Balboa Park History 1979

January 2, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-3. Outdoor stage wins stay at Old Globe site, by Lynne Carrier.

January 3, 1979, Los Angeles Times, II, 1. City gives Old Globe three-year permit for Outdoor Theater, by Richard C. Paddock.

The Old Globe’s temporary theater in Balboa Park won a three-year lease on life from the San Diego City Council Tuesday, even though managers of the theater had sought an extension of only one year.

Mayor Pete Wilson surprised critics of the temporary structure when he proposed making the theater permanent.

“I not only favor this (the one-year proposal), but I favor retention indefinitely,” Wilson said to open the council discussion of extending the theater’s temporary use permit,

The open-air auditorium, built hurriedly after the historic Old Globe Theater was destroyed by fire in March, “is a decided asset,” the mayor said. “It would be foolish not to retain it indefinitely.”

However, after a brief discussion, the council unanimously agreed on a three-year permit because that time limit would conform to an environmental impact report evaluating the effect of the theater on the surrounding park.

The decision was a clear reversal of the position the council took when it allowed the temporary structure to be built on the condition that it be torn down after the summer season.

Art Casey, executive director of Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, an organization that has opposed keeping the temporary theater, said he was “flabbergasted” by the council’s decision.

“We have opposed it and we were ignored,” Casey said, adding that traffic congestion and parking problems should preclude the temporary theater from becoming permanent.

Casey charged that the environmental impact report had not addressed the traffic problem properly, “Nobody is talking about the problems here in the park,” he said.

“Our position is that the congestion in the Prado area of Balboa Park is already intolerable. I wouldn’t care to see any theaters in Balboa Park,” he said.

Originally the temporary theater was constructed only for the summer season of 1978. In the rush to complete the 676-seat auditorium, the City Council waived environmental reviews with the condition that the structure be dismantled after last October.

The City Council also stipulated that the site of the theater, a small canyon next to the Old Globe, be restored to its natural state.

But now that the theater is in place, and the city has caught up on its environmental reviews, the temporary structure has an excellent chance of becoming a permanent theater.

“I’m not sure that after the Old Globe is rebuilt that the new facility should come down,” Councilman Bill Lowery said at the meeting Tuesday.

After the council decision, Old Globe President Charles Froelich, Jr., a Superior Court judge, said, “I think the council recognized the situation we’re in. When we initially wanted to use the canyon site, we didn’t know what the future would hold.

“We only asked for a year to get us through the (last) summer. It became obvious we would need it for this summer also,” he said.

But even when the theater organization asked for an extension until October, Froelich said, “It was pretty clear that we weren’t asking for enough.”

Froelich estimates that the earliest the Old Globe Theater could be reconstructed would be in time for the 1980 winter theater season.

The theater organization has raised between $1 million and $2 million of the $4 million needed to rebuild the historic theater, modeled after the Elizabethan-era Globe theater in London.

Architects are drawing up plans for the theater, and Froelich said the organization is applying for federal funds to aid in the reconstruction.

Construction would begin as early as this summer, he said.

Retaining the temporary theater and reconstructing the Old Globe are not the only projects the Old Globe group plans for Balboa Park. Froelich said the theater organization also has applied to rebuilt the House of Charm as a theater.

The Old Globe hopes to obtain more federal money to renovate the city building, which was closed last year to meet city safety standards.

Froelich admitted that traffic in Balboa Park is a problem, but he said, “With proper parking planning, the increase of the Globe to its three-theater final objective would be feasible.

“For the last 15 years we’ve been talking about construction of a third theater. We are not abandoning that goal, but I would like to stress that all we’re really trying to do right know is reconstruct the burned-out Globe.”

The building (of the outdoor theater) took only 100 days.

“I don’t think we lost anything. We weren’t organized for the campaign. We absolutely had to build the theater first.”

Mrs. Mazzanti and Mulvaney were appointed to head the campaign because of their stature in the community, their personal acquaintance with people of means and their experience.

“These people are planning on giving $500 but they’ll give $1,000,” Mrs. Mazzanti said assuringly in one recent conversation with executive director Shaw. “You can count on it.”

Surprisingly, the Mazzanti-Mulvaney team comprises about the only people on the Globe’s large, respected board who have had much experience with fund raising.

The board has not tried to raise a major sum for building construction since the Globe was built in 1935.

The simple truth is that the fire caught the board unprepared.

“Usually one board member says, ‘Here’s $100,000,’ and another says, ‘Here’s $100,000,’ and you’re up to $1 million before you even go to the public,” remarked veteran local theater observer Chip Goodwin, president of the San Diego Theater and Arts Foundation of San Diego County.

“I know it sounds mercenary, but in this day and age you have to go out with a cold analysis and look for the guy with the political clout, look for the guy with the money, to join the board.

“It’s nice to have T-shirts and barbecues and other cutesy things that generate broad based support but the most efficient money comes in big chunks.”

The directors of the Old Globe were chosen mostly for their love of theater — not for their money, nor their money-raising abilities.

Some directors have been on the board since the Globe was built 43 years ago when a big donation was $100. President of the board, Charles W. Froelich, Jr. is a Superior Court judge who cannot easily seek to raise money without also raising ethical questions.

The result: to date board members have donated $350,000, a goodly sum but hardly $1 million.

According to Shaw, 1978 was to be the year the board went about revamping itself so it would be more prepared in 1979 to begin collecting money t build the long-desired Festival Theater.

“If it weren’t for the fire, I’d say to hell with a capital-fund raising campaign this year,” Shaw said.

Although his words may sound harsh, he spoke with a sense of humor and the conviction of a veteran runner warming up for a marathon.

A professional money-raiser, Shaw was induced out of retirement to take on the monumental task. He is a former executive director of United Way, as well as of COMBO and other organizations.

“There’s just too much competition for the dollar this year. We don’t have that kind of wealth base here to get big chunks of money.

“It’s hard to raise money for capital funds unless a city is used to have a capital campaign or two each year. We get a major one once every four or five years. But this year it seems everybody needs new buildings. I can’t remember another year like this in the last 25.”

January 3, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-7. City Council scorecard: Ford Building . . . authorized a $69,000 agreement with Emery Studio to restore 1936 murals in Ford Building; Old Globe . . . authorized a three-year permit extension for the temporary Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park.

January 5, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-2. EDITORIAL: Encore.

January 5, 1979, San Diego Union, D-1. Festival Stage will stay, but Old Globe faces problems, by Welton Jones.

January 7, 1979, San Diego Union, E-8. Richard W. Amero says move the Old Globe.

January 8, 1979, San Diego Union, A-3. Model of new Globe Theater building.

January 9, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, D-1. New Old Globe’s design promises better staging, more comfort, by Bill Hagen.

The unveiling of the design and sketches of architect Eugene Weston of Liebhardt, Weston and Associates meets the criteria of a mandate issued by the Globe’s Board of Directors two days after the fire.

January 9, 1979, San Diego Union, C-6. Old Globe rebuilding plans told.

January 19, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1. Balboa Park Gymnasium may open in May, by Ernesto Flores.

January 21, 1979, San Diego Union, F-1. Likes Old Globe in park; ruins, if cultural, can’t hurt, by James Britton, II.

A great metropolis needs great cultural architecture, and this had best be in the center. Because San Diego citizens as a whole own the park (the Navy notwithstanding) they have territorial freedom to produce, through their leaders, the finest cultural attraction anywhere. In fact they got an impressive start at doing so in 1915, when the aesthetically best of all world exposition was created, as though of sugar and space, in Balboa Park.

Amero favors a limited amount of cultural architecture in the park, while I believe the park can stand much more, provided it has quality. As to the Battered Old Globe (theater), Amero thinks it shouldn’t use more space, indeed it shouldn’t be in the park at all. I disagree, as recited here December 31.

January 21, 1979, San Diego Union, F-4. Museum of Art? . . . What to do with the California Quadrangle, by Richard W. Amero.

My plans do not envision the Old Globe Theater getting bigger. Ideally, the Old Globe should move downtown or to Fiesta Island, where a Renaissance Fair could be held every summer. Land behind the California Building and in nearby areas, now restricted to archery use, should once more be turned into a public park. If the Old Globe’s management believes they must grow or die, they should grow where they do not destroy natural beauty and do not deprive the public of their rightful commons.

January 23, 1979, Los Angeles Times, II, 4. Balboa Park oasis: hidden art of Spanish Village, by Elise Miller.

The Spanish Village Art Center Association board selects jurors who screen applicants twice a year or by special assignment.

January 23, 1979, San Diego Union, B-3. Delza Martin elected president of Old Globe.

January 24, 1979, San Diego Union, B-8. The City Council yesterday authorized spending up to $155,000 to install fire sprinkler systems and to made minor repairs to the Municipal Gymnasium, the Conference Building and the water tank housing the Centro Cultural de la Raza.

The money for the improvements, approved by a 7-to-0 vote, will come from the city’s Balboa Park Facilities Fund. The $843,000 in the fund was received as part of the insurance settlement for the fire that destroyed the Electric Building in Balboa Park last February.

January 28, 1979, Los Angeles Times, II, 2. EDITORIAL: Commitment in the Park.

The council should not forget, in haste to take advantage of an existing situation, its commitment — and the commitment of the theater’s board of directors — to restore the canyon site of the temporary structure to its previous natural state once the Old Globe is back in business.

January 28, 1979, San Diego Union, F-1. A relief from downtown chaos; parking structures built into the sloping sides of Cabrillo Freeway, a parkway and a car(e)-free park, by James Britton, II.

No longer would the two-lane road atop Cabrillo Bridge have to entertain autos snaking their way in and out of the park heartland. Those autos would be absorbed into the freeway-fed structures, and the people would be popped by elevator onto the higher planes of the perfect park.

Cabrillo Parkway (could) be so mightily engineered that it easily could reduce the parking dilemmas of both Downtown and Balboa Park.

February 3, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-1. Kids on skateboards and roller-skates who like to whirl around Balboa Park’s plazas and arcades face end of roller derby.

February 4, 1979, San Diego Union, F-1. A new character at relatively low cost; giant sculptures concrete Maya screens installed throughout the Palisades could spur Museum of Man expansion, by James Britton, II.

The Federal Building seems to be beckoning the Museum of Man because it wears on its front a set of sculptured decorations modeled after the Mayan. If the gymnasium activity were provided with another place (Morley Field’s the place) this sound structure still could be awarded to the museum. And there are other buildings nearby of varying quality, which could be either removed altogether or converted for museum use.

Because the mysterious Maya dealt with both Earth and universe in astonishing ways, and because their architecture is among the most impressive ever, their genius should be asked to preside over the entire Palisades and give the area a character at least as interesting as the Spanish Colonial area of the park.

February 11, 1979, San Diego Union, E-1. Delza Martin’s time arrives, by Welton Jones.

“The policy now,” said Martin, “is to rebuild the Globe. When its’ financially practical again, we’ll review the whole third theater matter. But that will be a separate project.”

The theater loses money on every performance at the Spreckels. It lost money last summer on the Festival Stage. For the first time in a long while the Globe is in the red.

February 11, 1979, San Diego Union, E-8. Dr. T. C. Grove backs Art Institute; claims it should be allowed to continue at its old location.

. . . it appears the Old Globe Theater, not content with the new facilities that it will obtain with construction of the new theater, is engaging in high-pressure, behind-the-scenes lobbying to obtain the House of Charm and convert it into a third theater.

February 13, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1. A garden of peace is born in Balboa Park as 300 children plant sapling olive trees on a hillside overlooking State Highway 163 west of the Boy Scout facility at Vermont and Upas streets.

February 15, 1979, San Diego Union, B-2. Park landmarks subject of camera . . . Committee of 100 has engaged George Miller, of Vancouver, B. C., to make a photographic record of the House of Charm and House of Hospitality..

February 17, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-3. Arthur Matula thinks Art Institute should stay in Balboa Park.

February 20, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-4. Park fund diversion from Electric Building to the House of Hospitality, House of Charm and the Old Globe Theater stirs surprise, anger, by Matt Potter.

February 20, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1, B-4. “Bombshell” for Natural History Museum; City may divert a $5 million federal grant from Balboa Park’s Electric Building to restore the House of Charm, the House of Hospitality and the Old Globe Theater, by Daniel C. Carson..

February 21, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Solutions on the way for Balboa, by Jan Cook.

The Committee of 100 and the San Diego History Center say the Electric Building project shouldn’t be delayed because the money —most of it federal — for it is in hand, all the architectural plans are complete, and the project is out for bids.

February 21, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Move to temporarily close the Museum of Natural History until earthquake safety issue is settled fails; three members of the museum’s board of directors resign, by Matt Potter.

March 2, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. The Public Facilities and Recreation Committee favors million for Old Globe, by Lynne Carrier.

March 4, 1979, San Diego Union, E-1. Hopes soften grim anniversary, by Welton Jones.

March 7, 1979, San Diego Union, B-6. EDITORIAL: Dollars Are the Thing.

The play’s the thing, of course, but dollars are the thing that build a playhouse and San Diegans must now find them to make the new Old Globe a reality.

March 8, 1979, San Diego Union, A-21, A-22. A-23, A-25. From the ashes, a new Globe, but the show must go on, by Welton Jones and Nolan Davis.

The replacement playhouse planned will cost just over $4 million. The total in funds and solid pledges gathered in a year’s work so far is just under $2 million.

March 9, 1979, San Diego Union, B-2. Theresa Yianilos, the “Palm Lady,” gains point . . . new palm trees will be planed when old ones are removed from public rights-of-way..

March 10, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-13. EDITORIAL: Globe in City’s Future . . . telethon for funds by Channel 39 tonight starting at 7.

March 11, 1979, San Diego Union, B-2. Old Globe nets $350,000 in television appeal.

March 14, 1979, San Diego Union, B-10. EDITORIAL: Day of Reckoning . . . the condition of the Balboa Park buildings is such that this project should have first call on any state funds not needed to maintain basic city services..

March 15, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-10. Richard W. Amero dissents from adulation of Old Globe Theater.

Do not give a penny to the Old Globe Rebuilding Drive until its directors decide to move the theater out of Balboa Park.

March 15, 1979, San Diego Union, A-25. Area eligible for federal direct matching grants to improve parks.

March 20, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-4. Supervisor Jim Bates urges County aid for Old Globe fund.

March 21, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-16. Waino Saarinen agrees with Amero.

Why not build the Old Globe Theater and the Naval Hospital in some run-down area and thus improve the city? Why build them in Balboa Park, thus robbing the public of recreational space.

March 27, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1. Funds earmarked; Council voted $1 million yesterday for Globe Theater, by Welton Jones.

March 30, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-15. EDITORIAL: Park Funds . . . Balboa Park projects received some heavy backing this week, although tentative in some instances, from the City Council and the Board of Supervisors..

April 27, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1. Museum of Natural History eyes new building, by Cliff Smith . . . President Albert L. Anderson has requested that the city allocate the entire new Electric Building to the museum..

May 15, 1979, Los Angeles Times, D-1. Balboa Park’s 1936 paintings get new life, by Jan Jennings.

Entitled the “March of Transportation,” the 10,000-sq. ft. mural is the largest single-theme mural existing on the North and South American continents, according to Tom Emery, director and chief artist of the project to preserve the mural.

May 22, 1979, San Diego Union, B-5. $750,000 placed in proposed budget by State Senator James Mills yesterday to help rebuilt the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park.

June 5, 1979, San Diego Union, B-2. Hearings open on County budget demands.

One thousand new seats at the Spreckels’ Organ Pavilion, the rebuilding of the Old Globe Theater and money to help create more jobs for San Diegans were behind some of the requests for funds made to the county Board of Supervisors yesterday as public hearings opened on the 1979-80 budget.

June 10, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. City to reconstruct Electric Building, by Vicki Torres.

With award of a $7.2 million contract to reconstruct the Electric Building to the Olson Construction Company and shifting of municipal funds to pay for it, the City Council has finally put to rest fears that the structure would not be rebuilt.

June 12, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, D-7. Contribution made in the name of Simon Edison by his widow, a La Jolla resident, assures Old Globe’s rebuilding, by Bill Hagen.

June 12, 1979, San Diego Union, D-1. Helen Davidson Edison is donor; Globe receives a gift estimated at $1 million, by Welton Jones.

June 13, 1979, San Diego Evening Tribune, B-4. Electric Building cost escalates $2.6 million, by Lynne Carrier . . . new estimate has soared to nearly $8 million.

June 13, 1979, San Diego Union, B-8. EDITORIAL: This Windfall Is Timely . . . to reconstruct the Electric Building and the Old Globe Theater.

The windfall that can help pay for the work came in an appellate court ruling Wednesday freeing $4 million in city funds from jeopardy in a suit brought by San Diego Gas & Electric Company..

June 22, 1979, San Diego Union, B-3. Funding for Electric Building sparks Committee quandary. The City has obtained a $5 million federal grant for the restoration project, but the lowest bid received from contractors would have cost the city more than $7 million..

June 30, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1. Photos of artist Thomas Parker Emery at work restoring murals in the Aero-Space Museum.

June 30, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1. Ford Building slowly comes alive, by Gina Lubrano . . . restoration of murals nearing completion.

July 9, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Rebuilt Aero-Space Museum noses closer to opening,

by Gus Stevens.

The museum has been expected to open late this summer, but it was not to be. The reconstruction of delicate aircraft is taking too long.

“The building was put up for $450,000 at $4.50 a square foot. We’re spending $3 million plus, or $30 a square foot to restore it . . . A $2.71 million grant from the Economic Development Agency helped pay a lot of bills,” said Director Owen Clarke.

July 10, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, D-1. Evenson is busy as ever; the “Bea” in her bonnet buzzes for beauty, by Hazel Tow.

July 20, 1979, San Diego Union, B-3. Balboa Stadium razing project gains; to make way for construction of a new 3,500-seat facility..

July 24, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-3. City grants Zoo operator long lease, by Vicki Torres.

The San Diego Zoological Society, which has run the San Diego Zoo on a month-to-month basis for 63 years, was finally granted a long-term lease.

By a unanimous vote, with Councilman Tom Gade absent, the City Council yesterday approved a 55-year lease for the society.

Under the terms of the lease, the society will no longer have to ask te council to approve admission fee increases.

But if the society wants to charge for parking in an adjacent lot, the council must review the effect on parking in the rest of Balboa Park.

The society leases from the city the Balboa Park land on which the zoo stands, the city being legal owners of all the buildings, plants and animals.

Charles Bieler, executive director of the zoological society, has said the long-term lease will enable to zoo to obtain loans more easily.

It will also enable the zoo to raise admission fees more easily to keep up with inflation.

Bieler said the zoo plans a 25- to 50-cent admission fee increase within six months. Zoo admission is presently $3 for adults and 50 cents for children under 16 who are no accompanied by an adult. Children who arrive with adults are admitted without charge.

July 27, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-3. Panel named to advise city on golf links.

A City Council committee yesterday named 10 persons to the golf advisory committee — which will evaluate proposals for outside operation of the city golf courses at Torrey Pines and Balboa Park.

The group will help the committee to decide if the Torrey Pines and Balboa Park golf courses should be leased to a private operator, run by a city non-profit corporation, or continued as presently operated by raising green fees to make the golf programs self-supporting.

July 29, 1979, San Diego Union, E-1, E-9, E-10. Old Globe’s rebirth: A Tale of Faith, by Mary Hellman.

That one-half of the Globe’s reconstruction will be paid for with tax dollars doesn’t surprise fund-raiser James F. Mulvaney. “The Globe is on government property in a public park, he said, pointing out that board members has met with elected officials the day after the fire. “That’s enough to dictate interest by local government. We knew the state would have an interest.”

August 7, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Despite council, old 19,000-seat stadium will go, by Hugh Grambau.

August 8, 1979, Los Angeles Times, II, 1. Decision to raze 33,000-seat stadium and replace it with a 3,500-seat stadium holds; School Board votes defies City Council, by Lanie Jones.

August 23, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1. Skate rental shops opposing ban in park, by Greg Gross.

August 24, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Advice issued to violators; Skate Patrol moves to solve park woes, by John Farina.

August 24, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-1. Police team could change its “roll” on park beat.

August 24, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, C-1, C-13. The glory and agony of the Globe’s “miracle,” by Bill Hagen.

Craig Noel, Old Globe producing director: ” . . . in some ways I think we might have aroused more sympathy and convinced people better if we had just gone dark for a year and a half. ‘We’re not going to the Spreckels. We’re going to cancel the season and just sit. We’re not going to be able to do anything.’

“Possibly the loss of that entertainment might have been a better way to do it.”

Mrs. Simon Edison made a contribution of such magnitude — estimated at lease $1 million — in memory of her husband that the theater complex has been named in her husband’s honor.

August 27, 1979, San Diego Union, B-6. EDITORIAL: Skating the Issue.

Roller skating has become popular this summer in Balboa Park, but not among pedestrians who up to now have had the park’s walkways pretty much to themselves.

We can sympathize with the latter. Human bodies do not have fenders and bumpers, and besides one shouldn’t need collision insurance to take a stroll in the park. Fast-moving skaters and slow-moving pedestrians do not mix well on the same sidewalk.

But we hope the city can find a solution less drastic than the one recommended by the Park and Recreation Board — a ban on skating everywhere east of the Laurel Street bridge. That rules out most of the plazas and thoroughfares closed to auto traffic which lend themselves to skating.

The city’s policy toward activities tolerated in Balboa Park is liberal to the point of anything goes, within the law, and does not always contribute to the wholesome atmosphere one expects in a public park. It’s too bad that a pastime as healthy and harmless as roller skating should have to come under restriction.

Surely pedestrian traffic can yield to the skaters in limited areas on both sides of the Laurel Street bridge, if necessary only on specified days or at appropriate times. Such a share-the-park approach can work if those who have wheels on their shoes and those who don’t care to keep themselves sorted out.

September 3, 1979, San Diego Union, B-1. Skaters ask more room in Balboa Park to roll, by Carl Ritter.

September 16, 1979, Los Angeles Times, X-29. Renovation of Balboa Park’s California Building has been completed at an estimated cost of $1.62 million by the M. H. Golden Company, which was retained by the city of San Diego for the federally funded project (photo)..

October 17, 1979, San Diego Union, B-4. Aerospace Center rites held in Balboa Park, by Dave Polis.

The newly refurbished Aerospace Historical Center was presented to the International Aerospace Hall of Fame last night in front of a gathering of more than 300 people.

Opening to the public in February, it becomes the new home of the San Diego Aero-Space Museum and International Aerospace Hall of Fame.

The city received a $2.6 million federal grant for the work, which was supplemented by more than $2 million in donations both locally and across the nation.

October 17, 1979, San Diego Union, D-1. Electric Building’s tenants tentative.

Unless there’s an unexpected change of heart, Balboa Park’s new Electric Building will open without the first-class list of tenants city officials had hoped for. The San Diego History Center and the Hall of Champions have reserved about 45,000 of the building’s 100,000-plus square feet. But the major and most impressive tenant, the Natural History Museum has all but formalized its decision to remain in its present building.

The museum’s new director, Arthur Allyn, Jr., has indicated the move would be too expensive, and his board of directors so far concurs. The high costs are due in part to the cost of installing interior walls and room dividers in the new building. The city can’t afford to install them, it says, because of the skyrocketing construction costs.

The Pacific Southwest Model Railroad Association and the Balboa Art Conservation Center have expressed a formal interest in taking space in the building. City officials admit these groups are less than Smithsonian caliber and that their combined exhibits wouldn’t come near filling the available 60,000 square feet. The Briggs-Cunningham Automotive Museum in Costa Mesa has expressed an interest in the space as has the San Diego Opera. But the opera would like to use the Electric Building for rehearsal and storage, while the park’s general plan clearly reserves the space for public use only.

October 22, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-10. A. Llewellyn Wood, M. D., Chairman, Board of Directors, San Diego Space Museum, wants everyone to know the true name of the former Ford Building is the Aero-Space Historical Center.

Editor: I have received a large number of calls today (10-17-79) from members of the San Diego Aero-Space Museum, complaining about a photo caption in The Tribune that stated “the refurbished Ford Building in Balboa Park, now the Aero-Space Historical Center, was presented in its remodeled form last night to the International Aero-Space Hall of Fame.”

The statement is incorrect and should be corrected to read as follows: The Aero-Space Historical Center was presented in its remodeled form last night to the San Diego Aero-Space Museum and the International Aero-Space Hall of Fame.

Last night Mayor Wilson presented to men, as chairman of the board of directors of the San Diego Aero-Space Museum, a plaque with a key to the city, after which a similar plaque was presented to Mr. Dick Knoth, representing the International Aero-Space Hall of Fame.

The museum displays one of the world’s finest collections of historical aircraft memorabilia, etc.

The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have been significant contributions to Aero-Space progress.

The San Diego Aero-Space Museum and its companion organization are co-located in the Aero-Space Historical Center.

The Aero-Space Historical Center will open to the public on February 22, 1980, the second anniversary of the tragic fire that destroyed the Aero-Space Museum and Hall of Fame on February 22, 1978.

October 30, 1979, San Diego Union, D-1. Globe drive hits goal with two major grants, by Welton Jones.

The Globe Theater reached its $6 million goal to rebuilt its burned-out theater in Balboa Park with the announcement yesterday to two major grants totaling more than $1 million.

The grants are:

National Endowment of the Arts. The federal agency has awarded an $800,000 “challenge grant” to the Globe with the proviso that each federal dollar be matched by three from other sources.

The Kresge Foundation. The Troy, Michigan, private foundation has awarded a $250,000 “topping off” grant, provided the Globe can collect all funds needed for the new playhouse by May 15.

Groundbreaking for the new theater is planned for December 1, according to Globe president Delza Martin and site preparation is already under way.

November 1, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, B-10. Richard W. Amero says the Ford Building should be called the Ford Building.

Editor: The Ford Building in Balboa Park was given to the city of San Diego by Henry and Edsel Ford at the conclusion of San Diego’s 1935 exposition. On May 13, 1938 and on July 1, 1948, the San Diego City Council adopted resolutions naming the building the “Ford Building.” On July 11, 1940, the council accepted a bronze plaque from a grateful citizen for placement in the interior of the Ford Building which read: “The Citizens of San Diego appreciate the gift of this building by Henry and Edsel Ford 1935.”

Walter Dorwin Teague designed Ford Buildings for expositions in San Diego, Dallas, Miami and New York City. The San Diego building is the only one in existence and is one of the few surviving fair buildings of the ‘30s. The building was designed to call attention to the Ford car. Its plan and patio fountain were in the shape of a Ford V-8. The tower was fluted to look like an automobile gear. The building’s curving shape and circulation patterns paralleled the direction curves on freeway ramps and the succession of exhibits imitated assembly-line processes.

Edsel Ford visited San Diego in August 1935. In October of the same year, San Diegans saluted Henry Ford on his 72nd birthday in a concert at the Ford Bowl.

For many years after 1935 the (plan of) the San Diego Ford Building was used by the Ford Company as a prototype for its automobile showrooms.

The Ford Building was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places, April 16, 1973, as a reflection of its time and as an example of the functional, low-cost “moderne” style then popular. The building was not designed by a professional architect, but by an industrial designer who created bodies for Ford cars, Brownie cameras and electric irons. Architecture historians have lauded its simple lines.

The city of San Diego used the National Register listing to justify its requests for funds from the National Endowment of the Arts, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Economic Development Administration to refurbish the building. In September 1977, the Economic Development Administration award the city $2.64 million to restore the building. (One wonders how much economic development is going to take place as a result of this bequest.)

In the midst of dire economic depression, the plush, sanitized and mechanical world of tomorrow offered by the industrial exhibits at the fairs of the ‘30s diverted attention away from desperate realities. Henry Ford believed efficient and economic methods of production and management in transportation, industry and agriculture would usher in an era of peace and prosperity. For his part, Walter Dorwin Teague believed efficient and economic design would produce a society of clear-thinking, hard-working and happy people. Both Ford and Teague regarded San Diego’s Ford Building as a realization of their ideals.

With typical obtuseness, the San Diego City Council has recently changed the name of the Ford Building to Aero-Space Historical Center, as it has previously changed the name of San Diego’s Community Concourse to the Charles C. Dail Concourse. In doing so, the council has bowed to the wished of a few short-sighted promoters and has played false with the inherent identity of the Ford Building and with the memory of a crucial period in American history.

To historians, to lovers of architectural excellence, and to people who remember the world’s fairs of the ‘30s, the Ford Building will always be the Ford Building.

November 3, 1979, (San Diego) Evening Tribune, A-14. EDITORIAL: Globe Grant.

We have been as guilty as the next editorialist of blanket indictments of federal spending on cultural boondoggles. But sometimes it has been a case of not seeing the trees for the forest.

Let’s look, for change, at a specific case.

There hasn’t been any criticism in San Diego this week of the federal government’s grant to the Old Globe Theater for reconstruction of the burned-out stage house in Balboa Park. And we don’t think there will be any. Certainly not here.

The $800 from Washington, which must be matched with $3 dollars for every dollar donated by the national foundation, comes from the National Endowment for the Arts. IT is the third largest amount granted by the national agency this year.

If the other grants are as worthy as the one for the Old Globe, the National Endowment is a good steward of our tax money.

The inaugural visit of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Chorus to this country, as sported this week from Washington by Andrea Herman, The Tribune’s music-dance critic, is a triumphal demonstration of the inspirational and life-enhancing power of great art.

Such art has long been subsidized by governments in Western Europe. Our country has been less generous, and we have been the losers for it.

December 26, 1979, Reader. Fear, loathing in Golden Hill Park, by Joel West.

Parks are usually considered to be a positive contribution to the quality of life in a neighborhood. But to those residents who live in its vicinity, Golden Hill Park has brought bitterness and frustration.

The residents are bitter about “noise between dusk and four a.m. on any given night . . . blasting radios, yelling, smashing trash cans, honking horns” that rarely allow them restful sleep. They are bitter about crime and violence they perceive some lark users as being responsible for — “roving gangs fighting, discharging firearms, knife wielding, burglary, larceny, assault and battery.” And they are bitter about the lack of response they have received thus far from the city agencies.

Things were not always so tough for the 30-odd acres that comprise Golden Hill Park. Back in the 1890s, the affluent residents of the area’s stately Victorian mansions decided that if the city was unwilling or unable to put in a park, they would at least take up a subscription to plant trees in the area. In the early part of this century, the city took over the operation of the park, which it considers to be but the southeast corner of Balboa Park. To this day, park visitors are rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of the San Diego skyline and the back of Balboa Park.

However, local residents claim that the park is anything but bucolic after dark. One resident who says he’s had enough is Brian Cook, who lives on the alley-like Russ Boulevard, which borders on the park’s southern edge and has become a popular early-morning gathering point. “Some nights, you hear gunshots going off, yelling and screaming,” say Cook. Though the problem has existed since he moved in two years ago, “it’s been getting progressively worse.”

The response of Cook and roommate Ann Hartman was to organize a petition drive, an effort that thus far has netted 300 signatures. In addition to voice complaints about noise, violence and litter, the signers asked for specific corrective actions: closing the park from dusk to dawn, prohibiting parking on residential streets adjoining the park, and installation of bright crime-deterring lights.

Along the line, they joined forces with the Golden Hill Action group, a four-month old organization that crystallized around the issue of neighborhood noise. Together, the residents have prodded every conceivable agency from the police to the parks and recreation department to the sanitation department and to their district’s City Councilor, Lucy Killea. All, says Cook, without much of a response.

What Cook conveys about the situation in impassioned outbursts, neighbor Mark Orwoll brings off with biting sarcasm. Orwoll, who when not fighting for his neighborhood writes for The Reader, managed to combine both of the approaches in a quasi-fictionalized 3,000-word story entitled “This is Enough,” that appeared last month in The Reader. Among other things about the park, Orwoll cited the experience of two friends, who were chased down the street by “three young dolls wearing rococo beehive hairdos and decal eyes and carrying flicksharp switchblades.”

Whether they react with outbursts of emotion or sarcasm, the residents are clearly fed-up. But with a police force spread so think, and a (thus far) unresponsive city bureaucracy, what options do they have left? “We intend to get it on the council docket after the holidays,” says Cook. If that does not work, he suggests, they’ll take their struggle to the courts.

And just what would the residents hope to achieve by closing the park at night and restricting the parking? After citing burglaries last week of his immediate neighbors, Cook says, “They’re going to have to walk further to rip us off.”

Return to Amero Collection.


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