building of hospitals and school houses, or even libraries and museums, must case or else we shall have a city there instead of a park.”
Marston’s prediction has come true. There are too many buildings in the center of Balboa Park. For this reason the 1960 Master Plan recommended removing the Ford Building.
The Park and Recreation Department should listen to the advice of landscape architects and not the wishes of those to whom undeveloped land is a challenge.
August 9, 1973, San Diego Union, B-18. Marie Widman, member, Parks and Recreation Board: . . . Prop. A does not increase the tax rate over that established by the voters in the 1966 election. Parks and Recreation are important to all San Diegans.
August 11, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-9. Christian Science Lecture at the Organ Pavilion, April 12 at 6:30 p.m.
August 11, 1973 (?), San Diego Union, A-9. Free Service For All; Balboa Park Trams Start All-Day Sightseeing Trips, by Lee Grant.
August 15, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1, B-6, B-12. Price tag — 47.5 million; open space, park bonds on city ballot September 18, by Tom Blair.
August 16, 1973, San Diego Union, B-5. The San Diego construction trade will back additional city park fees as long as the increases are used to develop facilities in areas the money was collected from, industry spokesmen said Tuesday.
August 18, 1973, San Diego Union, A-5. Park-bond propositions endorsed by four San Diego legislators.
August 19, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1, B-7. Seventy nine city park projects; Proposition A asks approval of $25 million bond issue.
August 20, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. No tax increase — Proposition B asks $22 million for open space preserves.
August 20, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. House of Italy Cultural Center to open soon.
San Diegans of Italian descent will have new cultural headquarters with opening of the House of Italy at Balboa Park Saturday.
Italy will become the 20th member country of the House of Pacific Relations, the ruling body for cottages in Balboa Park that house arts and crafts representative of the United States and other nations.
The new House of Italy is located in a section of the old floral building. It will share space in the building with the Hall of Nations, which will have items on display of all member countries of the House of Pacific Relations.
Although the House of Italy will have opening ceremonies at an invitational gathering at 8 p.m. Saturday and a public opening at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the Hall of Nations is not scheduled to open until September 1.
Work on the House of Italy has been accomplished most by volunteers, according to John Curiale, vice president of the house. The House of Italy is Italian in design and furnishings.
Entry steps to the house were paved with Padre brick.
“Used in conjunction with the brick are Padre pavers in matching colors, all contributed by Ben and Ralph Pastore,” according to Mrs. Kay Sanfilippo, spokesman for the House of Italy.
Two lions, each weighing 200 pounds, sit on pedestals on each side of the 10-foot wide entry steps. The lions were a gift to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Joe McLain and Anna Motizi and have already become a favorite of children, according to Mrs. Sanfilippo.
Wrought-iron railing surrounds the patio. The entry gate to the house also is of wrought-iron and is the work of Joe Viasuso.
The interior of the building has been laid out with Italian ceramic tile in soft browns and creams. The tile work was done by Dominic LaRusso and G. Pippo Sanfilippo. The building will include two golf-leaf chandeliers that were imported from Murano, Venice. The west wall, near, includes a built-in cabinet, the work of Tommy Crimi.
Curiale said that if work and material were contracted, time remodeling would cost about $10,000.
“We hope this will prove to be an adhesive bond to bring the Italian community more closely together to carry on their Italian heritage,” he said.
Residents of San Diego County who have arts, crafts and other items representative of Italian culture are invited to display them at the House of Italy, Curiale said.
“Every Italian should participate in the House of Italy because it belongs to them,” Curiale said. Membership dues to join the association is $3 a year, he said.
After the formal opening Saturday, the House of Italy will open to the public on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. A lawn program with the House of Italy participating has been scheduled at 2 p.m. Chairman is Mrs. Valla Berardinelli. The program will include singing and performing of an Italian dance.
Presiding over both programs will be Felix Motisi, president of the House of Italy.
August 20, 1973, San Diego Union, D-2:1. When the multi-media production, “Capture the Sun,” is presented at Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center, October 13, the film credit will list the associates for Contemporary San Diego; the associates group sponsored the world premiere of the theater and science center in March.
August 21, 1973, San Diego Union, B-12:1. Straws in the Wind: The premiere October 12 of the most exciting show to be presented at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater will benefit the educational program of the theater which is host to about 10,000 school children each month; the event will be in the form of a cocktail dinner and will feature two shows, “Capture the Sun,” taken in June and July in Africa, and “Standing Up Country” (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona); the African film, a multi-media project, covers the eclipse of the sun.
August 22, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. Rallies push parks, land propositions.
August 24 – 31, 1973, America’s Finest City Week.
August 24, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-7. Ford Building sought — Flight museum’s hopes fly with Proposition A bonds, by Tom Blair.
August 26, 1973, San Diego Union, A-10. Guided tours of the Natural History Museums’ new Tree Walk in Balboa Park will be conducted tomorrow and Sunday by members of the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation.
August 26, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1, B-6. Bond issues of past made dream reality.
August 26, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1, B-6. Park bonds called vital to keep quality of life, by Otto Kreisher.
August 27, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Proposition A can open new beach area (illus.).
August 28, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Most primary entries back Props A, B.
Propositions A and B — the open space and bond issues on the September 18 city primary ballot — have been endorsed by all eight city councilmen, the mayor and 40 of the 46 candidates for city posts, according to the chairman of the bond drives.
Kenneth Rearwin said incumbent councilmen Leon Williams, Henry Landt, Maureen O’Connor, Allen Hitch, Floyd Morrow, Gil Johnson, Bob Martinet and Jim Bates favor the propositions.
Council challengers endorsing the propositions include John Sneed, district 1; Ron Breen, Lee Hubbard, Bill Martinez and Jim Wood, district 3; John Arvizu, Ted Gavett, Ray Lussa and Vic Miranda, district 5; and Larry Barnes, Jim Ellis, John Hobbs, Kenny Olson, Evonne Schultze and James Sheremeta, district 7.
All candidates for Community College Board have endorsed Props A. and B and both incumbent city attorney John Witt and challenger Jim Webb are behind them, Rearwin said.
All Board of Education candidates, with the exception of Dwight Twist, have endorsed the bond issues, he said. Rearwin said three candidates contacted for endorsements failed to respond.
Prop. A is a $25-million bond proposition for acquisition and development of neighborhood and community parks and improvements to Balboa and Mission Bay parks.
Prop. B authorizes a $22.5-million bond debt for acquisition and improvement of 16 community parcels and for acquisition of four major parcels.
Helen Scantlin, a candidate for councilman in the 1st district, has endorsed Prop. B. only.
August 28, 1973, San Diego Union, A-3. Proposed improvements for Balboa Park.
August 28, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Balboa Park projects sought; Prop. B would give $4.5 million to beauty.
Balboa Park, long the jewel of San Diego’s park system, would be further enriched with $4.5 million in improvements if Proposition A is approved by city voters Sept. 18.
The money for Balboa Park is part of the $25 million in proposed bond issues for parks and recreational facilities set out in the proposition, one of two on the primary election ballot.
Most of the money from Proposition A, nearly 69 percent, would go for neighborhood and community parks, bringing park facilities near to home for many more San Diegans.
The next biggest share, 18 percent, is for refinements in Balboa Park.
The $4,529,435 proposed for the park covers projects to serve a wide spectrum of individual interests. There would be a botanical preserve and natural landscaping areas, for those who want to quietly contemplate nature. There would be jogging paths and athletic fields for more active individuals. And there would be matching funds to help provide a new home for the Aerospace Museum, which is a hit with both local residents and tourists alike.
In cast outlay, the biggest project would be at Morley Field, the spacious picnic and athletic area east of Park Boulevard. About $,1,167,975 would be spent to expand and improve this area.
Another $33,600 is proposed to expand the men’s locker room at Morley Field tennis clubhouse.
The next biggest share of Balboa Park money, $1,011,160 is proposed for improving the irrigation, sewage and draining system and the lighting in numerous areas of the park.
A fund of $282,075 is provided, in addition, to improve roads within the park.
Other forms of transportation also would get improved facilities. About $453,225 would be allocated for building or improving pathways for bicycles, joggers and pedestrians throughout the park.
Passive enjoyment is the purpose of most of the other projects proposed for the park in the bond issue. Florida Canyon, the large open area between Park Boulevard and Morley Field, would be developed further into a natural botanical preserve.
Eight to 12 acres of this canyon would be developed with about $193,475 from Proposition A. The natural chaparral growth in the area would be augmented with other native plants and trees.
Proposition A, if passed, also would provide about $114,875 to continue the development of Gold Gulch, a rambling canyon east of the Organ Pavilion and south of the buildings along El Prado.
Desert lovers would have a mini-desert close at hand if the proposition is approved by two-thirds of the voters.
Palm Canyon, started with 1966 park bond funds, would be completed for the area northwest of the Organ Pavilion.
Another exotic area, a shade garden with a Japanese theme, would be developed in a canyon south of the House of Hospitality. An estimated $114,875 would be spent for this area.
Rose lovers would have something to gain with an estimated $89,875 going into continuing the development of more than two acres of rose garden, southeast of El Prado-Park Boulevard intersection.
The crowded Aerospace Museum, now jammed into the crumbling Electric Building, would have a new home with the help of $850,000 from Proposition A.
August 29, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Proposition A will bring parks close to all San Diegans.
August 29, 1973, (San Diego) Independent. Richard Amero advocates defeat of Props. A because it includes provision to renovate the Ford Building.
Propositions to remodel this building were rejected by the voters in 1971 and 1972. Further decreasing the cost is not the answer.
Balboa Park’s main purpose is to provide a place for recreation and relaxation in country-like surroundings. This was recognized in 1870 when the California State Legislature set aside 1,400 acres for “a free and public park” and has been conformed by park experts over the years. Twice before San Diego voters have defeated efforts to use Balboa Park land for buildings.
The 1960 Master Plan recommended tearing down the Ford Building — because it is unsightly; adds to the congestion in the Palisades area; and occupies land that would be better used as a scenic overlook with a fountain centerpiece.
Scaled-down, low-cost plans for reconverting the Ford Building will not produce a building serviceable by the Aerospace Museum without costly and extended modifications.
August 30, 1973, San Diego Union, A-3. Mission Bay, Beach proposed improvements.
August 30, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Mission Bay Park aided by Proposition A; $3.3 million in further developments face decision by city voters September 18.
August 30, 1973, San Diego Union, B-16. Sunbathers seek defeat of Proposition A.
August 31,1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. $17 million for 60 neighborhoods; Proposition A provides parks close to most city homes.
August 31, 1973, San Diego Union, A-3, B-5. Ford Building in your future; Aerospace home sought.
August 31, 1973, San Diego Union, A-12:1. Beginning September 4, the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater will offer shows weekday and Sunday afternoons, all day Saturday, and each evening; an additional 9:30 p.m. performance will be scheduled Fridays and Saturdays; the current summer schedule features wraparound screenings of “Voyage to the Outer Planets” and “Garden Isle’; Monday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and hourly from 1 to 4 p.m. with Sunday performances hourly from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
September, 1973, San Francisco Magazine. Letter comparing Golden Gate and Balboa Parks.
Lawrence Siegel’s article, “The Guardian of Golden Gate Park” (July ’73), describing the activities of Ray Clary, accurately assesses the situation not only for Golden Gate Park but for other parks as well. I note that Mr. Clary acts as an individual, not as a member of a committee.
Balboa Park in San Diego, originally laid out in 1903 by Samuel Parsons, Jr., after consulting John McLaren, is an example of what can happen to a municipal park when professional advice is ignored. The original 1400 acres has been whittled own to little over 1000. Acreage given away to such worthy groups as the campfire girls, boy scouts, etc., to high schools, a hospital, a fenced-in zoo, golf courses, museums, theaters, conference rooms, assembly halls, roads and parking lots reduce the free and public park given to San Diego by the California State Legislature of 1870-71 to minuscule proportions.
The pedestrian cannot walk the entire park as he can Golden Gate or Central Park as the fragmentation has destroyed all sense of unity. Through ignorance, lack of money, a failure to appreciate nature, and the mis-applied zeal of committees, made up of the park’s self-styled “protectors,” San Diego’s great park is now “a city within a city.” Year by year the museums continue to grow, and the lawns, canyons, ridges and mesas disappear or are bulldozed into plastic and tame mediocrity.
September 1, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. The city has received an estimated $2.5 million in gifts from citizens since 1966, City Manager Moore has reported.
And in order to promote more gift revenue to the city, Moore has told the City Council he is recruiting a full-time endowment officer.
September 3, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Needed — path to fun, health; routes must satisfy hiker, jogger, cyclist.
September 3, 1973, San Diego Union. EDITORIAL: Prop. A Is “Good Buy”
The bond issue (Proposition A) will be reflected in the city tax rate. Nothing worthwhile is free. However, the city is retiring old bond issues regularly, and the city auditor estimates that adding this bond issue will not increase our total bond obligation above a “ceiling” set back in 1966.
September 5, 1973, San Diego Independent. EDITORIAL: Byline by Lil Wagner, managing editor.
The proponents of this bond issue (Proposition A) would have you believe that the acquisition of even more land will give San Diegans a better quality of life. Isn’t it just possible that this better quality of life could come from having a few more dollars to spend as the individual might desire?
September 6, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Improvements slated at lakes under Proposition A, by Tom Blair.
September 7, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-13. Sunbathers push effort to “Save Black’s Beach,” by Tom Blair.
September 7, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. EDITORIAL: Prop. A would give ‘backbone” to San Diego park system “by making funds available for development of 60 neighborhood and community parks over the next five years.”
September 7, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. One hundred and twenty-four directional makers placed in Balboa Park to guide tourists to attractions. The signs cost $26,400 and were designed by artist W. Noonan (illus.)
September 7, 1973, San Diego Union. James L. Jordan considers Mission Bay park to be a “dream of corporations; urges “No” vote on :Prop. A.
September 7, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, James L. Jordan: “Now they are asking Joe to develop the unsightly mud flats adjacent to Hilton’s Inn. Think about it Joe when you vote on Proposition A.”
September 8, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, H. E. Kennedy urging “No” vote on Props. A and B because of his disagreement with city zoning practices and the selling for non-park purposes of Pueblo lands.
September 9, 1973, San Diego Union. Proposition A would produce parks for senior citizens.
September 10, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Aerospace Museum seeks home in Ford Building, by Peter H. Brown.
September 11, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Nude sunbathers relax efforts to defeat Proposition A, by Tom Blair.
September 11, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Mrs. Athlene Villarino opposes bond propositions: With the high cost of food, housing and other necessities, many people on limited income are forced to sell, not maintain, lose their homes, rent slums and live frugally because of high taxes.
September 12, 1973, (San Diego ) Evening Tribune, A-13. Meeting halls, game areas planned; Proposition A offers special senior citizen facilities, by Tom Blair.
September 12, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Neil Morgan on origin of name for Black’s Beach.
September 12, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Robert L. Reyburn writes the high rate of unemployment will not be alleviated by buying land for parks if you have no job or money to live here.
September 12, 1973, (San Diego) Independent. Edith J. Pearman wants Props. A and B defeated; says “free funds” from the state and federal governments are not free.
September 12, 1973, (San Diego) Independent. Robert L. Reyburn writes kill the bond issues of you want to be able to own your home, else taxes will take it.
September 12, 1973, (San Diego) Independent. Letter, George w. Tyler and Viola M. Tyler: Milch has said “this is the kind of campaign that’s like giving a child medicine. You know it’s good for them, but it’s hell getting them to open their mouths and forcing it down their throats.”
Do we want or need one of this attitude and caliber looking our for our best interests? I think not.
September 12, 1973, San Diego Union, B-2. Black’s Beach regulars ease Proposition A war.
September 12, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. La Jolla Town Council backs Propositions A and B.
September 12, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. Black’s Beach sanitation peril cited.
September 12, 1973, San Diego Union, B-6. City council candidates list gifts, expenses.
September 13, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Peter Nelson writes the San Diego chapter of the Sierra Club supports Propositions A and B.
September 13 1973, San Diego Union, B-14. EDITORIAL: Muddying the Waters
Those urging a “no” vote on Proposition A next Tuesday to “save” Black’s Beach in La Jolla are muddying the water. Save it for what! For whom?
September 14, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-27. Installment plan for parks; it’s a matter for your interest.
September 14, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Lt. Col. R. C. Vancey, Retd., writes of opposition to Props. A and B.
To date the income from the stadium has just covered the operating expenses. The interest and bond retirement has been paid by the homeowner taxpayers to the tune of millions.
There is no iron-clad guarantee that Props. A and B will not be on the back of the homeowners.
September 14, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. George T. Burham reiterates his opposition to Beach plans.
There will never be beech-level parking at Black’s Beach. Black’s is also narrow, dangerously close to occasional rocks falling from the cliffs.
September 14, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. EDITORIAL: How to save Black’s Beach.
It is not necessary for those who want the opportunity for nude bathing in the Pacific to oppose the entire bond issue in order to stop plans for a road and a parking lot at Black’s Beach.
September 14, 1973, San Diego Union. Violet Beck does not like high-rise close to Grant Hill Park.
September 14, 1973, San Diego Union. Gregg Chipps wants Prop. B. passed because it will protect canyons.
September 14, 1973, San Diego Union. Marianne C. Hale claims Prop. B is only for “privileged” areas, such as Tecolote Canyon.
September 14, 1973, San Diego Union. Fred Bowles asks why the city should acquire more beaches when it cannot service the ones it already has.
September 15, 1973, San Diego Union. Helen D. Edmonds writes changes to Mission Bay have been made to benefit tourists and hotel owners rather than San Diego residents.
September 16, 1973, San Diego Union, B-7. Growth issue is election key.
September 16, 1973, San Diego Union, C-3. Drawing by Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) of La Jolla in support of Propositions A and B.
September 16, 1973, San Diego Union, E-1. 24th Globe season . . . Dynamite, by Welton Jones.
“Hamlet,” “Twelfth Night,” and “Trolius and Cressida” will be the plays making up the Old Globe’s Silver Anniversary season next summer.
September 17, 1973, San Diego Union, A-19. ADVERTISEMENT: Vote Yes on September 18.
September 17, 1973, San Diego Union, 11:1-2. Two new attractions will be presented at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center this week: “Journey From Infinity,” a production by the center’s staff dealing with the creation of the universe, and the award-winning Cinerama feature, “A Place to Stand” will be screened at 1, 2:20, 4, 7:30 and 8:30 today through Friday, September 21.
September 17, 1973, San Diego Union, D-2:6. A volunteer auxiliary to the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center, “The Satellites,” will be formed at a meeting at 10 a.m. today at the lecture hall of the center; Mrs. Thompson Fetter will serve as organizing chairman; interested women are invited.
September 18, 1973, ELECTION: Proposition A — Park and Recreation Bonds ($25 million — 69% for neighborhood parks, 18% for Balboa Park, 13% for Mission Bay Park)
YES 61,794 (54%)
NO 52,585 (46%)
Proposition B — Use of two-thirds of City’s Environment Growth Fund, derived from Gas & Electric franchise fees, to pay debt service on bonds used to acquire, improve and maintain reserve park lands for park and recreation purposes
YES (56.1%) Failed.
September 19, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A1. Bond issues rejected by city voters, by Tom Blair.
September 20, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, C-9. Park and Recreation Board approves plan to close most of El Prado and to construct a new south road from the east end of Cabrillo Bridge to Pan-American Road East (connecting to parking area north of the Spreckels Organ).
September 20, 1972, San Diego Union, B-1. Proposition Losses renew talk, two-thirds vote issue backed, by Otto Kreisher.
September 21, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Skinny-Dip Tiff Goes to State Level, by Tom Blair . . . Committee to Save Black’s Beach won a battle with the city Tuesday by helping to defeat Proposition A.
September 21, 1973, (San Diego ) Evening Tribune, B-2. EDITORIAL: Defeat of Props. A, B crimps city’s future: Only 34 percent of the city’s registered voters went to the polls Tuesday. That made it possible for 12 percent of the electorate to veto the bond issues.
September 21, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. New state law aids city in park financing; majority votes to suffice, by Donald H. Harrison.
Legislation signed into law by Governor Reagan yesterday provides the City of San Diego with a new vehicle for financing the purchase of recreational park land.
As a result, Mayor Wilson said yesterday, a new ballot measure for land purchase may come as early as next June.
The land could be acquired by majority vote of the people, instead of the two-thirds vote requirement which torpedoed a $25 million bond issue last Tuesday, under the legislation by Senator John Stull, Rep., Leucadia, which goes into effect January 1.
Local agencies long have been empowered to form joint power agencies, but never before for the acquisition land by revenue bond, Stull said.
September 21, 1973, San Diego Union, B-6:2-4. The “Big Bang” birth of the universe, as it is thought to have happened approximately 13 billion years ago, is re-created in a new multi-media show at the Reuben Fleet Space Theater; the program, called “Journey from Infinity,” is the first in the new Balboa Park planetarium that features the theater’s one-of-a-kind star projector; the show was added early this week to the regular bill, giving visitors a triple feature, together with “The Golden Isle: and “Voyage to the Planets.”
September 21, 1973, San Diego Union, B-10. EDITORIAL: Serious Setback.
Historically, bond issue proposals fare best in elections in which there is a heavy turnout of voters. This raises the possibility that our city park program might yet be salvaged if offered to voters next year when there will be state and federal elections.
September 23, 1973, San Diego Union, D-2:2-3. The Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center will benefit from a “Gala Dinner and Premiere” to be held October 12; Mrs. Philip M. Klauber is chairman and Mrs. Machlin B. Laddon, cochairman of the black-tie event which will benefit educational programs produced by the center; the party begins with a 6 p.m. reception in the Majorca Room of Casa del Prado, Balboa Park, where dinner will be served at 7 p.m.; the premiere at 8:30 p.m. at the Center will present two new films, “Capture the Sun” and “Standing Up Country.
September 24, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-2. Voting analyzed, aria variances noted in election, by John Kern.
September 24, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Letter, J. L. M.: “I call upon the City Council to vote the necessary funds to renovate the Ford Building for the Aerospace Museum before it is too late. Public spirited labor unions have agreed to donate their time to help do this job. Now it is up to the contractors to offer free material and thus relieve the cost.”
September 25, 1973, San Diego Union, B-6. EDITORIAL: Two-Thirds Good Rule.
The open spaces, parks and playgrounds are badly needed. There is no necessity nor justification for subterfuge. What is required is a better presentation of the facts, a clearer portrayal of the long range benefits, so that the electorate will see the need and vote to meet it.
September 25, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, R. Skidmore saddened that a minority determined the defeat of Props. A and B.
September 27, 1973, San Diego Tribune, A-22. Joint powers considered for parks; Wilson hopes for way around two-thirds vote, by John Kern.
September 27, 1973, San Diego Union. Bette Klingman wants two-thirds vote required on bonds changed to a simple majority.
September 27, 1973, San Diego Union, B-4:5. Home Federal Savings and Loan has become the sixth chapter corporate member of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Hall of Science; income from corporate memberships, $1,000 annually, will be used for completion of science center exhibits and for the education program, according to a theater spokesman; memberships available include individual, student, family, lifetime and corporate, a spokesman said.
September 28, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, C-1. Autos banned in Balboa Park, by William Osborne.
The City Council voted 5-1 yesterday to close El Prado (Laurel Street0 from Plaza de Balboa on the east to Plaza de Panama on the west and to beautify the section as a pedestrian mall.
September 28, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Council okays ban on cars in El Prado; pedestrian mall, bicycle, tram road plan voted, by Robert P. Laurence.
The council quickly rejected plans to build north and south roads. At a cost of $760,500, those plans called for a north road connecting Quince and Richmond Streets across State 163 and a south road from East El Prado to parking in the Pan American Plaza area.
October 1, 1973, San Diego Union. Barbara P. Hutchinson, executive director, Association of Concerned Taxpayers, says people who voted against Props. A and B were not stupid, they didn’t want more taxes.
October 1, 1973, San Diego Union. Ralph Grawunder writes it was “incomprehensible” that people voted against Props A and B.
October 1, 1973, San Diego Union. Kay Moore asks how many that voted against Props. A and B voted from an informed opinion and how many didn’t read pass the word “money?”
October 1, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. Pageant opened Hall of Nations at Balboa Park Saturday.
October 4, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Padre move means large city deficit; $504,000 loss at stadium foreseen if team departs, by Robert P. Laurence.
October 4, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. Tax override vote studied for parks; election proposed in June.
October 4, 1973, San Diego Union, B-5. Council hopefuls differ on an ordinance to control San Diego’s development.
October 4, 1973, San Diego Union, B-5. Supervisor Lee Taylor seeks beach nudity ban.
October 7, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3:1-2. Theater director Michael Sullivan is confident that audiences will be pleased, if not mildly stunned, when they view the documentary film, “Standing Up Country”; the wrap-around picture creates an effective illusion of depth and in a sensory way tends to project viewers into the scene; the film opens in the park planetarium on October 18; the film was made by Roger Tilton’s filming crew and involved at least five full weeks on location in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico; article by Cliff Smith.
October 8, 1973, San Diego Union, B-4:2-3. A new planetarium spectacular will open October 13 in Balboa Park’s Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater, it was announced yesterday; W. Michael Sullivan, executive director of the theater, said the new shows are titled “Standing Up Country” and “Capture the Sun.”
October 13, 1973, San Diego Union, B-15:3. An $806,000 project to develop recreational facilities around Morley Field has been approved by the City Council; 48 acres are involved. Grading at the site, in the park’s northeast section, has been completed; the expenditure will build 5 baseball fields, a multi-purpose sports field, a fishing pond, an archery range, a parking lot, and an access road.
October 14, 1973, San Diego Union, B-8:5. Computer Talk Set: Registration is underway for the astronomy and computers fall education series at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center in Balboa Park.
October 28, 1973, San Diego Union, E-1:1-5. “Capture the Sun,” a new film at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater, captures the imagination, article by Cliff Smith.
October 30, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. Balboa Park celebrates 105th birthday on Sunday.
November 1, 1973, San Diego Union, 14:2. Strews in the wind: Mrs. Merlin H. Gale is chairman of the benefit premiere to be given at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater November 9 at 6:30 p.m., after a 5:30 p.m. reception; the current shows “Standing Up Country” and “Capture the Sun,” will be presented for the first time in Spanish and the premiere will help supply other Spanish language films for the theater; the Department of Tourism of Baja California is assisting with the premiere, which is being cosponsored by the department.
November 2, 1973, San Diego Union, C-1, B-2. Committee of 100, Park . . . Synonymous by Noel Osment.
November 2, 1973, San Diego Union, D-1. Public remains in dark (over city’s negotiations with Padres), by Jack Murphy.
The cost to the taxpayers for debt service on the stadium is around $1.2 million annually. In a narrow sense each of the three tenants — Padres, Chargers and San Diego State University Aztecs — cost the community $400,000 annually. But the facility and the teams, even poor teams, enhance the community and the stadium was built after a landslide election mandate of 73 percent.
The view here is that the stadium is a public service and at least as worthwhile as golf courses, tennis courts, libraries and public parks.
“Yes,” says one of a differing view, “but libraries don’t threaten to leave town if they are disappointed by attendance.”
November 3, 1973, Weekender Independent. Balboa Park will have 105 candles on tomorrow’s birthday cake; city to honor favorite landmark (illus.).
November 3 – November 17, 1973. Door. Balboa Park, by Lee Anne Wynn (map show the proposed new roads)..
Come January, Balboa Park may be on its way out, if bulldozers begin to dissect the land in preparation for two new roads.
November 4, 1973, San Diego Union, E-1, E-3. San Diego Parks, not just a summertime thing, by Jeannette Branin.
A modern philosophy of park usage is voiced by members of the park department.
“If kids want to play touch football on the lawns, fine. If they wear the lawn out, we send out a maintenance crew to keep it in reasonable condition, but we don’t drive the kids away, Parks are for people,” said Dave Roberts.
November 5, 1973, San Diego Union. A happy day at the park; dancers, clowns on hand for 105th fete, by Lee Grant (illus.).
November 5, 1973, San Diego Union, D-1:6-7. Getting film crews to locations from Stonehenge to Kenya was just part of the work for Helen Azevedo in preparing for the two new shows at Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center; her name appears in the credits as film production coordinator for “Standing Up Country” and “Capture the Sun,” along with those of two other women — Ruth White, writer of the music score, and Veronica Tagland, artist for the latter film, article by Rita Gillson.
November 18, 1973, San Diego Union, G-1, G-2. Two canyon Trails open today in Florida Canyon; for natural park fans, by Craig MacDonald.
Mrs. Helen Witham, associate curator of botany for the Museum of Natural History, said Florida Canyon provides “the only natural area left in Balboa Park. It is typical of a San Diego canyon 500 years ago.”
November 24, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune. J. L. M. declares the Aero-Space Museum is a fire hazard.
I call upon the City Council to vote the necessary funds to renovate the Ford Building for the Aero-Space Museum before it is too late. Public-spirited labor unions have agreed to donate their time to help this job. Now it is up to the contractors to offer free material and thus relieve the cost.
If you want the park to remain unblighted by roads and parking lots, voice your dissent via letter to the Councilman. And sign the petitions which are currently circulating.
November 26, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. Park Plans take “tern” — A leading protector of least terns has asked the San Diego Coast Regional Commission to revoke a permit for landscaping in Mission Bay Park.
November 26, 1973, San Diego Union, B-6. County supervisors have scheduled a December 6 conference to hear a staff report on implementing a federal matching funds program for acquiring and developing park land.
November 27, 1973, San Diego Union, B-6. Paid: “An Open Letter to the Mayor and City Council of San Diego,” from Frederick Schnaubelt, President, Taxpayers Concerned.
How many Schools, Parks and Libraries could be built with the millions of dollars misappropriated from city employees retirement fund for the downtown Convention Center that for 3 years had virtually no conventions?
November 28, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-21. Owners of almost 50 percent of property within a proposed special park assessment district in the Navajo Canyon area have signed petitions supporting the park plan and asked for city action on it.
November 28, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. Los Angeles — A land merger between San Diego State University and the state Department of Parks and Recreation could result in the establishment of a 5,000-acre state park near Temecula on the Riverside-San Diego County lines.
November 30, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-20. The City Council yesterday authorized construction of a recreation area for the handicapped in Presidio Park.
November 30, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. County’s park program termed “out of touch,” by Tom Blair.
December 3, 1973, San Diego Union, B-3. San Diego County officials say they are moving ahead with plans to expand El Monte Regional Park four miles east of Lakeside to relieve overcrowding on weekends.
December 4, 1973, San Diego Union. Letter, Thomas L. Baxley, Jr. praising Donald Dierks’ suggestion that San Diego build a new theater for the performing arts; perhaps COMBO should take on the new theater as a project.
December 5, 1973, San Diego Union, B-16:1. Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish astronomer, was remembered yesterday by 250 youngsters who attended a birthday party in his honor at Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center; the party marked the opening of a Copernicus exhibit at the Space Theater, here through January 20.
December 7, 1973, San Diego Union, D-7:7-8. Retail trends: The gift shop in the Reuben Fleet Space Theater has about the most outstanding collection of both “executive toys” and educational kits for kids with inventive minds, in San Diego; the educational/experimental gifts for kids include a variety of science kits such as Experiments in Optics, Experiments in Electronics, Experiments in Aeronautics, etc.; the optical lab alone has 135 experiments with 114 precision components.
December 12, 1973, San Diego Union, B-13. Sports should not be subsidized, by Mac Strobl, manager of the San Diego Taxpayers Association.
The San Diego Taxpayers Association appeared before the Board of Supervisors in opposition to county acquisition of the Sports Arena, noting that public tax dollars should not be used to subsidize professional sports.
December 12, 1973, San Diego Union, B-13. Government can be part of team, by Jim Bear, representative of the 4th District, County Board of Supervisors.
The question is not whether government should become involved in professional sports. Government participation in sports is a reality.
December 17, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-8. The Café del Rey Moro, which has been closed since Thursday, is expected to reopen this week under new management.
December 19, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-10. The City Council was told yesterday that the city would be liable for any damages that might result from exploding bombs or other ammunition that may still be buried on the 141 acres donated by the federal government, a former artillery range for Camp Elliott.
December 22, 1973, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-7. Former Atlas Hotels executive John E. Cox has taken over management of the Café del Rey Moro in Balboa Park.
December 26, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1. Council approves playground plan for Balboa Park.
The City Council has approved a construction contract to convert a former landfill in the eastern portion of Balboa Park into a tree-studded playground next year.
The council authorized Mailcraft, Inc. to use $739,000 to build 48 acres of new recreational facilities in the Gold Gulch-Pepper Grove area of the park, the undeveloped section of the park south of Morley Field [sic].
The project, expected to be completed within seven months, is located between Upas Street, Florida Street and Pershing Drive and will contain baseball fields, an archery target range, a fly-casting pool for fishermen, a 265-space parking lot, about 20 new trees and other landscaping and a children’s play area.
The only other development in the eastern portion of the park is around the north end of Morley Field, where a swimming pool, tennis and shuffleboard courts have been developed.
The new development will extend from Morley Field south to a point east of Zoo Place.
December 30, 1973, San Diego Union, B-1:3-4. A Renaissance faire featuring medieval entertainment yesterday helped swell attendance at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater to more than 2,500 for the third day in a row; the Renaissance faire and an exhibit commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus may help the new facility in Balboa Park rank among the nation’s top five planetariums in popularity, assistant director Bill Bridge said.
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BALBOA PARK HISTORY
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