Balboa Park History 1987
January ?, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 2:1. EDITORIAL: A Return to Park Land.
This probably will be the year the San Diego City Council determines what Balboa Park’s future will be.
In what is certain to be an emotional and broadly contested debate, the council must first decide what to do with the 34 acres and 42 buildings the Navy will be turning over to the city next year as compensation for the Florida Canyon site the federal government seized for the new $293-million Navy Hospital. And by year’s end, the council should receive recommendations of the various committees and boards that will scrutinize a controversial consultant’s report — known as the Pekarek Plan — on the overall development, maintenance and financing of the park.
January 2, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. David Hasemyer: Officer Larry Roser, 32, beaten in Balboa Park with his own heavy-duty flashlight today when questioning man
January 4, 1987, San Diego Union, F-10. OPINION, Letter Richard Amero: Gill’s role in Balboa Park Administration Building disputed
January 6, 1987, San Diego Union. B-2, B-3. Man, 28, held as suspect in assault on police officer in Balboa Park
January 11, 1987, San Diego Union, C-2. OPINION: A plan for the park . . . disposition of 42 old hospital buildings.
These old buildings are no bargain. The waste would be in keeping them going, not in tearing them down. But all of that aside, the determining factor is that the city does not have the multi-millions required to rehabilitate and to operate these structures.
January 12, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Volunteers sought to lead nature walks for blind
January 13, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Homeless seek help of Council.
January 15, 1987, San Diego Union, II, 3:1. The San Diego City Council Rules Committee gave preliminary approval Wednesday to placing a $76-million bond issue to renovate Mission Bay and Balboa Parks on the November ballot.
January 15, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Task force urged for plotting path of park-bond bid, by Jeff Ristine.
A “blue-ribbon” task force should be appointed to develop a campaign strategy for proposed bond issues for improvements to Balboa Park and Mission Bay, the City Council Rules Committee recommended yesterday.
January 15, 1987, San Diego Union, B-5. Park bond plan advances in committee.
The proposals must obtain full council approval to get on the November ballot.
January 15, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. City Council Rules Committee advances plan to ask voters to approve $76 million in bonds to upgrade Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park
January 16, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Natural History Museum schedules guide-training classes
January 16, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2, B-5, B-8. Bill Ott: Naval Hospital is ruled negligent in amputation case
January 17, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-11. Man found dead in Florida Canyon area of Balboa Park.
January 17, 1987, San Diego Union, B-6. Dr. Charles A. McLaughlin, Natural Museum director, resigned yesterday
January 18, 1987, San Diego Union, F-33. Dale Ward: Park’s herbarium is impressive.
Hidden away on the top floor of the Natural History Museum is an obscure “garden” where you can find a plant collection boasting more than 120,000 specimens. The plants here are not ordinary garden varieties. These plants have been painstakingly pressed flat, dried and mounted on acid-free paper. Only then are they meticulously filed into their storage cabinets in a systematic and logical manner — especially to a botanist.
January 19, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-2. Sarah Pattee: Jewish Culture Foundation honors art museum’s Brezzo for ‘Precious Legacy’
January 22, 1987, San Diego Tribune, F-9. Architects’ group honors Delawie/Bretton/Wilkes firm
January 22, 1987, San Diego Tribune, F-22. Camellia show in Casa del Prado
January 26, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Darla Welles: Space Theater to mark Challenger tragedy.
January 27, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 3. Old Globe, University of San Diego get act together; new master’s program to blend class, stage experience, by Leonard Bernstein.
USD will spend $55,000 to $60,000 to start the program and to fund seven fellowships for this fall’s class, Sister Sally Furay, vice president of USD and president of the Old Globe’s board of directors, said.
January 27, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. John Furey: Homeless protest plan for hospital site
January 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-7. Tom Coat: Balboa stadium track project running on schedule for April
January 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune,, B-1. Rita Calvano: Razing voted for most Navy buildings in park
January 29, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: Cheers and jeers greet vote to raze most of hospital
January 29, 1987, San Diego Union, A-1. Michael Abrams: Public Facilities and Recreation Committee plans for Naval Hospital told; panel wants most buildings torn down
January 30, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. John Furey: Elaine Sweet house willed to San Diego History Center is offered for sale to city
January 30, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. OPINION: Park land, not ugly park offices
Unfortunately, the City Council’s Public Facilities and Recreation Committee would mar the natural beauty of Inspiration Point by preserving a big, ugly hospital building. The Committee voted 5-0 to preserve four of the old hospital’s 42 buildings.
February, 1987. San Diego Magazine, 104+. The Tunnel and the Lake . . . Thinking the unthinkable about Balboa Park, by Robert Hostick.
In this article, Hostick tackles a very controversial proposal, first because it calls for a lake, tunnel, and underground garages to replace the city’s beloved Cabrillo Freeway, Route 163, under the graceful arches of the Cabrillo Bridge; and secondly because the project is really big, on the scale of something New York Chicago or Los Angeles would undertake. Down the road — ten years from now — San Diego may be secure enough to afford to save it’s great park, one of the most beautiful in the world. — ED.
February 3, 1987, San Diego Union, B-6. OPINION: Remove the eyesore . . . get rid of clinic building.
The idea of using the clinic building for office workers is incompatible with the usage of Balboa Park as set forth in the City Charter and, therefore, such a concept probably lacks legality.
February 8, 1987, San Diego Union, F-33. Dale Ward: Orchid trees blooming in park
February 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Jeff Ristine: Private funding sought for Mission Bay/Balboa Park; Councilman Mike Gotch called for “creative and legal financing schemes”; in the same unanimous vote yesterday, the council also tentatively approved a general-obligations bonds Mission Bay/Balboa Park proposal for the November 3 ballot.
February 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. OPINION, Letter, Carol Landsman: Don’t blight the park (by retaining Building 29 for Park and Recreation Department Offices and by relocating the Balboa Park maintenance yard to Inspiration Point).
February 19, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-7. Photo Museum now open daily
February 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-1. Letter to John Sinor, columnist, from Joan Markham, La Jolla . . . Why is here no passenger zone in from of the Old Globe Theater?
February 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Rita Calvano: 3 buildings to be preserved at Naval Hospital
February 24, 1987, San Diego Union, A-1. Michael Abrams: Council spares 3 buildings at Naval Hospital
March 2, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Michael Abrams: Council decided last week to tear town 39 of the buildings in the old Naval Hospital complex in Balboa Park
The council must still decide what to do with two of the three buildings it will leave standing, because the council only designated a use for the 43-year old chapel, which will be made available to veterans and veterans’ groups.
March 2, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Steve La Rue: Killer mushrooms sprout in Balboa Park.
The same species of deadly mushrooms that killed four people two years ago in Escondido have reappeared in San Diego County, this time sprouting in Balboa Park, just east of the intersection of Pershing Drive and 26th Street, near Florida Canyon.
March 6, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Rita Calvano: Balboa Park looks to future.
Some of (the) proposals: banning cars from the park’s interior; pay parking garages on the park’s borders; more picnic grounds; more gardens; more restaurants; more museums; shops.
The foundation for any discussion of changing the 119-year old park will be the Pekarek Plan, a 4-year-old master plan for park development.
March 7, 1987, San Diego Union, D-1. Janet Sutter: Folk dances, Casa del Prado, Room 206.
March 12, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-2. A spokesman for the San Diego Automotive Museum said the organization has $192,000 in the bank, $58,000 more than the $134,000 that had been pledged when the city council approved the organization’s use of the Conference Building in December, by Rita Calvano.
March 12, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2, B-3. Jim Okerblom: Police campaign is aimed at homosexual activity in park, by Jim Okerbloom.
In 1984, Councilman Bill Cleator entered a washroom near the Aerospace Museum while attending a nighttime function and found himself witnessing a homosexual act.
March 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Linda C. Puig: Park and Recreation Board backs closure of Cabrillo Bridge, lots in Balboa Park.
Neither (elimination of parking) nor the bridge closure would occur, however, until alternate parking and traffic routes are in place.
March 21, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-5. Sharon Spivak: Council seeks to link bay, Balboa Park
March 22, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2. Ed Jahn: Auto Museum held open house yesterday to draw attention to its fund-raising efforts; will open sometime in the spring of next year.
Biggs . . . said it appears that the current users of the center, including the Square Dancers Association of San Diego County and the handicapped hockey players, will be able to find adequate space elsewhere. He added that the museum has spend $14,000 to “ease the displacement” of Conference Center users who needed assistance.
March 22, 1987, San Diego Union, B-6. Terri L. Fowler: Museum of Man offers tours to explore diversity of San Diego County.
March 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-5. Council Transportation and Land Use Committee seeks to link bay, Balboa Park, by Sharon Spivak.
March 24, 1987, San Diego Union, D-3. Transportation and Land Use Committee seeks to rename 12th Avenue; urges move to extend Park Boulevard.
March 27, 1987, Unpublished letter from Richard W. Amero to the California State Office of Historic Preservation denying architect’s Irving Gill’s involvement in the creation of the Administration Building in Balboa Park.
March 27, 1987, San Diego Tribune, F-1. Dirk Sutro: Controversy stalks Gill and Administration Building.
“The point isn’t whether or not it’s a Gill building,” says architect Richard Yen, hired to do drawings for the renovation. “The point is it’s a melange of Gill, Goodhue and Winslow. That only increases its historical significance.”
April 1, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 1. Balboa Park Losing Its Green Look; Thefts of Plants on the Rise; Valuable Specimens Taken, by Hector Gutierrez.
Palms in the Palm Arboretum, roses in the Rose Garden, cactuses in the Desert Garden and the more common small plants in the Alcazar Garden have been stolen in the last two months.
April 3, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Michael Richmond: 36-member committee details park improvements if a bond issue to improve Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park is approved by voters in November.
April 3, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-9. Mark Monday: Mark Wenzel, mime, finds quiet way to make living.
April 4, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Secrets of the past in everyday objects in the basement vaults of the San Diego Museum of Art, By Carol Olten.
April 5, 1987, San Diego Union, F-21. Roger Showley: Girl Scout Council to get more space; $780,000 expansion of headquarters in Balboa Park.
The Girl Scouts have occupied space in Balboa Park since 1922, when they camped out in the Pepper Grove, south of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater. They moved to the north side of the park east of Roosevelt Junior High School at Richmond and Upas streets in April 1956.
Because the Girl Scout’s lease does not expire until 2005, Robert Bourquin, aid the renovation cost could be amortized and a new fund developed to rebuild in another location if necessary.
April 5, 1987, San Diego Union, TV WEEK-4. Don Freeman: Where else would ‘the Kid’ (Ted Williams) be but in the Hall of Champions?
April 6, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Jackie Fitzpatrick: 60th annual rose show to bloom in Balboa Park Club
April 9, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. Naturalist services offered by Natural History Museum
April 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Rita Calvano: Blue Ribbon Task Force says park projects should get priority
April 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, F-1. A hospital rises in Balboa Park
April 10, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2. Michael Abrams: Park restoration plan with 3 bond options eyed for ballot.
. . . in addition to putting the $93.9 million package on the ballot, the task force also recommended that voters be given two other choices: a $70 million plan, and an $82 million one.
April 11, 1987, San Diego Union, D-1. Suzanne Choney: 3-D at Space Theater enters a new dimension
April 13, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. OPINION, Letter, Yigael Spiro: Bottle of apple juice in Balboa Park brings a citation
April 14, 1987. San Diego Tribune. A-1. Sharon Spivak: To whom go spoils of room tax?
To those with colorful visions they can’t finance, San Diego’s hotel-room tax proceeds shimmer like the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The division of the spoils — $20 million this year and projected to increase substantially when the San Diego Convention Center opens in 1989 — brings out in droves those backing any activity that can be tied to promotion of the city and tourism.
Through rounds of city council committee hearings that have been derisively dubbed by one disgusted participant as “beg-a-thons,” organizations annually compete for a share of the loot. They represent causes as diverse as the “war against litter: and Latin fiestas to beach safety and art museums.
Yet as large as the pot is — accumulated from 7 percent tax on room rates in 800 establishments containing more than 26,000 rooms — there’s nowhere near enough money to go around.
Questions have been raised about the use of the hotel tax since it was approved by the city council at 4 percent in June 1964. A referendum to repeal the tax was defeated by the voters the following year.
April 14, 1987. San Diego Union, D-1. Suzanne Choney: Computer Museum proposed for Balboa Park
April 16, 1987, Park and Recreation Board Meeting.
Lions Club lease of Fire Alarm Building as Deaf Center
Process of determining use of Naval Hospital buildings
- Balboa Park Master Plan (Report numbered 203 on March 19, 1987 agenda).
April 16, 1987. Letter from San Diego Chapter Sierra Club Executive Committee to Blue Ribbon Review Task Force: Mission Bay/Balboa Park Bond Issues.
April 17, 1987, Letter from Dunham Reilly to Richard Amero regard Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 position on Mission Bay/Balboa Park Bond Issues.
April 17, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Rita Calvano: Park and Recreation Board yesterday urged major deletions for Balboa Park master plan
The amphitheater and major restaurants in a proposed master plan for Balboa Park have been nixed by the Park and Recreation Board.
April 18, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-4. Michael Richmond: Task force seeks 3 bond issues for upgrade of parks
The amphitheater and major restaurants recommended in a proposed master plan for Balboa Park have been nixed by the Park and Recreation Board.
With little discussion, the board voted to recommend that the city council eliminate these structures from the Pekarek Plan, which proposes them as major new sources of revenue for the park.
The board agrees such sources are needed but says the structures are inappropriate uses for the park. In the same vein, relocation of either of the park’s golf courses was also rejected. Landscape architect Ron Pekarek, hired by the city to develop a long-range plan, said these changes would provide another moneymaking activity and increase open park land at the same time.
The 4-year-old proposal still must be reviewed by other governmental bodies, such as the Planning Commission, before it reaches the council sometime this summer.
In a separate but related matter, the board voted yesterday to support a November bond measure that would provide money for renovation and restoration at Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park.
Other possible proposals for the ballot measure could include expenditures for a Japanese Garden and expansion of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center.
The recommendation was prompted by member Ann Hix, who wrote to Mayor O’Connor, voicing disapproval of several projects being considered for the ballot measure.
The bond review task force will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Community Concourse downtown.
In the master plan, a major restaurant is proposed for the scenic Marston Point, Spanish Village and at a planned “golf complex.” In addition to a restaurant, the complex also would have a new clubhouse. The nine-hole course would be rebuilt on a nearby landfill in the park.
The board also approved several of Pekarek’s recommendations, either in full or modified versions. These include.
- Approving the concept of an underground parking structure of more than 1,500 spaces at the San Diego Zoo, subject to “parking policy considerations.” The board wants the new structure to be open to all park visitors, as the existing lot is now. Doug Myers, executive director of the Zoological Society of San Diego, said no decision has been made on the use of a new facility or when construction might begin.
The lot would cost between $9 million and $12 million in today’s dollars,
- Developing pedestrian malls in the Prado and prohibiting parking there, and turning the Palisades parking lot into a garden as it used to be.
- Expanding the House of Pacific Relations and restoring the Palisades buildings which include the Balboa Park Club, the Municipal Gym and the Federal Building
- Adding 12,000 square feet to Spanish Village for a total of 35,000.
- Moving scout campgrounds out of Balboa Park to Mission Trails Regional Park.
- Building a new municipal gym (the existing one would be refurbished and open to other community uses) south of Jacaranda Drive around Morley Field.
April 18, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Michael Abrams: Lockwood seeks ballot measure on parks bond issue.
In a report sent to the City Council, Lockwood said that the alternative financing proposals should be kept on hold for possible use if the proposed bond issue does not get the two-thirds vote its needs to pass in November.
April 19, 1987, San Diego Union, F-12. Jim McVicar: Floral Association proliferating at 80
April 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. John Farina: An early start on construction of a $11.5 million Japanese Friendship Garden for Balboa Park hinges on ballot (illus.).
April 20, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3, B-8. Jon Funabiki: Japanese garden plan is ready; Mayor to unveil model of proposed park attraction
San Diegans soon will be able to catch a peek at the Japanese Friendship Garden proposed for Balboa Park. But like the Japanese art of bonsai trees it will be in miniature.
A scale model of the 11.5 acre park, shrunk down to the size of a card table, will be unveiled by Mayor O’Connor at a ceremony on Thursday night.
The plan is patterned after the kai-yushiki style, which incorporates a circuitous path meant for strolling and viewing the mountain, pastoral and water scenes that the garden will offer.
Set in a portion of Gold Gulch canyon, adjacent to the Organ Pavilion, the proposed garden features two streams, a pond meant to represent an ocean inlet, and several traditional Japanese-style structures, including a tea house, garden house, cultural center, exhibit house and arbor.
The design was by Tokyo landscape architect Takeshi “Ken” Nakajima, who also was responsible for the gardens of the Japanese pavilions at the Montreal and Seattle World Fairs and the private garden of Japan’s late prime minister, Shigeru Yoshida.
The idea for constructing a garden was first raised by the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society in the 1960s. The City Council approved a master plan in 1979 and granted a 50-year lease for the site in 1984. The Japanese Friendship Garden Board, a nonprofit corporation, was created in 1980 to administer the project.
The city is considering placing a $70 million bond issue on next November’s ballot to finance major renovations for Balboa Park. Tentatively, the bond issue includes a $3 million allocation for the Japanese garden.
The allocation would be contingent on the garden board raising a matching amount from donations. The board has $750,000 in pledges.
The money would go toward the first phase of the project, which would cover about 5 acres and cost about $4.8 million. Groundbreaking is projected for October 1988.
The group hopes to generate public interest in the project by displaying the garden model at various locations around the city, probably starting next month, said David Roberts, executive director of the Friendship Garden Board. A schedule has not been finalized.
The project is intended to showcase traditional Japanese garden techniques and would include black pines, Japanese magnolias and flowering peach, apricot and plum trees.
In addition, the board hopes it will become a site for classes and demonstrations in ikebana, bonsai, martial arts and dramatic arts.
O’Connor, who has called the project “a bridge of cultural understanding,” will unveil the model at a ceremony for civic and business leaders at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Kitayama House restaurant at the Naiman Tech Center, a business park with a Japanese motif.
“We are the only major city on the West Coast that has a port, but doesn’t have a Japanese garden,” said Grace Brophy, secretary of the Japanese Garden Board, “yet we have enormous cultural and economic ties with Japan and the Pacific Rim.”
Roberts added, “I think it’s really important that the Japanese and American community understand each other. This can help.”
The City of Yokohama, San Diego’s sister city, has promised to contribute to the garden’s construction.
In fact, the project will be names San-kei-en — “three scenery garden” — the same name used for Yokohama’s Japanese garden. The name was proposed by Mitsuo Yokoyama, former chairman of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architects, who has been a close adviser.
A Japanese tea garden was built in Balboa Park for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and dismantled in the middle 1950s.
April 21, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Hundreds of would-be Einsteins, Naders and Dr. Ruths will gather this week at Balboa Park’s Federal Building for the 33rd Annual Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, which starts Thursday and ends Sunday.
April 21, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: Caring for our premier parks.
The City Council should approve Lockwood’s proposals and trust the voters to reaffirm their support for the city’s showcase parks.
April 22, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Letter, Bill McLane, North Park.
Isn’t it time for a law that prohibits — for all time — any more construction in Balboa Park?
April 23, 1987, Blue Ribbon Bon Review Task Force meeting, Copper Room, Community Concourse.
April 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Top bond priority, upgrade parks, by Rita Calvano.
Renovation, restoration and improvement of Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park should be the city’s first priority if a bond election is put on the November ballot, and that means a ballot measure of at least $70 million, a citizens task force will tell the city council.
Proposals for parking and for construction of a gymnasium in Morley Field were the most controversial items discussed last night.
April 24, 1987, San Diego Union, E-1. Robert L. Pincus and Carol Olten: Art Walk highlights
April 24, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2, B-3. Michael Abrams: Restoration plan for parks offered
A citizens advisory committee last night advanced to the City Council its menu-like bond proposal containing different plans for restoration of Balboa and Mission Bay parks, but not before critics complained about some of the course.
April 25, 1987, San Diego Union, B-6, B-7. Dick Weber: Balboa Park crime reported diminishing.
Despite a rape in Balboa Park this week, the crime in the park continues to be less and less of a problem, according to police. Criminal activity has been on a downward swing since security was beefed up two years ago, said Lt. Claude Gray.
April 26, 1987, San Diego Union, F-7. “Art Alive” will flower at Museum of Art
May 4, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. “Walk for Wellness” set in Balboa Park May 9
May 4, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Walt Baranger: Man killed in uptown hotel; slaying suspect captured in park
May 5, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-5. David Kiefer: Veteran returns to Balboa Park golf course after 20 years; discovers the trouble intact.
“The biggest thing I noticed today was the area along Pershing Drive,” Richard Allan said. “IT used to be the boondocks. The last time I was there it was a goat pasture. But the course is still much the same. I knew where all the trouble was before, and I found it again.”
May 6, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-11. OPINION, Herb Fredman: Only necessities should be included in park bond issue.
A two-thirds majority vote will be required for approval of general obligation bonds. They can win only if San Diegans are convinced on two points: That the measure is not padded with non-essential giveaways for special interests, and that its presentation is without distortion and puffery.
May 8, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Alisa Da Rosa: Pandamonium — the Chine government is sending someone to inspect our Zoo. . . . Two separate pools show there’s little change that voters would approve bond issues in November for Balboa Park.
May 8, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-5. Nancy Scott Anderson: Park basking in sunshine is perfect lecture setting for Friends of Timken.
May 11, 1987, Letter, Richard Bundy member of the Mayor’s Task Force on the Bond Issue, to Richard Amero calling the latter’s comments “intellectually dishonest.”
May 11, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-5. Museum of Man will observe International Museum Day on May 18; will offer free return passes
May 13, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-4. Balboa Park museums offer discount prices.
May 14, 1987, Letter, Richard Bundy, president Natural History Museum, urging members to write to the Council objecting to a 31% reduction of museum funding from Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).
May 22, 1987, San Diego Tribune,, B-1. Bill Callahan: Park and Recreation Board approves Balboa Park plan.
It advances without an amphitheater, major restaurants or plans for relocating golf courses, key recommendations of a consultant hired by the city to analyze the 1,400 acres of parkland.
. . . board members decided that the acreage reserved for the (Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Campfire Girls) camps would be better used as open space available to the public.
May 22, 1987, San Diego Union, D-16. Leslie James: Ethnic food fair in House of Pacific Relations this weekend
May 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-5, B-12. Jeff Ristine: 3 Council members of the Public Facilities and Recreation Committee back plan to take offers on old Naval Hospital buildings. They disagreed, however, over a plan to convert the four main floors of the hospital’s administration building into offices for part of the Park and Recreation Department staff.
June 3, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. OPINION, Letter, Sally Furay: Public is beneficiary of Old Globe’s success.
Since 1981, the Old Globe has spend $9.1 million in reconstruction costs for city-owned buildings. Of that total, the city and county of San Diego contributed $1.35 million. Clearly, the Old Globe has picked up a sizable portion of the tab for improvements to city-owned property.
June 4, 1987, Public hearing by the Planning Commission of the City of San Diego on the Balboa Park Development and Management Plan.
June 4, 1987, Statement to the Planning Commission at a Public Hearing by Richard Amero.
All organizations in the park that cater to restricted groups and that do not require a park setting to function should leave the park.
June 4, 1987, Paper by Richard Amero “In Defense of the Amero Master Plan for Balboa Park”
Balboa Park faces the same problems of all city, county, state and national parks in the country. These are problems of overuse, exploitation and favoritism.
June 5, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 3:1. Balboa Park Plan Favors Present Look, by Nancy Ray.
The 6-0 action (of the Planning Commission) is the nest to last step in a six-year old debate about the future of the park, and reflects the “environmentally preferred alternative” to a consultant’s master plan proposal. That plan would have removed many of the unprofitable activities in the park and replaced them with commercial ventures to make money.
However, commissioners did go along with the Pekarek Group consultants’ recommendations to build a 600-space parking structure in Archery Canyon and another of undetermined size south of the Organ Pavilion on an existing parking lot.
The commission also recommended retention of youth group facilities for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire organizations on land proposed for zoo expansion.
June 5, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 6:1-3. Museums brace for fund change in allocation rules from Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), by Hilliard Harper.
The new funding criteria for museums stress the ability to attract tourists. While some museums may receive more money this year, the city staff has recommended that others receive no funds or drastically reduced funds.
June 5, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Rita Calvano: Planning Commission opposes permanent closing of Cabrillo Bridge.
Under the commission recommendation, the Prado would be landscaped and redesigned so that special events could be staged there. Parking would be eliminated.
The commission accepted a recommendation that the Palisades parking lot become a garden again.
June 5, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. Jane Clifford: Indian fair this weekend at Museum of Man
June 5, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3, B-12. Michael Abrams: Balboa Park plan doesn’t satisfy all.
In an interview after the commission meeting, (Mayor O’Connor) said she would oppose construction of a parking structure in Archery Canyon and a new municipal gym in Morley Field.
In Washington, meanwhile, restoration of Balboa Park’s administration building was given a boost when the House Appropriations Interior subcommittee approved $200,000 for the $1.2 million renovation project.
The project already has received $100,000 from the state office of Historic Preservation. Private contributors have raised another $180,000 and the city has earmarked an equal amount. The balance will be raised from private contributions and matching funds from the city.
June 6, 1987. Richard Amero Statement of the Facilities and Recreation Committee.
The Marston Addition should be made part of Balboa Park or the land sold.
Florida Canyon should be made into an attractive and integral part of Balboa Park.
The Arizona landfill should be used for free outdoor recreation.
Land occupied by the Campfire Girls, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts should be incorporated into the park.
Private leases should not be automatically extended when they expire.
As Balboa Park has reached the saturation point museums and other non-park institutions should be encouraged to relocate elsewhere.
June 6, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-2. A House Appropriations subcommittee has approved $200,000 to help pay for a $1.2 million renovation of the Balboa Park Administration Building. The Appropriations Interior subcommittee approved an amendment offered by Rep. Bill Lowery, R-San Diego, to include the money in the Department of the Interior funding bill for fiscal 1988.
June 6, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. George Flynn: City plans cut in aid to Natural History Museum
June 9, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Rita Calvano: Council postpones decision on parks bond issue.
After discussion yesterday, the council delayed a decision on the bond issue until June 22 when City Manager John Lockwood is to return with more information on another proposed method of financing the park projects.
June 9, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2, B-3, B-5. Michael Abrams: Mayor, Gotch clash on park bond; mayor wants a general obligation bond issue; Gotch prefers special park assessment district set up citywide.
June 10, 1987, San Diego Union. EDITORIAL: A touch of class.
When the council’s Public Services and Safety Committee today considers how to distribute about $20 million in transient occupancy taxes (TOT), we trust is will give extraordinary attention to the allocation recommended by city staff for the Natural History Museum.
June 11, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: Public Facilities and Recreation Committee supports closing bridge to Balboa Park.
A recommendation to close to vehicle traffic, Cabrillo Bridge, a main entrance to Balboa Park, and to keep traffic out of the park’s central area has gained the support of a San Diego City Council committee.
By a 3-1 vote, the council Public Facilities and Recreation Committee agreed to the closure and approved instead building another west entrance. Two parking garages were also agreed upon, and the committee wants a third structure behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion to be given consideration.
. . . the committee approved a parking garage in Archery Canyon as well as a parking structure on the existing Zoo parking lot, although zoo officials had encouraged building a lot in Florida Canyon.
Other recommendations of the committee include limiting expansion of Spanish Village; keeping the scout campgrounds in the park; building no major restaurants; putting any new gymnasium outside the park; and moving the Centro Cultural de la Raza to another part of the park.
June 11, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Jeff Ristine: Council suspends buildup of police, cuts horse patrol
June 11, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Steve Schmidt: Balboa Park parking revamp backed.
The Public Facilities and Recreation Committee yesterday endorses plans for a major parking overhaul in Balboa Park, including a proposal to ban vehicles in the central El Prado and Palisades plazas.
June 11, 1987, San Diego Union, B-4. Unexpected city fund boost averts Museum of Natural History admission increase, by Carol Sottilli.
. . . yesterday the Public Services and Safety Committee agreed to give the museum an additional $105,000 over the original proposed funding of $231,572.
June 16, 1987, San Diego Tribune, E-1. Gregory Nelson Joseph: A Fleet discovery: 60 frames per second.
June 17, 1987, Letter, Richard S. Bundy, president Natural History Museum, to members urging them to write County Board of Supervisors to insure museum request for $62,000, an increase of $7,000 over last year’s request.
June 19, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Steven De Salvo: Proposed Balboa Park space exploration facility.
June 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-2. A federal budget amendment proposed by Rep. Bill Lowery, R-San Diego, to provide $200,000 toward restoration of the Balboa Park Administration Building was approved by the House Appropriations Committee., by Rita Calvano.
June 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-3. OPINION: Centro Cultural deserves support.
In the proposed Balboa Park-Mission Bay Park bond issue, Centro Cultural is not included in the list of facilities to be upgraded — even though the roof leaks and the only restroom facilities are park facilities outside the building.
In addition, the Balboa Park Master Plan proposes demolition of the Centro Cultural building.
June 21, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2, B-5. Woman’s body found just west of Pershing Drive
June 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: Pay parking near park gets Public Facilities and Recreation Committee’s backing; increase in city’s hotel-motel tax to raise money for park improvements suggested by councilman Ed Struiksma.
Councilwoman Judy McCarty said that the council probably will consider the unspecified increase in the 7 percent room tax next year. Deputy City Manager Jack McGrory said the city manager’s office probably will have a report on the matter in about six months.
The recommendation for pay parking at spots close to the park is meant to encourage people to park further away.
June 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Rita Calvano: The City Council yesterday decided voters in November to get choice of 2 park bond issues so that at least the smaller one had a chance of passing.
June 24, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Steve Schmidt: Park funding measures put on November ballot.
Voters will choose in November whether to spend nothing, $73 million or $94 million for improvements at Balboa Park and Mission Bay, the City Council decided yesterday.
June 25, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II-3:1-2. Voters to face multiple choice on Mission Bay and Balboa Park bonds, by Nancy Ray.
Voters will face a multiple choice question at the November 3 election on whether the want to pay the tab for improvements to Balboa and Mission Bay parks.
Long-debated bond issues for $74 million and $94 million will appear on the November ballot separately — offering voters the choice of financing the repairs on Balboa Park buildings and the sewer line repairs to clean up Mission Bay or go for the frills of improving Fiesta Island and building a new municipal gymnasium to replace the old one which is being converted into an automobile museum.
Both general obligation bond issues would require two-thirds majority approval from voters. If both proposals passed, only the larger bond issue would be used.
Mayor O’Connor championed the bond issue, despite past election history showing that voters has approved only one city general obligation bond issue in the past 20 years.
During more than six hours of debate over the bond issues in committee and council meetings, council members have split over whether to seek to raise the park funds directly — through general obligations bonds requiring a two-thirds approval — or whether to form a citywide assessment district for park improvements which could be approved by a simple 50 percent majority vote.
Councilman Mike Gotch has argued that the assessment district would be more equitable because every homeowner in the city would be assessed an equal amount. Under the general obligation bond issue, he said, owners who purchased property before Proposition 13 went into effect in 1978 would play a smaller share because their property values were frozen at a much lower level than present market values.
Goth’s proposal failed to gain a majority from the council members after it was learned that a complicated assessment schedule for the city’s 400,000 property owners would have to be compiled at a cost of several million dollars.
The City Council voted Tuesday to place both bond issues on the ballot, reserving the assessment district approach as a future alternative if the bond issues fail.
Balboa Park improvements slated to be financed by the bond issue include:
- $31.5 million in renovation and safety improvements to existing buildings and arcades, including $11.5 million for the House of Hospitality, $5 million for the House of Charm and arcades, $3.1 million for the Balboa Park Club, $2.3 million for the Museum of Man, $1.6 million each for a municipal gym and the Museum of Man, $1.4 million for Casa de Balboa, $1.1 million each for the Old Globe Theater complex and the Federal Building and $550,000 for the Palisade Building.
- $2.5 million for vehicle circulation and pedestrian access improvements.
The larger $94-millin bond issue would encompass all the previous projects and add:
In Balboa Park:
- $6 million for a new municipal gymnasium.
- $2.5 million for additional pedestrian and vehicle circulation and access improvements.
- $1.8 million each for Space Theater and Starlight Bowl improvements.
One controversial issue yet to be decided is the construction of a parking garage within Balboa Park. The council’s Public Facilities and Recreation Committee voted Wednesday in favor of paid parking lots outside the park and an increase in the city hotel-motel tax to finance such improvements.
June 25, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Eric Healy: Marston residence named historical site; Administration Building renovation OK’d.
The San Diego Historical Site Board has approved a plan to renovate the Balboa Park Administration Building and unanimously designated the original Marston’s Department Store, on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and C Street, as an historical site.
Members of the board also cited the rich history of the Balboa Park Administration Building in approving, 9-0, a renovation plan from Pacific Associates, Planners & Architects, Inc. of San Diego.
June 25, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: Balboa Park pay parking urged
June 25, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2, B-3, B-4. Steve Schmidt: Parking fees are proposed for Balboa Park
June 26, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-15. Eric Healy: Marstons voted a historic site; park plan OK’d.
June 26, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. OPINION: Charity starts at Balboa Park . . . we hope voters pass the $93-million measure
June 29, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. OPINION: No parking fees, please.
Fees keep many of our poorest residents from visiting the zoo, the municipal golf course and some of the Balboa Park museums. But they have always been able to picnic in the park, walk along the Prado, play basketball at the municipal gym, attend at concert at the Organ Pavilion. Let’s not start a system that allows the affluent to pay for choice parking spaces while the poor — the indigent elderly, mothers with small children or the handicapped — park on the outskirts and wait for a tram.
July 2, 1987, San Diego Union. B-3. Sacramento – New state budget that passed the Legislature yesterday will have $200,000 to renovate Balboa Park buildings.
July 5, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Steve Schmidt: Will changes play at the park?
The proposed ban on vehicles from the Palisades and El Prado areas, and elegant Cabrillo Bridge are amount about 30 park changes — some minor, some controversial — scheduled for debate July 27 before the City Council.
Balboa Park is the second largest urban park in the nation with 1,290 acres. Los Angeles 4,000-acre Griffith Park is the largest. (Note: I include this gross misstatement as an example of the accuracy of typical newspaper reports! rwa)
Because a new park master plan has yet to be adopted, officials are uncertain how they will raise much of the money needed to carry out the $75 million to $100 million in projects.
Up to $42 million could come from a pair of park bond measures facing voters in November.
July 6, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-1. Jan Jennings: San Diego Zoo is a pet place.
July 8, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3.Governor Deukmejian vetoes several San Diego County park projects yesterday, by Daniel C. Carson.
July 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-5. Museum of Photographic Arts free to Santee residents week of July 19-25
July 15, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Rita Calvano: Fleet theater plans expansion doubling its size.
The Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater & Science Center in Balboa Park plans a $17.5 million expansion that would double its size — adding two more theaters, a teaching planetarium and an outdoor science park.
Construction on the project could begin in 1989, pending San Diego City approval and the availability of financing, center executive director Jeffrey W. Kirsch said.
“We need more space,” Kirsch said. “The idea . . . is to provide us with an opportunity to give San Diego a world-quality, world-class science-theater complex.”
Kirsch declined to make extensive comments about the proposed 55,000-square-foot expansion, saying he preferred to wait until a new conference scheduled for Monday.
Cris Fontana, head of the space complex’s board of trustees, also declined comment, saying the board wanted to notify its members before making the proposal public.
July 16, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-12. OPINION: Keep open door to Balboa Park . . . we think the Prado and its splendid entrance across the bridge — should be accessible to the majority. And, most people arrive in cars.
July 16, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2, B-3. Pat Flynn: Some facts ruled out in Cinco murder trial.
July 17, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Park Jam: It will be an explosive hearing on July 27 when city council considers the Balboa Park master plan. It may be the first time that all 21 museums and cultural facilities in the park have joined to fight.
July 18, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-1. Linda C. Puig: Zoo society chief, cultural leaders hit Balboa Park traffic proposals.
Leaders of 20 Balboa Park cultural institutions and the San Diego Zoo are banding to oppose a proposed parking plan, saying it could threaten their future by discouraging visitors.
In a July 10 letter to the San Diego City Council, presidents of 21 Balboa Park activities — under the umbrella of the Central Balboa Park Association — criticize parking and traffic elements of the proposed Balboa Park Master Plan.
Many of the letter-signers said they plan to air their concerns publicly when the master plan, also known as the Pekarek Plan, comes up for council ratification on July 27.
Another letter, from the Zoological Society of San Diego, urges its nearly 100,000 members to contact City Hall before July 27, terming the matter “critical to the future of your San Diego Zoo.” The Pekarek Plan would be a sweeping overhaul of Balboa Park recommending nearly 30 changes, including building a gymnasium in Morley Field and closing Cabrillo Bridge to autos. The changes would cost an estimated $75 million to $100 million.
The plan also proposes eliminating parking in El Prado, Palisades, Plaza de Panama and Alcazar Garden areas. It would fill the lots with landscaped walkways, linking the cultural complex and restoring parklike ambiance to areas that have grown clogged with autos circling in search of parking spaces.
In return, the plan proposes increasing the amount of parking by as much as 35 percent through the construction of new lots on the park’s periphery, including a large underground structure at the zoo, and improvements of existing ones.
In the letter to council members, the Central Balboa Park Association requests that the council:
- Enlarge the Spreckels Organ Pavilion parking lot by multiple decking.
- Build terraced parking in Florida Canyon and an overpass over Park Boulevard.
- Make the Cabrillo Bridge and Archery Canyon parking sites as large as possible.
- Retain parking in Alcazar Gardens and the Plaza de Panama.
- Not focus park traffic on the zoo parking lot.
Cultural leaders at Balboa Park are mostly concerned that visitors faced with long walking distances won’t make the trip into the interior.
The institutions — from the Museum of Man to the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater — must have visitors to stay healthy, Philip M. Klauber, a signer of the letter, said Thursday. He is immediate past president of the San Diego Historical Society, which has its office in Balboa park.
“They are in the business of serving the visiting public,” Klauber said. “The public has to be able to get to them . . .
“Now, I love and enjoy (walking through the park) as much as anybody, but the average American doesn’t want to do that. He wants to park reasonably near the destination, and he wants to get in with a reasonable amount of traffic.”
Pedestrians also are fearful of walking long distances in the dark, said Connie Monzingo-Fish, director of the San Diego Junior Theater, which puts on Friday night performances.
No one has forgotten, she said the murder of Old Globe actor David Huffman, who was stabbed to death in February 1985 by a thief he caught breaking into a parked motor home.
“That doesn’t get forgotten too quickly,” she said.
Making the zoo the focal point of parking would intensify already congested traffic in the zoo area and discourage visitors, Betty Jo F. Williams, president of the Zoological Society, wrote to members. “The economic health of the zoo is greatly dependent on attendance and our attendance is linked to parking.,” Williams wrote. Amy Krulak, president of the park association, said having to park so far from any of the cultural institutions within the park “wouldn’t at all help the other end of the park.”
“All those places need more parking — that’s all there is to it — not less.”
July 18, 1987, San Diego Union, B-11, B-13. Cathedral St. Paul meeting tomorrow to focus on Balboa Park’s homeless
July 19, 1987, San Diego Union, F-26. Balboa Park’s future is subject of walking tour to be presented July 25 by the local chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
July 20, 1987, The City of San Diego Manager’s Report; Subject; Balboa Park Master Plan.
July 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-4. Arson fire controlled in Balboa Park canyon
July 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joe Hughes: Balboa Park protest forces site change of meals for homeless
July 20, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Cheryl Clark: Balboa Park transients discussed
July 21, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-5. Rita Calvano: Fleet space, science museum plans to expand
The city will be asked to do more than approve plans to more than double the size of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater in Balboa Park. It will also be asked to back $5 million in tax-exempt bonds to help finance the proposed $17.5 million expansion.
The money would be paid back over several years through center revenues.
July 21, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Kristine Moe: Fleet Theater to double its space
Officials from the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center yesterday described plans for a $17.5 million expansion that would double the side of the popular Balboa Park attraction.
The expansion would include a theater with moving platforms or seas to simulate travel thrills similar to Disneyland’s “Star Tours” attraction, a new planetarium, a new theater for large-format film, almost three times the indoor science-exhibit space and an outdoor “science park.”
July 22, 1987, San Diego Union, B-6. EDITORIAL: Accessibility.
Although shuttles are planned to convey people from their remote parking places to their park destinations — a pleasant vision — the realities are that the automobile has a necessary, unavoidable place in Balboa Park planning.
July 24, 1987, Letter, Wm. S. Burton, president American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego Chapter, to Mayor Maureen O’ Connor.
The success of pedestrian malls, and the separation of vehicles and pedestrians is in evidence in the major urban parks of this country. Balboa Park should also benefit from the success of this time proven concept as originally conceived.
July 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: Pandas arrive
July 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. Letter Doug Scott, Uptown.
Only the member institutions of the “Central Balboa Park Association” should be allowed to exist in Balboa Park. The rest of the park should be leveled paved and striped.
It’s so selfish of San Diegans to want to walk amid flowers and greenery in their park.
July 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10, Letter, Karen Kaska Davidson, North Park.
The interior parking lots have never provided a great deal of parking. All they have done is entice thousands of cars into the middle of the park, creating San Diego’s largest weekend traffic jam.
By parking on the edge of the park, visitors can enter a serene park where they need not worry about having their children run down, a place where they can breathe the air without a freeway-level dose of exhaust.
July 24, 1987, San Diego Union, E-6. Robin Kleven: “Night in Vienna” by San Diego Youth Symphony at Balboa Park Club
July 25, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-1. Dona Steckbauer: Golden Hill celebrates 100th year
July 25, 1987, San Diego Union, B-15. OPINION, Letter, Verna Quinn: Park plan critics err.
It is important to understand that the proposed plan has many integrated features,
relating to parking and circulation. These cannot be altered without affecting other elements of the plan. The net effect of the proposed plan is to increase parking, improve access, and beautify major building entrances.
July 25, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-3. OPINION, Letters, Verna Quinn, Leland van den Daele, George Eidemiller: Park master plan looks at parking
July 25, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-2, B-5. Rita Gillmon: Pioneer Mary Marston dies at 107
July 25, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-3. EDITORIAL: Planning Balboa Park’s future.
Although public hearings on the master plan begin Monday, it will be several weeks before the council adopts the final version. During that time, why not visit the park and decide for yourself how you believe the city should prepare Balboa Park for the 21st century?
July 26, 1987, Los Angles Times, II, 1, 3, 4. Plan’s Vision of a Car-Free Heart Splits Friends of Balboa Park, by Jenifer Warren.
“It’s hard enough for museums to drum up visitors as it is. With the bridge closed, you could have blockbusters every week and people would still not leave their cars and walk in. This is Southern California.” . . . Doug Sharon, Director Museum of Man.
Betty Jo Williams president of the San Diego Zoological Society, has sent a letter urging the society’s 135,000 member households to fight the proposed construction of a 1,500-space parking structure on the existing lot at the San Diego Zoo. Williams called the proposal “completely unrealistic” and said it would saddle the zoo with the responsibility of housing the cars of all park patrons.
As an alternative, zoo officials propose keeping their existing lot and creating a set of terraced parking platforms on the western face of Florida Canyon.
Although reluctant to boot (the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls), the city proposes that a lease with the groups not be renewed when it expires in 2005. Camping activities can be better accommodated in Mission Trails Regional Park, officials say.
Today, only 14% of parkland is available for (strolling, picnicking and other passive uses), with the balance occupied by one use or another. Under the new plan — and with the pending demolition of all but three of the 42 Naval Hospital buildings — that figure will jump to 23%, Dave Twomey, assistant Park and Recreation director said.
KEY CHANGES PROPOSED FOR PARK
Closure of Cabrillo Bridge to cars.
Removal of parking lots in El Prado and Palisades areas.
Construction of a 600-space parking garage in Archery Canyon.
Realignment of Quince Street and construction of new bridge across California 163.
Development of a drop-off point behind the House of Charm.
Closure of Balboa Drive at the Cabrillo Bridge, making it a cul-de-sac.
Addition of a 1,500-space parking garage on existing San Diego Zoo parking lot on Park Boulevard.
Extension of 28th Street from Date Street to Grape Street.
July 26, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Gina Lubrano: Panda-Mania.
Two roly-poly black-and-white giant pandas from China that go on exhibit at 9 a.m. tomorrow pose the biggest challenge for the San Diego Zoo in its 71-year history.
Basi, a 7-year old female, and Yuan Yuan, a 6-year old male, are expected to be such a draw that the Zoo anticipates 1.5 million visitors — 50 percent more than usual — will go through the gates during their 200-day visit.
There’s a possibility that on some days, the park will be so crowded that the gates may have to close early to accommodate the flood of visitors.
“Last year, we had 39,000 people on Founders Day (Oct. 6). The facility was tremendously overtaxed at that point,” said Mike Ahlering, Zoo operations manager.
He couldn’t predict how many visitors it will take to close the gates. The deciding factor will be how many are in line to see the pandas and how long the wait becomes,” he said.
“We have a lot . . . to learn about what to do if we have those big crowds day after day,” Ahlering said.
Peak times are expected on weekends during the summer, holidays, Christmas week, and all of October when children under 15 will be admitted free during the Kroc Family Children’s Days.
“And guess what January is,” said Douglas G. Myers, executive director of the Zoological Society. “The pandas will be packing about Super Bowl time. It will be your last chance to see them until they come back permanently — if that ever happens.”
The latest about the pandas may be obtained by calling 55-PANDA, a 24-hour recorded message that includes information about Zoo hours and prices, the most recent attendance figures, parking information and, according to Zoo workers, “any panda scoops of the day.”
Visitor demands are anticipated to be so great that the Zoo has set up a satellite parking lot on city-owned land at Pershing Drive, across from the Balboa Park Golf Course. A free shuttle will run from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Ahlering estimates the lot will have 2,500 to 3,000 spaces and will supplement the Zoo’s own 3,150-space lot and two auxiliary lots that are normally used in the summer on Roosevelt Junior High School property. Those lots can hold about 650 vehicles.
The dirt lot opens tomorrow to handle some of the overflow, but will not be completed until later in the week, Ahlering said.
To help relieve the parking squeeze, Zoo employees are being asked to park at the old Sears store site on Cleveland Avenue and take a shuttle to work. The Zoo is leasing the lot from the city for $1,000 a month and is providing security not only for the lot but for the vacated building, Ahlering said.
The employee park plan was tested last year over the three-day Labor Day weekend, he added.
And if all this isn’t enough, signs have been put on the freeways to guide the way to the Panda exhibit.
“We have had tremendous cooperation from city traffic engineers and Caltrans in rerouting traffic so we can get in and out of that lot more efficiently.
“Our problem in the past has been the majority of the traffic from (Interstate) 5 north and south is routed on 163 and comes up Richmond (Street). What we’ve done is change the routing of 5 north and south to bring traffic to the Zoo on Pershing (Drive).
Some of the signs also will include a 30-inch-square plastic panda logo, he said.
The Zoo always hires seasonal workers in the summer to take care of the added crowds. This year, it will add 150 to 200 people more than usual. They will work in gift shops, help with the entrance lines, clean the grounds, work in food service and as parking lot attendants, Ahlering said.
Beginning Tuesday, the Zoo will operate on extended hours. Gates will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. Visitors may remain on the grounds until 7:30 p.m.
Zoo officials advise visitors either to arrive early or late to beat the mid-day crush. Fewer people are expected on weekdays, about half as many people as visit the Zoo on weekends.
There are two ways for the public to see the pandas. The first is to pay the regular $8.50 admission for adults, $2.50 for children between 3 and 15, and walk to the panda pad.
Once inside the Zoo, visitors turn right at Flamingo Lagoon and follow the red flags to Panda Plaza. They must go past the bus boarding and unloading areas, past the koalas and the monkeys, the animal rides and the kopje exhibit, and then down Dog and Cat Canyon.
The quarter-acre Panda Plaza is located just past the Hunte Amphitheater, where visitors will line up along shaded queue lines that will snake back and forth past panda educational graphics, closed-circuit television and stands of bamboo.
A tiered viewing area will allow 150 people to observe Basi and Yuan at the same time.
People who don’t want to walk down the canyon and back also may see the pandas by taking one of the Zoo tour buses — which costs admission plus $2.50 for adults and $2 for children between 3 and 15. While on the bus, riders will get a clear view of the exhibit because the road near the enclosure has been raised six feet.
Risser said the Zoo spent “a little over a half million dollars” on the panda project, which includes grading the satellite parking lot.
Home to Basi and Yuan Yuan is the old clouded leopard exhibit that has been renovated to accommodate their needs. It has been fitted with central air conditioning, large picture windows on three sides of laminated, shatter-proof glass, two separate sleeping areas and a landscaped exhibit of more than 1,200 square feet.
To make way for the pandas, the clouded leopards that occupied the area were moved to an off-exhibit area. The animals that occupy the holding area behind the Hunte Amphitheater also were moved.
In their new home, Basi and Yuan Yuan will be separated by bars but will be able to see each other and even touch noses. Separate quarters are nothing new for them. They are kept apart in the Fuzhou Zoo in China because pandas are naturally loners and can become aggressive if they live together.
The arrival of the pandas is the culmination of nearly 10 years of negotiations with Chinese officials. And to accommodate such a feat, Zoo officials are changing many of the rules they normally live by.
For instance, it is not in keeping with the San Diego Zoo’s philosophy to allow performances by animals because the Zoo encourages only the natural behavior of animals.
But the pandas brought along their teeter boards and bicycle — for exercising.
Visitors who time it just right will be treated to the sight of Basi riding a bicycle or Yuan Yuan balancing on a board that teeters on a cylinder that rolls along a bench.
Both of them stand and walk on command, can wave either front paw an can twirl a baton. They can bounce and slam-dunk a basketball, push a baby stroller, sit at a table and play cards, sit in a chair and play a cello-like instrument with a bow and carry a broom and bucket around their enclosure.
There’s a reason for the way the Fuzhou Zoo animals are trained, said Art Risser, Zoo general manager.
It’s the philosophy of Chen Yu Cun, Fuzhou Zoo director, that close human contact and exercise sessions help pandas develop their dexterity and balance. Not only are the pandas physically fit, but they are responsive to commands. That allows Chen to do routine physical checkups, take their blood pressure, monitor their heartbeats, take rectal temperatures, collect urine and blood samples — without sedating them.
“What we’re doing is simply following what the Chinese have already set in motion and have opted not to try to alter any of their schedules,” Risser said.
“They are the Chinese animals; they are in control of the animals and we feel very privileges to have them visit. Further, we understand the value in the approach they have elected to take by instituting the exercise routine.”
The exercises are so important to the animals that on Friday, the Chinese asked that the pool that has been installed in the exhibit for the pandas be removed to make more room for their routines.
Basi and Yuan Yuan arrived at Los Angeles International Airport shortly after noon Thursday amid media fanfare and a VIP reception from excited Zoo administrators. For the pair of pandas, it was a first time out of China and the animals appeared oblivious to the trip and the fuss.
However, they were so exhausted on Friday that they slept through the jarring sounds of jackhammers that tore out the pool, said Georgeanne Irvine, Zoo spokeswoman.
Instead of swims in the pool, the pandas will take showers. And they do so by holding the hose with attached showerheads themselves, Irvine said.
In another concession for the special visitors, the Zoo installed two trailers near the exhibit where the panda keepers will live so that they can be near their charges. In contrast, no Zoo keepers live on the grounds.
Trying to classify the giant panda into either the bear or raccoon family is dangerous — scientists themselves don’t agree. Although they resemble bears with big round bodies, they are akin to raccoons because they eat like them.
Basi and Yuan Yuan weigh less than 200 pounds each and are about 5 feet tall when standing. To keep them in tip-top condition, they will be fed fruits, whole grains and vitamins. But they will have a bamboo supplement — about 22 pounds each a day.
Zoo officials estimate that they will munch about 4-1/2 tons of bamboo during their stay.
Types of bamboo that the pandas find tantalizing grow abundantly on Zoo grounds. But if the Zoo runs out, it will raid supplies at the Wild Animal Park and may call on the Quail Botanical Garden in Encinitas, which has volunteered to serve as a back-up bamboo source.
Chuck Coburn, Zoo horticulturist, said to keep up with demands, one person is being assigned to do nothing but locate, harvest, wash, store and deliver fresh bamboo to the pandas.
Zoo officials acknowledge they are making a gift to the Chinese in exchange for the panda visit, but would not say what that gift will be. “We deal in friendship, and friendship means trust,” Myers said.
“Nine, 10 years ago, the thought of pandas or golden monkeys or tapins (animals closely related to the musk ox) may have been considered unrealistic,” Myers said. Golden monkeys already are on exhibit at the Zoo and the tapins are expected soon, Myers added.
“Our friendship with the Chinese has allowed us many unbelievable animals.”
July 26, 1987, San Diego Union, H-2. Ric Bucher: History of Balboa Park stadium.
The San Diego Unified School District signs a 50-year lease for the stadium in 1974. The stadium holds it last state track meet in June of 1975, shortly before the peristyle is destroyed to comply with state earthquake standards for buildings used by elementary and secondary schools. All but 3,500 seats are removed by 1979. A year later, the stadium is renamed Glenn R. Broderick Field.
July 27, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Rita Calvano: Pandas take center stage at zoo
July 27, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Rita Calvano: Panda fans crowd zoo for a view
July 27, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: House of Hospitality Association: 50 and forgotten.
The House of Hospitality Association, Inc., which celebrates its 50th birthday tomorrow, keeps activities there running smoothly, and in fact exists solely to take care of the building, Ralph Johnson, manager, said.
July 27, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: Park’s dirty linen is showing.
There are two Balboa Parks — a lovely “Hollywood front: and its barren, ugly backside.
The better-known Balboa Park is a lush, green strip along its peripheries, with palm-filled canyons, golf fairways, grassy picnic areas, flowers and eucalyptus groves. The other, at its center, is so scarred, neglected and haphazardly developed that San Diegans generally don’t think of it as a park.
And why should they? Most of the trees, the stream, the wild vegetation of south Florida Canyon are gone, replaced by the cut-and-fill and massive concrete structures of the new and old Navy hospitals. Viewed from Pershing Drive, the huge urban-style hospital buildings dwarf the canyon and the Prado museums nearby. Farther along Pershing lines the unsightly reminder that the center of Balboa Park was once a garbage dump. Although the old Arizona landfill was closed in 1974, it sill sinks and oozes methane gas. Nothing grows there. The city recently poured dirt, oil and sand over it so that it can be used for extra parking while the giant Pandas are on exhibit at the zoo.
Just beyond the dump, near Morley Field, earthmovers and bulldozers tear up a strip of land that is 130 feet wide and 800 feet long. It is the site of the park’s new $2.5 million nursery, which had to be relocated from Park Boulevard to make way for the new Navy Hospital. The park needs a convenient place, of course, to nurture 58 varieties of plants and trees. But the nursery nibbled away at land that should have been saved for park and recreation uses.
Also on the east side of Florida Canyon is the eyesore of a Park and Recreation maintenance yard, surrounded by chain-link fences. It doesn’t belong there, but no one can figure out where else to put it.
The unsightly core of Balboa Park cries out for a master plan that the city will respect and observe. The park’s core should have been reserved for the open-space and recreational needs of a growing city — not for dumps, temporary parking lots and maintenance yards. There are the unfortunate products of expedient, piecemeal actions, given little or no public scrutiny.
The Pekarek Plan, which the City Council is due to start considering today, contains fine proposals for extending our park into this central area between park Boulevard and Pershing (Drive). We particularly support those that would create more landscaped greenbelts and open space for park users and evict the inappropriate users from its abused core.
The procession of dump trucks on Pershing, the sounds of grading, the acrid smell of oil sprayed on a temporary zoo parking lot tell us that time is running out. The city must adopt a plan that will clean up the park’s blighted back yard.
July 28, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 5:1:3. Balboa Park Parking Plan Draws Fire, by Nancy Ray.
A sharp rift emerged Monday between Balboa Park organizations and park planners over parking and traffic proposals that would ban cars from the central part of the park and close Cabrillo Bridge to auto traffic.
July 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune. Extra fall holiday designed to cultivate “Kidsartz,” by Pamela Little.
The first “Kidzartz Festival,” scheduled throughout Balboa Park October 17, . . . will include dramatic performances, music, art, dance, literature and mime for and by children.
July 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: Council postpones action after hearing on Balboa Park plan
The San Diego City Council had delayed for two months action on a controversial proposed master plan that would dramatically change Balboa Park.
After a lengthy public hearing yesterday, Mayor O’Connor pushed for a postponement, saying she wanted more time to study the recommendations and consider new suggestions.
July 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Linda C. Puig and Bill Callahan: Panda crowd was short on numbers, but long on spending
July 28, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Gina Lubrano: Hustle, bustle opens the panda summer
July 28, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-2, B-3. Steve Schmidt: Sides square off over Balboa Park car ban.
Following nearly four hours of testimony, the council asked park officials to conduct more hearings on the changes and report back at a special meeting to be held at the park September 21.
July 30, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. EDITORIAL: Park plan is well worth the wait.
Among the alternatives to be studied are an American Institute of Architects’ proposal for a two- or three-story parking structure behind the Organ Pavilion, a zoo-supported plan for parking in Florida Canyon and a plan, backed by Councilwoman Celia Ballesteros, for a 4,000-car parking garage below existing Navy Hospital parking lots.
July 31, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. Letter, Kirk Butler . . . Underground parking is expensive, but it is the only solution to the problems in Balboa Park. A minimum of land is available; filling the canyons with parking structures if foolish..
July 31, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. Letter, Mary McNerney . . . I love ride over the bridge, especially at night. . . . I don’t mind more spaces being provided, but I don’t think existing spaces should be removed.
July 31, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10, Letter, Tony MaGuire . . . The Centro Cultural de la Raza provides us the opportunity (to know each other better). It will be a disgrace to San Diego to eliminate this possibility of shared cultures.
August 1, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. R. H. Growald: One good turn deserves another; helping Beijing Zoo pays off
August 2, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Man’s body found on Morley Field Drive in Balboa Park
August 5, 1987, San Diego Tribune, E-1. Susan Freudenheim: Centro Cultural de la Raza: practicing the art of a culture..
In its 17-year history, the Centro staff and supporters have worked with minimal budgets to organize as many programs as possible. Currently, the annual budget is about $150,000, a sum many would consider small for such a diverse program of activities (by comparison the budget of the La Jolla Museum of Art is $1.6 million). In recent years, approximately $40,000 of the Centro’s budget came from the city of San Diego, between $12,000 and $15,000 from the state Arts Council, and $33,000 came from the National Endowment for the Arts. The remainder was raised from individual donors, members and foundation and corporate grants.
August 7, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-1. Sirah Pattee: Marston house fate still under construction; City Council will donate the land as parkland September 15; in 1976 City officials signed an agreement allowing the San Diego Historical Society to operate the house
August 11, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Spreckels Organ fund aided by city; Council agreed to contribute $16,000; money will come from city’s hotel-motel room tax
August 13, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3, B-5. Michael Abrams: Circus, big top OK’d for Balboa Park.
In a 3-0 vote . . . the Public Facilities and Recreation Committee consented to issuing permits for the Cirque du Soleil — described by the promoter as “a circus sans animals” — to perform in Balboa Park in late September and October.
The Montreal-based circus will put up its tent, with 1,750 seats, on a 2.3-acre grassy area at the southeast corner of Park Boulevard and President’s Way, one of two areas set aside by the Balboa Park plan for temporary commercial activities.
August 14 – 23, 1987. America’s Finest City Week.
August 14, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. George Flynn: Candidates for 8th District hit plans for Balboa Park.
Neil Good decried San Diego’s emphasis on commercialization.
Bob Filner said the plan needed to be more comprehensive, and must include a clear financing mechanism before he would approve of it.
Mike Aguirre offered a plan of linking bicycle pedestrian pathways through the park and said the Laurel Street Bridge should remain open.
Gail MacLeod accused planners of neglecting the eastern section of the park.
Bob Castaneda was concerned about the fiscal impact on the Café del Rey Moro and museums.
Paul Clark opposed paid parking and canyon in-fill.
August 16, 1987, San Diego Union, C-2. EDITORIAL: First, visit the park.
We suspect . . . that council members may not even feel like going to Balboa Park if they know the Cabrillo Bridge, the park’s grand western entrance, is closed to vehicular traffic, as envisioned in the Pekarek Plan.
August 18, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-8. EDITORIAL: Balboa, a park for all reasons.
We need a plan that the city can — and will — follow. The plan must do more than consider how to make El Prado prettier. It must save Balboa Park for the people — all the people.
August 19, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-1. Susan Freudenheim: Mario Lara’s “Big World, Little House” sculpture on view at Centro Cultural de la Raza through September 18
August 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Navy woman raped
August 21, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3, B-4. Balboa Park rapist surprised by officer
August 23, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2. Ed Jahn: Yokohama youngsters pay tribute to sister city at dance and music concert in Organ Pavilion
August 24, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Gina Lubrano: Chinese visitors lure 25% more.
San Diego Zoo attendance is up by about 25 percent during the first weeks of the pandas’ visit, about half of the projections for the 200-day exhibit, but Zoo officials are not complaining. “I would lay awake at night before the start and think everyone was going to show up on the same day,” said Douglas Myers, executive director of the Zoological Society of San Diego.
He expects final attendance figures will reflect the projected 50 percent increase — a half million more visitors than last year for the same period — or even more.
Instead of a beginning deluge, the visitor load during the first three weeks — which is a normally high attendance period — increased an average of 25.3 percent — or by 83,447 visitors. The pandas — Basi and Yuan Yuan — are expected to boost attendance during normal low periods, after Labor Day and between winter holidays.
During the first three weeks, the lowest attendance was on opening day — July 27 — when 15,320 persons went to the Zoo. Even so, that was a 25.4 percent increase over last year.
Attendance was nearly 9,000 greater on its biggest day — Saturday, August 15. The gate of 24,194 was well below the record 39,000 people last October t — Founders Day — when admission was free and park facilities were severely overtaxed.
Percentage wise, the biggest day in the first three weeks was July 30 — a Thursday — when attendance was up 44.2 percent.
Those who theorize that visitors stayed away the first few weeks because they were afraid of huge lines may be correct. Attendance started taking big jumps last week — it was up 57 percent on Monday, 65.1 percent on Tuesday and 47.4 percent on Wednesday. So far, the lines have been manageable — with the maximum wait to see the pandas about 20 minutes, Myers said. That’s been in the middle of the day and on a weekend, Myers said.
Waits have been longer to get into the Zoo and to go on the bus tour. “Our fear was that we’d gridlock the city,” he said of preparations for crowd control. But that hasn’t happened “because of the cooperation of Balboa Park, CalTrans, the city, the parks and recreation department, the transit company, Ace Parking and the special events task force of the police department.”
Traffic has been rerouted from Interstate 5; an auxiliary visitor parking lot has been set up, and Zoo employees are being shuttled to work from the old Sears parking lot.
“All those people working together has made the first month of pandas run so smoothly,” Myers said.
Myers has reasons for his optimism about final attendance figures. Most of the people who have visited the pandas during their first three weeks on exhibit have been out-of-towners. The most loyal of Zoo-goers — members of the Zoological Society — have stayed away. “The membership rate is half of what it normally is,” he said. That’s been at the urging of the society, and there’s a reason for it, Myers sad. Special members’ days will be held during September and October.
After Labor Day and through October, the Zoo will open at 8 a.m., as it does at present — but early admission for each of seven weeks will be limited to groups of about 20,000 society members. Jeff Jouett, Zoo spokesman, said he expects on some days, numbers will be small enough to give visitors longer than normal periods to view Basi an Yuan Yuan.
Myers also suspects that many San Diego residents who are not society members are waiting for visitors to go home before going to the Zoo. Neither Myers nor other Zoo officials will say what the society paid to Chine to get the pandas here. Renovations to the exhibit, which includes sleeping quarters for the panda trainers, were estimated at about $500,000.
One bench mark of the financial success of the historic panda visit is the sale of panda merchandise, which Jouett said is breaking previous records.
“They’re far ahead of what they thought,” said Jouett, who would not release totals for competition reasons.
Initially, merchandisers anticipated each visitor would spend a minimum of 40 cents. That expectation was more than surpassed on opening day with the per capital spending at the panda shop averaging $2.21 for each visitor.
Since July 27, the Zoo has sold nearly 100,000 of the 144,000 panda T-shirts on hand. Merchandisers are scrambling to reorder and are finding that they have competition with others in San Diego who want to sell panda shirts.
Jouett said panda T-shirts are on sale at Lindbergh Field, at a nearby deli and even at competing Sea World, which has its own stock of panda merchandise.
Another bench mark of the pandas’ success is a brisk business in the sale of society memberships. During the month that included the first two weeks of the pandas’ visit, sale of memberships at the Zoo entrance nearly doubled over last year — from 876 to 1,508. While attendance is up at the Zoo, it has slumped at the Wild Animal Park, the other facility operated by the society.
Tom Hanscom, park spokesman, said three has been a drop of 19.1 percent compared to last year during the first three weeks of the pandas’ visit. He blames the decline on the park’s cancellation of headliner concerts that drew performers such as the Kingston Trio. “It’s not the panda effect, but the concert effect,” Hanscom said.
August 25, 1987, San Diego Union,, B-3. Annette Kondo: Girl Scouts tackle computer programming in Balboa Park.
Summer camp traditionalists will be relieved to know that the girls also spend time swimming, doing arts and crafts and taking field trips.
August 25, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-7. OPINION, Richard Amero: City should ignore some park advice
On July 27, the San Diego City Council returned proposals for a master plan for Balboa Park to the Parks and Recreation Board for consideration of alternatives suggested by members of the local branch of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and by Councilwoman Celia Ballesteros.
The AIA wants to keep Cabrillo Bridge open to traffic and to build a parking structure behind the Organ Pavilion. Ballesteros wants a parking garage on the site of the present Naval Hospital [sic]. The Park and Recreation Board is to hold hearings on these alternatives on September 21 and then present its findings to the City Council. As the Park and Recreation Board already has studied traffic and parking proposals for Balboa Park, it is unlikely than random and fanciful solutions by members of the AIA and by politicians are going to change their views.
The current plans, as endorsed by the Park and Recreation Board, attempts to remedy traffic and parking problems for all sections of the park. The new alternatives are not inhibited by a knowledge of how non-park and park traffic interfere with one another or how any kind of vehicular park traffic endangers life and property. They dazzle by their novelty, but they do not ensure a pleasant park experience.
The AIA plan intensifies traffic from Cabrillo Bridge to President’s Way, ruins the view from the Organ Pavilion colonnade and compounds the bottleneck on President’s Way.
Ballesteros’ plan forces people to park far away from the zoo and museums and obliges them to cross Park Boulevard. If Ballesteros wants garage on the old Naval Hospital site to accommodate parking for patrons of downtown, the community college, high school and Balboa Stadium, she may have found a logical use for it. But the use of park land for such non-park purposes should not be a recommendation for a Balboa Park master plan, and funding for same should not come from a strapped park and recreation budget. Last-minute Rube Goldberg proposals for Balboa Park from instantaneous experts play into the hands of the Central Balboa Park Association and the San Diego Zoological Society. These organizations would kill the master plans for Balboa Park, as these plans would curb their autonomy.
Key proposals of the Balboa Park master plan, which the City Council was reluctant to approve on July 27, should be supported by people who go to the park to enjoy its outdoor attractions.
These proposals have been analyzed and modified by PRC Engineering, the Park and Recreation Department and the city manager’s office. The council, through its inaction July 27, showed it was incompetent to deal with public park and recreation issues. The council’s unwillingness to champion the public park aspects of Balboa Park was in keeping with its previous decisions to eject dancers and athletes from the Palisades and to replace open space in Belmont Park with a shopping mall.
Items proposed by the new master plan and which the Central Balboa Park Association and the San Diego Zoological Society oppose are the closing of Cabrillo Bridge to automobile traffic, the diversion of traffic to a parking lot north of Cabrillo Bridge and to a parking structure in Archery Canyon, the opening of the Plazas de Panama and Pan American to pedestrians, and the use of the parking lot east of the zoo entrance for all-purpose parking.
While exact statistics regarding visitor participation in Balboa Park’s multiple activities are not available, this writer estimates , on the basis of an average daily attendance of 33,000 in 1987, that 20 percent of visitors go to the central area to enjoy its outdoor attractions, 10 percent go to museums and theaters, 35 percent go to the zoo and 35 percent go to Balboa Park areas other than the zoo and central section.
This would amount to 6,600 people daily for outdoor attractions on the central mesa, 3,300 for museums and theaters, 11,550 for the zoo and 11,550 for picnicking, sports, golf and other outdoor activities elsewhere in the park.
Outdoor activities are the park’s biggest draw with or without the inclusion of the zoo.
According to the 1960 Bartholomew planners, 67 percent of the participants in all park activities are from San Diego, city and county, whereas 72 percent of the zoo’s visitors are from outside the city and county.
The people of the city and county, not the outsiders, pay for the operation of Balboa Park through their property taxes and through their elected representatives.
What is good for museums and theater-goers in Balboa Park is bad for ordinary park visitors, as paid indoor activities and free outdoor activities conflict with one another.
Unlike most city parks, Balboa Park has a collection of buildings in its central core of varying architectural merit that some people like to look at from the outside. Many San Diegans take out-of-town visitors on Sunday afternoon automobile tours of the grounds.
This is why pedestrians must contend with bumper-to-bumper traffic from Cabrillo Bridge to President’s Way.
El Prado and its Plaza de Panama and the Palisades and its Plaza de Pan America were planned for the expositions of 1915-1916 and 1935-1936 as great pedestrian spaces.
Except for prominent guests arriving in automobiles, people arrived by street car at the east gate or walked through the Ocean or west gate. They could leave their automobiles on paid lots outside, but not on the exposition grounds.
The attractively landscaped plazas were the scene of parades, drills, athletic events, pageants, dances and band concerts, and could be so again.
Perhaps the center of Balboa Park can never achieve the colorful patina and historical significance of the great plazas of Italy and France from which automobiles have been banned, but they can generate the conviviality and charm of plazas at Disney land and Tivoli Gardens.
The proposed master plan contains provisions for adequate close-in parking for the central core.
There currently are 540 parking spaces in the Plazas de Panama and Pan American and the parking lot south of the Alcazar Gardens. By doing away with these spaces and building a parking lot in Archery Canyon and a parking lot near the Old Globe Theater, this number can be raised to 690.
Additional parking can be gained by developing or expanding parking behind the Conference and Federal Buildings.
Whether the zoo likes it or not, automobile traffic and demands for parking are going to increase on Park Boulevard during the projected 20-year life of a new master plan.
Environmental groups will fight to prevent the building of a parking lot in Florida Canyon to take care of this increased traffic. When the need arises, the City Council should follow the master plan’s recommendation by taking custody of the parking lot east of the zoo entrance and readapting it to accommodate more automobiles. The zoo should recognize that it has achieved its maximum growth in Balboa Park.
Without an easy and enticing access to El Prado from the parking lot east of the zoo entrance, there can be no rejuvenated Spanish Village, a facility that exists today in a state of suspended animation. A fast-food restaurant might be the catalyst that would bring Spanish Village to life.
The city cannot supply elderly or disabled persons with curb access to their favorite indoor attractions in Balboa Park, but it can provide them with reserved parking spaces as close as possible. Museums and theaters should provide their patrons with night security, shuttles and escalators.
Some minor extrinsic details of the proposed master plan, such as the location of the municipal gymnasium, golf course, Centro Cultural de la Raza, and the Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps, can be amended without jeopardizing the entire plan, but the traffic and parking proposals for the central area cannot be set aside, because they are the foundation of a successful Balboa Park master plan. The city cannot improve Balboa Park by doing nothing.
It already has spent $370,000 on a new master plan.
John Nolen in 1927, a citizens’ study committee in 1957, the Harland Bartholomew planners in 1960, a special Balboa Park committee in 1976, the Pekarek Group in 1983, and PRC Engineering, the Park and Recreation Board and the city manager’s office in 1987 have recommended a loop road to keep automobiles from destroying the pedestrian experience and outdoor beauty of El Prado and the Palisades.
When the City Council reconsiders the Balboa Park master plan on September 21, it should be guided by expert professional advice and not by the demands of those who can’t see beyond their own noses.
August 27, 1987, READER, 5. All Work & No Play, by Brae Canlen.
Listed below are some of the regulations (issued in August of 1986) that have governed musicians, unicyclists, jugglers, portrait artists and anyone else who wants to perform outdoors in Balboa Park. Permits must be obtained on a daily basis.
(See copy of article in this binder for complete article.)
August 27, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. A slam dunk in the park.
Try telling Audie Villanueva that the Municipal Gym doesn’t belong in Balboa Park.
First as a player and now as a city recreation employee, Villanueva came to know the gym as “the place where everyone comes.” From his office overlooking the gym, he can see all three of its large courts, hear the tap of the basketballs, the shouts of the players, the shoes squeaking on the wooden floor. He’s seen the greats and the near-greats who come to play here — and the ordinary folks, the inner-city kids, the high school summer leagues, the middle-aged amateur athletes, the people, young and old, who come just to watch.
August 27, 1987, San Diego Union, B-11. OPINION, Letter, Bob Thomas: wants to be able to drive over Cabrillo Bridge . . . If they eliminate the bridge entrance to the park, I won’t vote for the new plan in September.
August 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-6. Globe slates benefit for AIDS patients
August 30, 1987, San Diego Tribune. Unpublished letter from Richard Amero to Joe Holley, The Tribune.
Before the City Council adopts a Master Plan for Balboa Park or places another park bond issue on the ballot, it should provide the people with the recreational facilities and open-air attractions they ask for the most and it should tell all fee-charging organizations in the parks, now supported in part by public subsidy, to look after themselves.
August 30, 1987, San Diego Union, C-2. OPINION: San Diego offers finest stage productions to be seen anywhere in the United States
September/October, 1987, San Diego History Center HISTORY NEWS. Upcoming Propositions SDHC members should vote for . . . Board of Directors endorses Propositions B and C.
September/October, 1987. Brochure: The Mission Bay Park and Balboa Park Preservation Bonds . . . The Choice Is Clear . . . Vote Yes Twice.
September 1, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Body near Golden Hill Recreation Center in park identified.
September 3, 1987, READER, 5. The Big Frieze, by Paul Krueger.
Antique auto buffs will soon displace fold dancers as tenants of Balboa Park’s Conference Building, but the car fanciers are grinding their gears over a plan to renovate the historic fifty-two year old building. That structure, like the neighboring municipal gymnasium and the Federal Building was designed by noted architect Richard Requa for the 1935 international exposition and is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. Though the million-dollar rehabilitation proposed by auto museum supporters would retain much of the Conference Building’s original character, it calls for the installation of two large panes of glass above the front doors and tiles to cover a portion of the outside walls.
But the secretary of the city’s Historic Site Board balks at those changes. He wants the remodeling to adhere even more strictly to architect Requa’s design, which means no new glass, no new tiles, and the addition of a thin strip of intricate plaster handiwork that once decorated the building’s exterior. “We should restore it as closely as possible [or] at least not preclude doing things at a later date,” says site board secretary Ron Buckley.
Members of the site board met last week to review the museum’s remodeling plans and to debate secretary Buckley’s counterproposal, which he bases on original architectural drawings and old photos of the Conference Building. The result was a mixed decision. Though Buckley had urged site board members to reject museum architect Donald Goldman’s plan to cover an eight-foot-tall by sixty-foot-long section of the exterior walls with glazed tile, the board agreed with Goldman’s opinion that the tile swath is necessary to protect the walls from graffiti and scruff marks inflicted by inconsiderate park visitors. But the board members agreed with Buckley’s suggestion that the museum tenants attempt to re-create the long, thin plaster frieze decorated with Mayan motifs that once covered a portion of those walls. And they don’t want any glass installed above the museum doors.
Museum architect Goldman says he’ll begin the search for experts who can cast plaster reproductions of the frieze, thought he’s worried that the job might be a very expensive one — if it can be done at all.
“The only way to do it is one-hundred percent right,” warns Goldman. And he says his clients don’t mind hanging decorative banners where they’d proposed the glass. Buckley, however, may not drop his opposition to the new tiles. He will make his concerns known to the city manager’s office, and he says his site board members want to hear from museum backers again after they’ve researched the plaster frieze project. That could delay the remodeling project, which is scheduled to begin early next year and be finished by next summer.
Architect Goldman seems satisfied with the site board’s initial comments, but he’s a bit distressed that he didn’t learn of the board’s review power until “this late in the game.” He says city officials have given him conflicting comments on the Historic Site Board’s power — Buckley says it’s “advisory” to the city manager and council — but Goldman has learned it’s expedient to cooperate. “If you cross them and raise a big stink, it’ll cause you more of a problem than if you just do what they say,” he comments.
September 3, 1987, READER. Color Them Gone, Balboa Park’s Future May Be In The Wrong Hands, 1, 10, 11, 12, 13 14, 15.
In the next few weeks, the San Diego City Council will be grappling with a proposed master plan for Balboa Park. In all, there are now six alternatives to that original plan, drawn up by San Diego consultant Ron Pekarek, and they reflect an utter lack of consensus on how to plot the future of San Diego’s urban oasis. One way to understand how such discord has crippled attempts to write a new plan is to go back and inspect an old plan — the one drawn up by Samuel Parsons in 1903.
Many people mark (the) world’s fair [sic], which celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal, as the seminal event in the creation of one of the country’s great urban parks. Yet in fact, it was also the main reason for all the dissent today over how to play the park’s future. For if the expo buildings hadn’t been constructed, later restored, and finally handed over to some of the city’s cultural institutions, the park might still be primarily apark, rather than what it has become: a hybridized collection of competing interests, where sacred cultural cows have become dependent on the automobile and where the most important tenants — the trees and plants — have been ignored and forgotten.
Is it possible for the cultural interests and the horticultural interests to coexist harmoniously in Balboa Park? This is the central question that the proposed master plan fails to resolve. Plenty of trees and plants have lived and died and disappeared, and may more will be removed for further building expansion in the future. When are buildings ever removed from the park?
One reason that the Pekarek Plan and its alternatives lack anything approaching a cohesive vision is precisely because there isn’t a landscape plan with which to provide a starting point, a context for planning the rest of the park.
In San Diego, making the plant collection a top priority would necessitate a reversal of the institutional inertia that began to tip in favor of the special interests as far back as the Panama-California Exposition and which was reinforced after the second world’s fair in the park, held in 1935.
September 3, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Dona Steckbauer: City may impose fees on fund-raising events.
September 4, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-15. Involved electorate means good government, by Frances Zimmerman, member of San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Depending on who’s doing the talking these days, Mission Beach Belmont Park is being restored, destroyed or developed. What some people consider a responsible renovation, others call a regrettable “mall-ing.”
Government action of Mission Beach Belmont Park has concluded. But the issue heightened Sierra Club concern about our electoral system, the extent to which commercial-recreational uses will be allowed in San Diego parks, nd the importance of timely action by residents on park land-use issues..
September 5, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Kristine Moe: Dinosaur from Carlsbad bets a new home in Natural History Museum
September 7, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Robert Dietrich: Navy hospital’s solution; civilians shore up staff.
September 7, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Rita Calvano: Campaign to fund parks will focus on “civic pride.”
The campaign is being run by Bob Wickers, an associate of Dresner-Sykes of New York, a political consulting firm whose San Diego clients have included Mayor O’Connor and Sen. Pete Wilson, R-Calif.
September 7, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Letter, Craig J. Moya: Park’s cultural fair was non-political; answers objections to Friends of Nicaraguan Culture booth.
We told Mr. Kreger (Letters, 8-26-87) that the cultural fair was intended by its promoters to be non-political, and we would be glad to discuss the Central American situation at some other time.
September 10, 1987, READER. Letter, Richard Amero in answer to Neal Matthew’s article, September 7. The Petrified Park.
Neal Matthews has shown he can change his mind about Balboa Park (“Color Them Gone,” September 7). Perhaps, if he can escape the lure of the botanists and can read The Politics of Park Design by Dr. Galen Cranz, he may further transform his views.
At the moment, Matthews equates parks with trees and plants and leaves out people.
Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., Samuel Parsons, Jr., and John C. and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. planned their parks for people to enjoy. As social egalitarians, they regarded their parks as expressions of democracy in action.
In their designs, they alternated open green spaces and trees to create an illusion of vast spaces bordered by forests.
Parsons was fascinated by the views outward from San Diego’s great city park, views within of miniature canyons, and the desert-like terrain. He advised against giving the park a greensward (i.e., Eastern) treatment.
Kate Sessions and George W. Marston backed Parsons, but amateur botanists in the city insisted on lawns, flower beds and expensive irrigation systems.
As a consequence of the work of the local Floral Society, the first exposition was given the title of “San Diego Garden Fair.” Helter-skelter planting for the exposition produced flash-pan results, but the aftermath was anarchy. Eucalyptus towered over the California Tower, acacias became messy, and lush growth hid buildings.
After the first exposition, Balboa Park became “a city within a city,” but lost the rural Eden within a city that the Olmsteds and Parsons had envisioned.
The Olmsteds and Parsons did not want to turn their tree-bordered meadows into zoos and botanic gardens. They said such displays should be placed outside public parks.
It may be possible to locate small gardens in inconspicuous places within Balboa Park, as at Golden Gate Park, where sequestered and sheltered nooks do not detract from the interlocking landscape. The zoo has planted trees and shrubs alongside trails with labels indicating their scientific and vernacular names. Passers-by are within eye but not hand distance. Most of the plants are exotic and expensive and require careful nurturing. Balboa Park should not duplicate the botanic extravagance of the zoo because of the costs and because people would steal the plants.
Much of the horticulture in Balboa Park exhibits the same insensitivity and disorder as do the buildings. Flowers and trees are planted in awkward places. If enough trees grow in rows close to one another, as they do on the former lawn east of Eighth Avenue Drive and south of El Prado, people will not sit there. If enough trees form an impassable barrier, as they do on the slopes near the Quince Street overpass, children and adults will not play under their branches. If enough spindly palms rise high in the air, as they do in front of the Palisades Building, the architectural scale of the buildings will become ridiculous.
Unrelated gardens along the west rim of Florida Canyon are all foreground. At close view, they offer specimens of value, but, as a landscape composition, they are incoherent. Rare agave and cacti and prize roses disappear quickly.
A new master plan should have a horticultural element, as did the 1959 Balboa Park Citizens Study and the 1960 Bartholomew Plan. This element should embrace the entire park and blend the landscape details so that they please the eye and invite visitors to linger and to play. Baseball diamonds between Middle and South Drives in Golden Gate Park are surrounded by a natural amphitheater and not by wooden or concrete bleachers.
In keeping with the wishes of the Olmsteds and Samuel Parsons, landscaping in Balboa Park should be simplified, pruned and periodically thinned so people can interact with it and with one another.
A secret that Olmsted, Sr. understood is how to balance public focuses, such as the Bethesda Fountain in Central park, with personal spaces, such as the Ramble. Each enhances the other visually and socially as each offers a different and contrasting kind of personal experience.
We can petrify Balboa Park with too many artificial botanic gardens just as easily as we can petrify a park with too many roads, parking lots and buildings.
(Note: In re-typing this article, I could not avoid the temptation to change the syntax, rwa)
September 10, 1987, Letter, Michael Praetorius expressing his approval of the Matthew’s article in his own inimitable way of which the following is an example:
San Diego does not have a government; it has a predatory, scheming, inept bunch of parasites who leech off this city every chance they get. Citizens deserve this shit because they take it. It is time to fight back in any way we can.
September 14, 1987, Letter, Mayor Maureen O’Connor to Richard Amero . . . It has been recommended . . . that the matter of the Balboa Park Plan be noticed and heard on November 9, 1987, instead of September 21, 1987, as originally requested.
September 16, 1987, San Diego Union,, D-1. Naval Hospital gear . . . medical electronic equipment.
September 17, 1987, READER. Letter, Carol N. Landsman, on the Matthews’ article.
I’ve been following the Balboa Park master planning process for more than four years now and have to take issue with Neal Matthew’s statement that the seven master plan alternatives “reflect an utter lack of consensus on how to plot the future” of Balboa Park (“Color Them Gone,” September 3).
On many points, six sets of recommendations are generally in agreement, although it is true that they often differ from the recommendations of master plan consultant Ron Pekarek. Major parking and access issues (Should the Laurel Street bridge be closed or left open? Should parking structures be built, and, if so, where?) still need to be resolved, but this should not overshadow the extent to which substantial concurrence has been achieved regarding the future of the park.
Mr. Matthew’s article does clearly point out the need to address landscaping problems and performs a valuable public service by letting people know what a poor job we have all done as custodians of this incredible resource and treasure. In November, when San Diegans go to the polls, I hope they will also understand that the bond issue represents only a small part of Balboa Park’s overall needs, which we have collectively disregarded for too long.
September 17, 1987, READER. Letter Tanja Winter, La Jolla, who congratulates Neal Matthew’s for his courage.
Congratulations to Neal Matthews for his fine article on Balboa Park. It takes courage to tell it like it is.
Especially shocking is the new naval hospital, illegally constructed, in violation of both the spirit and the letter of the law. It is a monstrosity, taking up large amounts of valuable and scarce park space, which was essentially stolen from the people of San Diego.
The proposed expansion of the space theater is equally unjustified. Greedy and thoughtless encroachment on public park space must be stopped. No now or expanded building of any kind should be allowed, in order to protect the park’s legitimate purpose: preservation of the “restful beauty of nature.”
Ironically, in the midst of the current building mania, which encourages commercial expansion, the present plan simultaneously calls for the destruction of Centro Cultural de la Raza, a unique, non-profit cultural center that has for years provided space for artists, dance classes, photo and art exhibits, and performance space. Could it be that the Centro was singled out for demolition precisely because it serves the Chicano community and is non-profit?
We should demand that members of the San Diego City Council fully commit themselves to the preservation of open and park spaces and show greater sensitivity to the cultural diversity of our community.
September 17, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. Steve Schmidt: Sierra Club proposes 2nd Balboa Park bridge.
The bridge would be built along the southern edge of the park, spanning state Route 163 from Marston Point to the Aerospace Museum.
Officials with the organization hope their proposal will help kill controversial plans for a new road and mammoth parking garage in the heart of the park.
September 17, 1987, San Diego Union, E-6. Museum of Man gets $150,000 grant from El Paso Natural Gas Co. to renovate a gallery in the west wing.
September 21, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Los Penasquitos Canyon preserve eyes as next jewel among city parks, by Jeff Ristine.
September 22, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-4. Rita Calvano: Sierra Club claims second bridge could end Balboa Park controversy
Specifically, the new two-way bridge could be approached from Balboa Drive on the west or from President’s Way on the east via a connecting road that has already been proposed for behind the San Diego Aerospace Museum.
September 22, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Harold D. Mahan, new executive director of San Diego Natural History Museum, by Kristine Moe . . . replaces Frederick S. Schram, who has been acting director since Charles A. McLaughlin resigned in January.
September 24, 1987, READER. Letter, Barbara Mc Dermott, Spanish Village Art Center, who objects to Neal Matthew’s reference to Spanish Village as a “parkland gobbler.”
The enlargement of the Spanish Village was and is the idea of Mr. Pekarek, and not the artists and craftsmen of the Spanish Village Art Center, Inc.
September 24, 1987, READER, Letter, Bernard Conrad, Golden Hill, claiming Neal Matthew’s “hit the nail directly on the head in his article about the planning (or lack of planning) in Balboa Park.”
What has truly happened is that a small city has been built within the original 1400 acres designated Balboa Park and that city wants to grow. Trained animal exhibits, Big Olaf concessions, laser rock shows, gift shops, restaurants, theaters, and future plans for grandiose parking structures and supportive roadways. Typical also is the “hunger-panic” for the tourist dollar that we never seem to get enough of. “Feed me,” the monster cries. “FEED ME!”
Approximately three-fourths of Balboa Park has been paved, built upon or fenced off for special interests, while the original concept of the park has been lost in the paper shuffle. But does the public realize that there are plans on the table today to increase the amount of traffic into the center of the park, eradicate natural canyons in favor of parking structures and buildings and roads — and nowhere in those plans is “nature” (what’s that?) considered, other than to augment of disguise the growth of the inner-park city: the City of Balboa Park.
September 24, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Rita Calvano: Mayor O’Connor pushes for voter support of park proposals.
September 24, 1987, San Diego Union, B-4. Drive for park bonds in launched, by Jim Okerblom.
September 26, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-3. OPINION, Letter, Michael Feitler: parks needs trees, not more buildings.
September 30, 1987, Letter, William W. Hayton, Trustee and Annual Giving Chairman, Natural History Museum to members:
“Why are we constructing a Desert Hall when anyone can drive 50 miles and be in the desert?”
“What are we doing to help bridge the gap between the Museum and science education in the classroom?”
September 30, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-7. Herb Fredman: To profit or no: That is the question.
What are the respective roles of not-for-profit and profit-making entities? Government policies at all levels seek to help both voluntary institutions and small businesses, yet the two sectors inevitably cross each other’s boundaries.
October, 1987. The Neighborhood REPORTER. Bernie Conrad: Balboa Park 1987: For lack of a plan . . . “Plant the Park” Plan.
October 1, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Daniel C. Carson: California State Bills funding San Diego park work become law
October 3, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-8. Robert J. Hawkins: Cirque du Soleil casts spell of enchanting illusions
October 7, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Letter, Karen Bowling: volleyball limited.
Another casualty of the Auto Museum in Balboa Park will be a 20 percent loss of volleyball played at the park as of January 1, when the program will go from five to four courts, two nights a week in the Federal Building to accommodate table tennis which will be kicked out of the Conference Building and will be reduced from 19 to 10 tables.
October 8, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-10. Letter, Constance Monzingo-Fish, President, San Diego Junior Theater: City Council should re-evaluate support of youth art programs.
The portion of the Transient Occupancy Tax that the arts is given is a pittance. To debate the value of umbrella funding vs. begging directly from the City Council becomes a political nightmare.
October 9, 1987, San Diego Tribune. 1980-2000 Regional population forecast (in thousands).
October 11, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 2. EDITORIAL: Yes on Props. A, B.
It is important for those favoring approval of the larger bond issue to also vote for the smaller one so that, if the higher level of funding is not approved, the lower level is there as a fallback.
October 11, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Jim Okerblom: Initiatives for park improvements face neighborhood test.
October 11, 1987, San Diego Union, B-9. Initiatives for park improvements.
Bob Wickers, campaign chairman, acknowledged that his group has fallen short of its fund-raising goal of $250,000. It has about $110,000 committed, he said, and may be able to raise $40,000 more.
October 12, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Gay activist Bruce Russell found beaten in Balboa Park.
October 14, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-6. Superior Court Judge Franklin B. Orfield rules for Museum of Art in 1980 dispute, by Mike Konon.
A judge has ruled that San Diego Museum of Art trustees acted reasonably, responsibly and in good faith in 1980 when members of the museum voted narrowly to give up their voting rights.
October 14, 1987, San Diego Union, C-4. Museum of Art wins battle over vote issue, by Mitch Himaka.
After six years of litigation, the San Diego Museum of Art yesterday won approval to change its bylaws to eliminate membership voting on the election of museum trustees.
October 16, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-4. Kevin Brass: Kidzartz Festival in Balboa Park tomorrow
October 17, 1987, San Diego Union, C-1. Nancy Cleeland: Cirque du Soleil in Balboa Park.
October 20, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 1. San Diego Automotive Museum Gearing Up, by Janny Scott.
“Museums, particularly on this scale, are big business,” architect Don Goldman said recently. “Operating budgets are huge. And that makes marketing and merchandising king.”
October 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune B-1. Kathryn Balint: Navy asked to demolish old hospital
October 20, 1987, San Diego Union, B-2, B-8. Council votes to have Navy raze old hospital buildings.
October 20, 1987, San Diego Union, B-6. EDITORIAL: Park bonds, Election ’87, Props. B & C.
October 21, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: Vote yes to save Balboa Park.
October 21, 1987, San Diego Tribune, C-1, C-3. A lady fights — and loses; Phyllis Ferry’s case against San Diego Museum of Art a test “of principle.”
October 22, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 1. Voters face two taxing choices on aid for San Diego’s premier parks, by Leonard Bernstein.
Though he agrees that almost all the improvements are needed, Jack Sanders, president of United Taxpayers of San Diego, argues that the tax increase evades the spirit of Proposition 13, which told city officials to fund services out of their budgets. He also favors the pay-as-you-go approach over heavy borrowing and argues that user fees would spread the cost to tourists and park users who live outside the city.
October 23, 1987, San Diego Union, D-13. The ghouls rule Museum of Man
October 24, 1987, San Diego Union, B-15. Letter, Richard Amero, opposing Propositions B and C.
There is little in the various proposed projects for Balboa Park in Propositions B and C that will enlarge the park experience for the person who goes to the park because it is a park.
October 25, 1987, San Diego Union, F-2. Kay Kaiser: A statue is never as good as the real thing; public art is too little, too late to compensate for our history.
The (Belmont Park) shopping center developers’ offering is a bronze sculpture depicting three people riding the Giant Dipper roller coaster that once operated on the site.
October 26, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-8. City officials urge ‘yes’ votes on funds for bay, park repair.
October 27, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1, A-6. Rita Calvano: City voters will decide on bay, park bond issue.
A week from today, San Diego residents will answer the question of whether to tax themselves for the next 30 years to clean up the water in Mission Bay and give several of the buildings in Balboa Park a new lease on life.
If they answer yes to Proposition B for $93.5 million, or to Proposition C for $73.8 million, that means there could be fewer sewage spills and resultant noise pollution in Mission Bay and fewer health hazards.
And in Balboa Park, the House of Hospitality and the partially condemned House of Charm would be rebuilt and several other structures that house museums or other cultural institutions there would be improved, repaired and upgraded.
“We’re asking (voters) to save, restore and preserve . . . Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park,” Mayor O’Connor said.
As premier attractions in San Diego, these parks receive millions of visitors a year who go to Balboa Park for art and cultural history, the Old Globe Theater or Starlight Opera outdoor theater and several forms of recreation.
Mission Bay Park is the scene for water sports, jogging and sunbathing.
Both parks are favorite picnic spots.
Proponents of the bond measures include such organizations as the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Taxpayers Association and the Sierra Club.
The Libertarian Party and the United Taxpayers of San Diego oppose the measures, saying that the bonds are too expensive a way to pay for the improvements.
Both groups, whose representatives wrote ballot arguments in opposition, say that the repairs should come out of the regular city budget and that much of the money for them could be raised by charging visitors to park at the attractions.
“I don’t think that there’s a lot of quarrel about the need for the repairs,” said Dick Rider, vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of San Diego. “The question is who should pay for them and why hasn’t the city budgeted for this in the past.”
Added Jack R. Sanders, president of the recently formed United Taxpayers of San Diego: “We are really mad that they (the city) came out for new taxes before they made any attempt at all to make the parks more self-supporting.”
Each measure requires a two-thirds vote for approval. The $93.5 million in bonds would be sold if both were authorized.
Proposition B could raise taxes by as much as $24 per $100,000 of assessed property value; Proposition C as much as $18 per $100,000 of assessed property value. But the actual tax rate could fluctuate for a couple of reasons while the bonds were being paid off.
“As the total assessed valuation increases citywide, the percentage that each land owner (pays) will decrease (because) the tax burden is spread over a larger base,” city economist Jack Farris said.
The actual cost of the bonds will depend on interest rates. For example, at a 9 percent interest rate, which Farris said is plausible, the $73.8 million bond would cost $213 million, and the $93.5 million bond would cost $272 million, Farris said.
Mission Bay Park would receive $46.9 million under Proposition B; $37.9 million under Proposition C. Both measures would provide $25.1 million for an improved sewer system and new storm drains to greatly reduce sewage contamination in Mission Bay where odors and pollutants sometimes drive people away, if they’re not already cautioned by the city to stay out of the bay because of potential health hazards.
A project to shore up the bay — actually to put more sand there — and the purchasing of equipment to prevent further erosion are also included in the $25.1 million.
These measures also would include $8.6 million to develop the South Shores area of Mission Bay; $1.7 million to add new and improved restrooms; $2.5 million to build pedestrian and bicycle paths from Sail Bay to East Crown Shores; $1 million to improve parking and traffic circulation.
The additional $9 million under Proposition B would include $7 million for improvements to Fiesta Island.
Under Proposition B, Balboa Park would receive $46.6 million instead of the $36 million that would become available under Proposition C.
Both propositions would provide money to tear down and rebuild the House of Hospitality and the House of Charm, necessities because the structures are falling apart, said John Leppert, assistant to the city manager. They are two of several buildings constructed for either of the two international expositions, one of which was held in 1915, the other in 1935.
The House of Hospitality, which would cost $11.5 million to rebuild, is used for banquets and weddings but also leases out much of its space to community organizations. The Café del Rey Moro, the main restaurant in the park, also is there.
The House of Charm has little activity in it now because it’s partially condemned. It would cost about $5 million to rebuild the house and its arcades.
Other buildings that would receive attention are the Museum of Man ($2.35 million); Old Globe Theater ($1.1 million); Museum of Art ($1.57 million); Casa de Balboa ($1.39 million); Natural History Museum ($2.15 million); Centro Cultural de la Raza ($250,000); Balboa Park Club ($3 million); Palisades Building ($550,000); Federal Building ($1 million); Municipal Gym ($1.5 million); and development of a Japanese Garden ($2 million); traffic circulation and other changes to make it easier for drivers, pedestrians and others to use the park, including the handicapped for whom wheelchair ramps would be built and other improvements made to make the park more accessible ($2.5 million).
Improvements on the buildings would differ from one to another, but generally would include new heating systems to replace the old-fashioned boilers, steel-framed doors to replace wooden ones, and new floors and roofs.
“These are things that have been put on back burners for years and years because the city hasn’t had money to replace them,” Leppert said. “So now, we’re going to the voters with a real program and saying, ‘There are the things that need to be done. This is how much it’s going to cost,’ and hopefully, they will provide the money.”
The additional $10 million in improvements to Balboa Park under Proposition B would include $6 million for a municipal gymnasium to be built outside Balboa Park and another $2.5 million for more improvements to make traffic circulation and pedestrian accesses more efficient.
The city council decided on two ballot measures to give people a choice, hoping that would encourage voters to approve a least the lesser amount.
“Definitely, please vote on (at least) the minimum . . . ,” O’Connor said. “Obviously, it would be nice to have (Proposition) B, which costs a little bit more but gets us a lot more.”
The San Diego Chamber of Commerce prefers the measure for the larger amount.
“We think that Balboa Park is a precious resource for the city and that the need for improvement in Balboa Park has been established,” said Dot Migdal, a chamber vice president. “And we need to protect against sewage failures in Mission Bay.”
Mark Nelson, executive director of the San Diego Taxpayers Association, said his organization traditionally has supported such bond proposals “as the most equitable method of financing large capital improvement projects when other money is unavailable.”
He said the improvements that would come from a successful bond election are needed, “without question.”
Rider says many of the improvements could be financed simply by charging parking fees to visitors to the parks.
“It’s crazy to have free parking,” Rider said.
O’Connor thinks otherwise.
“I am not going to do that,” she said. “The sentiment in this community is not to charge for parking at the beaches and at our parks.”
She said the repairs could not be budgeted for because Proposition 13, a property tax-cutting measure passed in 1978, cut too much from city revenues.
October 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Kathryn Balint: Old hospital ward suggested as interim jail
October 28, 1987, San Diego Union, C-1. Welton Jones: Craig Noel, Globe together for 50 years
October 29, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6, B-10. Rita Calvano: Quince Street footbridge declared ‘historical’ by San Diego Historical Site Board
October 29, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. Mitch Himaka: Use of old hospital unit as jail urged
October 30, 1987, San Diego Union, B-7. Letters, R. G. Oliver.
The way things exist in the parks at this time, more improvements mean more things to be vandalized. Let’s see an increase in police patrols, the removal of drug users and derelicts, and the stricter enforcement of laws, so families can feel safe about using the parks again.
October 30, 1987, San Diego Union, B-7, Joan and Monty Griffin.
The most critical park problems are vehicular access, circulation and parking, yet only a small fraction of these (bond issue) funds are earmarked to solve these severe problems.
October 30, 1987, San Diego Union, E-6. Robin Kleven: Tropical fish show in Casa del Prado Saturday and Sunday.
October 31, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. EDITORIAL: Bluebirds, not jailbirds, in park.
In the past, the city considered all kinds of unparklike schemes, from turning Florida Canyon into a reservoir — an idea mercifully dropped — to installing a landfill in Balboa Park which unfortunately came to fruition.
We thought we has seen the last of these strange proposals, but the county grand jury surprised us this week. It suggested that the park is a fine place for a temporary jail (in the pick stucco psychiatric ward at the old Naval Hospital).
Circa November 1, 1987, Unpublished essay by Richard Amero: Why voters reject bond issues.
It doesn’t take a wizard to see that the money allocated to Mission Bay under both bond proposals would go toward general park improvements of benefit to all Mission Bay visitors and that the largest part of the money for Balboa Park would go toward the promotion of institutional uses and the expansion of buildings.
November 4, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Rita Calvano: Mayor O’Connor may ask again for park, bay bonds vote.
The defeats of Propositions B and C, the multimillion-dollar bond measures for improvements to Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park were by such small margins that Mayor O’Connor thinks another ballot measure may be worth trying.
But if there’s a next time, she hopes to circumvent any measure that requires a 66-2/3 percent vote for authorization, as both of yesterday’s propositions did.
Instead, O’Connor said she’ll ask City Manager John Lockwood to determine the possibility of putting a measure on the ballot that could be passed with a simple majority vote.
November 4, 1987, San Diego Union. Defeat of Propositions B and C.
City Manager John Lockwood said, “the issue was clear. Apparently 40 percent of the people just aren’t that interested in Balboa Park or Mission Bay.”
November 5, 1987, San Diego Union, B-7. Lori Weisberg: Election ‘87; transit tax OK is encouraging to other areas
November 5, 1987, San Diego Union, B-7. Proposition B: $93 million bonds for Balboa Park, Mission Bay.
YES 106,563 59% NO 74,209 41%
Proposition C: $73 million bonds for Balboa
Park, Mission Bay
YES 109,797 61% NO 69,452 39%
Proposition D: Restrict Mission Bay commercialization
YES 135,633 80% NO 34,315 20%
November 6, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Use of lease revenue urged for Mission Bay, by Kathryn Balint.
November 6, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Rita Calvano: Don’t ban cars from park span, keep Cabrillo Bridge open, Park and Recreation Board now says.
The board said that is approval was in concept only and that it still wants all cars kept out of the center of the park someday. This could happen only if the bridge were closed.
The board agreed yesterday to discard the idea of an entrance at Quince Street on the park’s west side.
The board approved the possibility of a parking garage at te site of the parking lot behind the Organ Pavilion.
The board voted against extending 28th Street to Grape Street.
It endorsed the idea of building a gymnasium on San Diego City College property.
The board approved moving the Park and Recreation Department’s maintenance yard from the Arizona landfill to a part of the parkland that the city will received from the Navy next year.
November 7, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-3. Letter, T. S. Schumaker, AIA: Develop Balboa Park’s eastern reserve.
I suggest improving the core park with a simple parking structure — that works — as to access and egress, as presented by the architects. This would free the flow of people and liberate the core. Then, as a first priority, we must develop and finish the remaining east park reserve in a responsible manner, to a “park-like” park, as intended by our park’s founding fathers.
November 7, 1987, San Diego Tribune, D-3. Letter, Robert C. Lindsey, Santee.
. . . if a temporary (jail) facility is a must, then the grand jury’s recommendation should be considered along with any other options that may be presented.
November 7, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Steve Schmidt: Cabrillo Bridge auto ban idea dies.
San Diego park officials have scrapped a proposal to ban vehicles from Balboa Park’s majestic Cabrillo Bridge following fierce opposition to the idea.
The city Park and Recreation Department is recommending instead that traffic along the two-lane bridge be reduced to a single one-way lane that would feed into the heart of the park.
November 8, 1987, San Diego Union, C-2. Noel and the Old Globe.
November 9, 1987. Unpublished statement of Richard Amero at the City Council meeting November 9, on the Balboa Park Master Plan.
November 9, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-7. EDITORIAL: Shaping Balboa Park’s Future.
. . . from the sometimes heated debate over how to separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the core of the park came a compromise that we believe should benefit all park users.
It permits one-way traffic on Cabrillo Bridge, closes the parking lot in front of the Museum of Art and routes all traffic south at the House of Charm.
But if parking is to be eliminated on the Prado, it is imperative that replacement spaces by provided nearby.
The most logical is construction of a 300-space parking garage on the existing parking lot behind Alcazar Gardens.
November 9, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-7. Council decisions on park master plan are crucial, by Celia Ballesteros.
Balboa Park was donated to San Diegans 119 years ago and set apart as an island of beauty, tranquillity and entertainment — an urban sanctuary.
Today, by the millions, we visit, run, walk, rest and play throughout its 1,400 acres [sic], enjoying its multiple attractions. We love the park. In fact, we are loving it to death.
Today, the San Diego City Council will make decisions on the park master plan that is designed to serve as the park’s planning document for the next 20 years. The preservation of this resource as a free, open park for the enjoyment of all San Diegans depends on the council’s approval of a plan which accommodates increased travel to and through the park, without turning “paradise into a parking lot.”
If the park is not to become one more pedestrian/vehicular traffic snarl, strangling movement, scenic open spaces and the many natural canyons in a cloud of noxious carbon monoxide, the issues of foot access, auto circulation and parking must be addressed.
With the November 3 failure of Propositions B and C to fund park transit improvements through general obligation bonds, it is critical that the city identify short- and long-term transportation alternatives from the standpoint of land use.
It is possible to strike a reasonable balance between maintaining a strong traffic circulation element while retaining the pedestrian ambiance, without robbing the park of its natural and exhaustible resources, such as Archery Canyon.
There are several amenable traffic and parking elements proposed in the plan which will limit the encroachment on public land yet encourage solutions to the problem of excessive traffic around the park.
The acute need for parking in the downtown and uptown areas is spilling over into the issue of Balboa Park. People traveling to these areas to work and shop are tying up parking space needed for park visitors.
For the last few months, a task force including representatives from San Diego City College has been working with the 8th District office to seek solutions to these problems in the Balboa Park area and the consideration of a joint city/college sports complex. The task force has suggested two logical alternatives.
Either proposal supplies auto space in excess of the projected park requirements and presents an answer to downtown’s peripheral parking needs. A peripheral parking concept as a solution to downtown’s shortage of available parking space is supported by the Central City Association, San Diegans, Inc. and Ernest Hahn’s Center City Planning Committee.
The task force recommends a major three to four-story complex, capable of housing up to 2,800 vehicles, constructed at Inspiration Point on the former Naval Hospital complex. Primary access to the parking structure would be from Pershing Drive. The upper story would be at the Park Boulevard and President’s Way elevation, which could be reclaimed as an active grassy open space.
With proper construction and landscaping, this lot would be the least intrusive and would satisfy parking needs for the next 20 years.
The San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has proposed an additional parking facility behind Spreckels Organ Pavilion as an answer to the intra-parking need, utilizing existing parking space. The proposed two-level subterranean parking, featuring 100-percent landscaping at street level, would hold up to 700 spaces.
Tuesday’s vote effectively killed funding for this facility, falling short of the required two-thirds vote. However, almost 60 percent of the voters recognized the need for park improvements. The City Council will have to find a positive response to that majority.
Also, the retention of the Alcazar Garden surface lot will assure a practical, convenient area of approximately 130 more spaces.
City College property along Highway 5, being used as surface parking, also has potential as a second alternative for a multi-story parking facility because of its slope.
The Cabrillo Bridge is the most attractive entrance into the park, and should remain open to a single lane of in-bound traffic. This one-lane would continue around the House of Charm (where a passenger drop-off point would be provided) and continue down the existing Pan-American road east and connect with President’s Way, which would remain a two-way street.
Through traffic could leave the park via Pershing Drive and Park Boulevard. The existing second traffic lane would be for use of bicyclists and the public shuttle or tram system for moving people within the park. Existing walkways would be maintained for pedestrians.
The most important component in the traffic-circulation proposal is the shift in focus from Laurel Street to Pershing Drive as the main access into the park — maintaining Laurel Street as a viable entry, but concentrating on Pershing Drive with its superior freeway access.
Until a park shuttle system is in place, and people have become accustomed to it, no parking lots should be eliminated and no major road changes should be instituted.
One final element in the Balboa Park Master Plan is an appropriate location for a new municipal gymnasium. City College officials want to discuss the potential location of a new gym on city- and college-owned property south of Balboa Park across from Inspiration Point. This sports complex would include a new municipal gym, an Olympic quality swimming pool and the new refurbished Balboa Stadium. This would have the effect of adding land to a shrinking Balboa Park.
The park master plan represents a golden opportunity for the council to adopt a document that will provide comprehensive goals and objectives sensitive to San Diego’s love affair with Balboa Park. It will assure the preservation of the park’s amenities and natural beauty for generations to come and maintain its continued accessibility as an urban sanctuary.
November 10, 1987, Los Angeles Times, II, 1. Council Delays Decision to Keep Cabrillo Bridge Open, by Leonard Bernstein.
The City Council on Monday took its first small steps toward planning the future of Balboa Park but put off a decision on a recommendation to convert the Cabrillo Bridge entrance to a one-way eastbound street.
At the suggestion of Councilman Bill Cleator, the council deferred a decision on the controversial Cabrillo Bridge entrance to allow a consultant 120 days to study parking, access and circulation throughout the 1,100-acre park. The council also postponed decisions on proposed new parking structures until after the study is completed.
The council did agree to look for a new location for the municipal gym outside the park, to leave the Centro Cultural de la Raza at its current location in Pepper Grove and not to oust Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls from their facilities in the park’s northwest corner when their lease expires in 2005.
November 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: Balboa Park traffic ties up City Council.
After 4-1/2 hours of discussion in a special meeting at the park last night, the council postponed action on the traffic matters until March.
November 10, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. Steve Schmidt: City delays, will do Balboa Park study plan to revamp park’s road and parking system.
Noting plans for the Alcazar Gardens parking lot and other proposals, Bernard Conrad and other members of a group called Plant the Park reminded officials that the city has long strayed from the original intent of the park.
He said the city has allowed museums and other institutions and roads to disturb what was originally meant to be greenery.
And he noted that the park’s undeveloped east side is currently the site of a landfill, maintenance yard and a nursery.
November 11, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Preston Turegano: Birth-control chemical trimming pigeon ranks.
November 13, 1987, San Diego Tribune, F-1. January Riddle: Frank Lloyd Wright’s visions for San Diego remain un-built; drew plans for 3 San Diego County buildings
November 13, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Kathryn Balint: A jail in Balboa Park is ‘last thing’ city wants.
The city manger is sending a letter to Grand Jury foreman Ed Malone saying the fate of the Naval Hospital buildings has already been decided by the city council after two years of studying its options. In February, the council chose more open park space over preservation.
November 15, 1987, San Diego Union, C-2. OPINION: Parking in the park
November 15, 1987, San Diego Union, F-17. Donations needed to get poinsettias in park
November 16, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Carmen Valencia: Natural History Museum’s fate rides on ‘Big Al,’ an allosaurus; park landmark has high hopes of its dinosaur.
Richard Cerutti can see the future in a bunch of old bones. As the paleontologist yesterday put the finishing touches on a replica of a birdlike dinosaur at the San Diego Natural History Museum, he explained that the 32-foot skeleton is a symbol of the museum’s future.
“If we don’t have exhibits to bring in, people are not going to pay,” said Cerutti, a preparator at the museum in Balboa Park.
November 17, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-8. The major types of art funding, public and private, by Jane Clifford.
November 17, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Anne Krueger: Witness describes how officer was shot dead in Balboa Park.
November 17, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Letter, Jack R. Sanders, San Diego: Reject tax issues.
No sooner has the voters rejected new park taxes than Mayor O’Connor was on the stump for a new proposition.
This time, she wants a special taxing agency, so that the scheme will take only a bare majority vote.
Because only 37 percent of the voters went to the polls last time, a majority would have been 19 percent of the registered voters. This number in favor would pass the tax. In fact, two weeks ago, only 16.8 percent of eligible voters actually voted for Proposition A, but it passed.
A key protection of Proposition 13 was that most new taxes would require a two-third vote. Do we really want 19 percent of the electorate passing a new tax? These elections are too much influenced by special-interest groups, that vote heavily on issues that benefit them personally.
Let’s hope that this insight sinks in with the leaders at City Hall. Let’s keep the few taxpayer protections we have.
November 17, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Councilwoman Judy McCarty backs Balboa Park jail
November 17, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. George Flynn: Consideration of Balboa Park jail urged
November 18, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Dona Steckbauer: Private sector seeks plan for King memorial
November 19, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Anne Krueger: Teen recalls officer’s shooting
November 20, 1987, San Diego Tribune,, B-4. Maria Puente: Park and Recreation Board voted unanimously to support use of about $2.7 million in special state funds for rehabilitation of Balboa Park Club.
November 22, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Pat Flynn: They’re flipping out at disc-golf tourney in park; only 18-hole layout in county.
Disc-golfer Snapper Pierson is not only the premier player locally, but also the man who operates, mows and cleans up the course at the eastern edge of Balboa Park. He has a five-year lease with the city to operate the concession in exchange for a percentage of what he makes renting discs and selling soft drinks, T-shirts and caps from a makeshift pro shop attached to the back of a public restroom.
November 24, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-4. George Flynn: None of the districts gave the necessary two-thirds margin for passage of Propositions B and C to provide funds for Mission Bay and Balboa Park improvements.
November 25, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-4. Rita Calvano: Zoo adopts 1988 budget; no fee hikes; the spending plan approved by the zoo board yesterday anticipates an 8 percent increase in expenses and includes an anticipated 10 percent increase in revenues.
November 26, 1987, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Kathryn Balint: Golfers see red over plan to boost city green fees.
November 26, 1987, San Diego Union, B-10. Jim O’Connell: Golfers oppose plant to raise green fees.
December, 1987, The Neighborhood REPORTER, 2.
A thoughtful and lively presentation by leaders of “PLANT THE PARK,” complete with followers carrying balloons which all read “PLANT THE PARK,” provoked the San Diego City Council at their special Monday night hearing in the Park.
December 1, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. Michael Abrams: Council approves $25 million for Mission Bay Park.
December 3, 1987, San Diego Union, B-10. Balboa Park trips light fantastic
December 3, 1987, San Diego Union, C-7. Christopher Reynolds: Plans to create city’s first arts commission stalled yesterday at City Hall.
December 4-5, 1987. Christmas on the Prado Program.
December 7, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Golden Hill residents reclaim park from crime, by John Gilmore.
The neighbors are determined to drive the undesirables from the park at 25th and A streets, making it a place where families once again can go without feeling threatened.
December 7, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1:1-4. Jeannie Wong: Neighbors act to make park safe.
According to Sgt. Melvin D. Maxwell, a spokesman for the Police Department, Golden Hill Park has had problems with gang fights, curfew violations and alcohol abuse and “is normally frequented by Hispanic young adults during the day and late hours.
December 7, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. Jim Okerblom: Auto museum will be more than cars; architect plans to challenge viewers, build a place of history, culture, art..
With the auto museum, architect Don Goldman plans to restore the exterior of the building to much the way it looked when it was built in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Numerous windows added over the years will be removed from the building, which is located across from the aerospace museum. Skylight windows in the roof that were painted over will be opened to bring in more light. Originally Goldman planned to enlarge the entrance, but he said he has since been convinced by members of the Historical Society to leave the doors as they are and to restore decorative plasterwork that was torn off in the 1970s.
December 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Rita Calvano: Nativity scene dispute; City eyes change.
A controversy over whether a Nativity scene display for years in Balboa Park violates the constitutional separation of church and state may result in the expansion of the Christmas scene next year to include more secular holiday displays.
December 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Jeff Ristine: Fee hikes favored at 2 courses; to hit non-residents most.
Park and Recreation Director George Loveland said it will take time to calculate whether the three-tier proposal would generate enough revenue to make the kinds of improvements his office has been planning, such as the replacement of the 30-year old Torrey Pines irrigation system and the rebuilding of putting greens at Balboa Park.
December 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Kathryn Balint: $2.7 million sought to renovate Balboa Park Club.
Square dancers, handicapped floor hockey players and ping-pong players being displaced from one Balboa Park building may fine a new home in another park building the city will try to renovate.
The city is applying for a state grant to put $2.7 million in improvements into the Balboa Park Club.
The state grant funds are coming from the Community Parklands Act of 1986, Proposition 43 on the state ballot of June of that year. $100 million in grants will be spread among cities and counties throughout California to acquire, develop and rehabilitate local parks, recreational facilities and historic sites.
December 10, 1987, San Diego Tribune, Marathon-4. Tim Coat: A guided tour of the course.
December 10, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-10. Rita Gillmon and Steve Schmidt: City to end display of nativity; City Attorney John Witt says link to scene may be illegal.
City officials are bailing out of the nativity scene business following concerns about a holiday exhibit on display in Balboa Park.
City Attorney John Witt said the city’s annual placement of the exhibit — a classic Christian nativity scene — appears to be illegal in light of recent court rulings.
The nativity scene as displayed would be viewed by the courts as a violation of the separation of church and state, Witt said yesterday.
He said his office recently decided to shelve the scene after the San Diego chapter of the United Jewish Federation questioned the exhibit’s legality.
The scene is making its final appearance this holiday season in the park’s Organ Pavilion.
Next year, officials plan to have a private organization erect a display with a range of holiday symbols such as a Jewish menorah, a Christmas tree and other general symbols.
“The Santa Claus stuff,” Witt called it.
He said a 1984 Supreme Court ruling based on similar circumstances said such an exhibit violated the time-honored division of church and state.
A subsequent ruling by a lower court broadened but essentially reaffirmed the 1984 Supreme Cour decision, he said.
Witt said the nativity exhibit has been maintained, stored and displayed by park employees at Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion “longer than anyone can remember.”
Paul Downey, a spokesman for Mayor Maureen O’Connor, said the mayor wants a holiday exhibit maintained in the Organ Pavilion because of tradition and favors reworking the display to include a range of symbols.
“As long as the city is not involved, we are legally OK,” he said.
December 10, 1987, San Diego Union, B-12. EDITORIAL: Reclaiming the (Golden Hill) park.
On weekends, Golden Hill Park is a gathering place of drug dealers, junkies, gang members and other thugs who menace San Diego’s parks. But last Sunday was different in the park located at 25th and A streets, because some of the good people of Golden Hill decided to reclaim the park.
At sunset, approximately 50 neighbors has a picnic in one corner of the park overlooking the city. Although a good time was enjoyed, the real purpose of the outing was to declare the park off-limits to criminals. Indeed the gathering had the desired effect as there was a noticeable decline in drug trafficking and the meanness that prevents many persons from venturing into the park even during daylight hours.
December 22, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1, B-1. Steve Schmidt: Atheists threaten to sue over crèche.
The San Diego chapter of American Atheists yesterday threatened to sue the city if it does not remove the controversial Nativity scene at Balboa Park by noon on Christmas eve.
Chapter director Stephen Thorne charged that the annual placement of the scene on city property violates the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state.
“You have compromised the Constitution of our nation,” Thorne wrote in a letter he plans to submit to the city today.
City Attorney John Witt said last night he does not believe the city will respond to Thorne’s threat — or the looming deadline attached to it. “As far as I’m concerned, we’re not going to react,” he said.
He reiterated his most recent finding that the scene is legal as long as the city plays no direct role in storing and maintaining it as it has in the past.
Following questions about the legality of the crèche scene, city officials recently agreed to turn over responsibility for it to the Community Christmas Center Committee. The private groups plan to expand it next year to include a variety of holiday symbols — both secular and religious.
December 26, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Letter, Carol Landsman: Landscape old Naval Hospital grounds
December 27, 1987, San Diego Union, B-1. Annette Kondo and Walt Baranger: Homeless fight for beds at city shelters
December 28, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Letter, A. A. Sloan: Atheists keep flap about Nativity alive
December 29, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Anne Kruger: Cinco jury visits site of shootings in 1984 of San Diego police officers at Grape Street park
December 30, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Robert Dietrich: Hospital to launch reborn Navy care; opening of $293 million Naval Hospital
December 30, 1987, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Dona Steckbauer: Martin Luther King statue in Balboa Park is proposed
December 30, 1987, San Diego Union, B-3. Steve Brand: City will continue to open its municipal gym in Balboa Park for shelter when the overnight mercury is predicted to drop at or below 35 degrees
December 30, 1987. San Diego Union, B-1. Steve Schmidt: Balboa Park eyed for Martin Luther King memorial.
A panel of business and community leaders yesterday discussed a proposal to establish a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. near the Aerospace Museum in Balboa Park.
The Rev. George Walker Smith, a member of the Chamber of Commerce King Memorial Committee, and others at yesterdays’ meeting said the memorial could consist of two or three statues in a grassy area near the museum.
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