Balboa Park History 1989
January 4, 1989, San Diego Tribune,, B-3. Dorla Welles: Sierra club to move from Balboa Park over dispute
January 4, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. Michael Abrams: Sierra club will vacate park office
January 9, 1989, San Diego Union, B-5. Man sitting in the middle of Cabrillo Bridge critically hurt by car.
January 10, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-1, A-8. For Mayor O’Connor in 1989 children come first; she urges high-tech Space Camp; war on gangs, by Kathryn Balint and Jeff Ristine.
With the mayor’s backing, officials at the space theater and hall of fame said yesterday they now had high hopes that their long-held dream of establishing an aerospace educational center would come true.
January 10, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Palms, signs to spruce up zoo parking lot.
The San Diego Zoo will soon spruce up its parking lot by planting palm trees along the main corridor and installing new signs.
Mike Ahlering, the zoo’s manager of operations, told the advisory Balboa Park Committee earlier this week that the project is scheduled to start in late February and to be completed in six to eight weeks.
“This is part of our effort to make the lot more attractive,” he said. “We will be putting in 19 queen palms, sometimes called Kate Sessions palms, along the lot’s center row, together with planters containing shrubs.”
“There will be new directional signs, which we hope will be better than the present ones that have pictures of animals,” he said.
He displayed a sample of the green and white signs, on which numbers were clearly visible.
The present signs are old, and they have been confusing to a lot of people, because there is no alphabetical order to them,” Ahlering said. “These will be placed in strict numerical order, so it will be easier to remember where cars are parked.”
Ahlering said the project will eliminate 19 spaces in the 3,200-space lot. He said he could not yet tell how much it will cost.
The palms will be placed in 3-foot wide boxes and the planters will be about 20 feet wide, he said. The palms, of the same variety as seen throughout Balboa Park, usually grow to 25 to 30 feet tall.
January 13, 1989, Los Angeles Times, II, 1:2-4. Port Takes On Center Issue as Many Still Protest Naming the New Bay-front Convention Center for Dr. King, by Leslie Wolf.
January 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-5. Razing of House of Charm nears, by Joseph Thesken.
The first step toward the eventual destruction of the crumbling House of Charm in Balboa Park will be taken January 25.
On that day, Dave Twomey, assistant director of the city’s Park and Recreation Department, will go before the city council’s Public Facilities and Recreation Committee with a request to seek a prospective tenant for a new building to replace the nearly 74-year old building, possibly by July 1991.
Twomey told members of the Balboa Park Committee recently that the House of Charm “is one of the worst buildings in the park in matter of disrepair. The walls are crumbling.”
The building, across from the San Diego Museum of Art in the Prado area, was built in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition, commemorating the opening of the Panama Canal. It was condemned by the city years ago, Twomey said.
But a portion of the building is still being used by the San Diego Art Institute to exhibit its works.
“City council probably will get the proposal (for a tenant) on February 6, and if council approves, we’ll advertise for tenants in the press,” Twomey said.
The park department then will return to the council in April for its approval of the tenant. Twomey said likely occupants would include galleries, museums and performing arts, which would complement institutions already in the Prado area.
“Once we know who the tenant will be, the next step would be to get together with the architect and determine what the interior design of the building should be,” he said.
He said the new structure will duplicate the original building as closely as possible — because it is a historic site — but its interior will vary according to the tenant.
“Everything, of course, would be in compliance with the park’s Master Plan adopted last year,” Twomey said. He estimated the new building’s cost at $5 million.
According to Penny Scott, the park’s facilities manager, the House of Charm, a sister building to the House of Hospitality, originally was called the Indian Arts Building.
But during the California-Pacific International Exposition in 1935-36 it was renamed the House of Charm,, when various souvenirs and gift articles were sold there. After World War II, it was left empty, but reopened in 1948.
January 16, 1989, San Diego Tribune, D-2. “Live at the Museum” magic show at Children’s Museum of San Diego for kids of all ages.
January 16, 1989, San Diego Union, D-5:1-2. The Arts: Seasonal-tree project just may face the ax, by Christopher Reynolds.
The Museum of Seasonal Change would be a grid of 144 deciduous alder trees on a mesa overlooking Florida Canyon in Balboa Park. Each tree would rise from a cone of rich, red earth and the symmetrical pattern would be enlivened by a central exhibit or performance areas.
In 1985, the project won a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The eventual cost is estimated at $450,000.
Eventually, the project was scaled back to 96 trees on three acres, and the site moved to 26-acre Doyle Community Park at Regents Road and Cargill Avenue in University City.
January 19, 1989, San Diego Tribune. People: Delza Martin presented a certificate for perfect attendance at Balboa Park Committee meetings.
January 20, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8, B-11. Joseph Thesken: Museum of San Diego History exhibit salutes city firefighters, police
January 20, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Joseph Thesken: Park Board rejects arcade restoration; balks at Committee of 100’s $250,000 offer.
January 24, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-7. Mayor O’Connor lobbies to keep city’s say over room tax, by Ron Roach.
Sacramento — Joining leaders of many other California cities, Mayor O’Connor has urged the Legislature not to tamper with the money cities raise from the taxes on hotel and motel rooms.
O’Connor said San Diego has “one of the lowest taxes in the state,” having recently raised it from 7 percent to 8 percent this year. It will increase to 9 percent in 1990, then be frozen for at least three years, she said.
January 25, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Robert J. Hawkins: Globe’s largest production; $6.2 million expansion January 25, 1989.
Two new buildings would be added to the complex known as the Simon Edison Center for the Performing Arts.
Most visible would be a two-level, 7,000-square-foot pavilion in the southwestern corner of the plaza, adjacent to the Museum of Man Gift Shop. Estimated cost $1.72 million.
January 25, 1989, San Diego Union, C-1, C-5. Anne Marie Welsh: Old Globe plans major expansion in Balboa Park . . . construction of a gift shop, restaurant, rehearsal space and other amenities, and a bricked-in plaza with a central fountain.
January 26, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Joseph Thesken: Naval Hospital Building No. 38 bites dust.
January 26, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-7. Three thousand sign petition against King center; Foes pledge to seek a referendum of port OKs name, by Steve Schmidt.
January 28, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Three armed men rob, beat two aliens near park
January 28, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3. Cheryl Clark: Old Naval Hospital coming down.
January 29, 1989, San Diego Union, C-3. Naming convention center for Dr. King honors all San Diegans, by Wes Pratt.
January 29, 1989, San Diego Union, C-3. But the voters will decide, and as many as 80 percent oppose naming convention center for Dr. King, by Edward L. Fike.
January 29, 1989, San Diego Union, E-1. Welton Jones: Globe expansion should be moved outside Balboa Park.
The Old Globe Theater needs more room for offices and rehearsal space. And its directors plan for opening a profitable restaurant and gift shop has merit.
But what isn’t needed is to build more buildings in Balboa Park.
The plan announced last week to construct an additional 23,000 square feet of building on the present Balboa Park site for rehearsal space, café, gift shop, and staff parking is unacceptable for a whole catalogue of reasons.
Using much less than the announced price tag of $6.6 million, the Globe organization could fill all its announced needs with even more room of better design and not pave over a single inch of parkland.
The answer is beautifully simple.
Move everything except the theater’s public and performance related spaces out of the park.
For half a century, San Diego has supported the growth of the Globe in Balboa Park. While the theater developed from a couple of primitive buildings operated by amateurs into today’s sleek, famed professional plant, the city has continued to approve and encourage the magical marriage of playhouse and park.
But now, as the Globe directors acknowledged with last week’s expansion proposal, they no longer have enough room in Balboa Park for all the activity need to support a world-class theater doing a dozen shows each year.
What should be done is move every non-public activity out of the park and into a space designed for the purpose. Then, in the freed-up portion of the present buildings, any variety of restaurants, snack bars, souvenir stands, book shops, restrooms and public promenades can be constructed.
There might even be room for a fourth small theater.
Meanwhile, on the auxiliary site, the company could build to order spacious rehearsal halls, comfortable offices, modern shops, extensive storage and, best of all, as much parking as anybody wants.
Judging from the preliminary plans, the Globe would need about 35,000 square feet of building to handle the administrative, shop, rehearsal and storage needs.
Here is a very general estimate on the cost of such space from developer Michael Kiss, vice president of the StoneCrest Office Park, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes for Kearny Mesa:
Building shell with landscape and parking, at $25 per square foot — $875,000.
Interior finishing at square-foot rates varying from $6 for storage to $20 for offices — $335,000.
Land cost of 1.7 acres in, for example, North Park or Mission Valley, at $20 per square foot — $1.5 million.
Add 25 percent for fees, taxes, insurance, etc. and the total would be about $3.3 million.
According to the announcement last week, $6 million already has been raised, with $1.4 million set aside for an endowment fund.
That still allows Globe officials to spend $1.3 on installing the new public facilities in the present Balboa Park complex without raising another cent.
Everybody wins. The public gets better theater facilities without losing parkland. The Globe gets better facilities at a lower cost with less energy expended. The money already raised will pay for the whole project with plenty left over to start the endowment fund.
The only possible objections to this plan would involve the understandable desire of the theater management to have all operations under one roof.
But public sentiment seems to be growing that there already are too many roofs in Balboa Park.
The master plan for the park, expected to reach the City Council this spring after years of controversy, does not include an additional 23,000 square feet for the Globe. The Globe expansion was not part of the planning process, And once that plan is finally adopted, how easy will it be to pry loose exceptions, even given the Globe’s community stature?
On the other hand, the reasons for making the move now are compelling.
More space: Even if the Globe proposal is approved, there may be an early need for even more room. What is the restaurant is a major success? And what happens when, as Globe officials have discussed for years, the company finally opens a downtown playhouse? Even more need for shops and offices and rehearsal space, that’s what.
Costs: The arithmetic just can’t be beat. For money already in hand, the Globe organization can design and build precisely what it wants. Then, any additional funds can go where they should be going anyway, into producing more and better theater art.
Park preservation: Any building planned for the Globe will be done well. But there really is a limited amount of open space in the park and this plan really will wipe out a significant slice of it. It’s been years since the Globe took it’s front year — what once was called the “greensward” seriously. Lately, Globe management has called it “asphalt over mud.” But that doesn’t mean the place couldn’t be green again.
Better security: The Globe organization, after all, has lost two theaters in arson fires. And an actor was killed in one of those incidents of violence deplorably more prevalent in Balboa Park than within carefully secured business neighborhoods. Certainly it must be tempting to have all the non-public workings of the theater comfortably out of harm’s way?
Traffic: Obviously, the removal of a large staff such as the Globe’s would help relieve daytime traffic in the park. Sets, costumes and other elements of productions could be trucked in and out at unbusy hours. The commercial deliveries which now help clog the park during working hours would disappear.
With the non-essential functions well removed, the Old Globe could concentrate on serving the public in a gracious, spacious setting which enhances the park rather than crowds it.
It is even possible a graceful realignment of space for the Globe would set a good example. And neighboring institutions scratching for more park space might begin to recognize that business belongs elsewhere, while the park is for people.
January 29, 1989, San Diego Union, F-14. Camellia show in Majorca room of Casa del Prado
January 30, 1989, San Diego Union, 18, 21. Linda Lipman: Perspective-89: Automotive Museum on five-year trip to maturity.
So far the auto museum is right on target. In its first 13 days, 6,500 visitors paid admissions ranging from $1 to $3.50. On the first free day (the first Tuesday of January when the park museums waive entrance fees), 2,243 visitors were admitted. And 1,000 persons have signed up as museum members. Barry Humphrey, museum executive director, said he expects daily attendance to average 500. He predicts membership and ticket sales will cover 35 to 40 percent of the operating expenses; 10 to 15 percent will come from the gift shop, and the rest will be raised from donations.
About $750,000 in pledges has been reached so far. More money will be needed when the museum starts planning for an adjacent, second building with 60,000 square feet. That building is expected to be erected in four years and cost $4 million to $5 million. It will add to the current 18,000 square feet of exhibit space, and make room for about 120 cars in total, up from 49 o display now. A working car restoration facility also is planned for the anticipated space.
January 30, 1989, San Diego Union, 19, 23. Diane Ingalls: Perspective-89 — Cultural fund raising holds steady in 1988.
January 31, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Robert Dietrich: New Naval Hospital celebrates first anniversary.
January 31, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. John McLaren: Zoo employees accept pay-increase contract.
Union employees of the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park voted by a 56 percent majority last night to accept a new contract that will give them their first pay increase in more than three years.
The new agreement, covering about 800 members of Teamsters Local 481, will run until March 1, 1993. Full-time workers soon will receive a $1,000 lump-sum payment, while part-time workers, each will get $500. The first of the scheduled pay raises will take effect July 1 and other increases will follow at nine-month intervals.
Bill Martin, Local 481, business representative, estimated the raises will average between 4 percent and 5 percent a year for most employees. Exact figures are difficult to determine, he said, because pay adjustments were determined for nearly 100 job classifications.
The contract covers animal keepers, gardeners, food-service employees, tour guides, ticket sellers and other workers employed by the Zoological Society of San Diego. The employees have not had a general pay raise since January 1, 1986.
Their play had been frozen at an average rate of about $9.30 a hour, Martin said, because of a clause in the union’s old contract that provided for reopening pay negotiations if society revenues top expenses by 15 percent.
Zoological Society spokesman Jeff Jouett said both sides eventually agreed that the profitably requirement stood in the way of a “deserved raise” for the zoo workers.
The old contract was due to expire July 1, but it will be superseded on March 1 by the new pact.
The union members voted 224-180 for the new agreement during a sometimes stormy meeting last night at the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley. Martin said the vote was relatively close because some workers thought the increases should have been greater.
February 2, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joe Hughes: Park plan debated for Route 163; Safety or scenery? That is the question.
The state Department of Transportation wants to install traffic barriers and an auxiliary lane on scenic Route 163 in Balboa Park.
February 2, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-4. An undocumented alien from Guatemala was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison for participating in the gang rape of a Santee women in Balboa Park.
February 4, 1989, San Diego Union, A-1. Gordon Smith: Gift boosts art festival toward goal
February 4, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joe Holley: The battle for Route 163
February 4, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-8. Michael Abrams: Bob Filner opposes commercialization; says no to fast-food plan in Balboa Park.
Fast food and a fast ride.
That’s want city park officials are considering for Balboa Park, after developing a plan to invite fast-food chains to compete for a restaurant concession in return for a payment to build a park tram.
February 5, 1989, San Diego Union, F-9. Roger Showley: Housing the Navy
February 6, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Kathryn Balint: Use of reclaimed water; plan to keep bloom on Balboa Park.
But there’s a potential sticking point: where to build the sewage-treatment plant that would provide the reclaimed water.
James G. Ashcraft, vice president of HYA Consulting Engineers, has come up with nine possible locations for a treatment plant in Balboa Park. But one of the most promising sites, he said, is on five acres near Pershing Drive and Interstate 5, where Naval Hospital buildings once stood.
February 7, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joe Hughes: Balboa Park Committee blasts Route 163 plan to install safety barriers in the median.
February 8, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Frank J. Williams, George Metrovich, Letters re. widening Route 163.
February 9, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-5. John R. Lamb: Revamped zoo exhibit ready for escape-prone orangutans.
Escape artist Ken Allen and his bevy of auburn-haired babes are scheduled to return this weekend to a heavily remodeled enclosure that San Diego Zoo officials hope will put an end to the clever primates’ embarrassing breakouts.
February 9, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-5. Kathryn Balint: McDonald’s in park put on back burner.
A proposal by the McDonald’s Corp. to sell Big Macs amid the eucalyptus trees and art museums of Balboa Park left such a sour taste in the mouths of San Diego City Council members that they put it on the back burner in search of a better deal.
February 9, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3, B-4, B-7. Michael Abrams: McDonald’s’ offer to swap train for spit in park spurned
February 11, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. OPINION: Don’t rush to change Route 163
February 12, 1989, San Diego Union, E-10. Don Wood: Welton Jones is lauded for stand on Old Globe expansion
February 15, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8. OPINION: No golden arches in Balboa
It’s not only the tram or the concession stand that concerns us. Park officials also hope to find a private tenant for the House of Charm that will help defray the multimillion cost of restoring the old building. What if an offer comes from IBM or some other major business that might be inappropriate for the park? The park isn’t a suitable setting for corporate offices or for business advertising. It was meant for all the people, and it should remain that way.
February 16, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joe Hughes: State reconsiders changes in Route 163 through Park.
In the face of strong opposition, state transportation officials are reconsidering a proposal to erect safety barriers on state Route 163 through Balboa Park.
February 16, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. John Wilkens: Cal Trans will review barrier plan for Route 163.
February 17, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Joseph Thesken: Fire Alarm building might get new life.
The 60-year old Fire Alarm Building in Balboa Park will be saved from demolition if the San Diego Park and Recreation Board has its way.
The board voted unanimously yesterday to support a recommendation of George Loveland, director of the city Park and Recreation Department. Loveland recommended that the building, east of Marston Point, be renovated and used for offices for members of the park staff.
On February 8, the Balboa Park Committee unanimously endorsed the plan.
Dave Twomey, assistant park director, told the board that he and a staff of eight must vacate their temporary offices in the new San Diego Automotive Museum in the park by July.
Twomey said earlier the city council wanted to demolish the Fire Alarm Building “but held on to it to see if a tenant could be found to use it.”
“The building is in very poor condition and needs quite a bit of work done on it,” he said. “We looked at the building, and it is suitable for our offices, after we renovate the second floor. It would cost an estimated $250,000 to remodel it.”
Twomey proposed using the building on a temporary basis, possibly for the next five to seven years, until a proposed new civic center is built downtown. At that time, he and his staff would move to the center, along with all other park board administrators and employees.
He reported two other benefits to occupying the Fire Alarm Building, which was the city’s first communication center for the Fire Department and has been vacant since 1970.
Use of the building would forestall demolition, he said, pleasing the city Historical Site Board and the Save Our Heritage Organization.
“Another benefit is that there is quite a bit of undesirable activity in that part of the park, and our presence there my defuse part of that,” Twomey said.
Money for the remodeling would come from a fund set up when the city and the Navy swapped land parcels in the park so that the new Naval Hospital could in built in Florida Canyon, Twomey added.
At its meeting Wednesday, the Historical Site Board will consider the staff’s recommendation that the building be designated as historically significant.
The structure was designed by the late Robert W. Snyder, a partner of William Templeton Johnson, who designed the Natural History Museum. It reflects the Spanish Colonial architecture of many of the buildings in the park’s Prado area.
The recommendations of the park board and the site board will go to the city council, which will decide the building’s fate.
Loveland said he is confident the council will approve his proposal to save it for use by his staff.
February 17, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3. Dick Weber: Thieves in park took dog belonging to Canadian visitors.
February 18, 1989, San Diego Union, E-10. Letter, Don Wood, President, Citizens’ Coordinate for Century 3.
Editor: I was encouraged to read your theater critic Welton Jones’ article on theater expansion in Balboa Park, “Globe expansion should be moved outside Balboa Park” (Jan. 29). Mr. Jones recognizes the fact, which still seems to elude many in the arts community and local government, that the limited remaining parkland in Balboa Park is too precious a community resource to be buried under commercial buildings.
February 22, 1989, San Diego Tribune, C-1. Greg Joseph: Fleet Theater offers inner-body experience.
February 27, 1989, Letter, Monty Griffin, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, to Balboa Park Eastside Precise Plan Participant and attachment dated February 25, 1989 — Elements of a Precise Plan for the East Side of Balboa Park.
March 2, 1989, San Diego Union, D-7. Christopher Reynolds: Photo museum develops expansion plans
March 5, 1989, San Diego Union, F-13. Trees hold sway on Arbor Day of 1904.
Today these trees, along with many others, still grow, towering in their beauty on the slopes of the park as San Diego observes Arbor Day Tuesday — 85 years later.
March 8, 1989, San Diego Union, C-6. Joyce Selber quits post as San Diego’s first public arts administrator.
During Selber’s tenure, the city . . . acquired “Night Visions,” Roberto Salas’ series of sculptures positioned along Park Boulevard in Balboa Park.
March 12, 1989, San Diego Union, E-1. Robert L. Pincus: Public art in museum lacks touch of reality
March 12, 1989, San Diego Union, F-19. Betty Newton: San Diego plans own Japanese garden.
March 17, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Joseph Thesken: Park plan for North Park gains.
After listening to nearly an hour of conflicting testimony from nearby residents, the San Diego Park and Recreation Board yesterday approved plans for development of a 4-1/2 acre park in North Park.
Several of the nearly 30 people at the hearing urged the board to reject plans for the park, saying it would attract transients and drug dealers to their quiet neighborhood.
March 17, 1989, San Diego Tribune, C-9. The Old Globe Theater Advancement Campaign has received a million-dollar boost from the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation that should triple in value by the end of this year.
Funds from the Advancement Campaign will be used to build a rehearsal hall, refurbish the administration building, construct a dining pavilion and make landscape improvements to the Globe complex.
March 17, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-4. Christopher Reynolds: Old Globe expansion plan aided by $1 million challenge grant that puts the theater into the home stretch of a fund-raising campaign.
Globe officials argue that expansion will not increase the number of people in the park, and note that the number of theater seats will remain unchanged. What the expansion will do, they say, is allow them to generate extra income.
March 20, 1989, San Diego Union, C-4. Christopher Reynolds: COMBO, San Diego Foundation for the Performing Arts adjust to the changing times.
March 21, 1989, San Diego Union, B-10. EDITORIAL: Going after graffiti.
March 21, 1989, San Diego Union, B-10. EDITORIAL: Needed — new direction to put the King controversy to rest.
The private-sector group has achieved considerable consensus for a monument in Balboa Park and for a scholarship fund as a living tribute to Dr. King.
March 23, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-10. Richard Amero Letter: Some people miss reason for park.
Re: Joe Holley’s column (Metro section, 3-18-89) about the proposal to locate a memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. behind the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Whenever a “blue-ribbon: special-interest group wants to foist a building, a gift with strings attached, or a statue on the people, they invariably say, “Put it in the park.”
The Prado section of Balboa Park is predominantly Spanish-Colonial in appearance. The reason for this is that the original architects wanted to create a glorified Spanish city in recognition of San Diego’s roots in Mexico and Spain. In the 1960s, the City Council passed a resolution that no more construction along the Prado should conflict with the Spanish-Colonial theme.
A proposed master plan for Balboa Park specifies that land north of the Natural History Museum, not used for expansion of the museum, be part of an enlarged Spanish Village.
I support naming the convention center after Dr. King. Those white people, over 50 years old, who argue otherwise are deceiving themselves and hiding their distaste of black people. For City Council members to knuckle under to these bitter, dried-up, hate-infested people would show they are unwilling to grapple with the consequences of prejudice.
Like Holley, the Rev. George Walker Smith has no understanding of the place that public parks occupy in people’s lives. As a member of the school board, he once advocated putting San Diego High School in the middle of the east side of Balboa Park. As a member of the “blue-ribbon” committee organized to sanitize the King issue, his advice is tantamount to saying, “Don’t rock the boat.”
Dr. King wanted to open doors of opportunity for those who had been denied entrance. His name should be given to the convention center because it would remind conventioneers that activities and businesses they represent should embrace ethical standards and social responsibilities greater than distinctions of rank and race and tables of profit and loss.
March 24, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-12, B-13 Joseph Thesken: Historical Board OKs proposal to renovate Balboa Park arcades.
March 25, 1989, Citizen Coordinate for Century 3: Precise Plan for the Balboa Park Eastside.
March 26, 1989, San Diego Union, F-1. Carol Olten: Marston estate to open to tours.
April, 1989. The Neighborhood REPORTER. James Smith: Balboa Park to be Setting for Filner’s “Eye Report Crime.”
The actual time for beginning “Eye Report Crime” has still not been determined, but its six-month trail period, if successful, may lead the way for similar programs throughout the city. The knowledge that there are “eyes” watching potential criminals may prove to be a significant deterrent in reducing crime.
April 4, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joseph Thesken: Five Balboa sites offered to honor King . . . A formal garden at Inspiration Point . . . The Rose Garden . . . The Zoro Gardens – Formal Gardens adjoining the Café del Rey Moro . . . A formal garden at Quince Street and Balboa Drive . . . An area at Upas Street near Pershing Drive.
In another action, the Balboa Park Committee approved a recommendation that the city conduct an architectural-design competition to determine what form the proposed Spreckels Organ Pavilion parking garage should take.
April 6, 1989, Letter Bob Filner, Councilmember 8th District, to Richard Amero regarding security in Balboa Park.
April 6, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3, B-7 John R. Lamb: Rare golden monkeys on two-year lease to San Diego Zoo return to China soon
April 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Joseph Thesken: Traffic test to partly close park bridge
April 13, 1989, San Diego Union, B-6. 35th annual Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair held in Federal Building
April 13, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Gompers students lead at science fair
April 19, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1, B-5. Joseph Thesken: seven auto museum trustees quit; disagreement over policy, operation cited.
Several former board members, who requested that their names not be used, said they objected to the museum’s initial show, “Power and Glory,” a history of racing cars; to its sale of classic autos; and to its sponsorship of the San Diego Vintage Grand Prix, staged April 8-9 at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.
Barry Humphrey, the museum’s executive director, said all museums in the park sponsor outside events to raise money.
Regarding sale of cars, he said it is not unusual for auto museums around the county to sell some of their vintage autos.
April 19, 1989, San Diego Union, D-1. Christopher Reynolds: Soviet arts festival continues to grow
April 20, 1989, Unpublished letter form Richard W. Amero, discussing former Fire Alarm Building in Balboa Park.
An argument is being made that the former Fire Alarm Building in the southwest corner of Balboa Park is worth preserving as a monument of Spanish-Colonial architecture and as a testament to historically important events. There is nothing surprising about such arguments. They are made over and over again whenever a public or private building of any size or age is threatened. Eager proponents of preserving such humdrum buildings are long on sentiment, but short on facts. Chief among these fervid proponents of preserving the Fire Alarm Building are the Save Our Heritage Organization and the City of San Diego Historic Sites Board.
Though one is private and the other public, these two organizations work in tandem. The exhilarating feeling of desiring and possessing power is common to both as is their single-minded zeal in promoting their cause to the exclusion of others. Like the hedgehog, advocates of wholesale preservation know one thing extremely well, but they do not know many things, and they do not know how their limited interest fits into a board social, historical, aesthetic or moral context.
By asserting extravagant claims for trivial architecture and buildings, charged-up proponents of wholesale historic preservation are able to convince indifferent people that their inflated claims have merit. Because the historic preservation cause has achieved a “sacred cow” standing, champions of minor buildings are able to entice faculty members of the University of California at Santa Barbara and lesser-known professions into supported their tenuous claims. These professionals know they are adulterating their standards, but they rationalize that, by doing so, they can stimulate popular enthusiasm. In writing false and ridiculous statements for mediocre buildings, these professionals are no better than prostitutes.
The Fire Alarm Building in Balboa Park is called Spanish-Colonial on untenable grounds. It does not look Spanish-Colonial. Its architect, Robert Snyder, was an eclectic architect whose sterile works go unlisted in all existing guides to the architecture of Southern California. Until recently, the Fire Alarm Building was looked upon as an insignificant structure that took up valuable space in Balboa Park. The Bartholomew Planners, who wrote the 1960 Master Plan for Balboa Park, dismissed it as an “encroachment.”
Then the San Diego Fire Department moved out of their antiquated Fire Alarm Building in 1970, the building fell into disrepair. It was converted into a storage facility by quasi-public organizations. Attempts by groups to reuse the building failed as these groups did not have the funds nor the desire to renovate the building on their own.
Though city use of Balboa Park Buildings by city agencies for purposes other than the operation of Balboa Park is contrary to the City Charter of San Diego, the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego Park and Recreation Department have talked about moving into the building.
Park visitors should look at this commonplace building with a practical eye. It is not an architectural masterpiece and it does not symbolize events of epoch importance. The San Diego Historic Sites Board should not honor this run-of-the-mill building with a plaque, nor should it try to enroll it in the National Register of Historic Places. It some misguided person, acting alone or in concert with others, tries to preserve this building for all time, City officials and City staff should protest the action.
As the building is on public land, it should serve all the people who visit the park. It should not house a government institution, nor should be become the quarters for a specialized group. An open-door function can best be realized by turning the building into a restaurant. The concessionaire in charge should be responsible for building renovation and for keeping grounds around the building free of litter.
If this effort to enlist private enterprise should prove to be impractical, the building should be torn down as Balboa Park and the people who visit it would gain more by removing the building than by keeping it standing.
Some historical preservationists have charged that the area around the Fire Alarm Building is used for “cruising” and for “drug dealing.” These alleged activities occur elsewhere in the park. Whatever “cruising ” is, it is not an illegal activity, but drug dealing is. Since addiction to drugs is a major problem in modern American society, preserving the Fire Alarm Building is not going to affect it one way or another.
Citizens should keep an eye on Balboa Park and do everything they can to make it a more attractive and pleasant place for everyone. Lawn furniture, play equipment, grass, trees and flowers are desirable in the park, but keeping a dull drab building is not.
April 20, 1989, READER. Mr. Bevil’s Building, by Paul Krueger.
Even in the city ultimately declines to spend a quarter of a million dollars on the abandoned Fire Alarm Building, Alexander Bevil will push ahead with his efforts to have it designated a historic landmark, which could attract state rehabilitation grants and loans.
April 21, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-14. Joseph Thesken: The San Diego Park and Recreation Board urges use of $624,000 grant for 3 south city parks.
The board endorsed the concept of an architectural competition for the proposed Spreckels Organ Pavilion parking garage in Balboa Park.
April 22, 1989, San Diego Union, B-2, B-8. Lisa Petrillo: Auto museum considers ouster of trustee Barnaby Brokaw over 1981 conviction of felony theft by deception involving the sale of a classic Porsche in Omaha, Nebraska.
Suspicions that Brokaw may have improperly profited from the non-profit museum have recently driven seven of the 21 board members to resign in protest, sources said.
Auto museum officials planned to spend $6 million on their hard-won showplace, so fare $400,000 has been spent in renovations.
April 22, 1989, San Diego Union, F-3. Kids Week Festivities Begin Today.
April 22, 1989, San Diego Union, F-10. Christopher Reynolds: Reaction of arts groups mixed to recommendations for funds.
After two months of evaluations and private panel discussions, the city Commission for Arts and Culture, formed last year, sent out its conclusions and held a public hearing to talk about which arts and cultural groups should get a share of city hotel tax revenues in 1989-90.
April 26, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3. Barnaby Brokaw: Automobile museum board member involved in sale of museum cars quits
April 28, 1989, San Diego Tribune, F-1. Herb Lawrence: Major project eyed for Balboa Park area.
A public hearing is expected to be held in mid-June on a $40 million, mixed-use project for the Sixth Avenue block facing Balboa Park between Laurel and Maple streets.
April 29, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Richard Amero: Fire Alarm Building not worth preserving (abbreviated version of unpublished letter, April 20, 1989).
April 29, 1989, San Diego Union, B-6. Lisa Petrillo: Car museum board member quits amid conflict of interest reports.
Brokaw, 38, said that he got caught in a power play between two factions of the museum directorship, and that he was resigning to save the museum from further controversy.
May 1, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Cabrillo Bridge one-way in park’s traffic-control experiment.
May 4, 1989, READER, 34. Letter, Alexander Bevel.
If the City Council votes in favor of allocating funds to rehabilitate the Old Fire Alarm Building, then perhaps negotiations might resume between them and the Lions Club on behalf of the Deaf Community Service Center to occupy and lease the structure as a recreation center, thereby finding a constructive reuse for this historically and architecturally significant structure.
May 4, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-12. EDITORIAL: A plaza for people, not cars.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the nine-hour experiment ended. Now, the question is whether it would work permanently. Would residents and tourists prefer a pedestrian-oriented Plaza de Panama? Would they leave their cars on the periphery and take a tram to the center? Based on Tuesday’s tryout, we would say yes on all counts.
May 4, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-2. Steve Schmidt: Group considers Balboa Park memorial garden to honor King
May 9, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Gina Lubrano: King Tut will step down from perch as Zoo greeter
May 12, 1989, San Diego Tribune, C-16. Susan Freudenheim: Haiti – Revolution in Progress on view at Museum of Photographic Arts
May 12, 1989, San Diego Union, B-11. Alfred JaCoby: Losing Balboa Park to bozos
May 13, 1989, San Diego Union, B-6. Dick Weber: Richard Enriquez did his bit to take bite out of park crime
May 19, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3. Steve Schmidt: Park plan revives 81-year old dream
May 20, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Billy F. Martin Letter: Are parks unsafe?
May 21, 1989, San Diego Union, Passport-14: Morley Field – tennis center
May 21, 1989, San Diego Union, Passport-15: Karla Peterson: Balboa Park, a park for all people
May 21, 1989, San Diego Union, Passport-18: Balboa Park museums.
May 30, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-1. J. Harry Jones: Mountain View Park, the “baddest” park in town turns in to an oasis of pride.
June, 1989, UPTOWN. A. R. Diaz: Police Outnumbered in Balboa Park; Drug Dealers, Male Prostitutes and the Homeless; Mayor O’Connor’s undercover tour brought much publicity — few real actions.
On the other side of Balboa Park, west of the museums, the zoo and other tourist attractions, is a section of green grasses and eucalyptus groves much like any other section of the park. But instead of attracting tourists, this area attracts transients, drug dealers and prostitutes.
June 1, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Joseph Thesken: Group to raise funds for parks.
A citizens’ group, the Friends of the Park and Recreation Foundation was formed yesterday to raise money from the private sector for park equipment, repairs and programs not covered in the San Diego Park and Recreation Department budget.
June 2, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-4. Sharon L. Jones: Undercover drug agent survives park shooting
June 2, 1989, San Diego Union, B-2. Gregory Gross: Narcotics suspect wounded; 2 arrested in park shoot out
June 4, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3. Jamboree-bound Scouts Camp in Balboa Park
June 4, 1989, San Diego Union, B-7. Environmentalists mass at Centro Cultural de la Raza to look at future
June 5, 1989, San Diego Tribune, D-1. Nancy Scott Anderson: Davies stage charming as concert venue
June 5, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Eyesore in park is regaining its charm, by Steve Schmidt.
It’s a civic embarrassment in the cultural heart of San Diego. Its paint is peeling, its west side is crumbling, it huge bell tower was ripped down in a storm.
Still, Balboa Park’s decaying House of Charm is becoming very popular these days.
Proving how precious a place in the park has become, seven cultural groups are vying for the chance to move into the building following its planned reconstruction.
By most accounts, the current lead candidate is the Children’s Museum of San Diego, which hopes to turn the rebuilt Spanish Colonial-style structure into its home.
The Mingei International Museum, Old Globe Theater, San Diego Hall of Champions, Theater Organ Society of San Diego, Worldbeat Productions and the House of Charm’s current occupant, the San Diego Art Institute, also have designs on the building.
Many of the organizations have launched lobbying campaigns to persuade the City Council to pick their group when the occupancy issue is debated this summer.
And with so many established groups interested in the same building, intense politicking is expected to play a major role in the final choice.
“Politics always seems to enter into these sorts of decisions,” Chris Redo of the Old Globe said. “Hopefully the decision that will be made will be the best for the park and the organizations.”
At stake is the chance to lease from the city one of the best spots in Balboa Park, smack in the heart of El Prado, home of several cultural institutions. The building is just south of the San Diego Art Museum.
“The House of Charm is at what I call the art hub of the (city),” said Martha Longenecker, founder of Mingei International, a La Jolla-based international folk museum.
The fate of the 74-year-old building may also put Mayor Maureen O’Connor’s declaration of 1989 as the “Year of the Child” to the test.
In her State of the City address in January, O’Connor said she would like to see a children’s museum and activity center located in the two-story House of Charm. “(It) would provide someplace for the children to go and something positive for the children to do,” the mayor said.
Despite here clear support for a children’s facility, O’Connor spokesman Paul Downey said last week that the mayor wants to review the proposals of the seven groups before committing her vote.
Some of the competing groups say they fear selection of the Children’s Museum may already be sewed up, but are still pressing ahead with their own proposals.
While many like the idea of a children’s museum in the park, some believe the House of Harm would be a poor spot for one because of traffic in the area.
Jack Monger, director of the Hall of Champions, pointed out that having the museum near the park’s busy central plaza could put the children at risk.. “It just appears to be a dangerous setup,” Monger said.
Skip Pahl, executive director of the Children’s Museum, dismissed concerns over traffic by noting that the city eventually plans to ban parking in the plaza and significantly limit traffic in the area.
Directors of the eight-year old Children’s Museum, now located in a 10,000-square feet space in La Jolla Village Square, say the park site would allow them to roughly quadruple in size.
The museum, which is expected to have 90,000 visitors this year, is filled with hands-on exhibits designed for both learning and fun, including a mock beach and a television news studio.
The House of Charm would not allow the museum to offer more hands-on exhibits, but its central location would make it more accessible to residents countywide. “It’s a wonderfully centralized, high-profile piece of property,” Pahl said.
Meanwhile, the Old Globe is plotting its own raid on the House of Charm.
Globe officials want to relocate the 225-seat Cassius Carter Theater in the building, along with creating badly needed rehearsal, office and workshop space for the organization.
Chis Redo, the Globe’s associate director for planning, said use of the building would allow the theater group to drop most of its controversial plan to expand its current site.
Earlier this year, the Globe unveiled a $6.6 million proposal to build 23,000 square feet of new buildings near its three theaters. City officials and others — worried about the loss of green space at the park — raised concerns about the plan.
“If the Globe was made a tenant of the House of Charm, it would (eliminate) the need to rebuild the structures,” Redo said.
The city plans to tear down the House of Charm by 1991 and replace it at a cost of more than $5 million with a replica that would open the following year. The group or groups picked by the city to lease the building would pay for its interior improvements.
The San Diego Art Institute, a visual-arts group that displays the work of local artists, wants to sty put. It has operated out of a portion of the building since 1954.
The House of Charm was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It was originally called the Indian Arts Building and took on its present name in 1935 when it was used as a gift shop during the 1935-36 California-Pacific International Exposition.
During World War II, the military used the building, as it did others in the park, for medical and other purposes. It was reopened to the public in 1948 as an exhibit hall.
Shirley Viennese, director of the San Diego Art Institute, said she believes that the visual arts have been shortchanged by the city over other forms of art in recent years. Selecting the institute as the tenant for the city lease, she said, would be “one way to mend that.”
City officials closed off much of the building several years ago due to structural problems. In the 1970s a storm blew down the building’s majestic bell tower.
The other groups interested in the building are:
Mingei International Museum. The 12-year old museum, which as a collection of more than 4,000 pieces of art, has outgrown its building at the University Town Center in University City.
Museum director Martha Longenecker said the museum would add a more worldly flavor to the park by increasing public exposure to international folk art.
The San Diego Hall of Champions. Directors of the sports exhibit hall want to move their complex from the Casa de Balboa to give them room to grow. The space would, among other things, allow the hall to expand its exhibit space and add additional meeting rooms to serve its growing athletic programs.
The Theater Organ Society of San Diego. The group wants to turn the building into an “Institute of American Music,” which would include music exhibits and a huge pipe organ.
San Diego-based Worldbeat Productions, which wants to establish an African-American center for cultural arts.
Repeated attempts last week to reach members of the Theater Organ Society and Worldbeat Productions were unsuccessful.
June 10, 1989, San Diego Union, B-8 Pam Bruder, volunteer, returns to help bring Natural History Museum’s B-10 displays back to life.
June 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Joseph Thesken: Balboa Park plan won approval of Balboa Park Committee yesterday with members expressing only minor concerns.
The report, prepared by Estrada Land Planning, Inc. of San Diego and the Park and Recreation Department, states that the long-term goal is to create a more pedestrian-oriented environment in the park by reducing auto traffic and preserving open parkland.
June 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: A special tenant for park fixer-upper.
The roof leaks in this 74-year old building. The plaster is crumbling and the wooden supports have rotted. In fact, it’s so dilapidated that it will take $5 million to raze and rebuild. And that’s just for the exterior.
Then why are seven organizations competing to occupy it? This building — the House of Charm — is on choice real estate in the heart of Balboa Park. That makes it just about the most popular fixer-upper in town, particularly since the city is willing to foot the $5 million reconstruction tab.
Who should be allowed to move in once it’s rebuilt? The Children’s Museum, now in a La Jolla shopping center, seemed to have the early edge. This candidate, with its playful and educational exhibits, would certainly appeal to the young. But the Old Globe also is lobbying hard for its entry, which should fill the House of Charm with plays, rehearsals and workshops.
Others with designs on the structure include the Mingei International Museum, which specializes in international folk art, the San Diego Hall of Champions, the Theater Organ Society of San Diego, and Worldbeat Productions, which wants to establish an African-American center in the park. The San Diego Art Institute, which already operates from a portion of the House of Charm, would like to remain in the new one.
The crucial process of reviewing these proposals will begin soon, starting with a committee to be composed of city staff members and community representatives. Later the recommendations will be considered by a city council committee and finally by the full council.
The competition is bound to be intense. We hope council members will do more than yield to the loudest voice. Ideally, they will visit the museums hoping to relocate in the House of Charm and carefully evaluate other contenders.
The winner should be the one that best serves the interests of park-goers, the one that meshes best with the other museums along the Prado.
“West of the Smithsonian, this is the finest complex of museums in the country,” says city Park and Recreation Director George Loveland. “Anything we can do to enhance that is part of our goal in realizing the master plan.”
With that in mind, San Diego must rebuild the House of Charm and lease it to a tenant worthy of its refurbished beauty.
June 15, 1919, San Diego Tribune, D-1, D-5. Gordon Smith: City Council, arts commission wrangle over Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOTs).
The City Council and the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture played a tug of war at a council hearing on funding yesterday, with neither side gaining an clear upper hand.
June 16, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Joseph Thesken: Concerns delay North Park expansion center; residents said the $500,000 should go to recreational uses in the park, not to building expansion.
The final version of Balboa Park’s master plan won the unanimous endorsement of the Park and Recreation Board.
David Twomey, the Park and Recreation Department’s assistant director, said the plan, calling for $104.7 million in park improvements over the next 19 years would go to the city’s Planning Commission on June 29.
June 19, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-9 Memorial for Chinese students set today at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion.
June 19, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Joseph Thesken: Abundance of 1915 sparkle planned for Balboa Park’s Diamond Jubilee that will officially open at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve and run throughout 1990.
June 11, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3. Sharon Griffin: Gay/Lesbian Pride parade/rally at Ocean Beach
June 12, 1989, San Diego Union, C-8. Donald Dierks: Park distractions fail to deter Mozart musicians at Old Globe’s Lowell Davies Festival Theater
June 12, 1989, San Diego Union, C-6. Christopher Reynolds: Council expected to parcel out $5.5 million to local groups
June 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. OPINION: A special tenant for House of Charm
June 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Joseph Thesken: Balboa Park Committee approves Balboa Park Plan
June 15, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Council studies split of $32 million from hotel tax
June 16, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Mayor wants festival revenue used for kids
June 16, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Lee Preitauer, Letter: Park money should go to homeless
June 19, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Joseph Thesken: 1915 sparkle planned for Balboa Park’s diamond jubilee
June 20, 1989, San Diego Union, B-6. EDITORIAL: Polishing the jewel.
Fortunately, the clashing views of those who would subordinate the park to vehicular convenience and those who would exclude vehicular traffic from the park altogether have been resolved through a happy compromise. Instead of closing Cabrillo Bridge to cars, it would remain open to west-bound traffic during daylight hours, with two-way traffic at night.
June 21, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Joseph Thesken: Balboa Park traffic experiment planned this weekend.
For the second time in less than two months, the San Diego Park and Recreation Department will close Balboa Park’s Cabrillo Bridge to outbound vehicles in an experiment in traffic control.
Only inbound vehicles will be allowed Saturday and Sunday, said Dave Twomey, the department’s assistant director. Twomey said motorists using the bridge will have to leave the park via Park Boulevard, just east of the zoo and museums.
Twomey said the traffic test is a part of the city’s $104.7 million master plan for the park. The plan is expected to get final approval from the city council next month.
Under the plan, auto traffic eventually would be limited to make the park more pedestrian-oriented.
This weekend, Twomey said, “The San Diego Museum of Art will sponsor entertainment in the Prado area, in front of the museum. There will be a jazz band, eight to 10 artists performing artwork and an outdoor café.”
Buses will provide free shuttle service from the former Naval Hospital parking lot on Park Boulevard into the park both days, Twomey said. As is the case on other weekends, a variety of performers will entertain visitors throughout the park.
Twomey said he and his staff were pleased with the results of the previous test of one-way bridge traffic, conducted May 2. All the museums and institutions in the park offered free admission that day.
“Everything went smoothly, and the motorists entering the park were cooperative,” Twomey said.
A survey of park visitors showed that the majority approved of closing the Prado parking areas and using the spaces for entertainment, Twomey said.
Slightly more than half those surveyed approved of, or were neutral about the traffic experiment, he said.
June 22, 1989, READER, 32. Jonathan Saville: Mainly Mozart Festival.
It was not, however, the idiosyncratic programming or the indifferent performance by one of the soloists that undermined the effect of the concert for me. The problem was the decision by David Atherton and the festival’s organizers to hold the concerts outdoors in the Old Globe’s Festival Theater. Theatrical presentations in this space have to put up with the same impediments: the damp wind out of the Balboa Park canyon adjacent to the zoo, the poor acoustics, the distracting noises from passing airplanes and from other activities in the park.
June 22, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3 Art museum Family Art Projects to divert Balboa Park traffic Saturday and Sunday
June 24, 1989, San Diego Union, B-5. Frank Green: Caltrans backs off plan for barriers on State 163 in park.
June 25, 1989, Los Angeles Times, VIII, 2. Sam Hall Kaplan: Sixty-acre arts park in Sepulveda Basin designed for failure.
Beyond the question of how parkland should be used, is the growing recognition among planners and urban designers, based on experiences here and abroad, that cultural facilities are much more successful, generate more support and serve the public better if they are integrated into established central communities.
June 26, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Sharon L. Jones: Scenic Route 163 in park minus barriers for now.
June 26, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Letter, Lee Preitauer, Mission Hills: Park money should go to the homeless.
June 26, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Letter, Richard Amero: Reading fiction in newspaper article in The Tribune. June 19, 1989.
June 26, 1989, San Diego Tribune, C-3. City’s public art fund sapped; allocated monies are being diverted for other purposes, by Susan Freudenheim.
The council voted unanimously to spend $158,000 from a reserve of funds for public art to help pay for two new police substations.
June 26, 1989, San Diego Union, E-4. Contenders ponder mayor’s comments on House of Charm, by Christopher Reynolds.
For months Balboa Park’s House of Charm, a piece of prime cultural real estate, has been coveted by seven local groups and invoked by Mayor O’Connor as a place with possibilities.
The building’s lease is coming up in 1991. The coveting will be settled later this summer, when proposals from prospective tenants are sifted, sites inspected, recommendations tendered, and a City Council vote is made. But O’Connor has been leaving the impression that the deal is already done.
In a June 14 interview on Channel 10’s “Inside San Diego,” O’Connor brought up her agreement with the San Diego Hotel-Motel Association to hike hotel taxes last year. The reason, O’Connor explained, was “so that we could restore Balboa Park, which we are doing, so that we can have the House of Charm become the new Children’s Museum, so that we can have festivals . . . to attract people from all over the world.”
The House of Charm, just south of the San Diego Museum of Art, was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It has housed the San Diego Art Institute since 1954. The city plans to knock the crumbling two-story building down by 1991 and, at a cost of more than $5 million, replace it with a replica that would open a year later. The new tenant will pay for interior improvements.
O’Connor has been open for months about her leanings toward the Children’s Museum; her January State of the City speech included a pitch for moving the museum, now housed in La Jolla Village Square, to Balboa Park. O’Connor has continued her urgings since them, sometimes acknowledging she will consider the merits of the six other competitors for the building. Her words on “Inside San Diego,” however, left the competition out entirely.”
“If it’s already decided, why are we involved?” asked Shirley Viennese, director of the San Diego Art Institute last Friday. “We have spent a great deal of money — and I’m sure the six other competitors have done the same — to prepare.”
The other competitors, aside from the Children’s Museum and the art institute, are the Old Globe Theater, which would like to build a new Cassius Carter Theater there with offices and rehearsal space (the existing Cassius Carter Theater would reverse to its original use as a tavern); the Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art, which would like to move south from University Town Center; the Theater Organ Society of San Diego, which foresees exhibit space; the San Diego Hall of Champions, nearby in the park, which wants more room; and Worldbeat Productions, which wants to establish an African-American center for cultural arts. Reaction to the mayor’s remarks was varied and largely circumspect.
“It’s kind of the nature of the game, isn’t it?” said Jack Monger, director of the Hall of Champions. Monger said a Parks and Recreation team visited his hall Friday morning.
“I think all of us have worked hard to put together proposals and we would expect to be treated (accordingly),” said Mingei director Martha Longenecker. “We took the city at its word that it was truly accepting proposals.”
The competition is expected to end in late July. First, the city Parks and Recreation Department’s selection panel of volunteers will visit and compare the seven applicants. Its recommendation goes to the Parks and Recreation Board, which forwards its own recommendation to the City Council’s Public Facilities and Recreation Committee, which puts its recommendation before the full council for vote. The mayor is one vote of nine.
“My sense is very much that it’s not wrapped up. These institutions that are vying for it are all doing a terrific job in San Diego — and they’re all highly competitive,” said Children’s Museum director Skip Pahl, who was scheduled for a site visit last Friday afternoon.
“Obviously the council has to review it and make a consideration,” said O’Connor spokesman Paul Downey when asked about O’Connor’s televised remarks. “We do still have to go through the process, but she’s been supportive (of the Children’s Museum) since January.”
June 27, 1989, San Diego Union, D-4. David Gregson: Daring production of ‘Pirates’ in park
June 28, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: Charm kids with Children’s Museum.
The City Council has an opportunity to provide a missing link in Balboa Park — a missing museum link for kids. In this Year of the Child, what better way to do that than to let the Children’s Museum move into the park?
June 28, 1989, San Diego Tribune,, B-10. OPINION: Honk if you like Highway 163
June 29, 1989, San Diego Union, D-8. Donald Dierks: Aircraft offer noisy accompaniment to POPS
June 29, 1989, San Diego Union, D-3. Christopher Reynolds: ‘Diamond Jubilee’ set for Balboa Park
Under a canopy of bright balloons, civic leaders yesterday announced their plans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Balboa Park: a party, a succession of displays, parades, picnics and performances, and then another party.
Balboa Park manager Penny Scott estimated costs of the opening celebration at $25,000, and said she was looking for corporate sponsors, private donors and volunteers.
June 30, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-10. Joseph Thesken: Security big concern in Balboa Park master plan
June 30, 1989, San Diego Union, B-4. Afro cultural group asks use of Balboa Park water tank.
July, 1989, UPTOWN, 3. Letter: A Park Resident Responds.
Just remember homelessness is the problem. We’re human beings just like you. We have feelings just like you, we can be hurt and be happy, cry and laugh. To solve the problem is not more police harassment, it is looking at what the real problem is: homeless human beings just like you . . . and I.
July 3, 1989, San Diego Tribune, D-2. Nancy Scott Anderson: Balboa Park in summer time
July 4, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Nativity ruling won’t alter Balboa Park’s Yule display
July 5, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-1. J. Harry Jones: Police manhunt in Balboa Park yields second body
July 5, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Man stabbed to death in Balboa Park.
July 5, 1989, San Diego Union A-1. OBITUARIES: Marcy Belcher Farrell, 82, active in civic affairs.
July 6, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-3 Homer Clance & Jim O’Connell: Police question fourteen after man stabbed to death in park; six men booked on suspicion of murder.
July 6, 1989, San Diego Union, II-5. Irene Jackson: Vintage planes soar anew as old hands rebuild history at museum’s hangar annex
July 6, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Homer Clance & Jim O’Connell: 6 men booked in Balboa Park stabbing death
July 7, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-5. Joseph Thesken: San Diego Planning Commission unanimously approves Balboa Park plan
July 8, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Jim O’Connell: Suspects found in park.
Just a few steps and a world away from the manicured lawns and tourist attractions of Balboa Park, brush-covered canyons conceal a “city within a city” populated by undocumented aliens and transients.
Following a rash of robberies last year attributed to undocumented aliens living in the park, police have opened a storefront in the Balboa Park Club, added a second patrol to the park, and trained more than 100 park employees in reporting crime.
July 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3, B-8 J. Harry Jones: 5 aliens escape charges in Balboa Park slaying
July 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-5, B-7 Joseph Thesken: Cabrillo Bridge traffic test set
July 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Police may return arrested aliens to border patrol
July 13, 1989, San Diego Tribune. OPINION: The park must be a safe place
July 14, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8. George Burger, Letter: Closing Florida Street would add problems
July 14, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Dick Weber: Alien is charged in park killing
July 15, 1989, San Diego Union, B-2. Ex-astronaut Irwin to present moon film at Space Theater.
July 15, 1989, San Diego Union, B-4. Mark Ragan: House Appropriates sub-committee backs $180 million of military construction for San Diego County, including $7.5 million for a new parking garage at the Naval Hospital.
July 16, 1989, San Diego Union, B-2. Water main bursts in park disrupting traffic
July 16, 1989, San Diego Union, F-33. Roger Showley: Step Back/Balboa Park (photo of Science of Man Building, 1914).
July 18, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: Balboa Park’s gateway to Japan.
A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled next week. Within nine months, the first phase will emerge: Beyond the gate, in Gold Gulch Canyon, workers will build an entry garden, a sand-and-stone garden and a new exhibit house designed in the traditional Sukiya style.
July 20, 1989, READER, 4, 6. Paul Krueger: Tricks.
At dusk on a recent afternoon, San Diego Police Officer J. R. Nelson was questioning four young undocumented Mexican nationals he’d stopped on a grassy bluff on the Sixth Avenue side of Balboa Park. “Javier says he and his friends just crossed the border illegally, but look at his white shirt,” Nelson commented, as he motioned toward one of the detainees. “Its’ clean. And those white stocks he’s wearing don’t have a sticker or a thorn on them. He’s full of shit. They haven’t hiked through the canyons. They’ve been here hustling.”
Officer Nelson isn’t the only one who knows about the numerous and sometimes violent homosexual liaisons that occur every afternoon in the park’s southwestern corner. Though that section of Balboa Park has long been a cruising ground for young hustlers in search of older customers who’ll pay $20 for a brief encounter, the prostitutes have changed drastically over the past eighteen months. Gay activists familiar with the Balboa Park scene say the young, white hustlers — often runaways and drug addicts – have largely been replaced by groups of sometimes violent Mexican youths who live in ramshackle encampments on the western embankment of Highway 163. To veteran park watchers, Fred Scholl and Nicole Murray, the July 5 stabbing death of 34-year old Franklin James Black near the Laurel Street bridge wasn’t just another senseless crime but an indicator of how rough the park’s sexual trade has become.
July 20, 1989, READER, 28. John D’Agostino: Bowling for Rockers . . . The Starlight has been enjoying a rock renaissance.
“Initially, the artists are a little worried when the jets go overhead during [afternoon] sound checks,” admitted concert promoter Bill Silva last week. “But the major drawback to the bowl actually turns into an asset during performance. The speaker columns [carrying the heavily amplified music] drown out the jet noise, and the sight of the jets passing ‘silently” overhead, with their colored lights flashing and everything, creates a really cool visual effect. By the time they leave town, the acts love the bowl.”
July 20, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joseph Thesken: Josephine L. Scripps Hall of Mineralogy under exhibit at Natural History Museum
July 21, 1989, San Diego Union E-1. San Diego Youth Symphony in Balboa Park Club
July 22, 1989, San Diego Union, B-10. EDITORIAL: Rescue the park . . .
San Diego Police warn against going into unlighted areas of Balboa Park at night because of a growing presence of “desperate people” living illegally in makeshift campsites.
July 22, 1989, San Diego Union, B-10. EDITORIAL: . . . and rescue the homeless
Rescuing the park should not be accomplished to the detriment of the homeless. City and county officials and the 40 different social service agencies on the Regional Task Force for the Homeless must make a commitment to solve both problems.
July 23, 1989, San Diego Union, E-1. Robert L. Pincus: Early Photography in the Near East, 1839-1885, at Museum of Photographic Arts
July 24, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Letter, Larry L. Marshall, president Japanese Friendship Garden Society, complimenting Tribune on editorial, July 18.
July 24, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: A grand plan for Balboa Park.
We applauded the council for approving this plan in concept last year. The final version is the same except for a few minor changes and refinements. The council should put Balboa Park on a firm course for the 21st century by approving the revised master plan.
July 24, 1989, San Diego Union, B-2. Balboa Park shooting.
July 25, 1989, San Diego Daily Transcript, 1, 14. Priscilla Lister: Japanese Garden Breaking Ground 21 Years Later; Dail Gate Finally Beckons To An Authentic Respite; Now To Raise $11.4 Million.
July 25, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1, B-4.. Joseph Thesken: Groundbreaking set for Japanese garden tomorrow; Japanese drum group from Los Angeles will perform.
July 25, 1989, San Diego Union, D-3. Christopher Reynolds: Soviet arts festival ticket sales off to a good start.
July 26, 1989, Los Angeles Times, Part II. 1, 4. Anthony Millican: Council OKs Balboa Park Master Plan.
The San Diego City Council on Tuesday approved a plan to guide the development of Balboa Park into the next century.
It is the first overall plan for the park since 1960 and calls for renovating historic buildings, reducing traffic, making the park more accessible for pedestrians and preserving open space.
The result of more than eight years of work and often acrimonious debate, the plan represents a framework for future discussion between backers of museum expansion efforts and those who wanted to keep these institutions from encroaching on open park space.
The council unanimously approved the plan, 8-0, with Councilman Ed Struiksma absent.
“I think we’ve met the needs of both ends of the spectrum,” said David Twomey, assistant director with the city’s Park and Recreation Department. “We’ve finally arrived at a consensus. It’s not the end of the road, though. We’ve still go a lot of work to do.”
Councilman Bob Filner, whose district includes Balboa Park, said a new master plan has been his top priority since his election to the council.
“The fight is not over yet, but the battlefield has changed considerably,” he said. The new plan “puts the brakes on commercial development,” Filner said. Museum expansion will have to be consistent with the guidelines established in the master plan, he said.
Council members Judy McCarty and Bruce Henderson, although favoring the plan, expressed reservations about possible restrictions on the expansion of some museums.
“I would just hate to see something happen when it comes down the road and someone wants to do something and then they are told they can’t because it conflicts with the master plan,” McCarty said.
The master plans sets guidelines for park development, specifics will be debated when “precise” plans are drawn up. Guidelines for the precise plans will be established in about four months, Twomey said.
The cost of the plan, estimated at $100.2 million over 20 years, will be paid through a portion of funds generated from the Transient Occupancy Tax.
Landscaping and minor improvements will begin “almost immediately,” Twomey said.
Major improvements, such as construction of a parking garage behind the Organ Pavilion, a key to other renovations outlined, might not begin for two years, Twomey said.
The parking garage would be no bigger than the existing 387-space open parking lot behind the Pavilion, but would be landscaped on top to function as a pedestrian use area. The garage would replace spaces that would be eliminated by the development of a pedestrian mall in the Prado ad Palisades areas of the park.
A pedestrian promenade will be created on the west side of the parking structure to link it with the Prado. The master plan calls for expanding the House of Pacific Relations, which will be increased by 4,000 square feet.
The Palisades and Federal buildings and the Balboa Park Club will be renovated and restored.
Cabrillo Bridge, which some park purists wanted closed to automobile traffic, will remain open, but only to eastbound traffic, freeing the westbound lane for an intra-park tram, and pedestrian and bicycle use.
Three historic courtyards at the site of the former naval hospital will be used for Park and Recreation offices. The large parking lots to the southwest of the site will be retained for public parking.
The possibility of equestrian trails was left open for reconsideration.
“This plan allows us to return much of the park to the pedestrian through the recovery of open parkland and the reduction of automobile traffic,” Filner said. “At the same time, the use of the tram system will enable us to improve access to our cultural facilities and the rest of the park.
The 1,300-acre park was established in 1868 when city trustees set aside 1,400 acres as a permanent park reserve.
By 1881, a high school, children’s home, city pound and gun club were among the groups infringing on the open parkland.
In 1903, the first park plan was drawn up, and by 1909 rumblings were heard of an exposition in the park celebrating completion of the Panama Canal. As part of the preparations, a contest was held to name the park. The name of Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa was chosen.
The Panama-California Exposition grounds took more than five years to complete. The fair rain from 1915 to 1916 and attracted more than 3 million people.
The first appropriation of land to the U.S. Navy for the World War I effort took place in 1918. The Navy began building a hospital in 1921, utilizing the area first occupied by the orphanage.
During World War II, the Navy occupied all of the remaining buildings and closed the park to the public. For six years, until the Navy left the park, the central mesa was known as Camp Kidd.
In 1958, the firm of Harland Bartholomew & Associates was contracted to prepare a master plan for Balboa Park, which was completed in 1960.
July 26, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1, B-4. Joseph Thesken: Council approves Balboa Park master plan.
After eight years of debate, controversy and compromise, Balboa Park’s master plan won unanimous approval by the San Diego City Council yesterday.
Council members gave their blessing to a $100 million blueprint for modernizing and developing the park over the next two decades.
Councilman Bob Filner, in whose district the park stands, summed up the council’s view of the plan: “It will bring back the sparkle to the jewel of our city.”
Although it had supported a broad outline of the plan in September, the council sent the plan back to the city staff for fine-tuning and more specific proposals on how to update the 1,300-acre park.
Major goals in the plan approved yesterday by the council include creating a pedestrian-oriented environment in the park, reducing auto traffic, restoring and improving existing buildings, and preserving open parkland.
Plans also for an eventual circulation plan in which traffic on the Laurel Street bridge would be one-way inbound, leading cars to a proposed organ-pavilion garage, and out by way of President’s Way to Park Boulevard.
Improvements and new construction would be made in four principal phases, from this year until 2008, with funding coming from the city’s hotel tax, paid principally by tourists, along with other city revenues.
“This document is the product of eight years of effort by the community and various agencies working together,” Dave Twomey, assistant director of the city Park and Recreation Department, told the council.
He gave highlights of the 240-page plan, prepared by the department, the Planning Commission and Estrada Land Planning, Inc. of San Diego.
“It is consistent with the plan you approved in September 1988,” Twomey said.
He said that during the past few months the plan had won the unanimous endorsement of the Planning Commission, the Balboa Park Committee, the Park and Recreation Board and the Historical Site Board.
Filner, the driving force on the council to mold a plan that would take Balboa Park into the 21st century praised the plan.
“We have a plan that reconciles the various needs of the park,” he said. “It has been accomplished after many meetings by many groups.”
“It will bring about the reduction of auto traffic, and pedestrians once again will be kings of the park.”
In making the motion to approve the plan, Filner supported a staff recommendation that the council allocate $100,000 to hire a consultant to draw up precise plans for restoring the park’s Prado, or central core, area.
Projects planned in the $44.9 million initial phase, from this year until 1993, include construction of a $10 million Spreckels Organ Pavilion parking garage with 1,000 to 1,500 spaces; restoring and reconstructing the deteriorating House of Charm and House of Hospitality in the Prado area, at a cost of $16.5 million; and upgrading other Prado buildings, for $3.9 million.
Filner also asked that improvements in the eastern end of the park, “what has been called the stepchild” because the western end receives more attention and funds, be included in the first phase. They had been scheduled for the third phase, from 1999 to 2003.
Such projects would include $500,000 for developing the northeast corner of the park, between 28th Street and Pershing Drive; and $900,000 for construction of a Golden Hill soccer field.
Other council members generally lauded the report, although they expressed some reservations about it.
“I’m concerned about expansion of the museums in the park,” Councilwoman Judy McCarty said.
She said several institutions have expansion plans under way, and she said she wondered whether the master plan would inhibit such projects.
Twomey replied that the park department would examine the existing leases of the museums and determine whether expansions would be acceptable.
Commented Bruce Henderson, “I don’t feel we have all the answers yet as we approach the year 2000. We must establish long-term goals.
“We must exhibit the same foresight as our early fathers, who set aside the acreage for the park when San Diego had only a few thousand people.”
He said he was happy that increased security and improved lighting in the park were incorporated into the plan.
George Loveland, director of the Park and Recreation Department, expressed elation with the vote.
“This is the beginning of a new phase of Balboa Park,” Loveland said. “First we
had the early city fathers having the foresight to set aside land for the park. Then we had the two expositions (Panama-California Exposition in 1915 and California-Pacific International Exposition in 1935), then the master plan.
“Now we’re ready to jump into another phase, that of expansion and improvements in the park.”
Verna Quinn, chairwoman of the Park and Recreation Board, said with a sigh: “At long last, we now have our master plan, and the money to implement the plan. I congratulate our city council.”
July 26, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-4. Steve Schmidt: Council OKs master plan for Balboa Park.
The improvements approved yesterday include:
- Elimination of parking by 1998 within the Prado and Palisades, the park’s central areas and home of many of its cultural institutions. Both areas would be restored as plazas.
- Closure of much of Florida Drive, on the park’s barren east side, by 1993 to allow for the creation of picnic areas and trails.
- Only one lane of one-way traffic across Cabrillo Bridge, the park’s ceremonial entrance by 1998. Cars would be directed east most of the time. Currently, vehicles can drive both ways across the bridge.
- Construction by 1993 of a submerged, more than 1,000-space parking garage on the site of the existing Organ Pavilion parking lot. Project cost: $10 million.
Other planned changes include the upgrading of many of the park’s aging buildings and the creation of a tram system to ferry people into the Prado and Palisades and other areas of the park.
During a brief hearing on the plan, Brennan Rae Thompson of WorldBeat Productions of San Diego suggested that a water storage tank slated for demolition near Park Boulevard be converted into a black cultural center.
Filner asked city staff to examine the idea.
The council previously decided that about half of the money needed for the improvements — about $45 million — will come from a percentage of the city’s hotel-motel tax.
The initial phase carries an estimated price tag of $40.8 million and will include the start-up of a tram system, restoration of several buildings, improved lighting and the closure of a section of Florida Drive.
Phase two, targeted for the years 1994 to 1998, will include construction of a new gym just outside the park and a pedestrian and bike bridge near Golden Hill.
Phase three, between 1999 and 2003, calls for the revitalization of Spanish Village and conversion of the parking lot at Inspiration Point into green space.
Phase four, from 2004 to 2008, will include rehabilitation of the War Memorial Building and the expansion of the House of Pacific Relations.
July 27, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Joseph Thesken: 60-year old Fire Alarm Building gains protection with ‘historic’ designation.
The Fire Alarm Building in Balboa Park was designated historically significant yesterday by the San Diego Historical Site Board.
The building, vacant since 1970, recently gained a new lease on life when the San Diego City Council agreed to renovate it for use as office space for the Park and Recreation Department.
July 28, 1989, San Diego Union, B-4. 200 see Japanese garden groundbreaking
July 30, 1989, San Diego Union, F-37 Park West Condo going up at 6th Avenue and Redwood Street
July 31, 1989, Letter, Councilmember Bob Filner to Richard Amero discussing City Council approval of new master plan for Balboa Park.
August 1, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Michael Abrams: Park district studied as a way to issue bonds to make open space purchases throughout San Diego
August 2, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Chet Barfield: Peril stalks Balboa Park gays; robberies, violence on increase around “the loop.”
Fred Scholl, a gay activist who covers Balboa Park for the weekly Update, said, “Most of the crime in the last year has been taking place in that southwest corner, and it’s basically been by the Hispanic hustlers. They work in little gangs.”
August 4, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-4. John Wilkens: El Cid may soon regain his glory; damage to statue by weather, birds called reparable.
August 10, 1989, San Diego Union, II-4. Restoration expert says El Cid will ride high again
August 11, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-10 Letter, Bob Filner: park future assured
August 15, 1989, San Diego Tribune, C-1. Jeanne Freeman: Harriet Wimer, Hazel Waterman, Lillian Rice honored in show at Museum of San Diego History
August 19 – 27, 1989. America’s Finest City Week.
August 19, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-4. Ann Gibbons: Fleet space theater to keep track of flight
August 19, 1989, San Diego Union, B-7. 9th Annual America’s Finest City celebration today
August 19, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3. Michael Abrams: Veterans, city hall clash over November 11 parade in park
August 20, 1989, San Diego Union, F-23. Tineke Wilders: Dale Ward, 33, botany expert, will be missed; died August 10 after a long battle with AIDS.
August 21, 1989, San Diego Tribune,, B-1, B-3. Joseph Thesken: Free days limited for park visitors; restrictions approved for Balboa Park’s Tuesdays.
All museums and institutions in Balboa Park will start next month to control the number of people visiting at any one time on free Tuesdays.
The restrictions are necessary because of the “virtual gridlock” of visitors attending on free days — the first Tuesday of each month — and to ensure their safety, said Chris Fontana, vice chairwoman of the Central Balboa Park Association.
Many of the museums already offer free weekday admission to school groups, she added. She said her association will write to city, county and parochial schools, reminding them that such admission is available and recommending that they not attend on free Tuesdays.
August 21, 1989, San Diego Union, A-3. Cable TV, planetarium offer coverage of Voyager flight
August 22, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-6. Gina Lubrano: Balboa Park to limit freebies; crowds at museums called safety threat.
Two months ago, officials of the Photographic Arts Museum watched in dismay as “people were standing three deep to try to see a photograph on the wall,” Chris Fontana said. “They were shoulder to shoulder and they could not move.”
The situation prompted the Museum of Photographic Arts, and two others where the fire code limit was known to set a cap on visitors.
August 23, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8. OPINION: More free days at the museums
August 24, 1989, San Diego Union, B-10. OPINION: Change of venue for Veterans’ Day parade
August 25, 1989, San Diego Union, B-14. EDITORIAL: The better choice
The City Council now faces the unenviable task of choosing a new tenant from among seven worthy institutions, for the soon-to-be-reconstructed House of Charm in Balboa Park. Judging by the weight and slickness of their printed proposals and the level of public support they enjoy, the Old Globe Theater and the Children’s Museum are leading contenders for the choice building on the south side of El Prado between the House of Hospitality and Alcazar Garden.
Both of these institutions are major community assets. But the Old Globe has the better proposal. The House of Charm ought to be leased to the Old Globe on condition that part of the building be shared by the San Diego Art Institute and, possibly, by the San Diego Museum of Art.
The Old Globe proposes to use most of the building for its Cassius Carter Center Stage theater. The existing Cassius Carter would be converted to a multi-use pavilion, including such amenities as meeting rooms and refreshment services. This would be similar to the building’s original use as the “Falstaff Tavern.”
The value and broad appeal of a new Old Globe complex are unmatched by the other applicants. An integral part of park history since the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition, the Old Globe is one of the most respected regional theaters in America. Its programs to train young professionals are nationally acclaimed. The Old Globe’s proposal is also consistent with the park master plan. It would provide for maximum day and night use of the new building with no significant increase in visitor use of the busy El Prado area. Nor would it exacerbate existing parking or traffic problems or significantly increase the theater capacity. Another appealing feature of the proposal is a plan to dedicate 6,971 square feet of the building for public exhibition space. This would eliminate any need to evict the Art Institute, which has applied to use this space as has the Museum of Art.
The City Council should lease the new House of Charm to the Old Globe — a decision San Diego would never regret.
August 28, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Letters regarding free museum visits.
August 29, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Veterans, city agree on route, time of parade in Balboa Park.
A veterans’ organization and the city of San Diego have come to terms on a Veterans’ Day parade in Balboa Park that had been jeopardized by conflicts with Soviet Arts Festival events.
August 29, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Lane Scot Campbell, Point Loma: Honoring non-violent principles . . . proposal for a bronze sculpture group made up of Dr. Martin Luther King, Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau for placement in the area north of the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park (drawing).
August 31, 1989, READER, 4. Brae Canlen: Mountain Biker Bar?
The Los Penasquitos preserve took the first tack two weeks ago when it erected signs spelling out new rules for mountain bicyclists: Stay on the main trail. Top speed allowed: ten miles per hour. Yield to hikers and horses. A mountain bike club also posted some flyers, beseeching riders to behave themselves.
“There’s always an idiot somewhere,” says Michael Lambert. Lambert, a film producer from Escondido, likes to ride through the preserve with other mountain bikers. Most of the cyclists are courteous, he says, but a few seem more concerned with speed and performance than flora and fauna.
September 3, 1989, San Diego Union, F-6. Roger Showley: Bank’s gift to be facelift for Balboa Park entrance.
Construction is due to begin this week on a $150,000 project to enhance the west entrance to Balboa Park.
The project at Laurel Street and Balboa Drive is a gift of San Diego Trust and Savings Bank in commemoration of its 100th anniversary.
Due to be dedicated October 15, the new entrance was one of several suggestions offered by city park officials when bank president Thomas Sefton offered the donation. Jack Krasovich, director of the Park & Recreation Department, said the area will be known as Sefton Plaza.
Meanwhile, the Museum of Man expects to begin occupying the renovated Administration Building at the east end of Cabrillo Bridge this month. The structure has been renovated through a $744,000 state grant.
September 4, 1989, Los Angeles Times, Part II, 2. EDITORIAL: Assessing Competitors for Balboa Park Space.
Although both (the Children’s Museum and the Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art) are hard-pressed for space in their shopping center locations, the Children’s Museum has the more compelling need to be in the park. And San Diego children have a compelling need for a larger, more centrally located Children’s Museum.
September 5, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-4, B-5. John Wilkens: Alex Bevel and Fire Alarm Building in Balboa Park; history buff takes on campaign to save the life of one 1920s building.
September 6, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joseph Thesken: Museums’ ‘free day’ back to normal.
Yesterday was the first day of restrictions limiting the number of people admitted at any one time under a policy adopted last month by members of the Central Balboa Park Associations.
September 7, 1989, San Diego Daily Transcript, 1A:6, 4A:1-2. Tim McClain: Mingei leads for House of Charm; panel recommends shared space for San Diego Art Institute.
Garnering the recommendation of an eight-member advisory panel and the City Manager’s office, the Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art is the early winner in the competition to occupy the House of Charm in Balboa Park.
The city will spend $5 million refurbishing the building’s exterior, leaving the interior to the tenants.
Also doing well in the chase of space in the 48,000-square-foot structure is the San Diego Art Institute, which has occupied the House of Charm for 34 years and is recommended for a sublease.
Solving the space problems of the Mingei and retaining the Art Institute though would leave the Old Globe Theater looking for expansion space. And the Children’s Museum, while recommended for another park location, would not be able to move into Balboa Park for five or more years.
The Children’s Museum would be located in the Federal Building in the Palisades area at the south end of the park. The building now houses the municipal gym. The adopted Balboa Park Master Plan calls for moving the gym outside the park, but not until sometime in the years 1994 to 1998.
In his report on the House of Charm, Coleman Conrad, deputy city manager, said there are no other uses contemplated for the Federal Building and that placing a children’s museum in the building “would be a marvelous addition to the park.”
As to whether the removal of the gym to a new location can be hurried along, Conrad said the possibility will be addressed in a financial plan expected to go before the council in the spring.
Councilman Bob Filner, whose district includes the park and who has been closely involved in the master planning, said the city should address the Old Globe and Children’s Museum issues at the same time it tackles the House of Charm.
“If we accept this recommendation, and my tendency is to go with such a committee, I would like to see No. 1 the Children’s Museum situation with the Federal Building sped up,” Filner said. “I think we ought to move the gym as rapidly as possible. The city is talking with City College in discussions over the new Civic Center. There are discussions involving a new sports complex and I would like to see these move much quicker.”
“The second (problem) is the Old Globe situation,” he said. “It is going to get very controversial. Forget the merits of their proposal for a minute; putting them in the House of Charm would have solved some problems down the line. I think their original expansion plans contradict the master plan. The question is how big a push they are going to put on for expansion. If we don’t put them into the House of Charm then we are going to have to come to grips with their expansion plans.”
Filner will get his chance to comment on the proposal on September 27 when the item comes before the council’s Public Facilities and Recreation Committee, on which he sits. Before than, the report is scheduled for review by the Balboa Park Committee this Monday and the Park and Recreation Board September 21.
A big booster of putting the Children’s Museum in the House of Charm is Mayor Maureen O’Connor. She discussed the idea during her 1989 State of the City Address at which time she also declared 1989 to be the Year of the Child.
O’Connor was not at City Hall yesterday and her spokesman, Paul Downey, said the mayor had not seen the advisory committee’s report.
:Her feelings are the House of Charm is an ideal spot for the Children’s Museum<” Downey said. Until the mayor had reviewed the report, Downey said he could not comment further.
When the March 12 deadline arrived for responses to a Request for Proposals to occupy space in the House of Charm, the city had received seven proposals. Of the seven, the Children’s Museum, Mingei and Art Institute came out best in the eyes of the committee.
The remaining four were from the Hall of Champions, Institute of American Music, Old Globe and Worldbeat Productions. Here’s what the report says about those:
Old Globe: “Discussions have been held with Old Globe officials relative to other options that may be available to the Globe to satisfy more of its needs by reconstruction within the existing leasehold and within the spirit of the policy framework of the adopted Balboa Park Master Plan. The manager recommends that these options be fully explored in conjunction with development of a precise plan for the Prado area.”
Hall of Champions: “An alternative would be for the Hall to expand in the basement area now occupied by the Model Railroad Museum. This option, however, is only viable if the museum is willing to relocated (to the basement of the House of Charm). The museum’s current lease is for 21,570 square feet and does not expire until the year 2006.”
Institute of American Music: “The primary goal of the Institute is to find a home for the “Mighty Wurlitzer Organ” which is now housed at the California Theater. . . . The organ is an impressive instrument but we are unable to recommend a site for it in Balboa Park. The instrument does not lend itself to shared space.”
Worldbeat Productions: “This proposal offers an interesting opportunity to enhance the cultural diversity of Balboa Park. The group had originally expressed an interest in occupying the second water tank in the Pepper Grove area. . . . It is the manager’s recommendation that demolition of the water tank be held in abeyance pending development of a precise plan for this area of the park and that full consideration be given to Worldbeat and other potential users.”
September 7, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-11. Jonathan Freedman: San Diego’s endangered tree of life.
No one knows when the bay fig was planted near the Laurel Street entrance to Balboa Park. . . . One late afternoon in the heat of August the giant fig tree suddenly gave way. . . . The tree spirit hovers in Balboa Park. When you pause where it stood, you can hear it calling, through invisible branches embracing the city, for San Diego to honor its tree of life.
September 8, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Laurel Street into park shut to traffic
September 10, 1989, San Diego Union, A-1. John Wilkens: Pigeon birth control saga ends.
Officials say there are now less than 1,000 pigeons in the park, down from more than 5,000 when the program began. And not many people have noticed.
September 12, 1989, San Diego Union, B-7. Letter, George Driver, Chairman KidsPlace, San Diego: Your editorial is another blow to youth. We teach them to say no to drugs, and no to gathering in malls. (We tell them they) cannot go to the beach nor drive around in a car. Then we provide no alternatives and wonder why they rebel and get into trouble. We say kids are out most important asset, yet we give space in the park to autos, airplanes and fossils first.
September 14, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joseph Thesken: Fence to help old tree survive.
The city Park and Recreation Department will erect a fence around the Moreton Bay fig tree near the Natural History Museum in the park to prevent it from dying. Work on the fence will begin September 20.
September 14, 1989, San Diego Union, C-1. Barbara Fitzsimmons: Mingei seen favorite for House of Charm site; Children’s Museum said out of character in report released this week by the city manager’s office.
September 15, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-8. Joseph Thesken: Balboa Park Committee endorses Mingei Museum as House of Charm tenant
September 15, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3. Frank Klimko: Shady characters who take root under fig tree threaten greenery . . . visitors are crushing the tree to death.
September 16, 1989, San Diego Union, II-2. Frank Klimko: Fig tree needs space to branch out.
September 18, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: Children’s Museum for Balboa Park.
The City Council should reverse the city manager’s recommendation and offer the folk museum and art institute a place in the Federal Building. Open the House of Charm to the laughter and awe of children discovering life’s infinite possibilities in the Children’s Museum.
September 20, 1989, Letter, from Richard W. Amero, to Don Wood, President, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3; Subject: Bridle Paths in Balboa Park
A C-3 committee studying the east side of Balboa Park has recently endorsed considering the restoration of bridle paths to Balboa Park at the urging of a member. I was one of two people to dissent. Reasons advanced were “Balboa Park should have something for everybody,” “specialists in park recreation do not know what they are talking about,” and “I like to ride horses.” Not advanced were arguments heard recently in Los Angeles in conjunction with a privately-run
equestrian club in Griffith Park: “We are a free enterprise society”; “There are enough people who can afford it”; “I believe it would be a good investment”; and “The development would allow us to gain revenue to make the park self-sustaining.”
In my opinion, an equestrian trail system in Balboa Park is not feasible because of the limited and inaccessible terrain involved. Before the coming of the Crosstown Freeway, the Silver Gate Riding Club, behind the Federal Building, neglected their facilities and animals, broke their promises, and had their hands out for public favors and money. Riding trails are one aspect of a larger situation for the horses will have to be stabled. Skilled riders will insist on an arena for shows, polo fields, training rings, a hay barn, a riding academy, paths for trotting and racing, and the use of streets and plazas for parades and exhibits and land for camper trailers and automobile parking.
If the riding group operates a concession offering horses to the public, they will not supervise their clientele. Do horseback riders have licenses? For corroboration, please consult the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If the riding group is entirely private, then it is a restricted activity that does not fall under the provisions of the San Diego City Charter for the general public use of dedicated city parks.
In the nineteenth century, large city parks were planned with paths for horses, carriages and pedestrians. This separation of traffic was one of the marvels of early city parks. The automobile, the bicycle, the skateboard, the MOPED, the motorcycle, and the jogger have since intervened. As a consequence parks have been forced to discourage some activities while promoting others. There is unanimous agreement among park planners that people who walk and sit should have priority before other park users.
There have been nasty and, in some instances, lethal collisions between self-propelled, animal-propelled and machine-propelled people in parks. Such incidents should be avoided for the park experience is supposed to be peaceful and therapeutic.
Problems of sanitation and destruction of soil cover and plants are too obvious to mention, even though horseback riders with “blinker” vision will pretend they do not exist. Robert M. Makla, founder of Friends of Central Park and Henry Stern, Commissioner of Parks for New York City, can give you advice on the practicality of bridle paths in a park with only 309 “free” and uneviscerated acres left.
My argument against bridle paths in Balboa Park also applies to the holding of dog shows on the Arizona landfill, an activity that the C-3 committee has not discussed. This latter case is one of either/or, for it is either dog show or landscape, not both. The question is should Balboa Park be planned for “the greater good of the greatest number” or should it be given piecemeal to everybody who wants its?
I am not opposed to policemen riding horses in the park as they are trained to handle them, they enhance security, and they provide an amicable and colorful attraction.
The implementation of a bride-trail system in the approximately 6,000-acre Mission Trails Park is another issue which should be examined by residents in the surrounding communities and by a C-3 committee. Their first step in such an examination would be to study the problems encountered in the operation of about 43 miles of bride trails in 4,000-acre Griffith Park in Los Angeles. It should not be
forgotten that the largest part of Griffith Park is in a semi-wild state and is not hampered by competing activities and that the financially-troubled equestrian center, operated by the Burbank-based Equestrian Center of American, is located north of Ventura Freeway and is not in the park.
I am enclosing some remarks from Raymond Clary, author of The Making of Golden Gate Park.
I suspect that C-3, the Park & Recreation Department, and the City Council are soon to receive a massive pro-horseback riding promotion with proponents from other cities making absurd claims. It is now time to prepare ourselves for the onslaught.
EXCERT FROM A LETTER FROM RAYMOND H. CLARY, HISTORIAN, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO RICHARD W. AMERO, SEPTEMBER 9, 1989.
Now as to the horse stables and bridle trails. In theory it sounds like a good idea. In practice, it STINKS! And I am not talking about horse manure.
When polo was all the rage, stables were built in the park for the convenience of visiting polo horses from other cities. Then the cost of keeping horses became prohibitive (at least five horses for each player), so the game was abandoned.
As property values went up, livery stables went out of business, and the people who felt they could afford to keep a horse had no place to stable them. So they pressured the Park Commission to let them use the “abandoned” polo stables. Then the Park no longer wanted to bother with it, so the stables were leased to a concessionaire, and you know the rest. It was a constant source of trouble — prices rose — insurance became a problem — ad infinitum.
As to aiding “inner-city children,” most of the horse owners could care less about underprivileged children. What they are talking about is cheap,slave labor. They find a young person who is willing to curry, clean and exercise their horse in return for the “privilege” of riding it. Comes the weekend and they want to ride, their “groom” has the horse all saddled, bridled and ready to go. THAT, my friend, is how they benefit the “inner-city” youngster.
I am probably doing an injustice to a relative few, but, generally speaking, you will find that I have hit the nail squarely on the head.
We had a concessionaire here that I fought for seven years and he finally gave up the lease. He kept as many as three horses in one stall and paid the City for only one. He hired “wetbacks” exclusively, and the Police were afraid to touch him because his business partner was President of the “Wreck-Park” Commission.
Not even would the local Immigration Service act, until I wrote to Washington. FIVE TIMES during one summer the Immigration authorities raided the stables and deported the help, and the “Wreck-Park” Commission refused to cancel his lease. When we got a new Mayor and a new President of the Commission, he was gone within five months.
It your Park Commission is willing to operate the stable at cost, so that an “inner-city” child could afford to take riding lessons and then rent a horse once in a while, that would be one thing. But if it is a business venture, then only the well-to-do will be able to afford the facilities, and urban parks were never intended to benefit the well-to-do. They can afford to go to the mountains, or the seashore, or the river — and maintain a home in several different places. They have no need for urban parks, except that they would usurp them for their own selfish benefit to the exclusion of the “inner-city” child. Don’t let them sell you that kind of a sob story.
Several years ago, the de Young Museum persuaded the Planning Commission that they needed a FOURTEEN FOOT CIRCULAR RAMP APPROACH to their main building. They said they needed it for — get this — wheel chair access for the handicapped. What they wanted was a carriage ramp, so they could be driven right to the door and not soil their evening clothes in our dirty park. When they got the ramp built, they removed the handicapped parking signs in their parking lot so they could have more “private” parking. The Police has to force them to restore the parking for the handicapped. THAT, my friend, is how much they care about the handicapped or the “inner-city” child.
September 21, 1989, READER, 4. Neal Matthews: Gold Buys Bronze.
The Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park is closed for construction of a formal entryway into the park from the west side, and workmen are hustling to complete the project before the opening of the Soviet Arts Festival, which will hold many of it exhibitions in the park, on October 21. The $150,000 makeover is being underwritten by San Diego Trust & Savings Bank, in honor of the bank’s 100th anniversary. When completed, the portal will be another plaza, joining the venerable Plaza de Panama, Plaza de California and Plaza de Balboa in San Diego’s world-famous park. But this plaza has a different ring to it: Sefton Plaza. How the heck did bank president Tom Sefton get his family’s name posted in bronze on the entrance to a public park”
The story of Sefton Plaza (there will also be a separate 8-by-12-inch plaque at the plaza opening noting San Diego Trust’s beneficence) is just a continuation of the piecemeal way Balboa Park has been developed. The recently adopted Balboa Park Master Plan was supposed to put an end to this kind of scatter gun design approach in the park, but the project was rushed into the works prior to the master plan’s completion. The bank came to the city last year looking for a major project to donate money to and was steered to the park entryway. The bank hired its own design firm and brought the plans to city parks officials. And as happened in 1961, when the city council declared that the Timken Art Gallery should be plopped awkwardly amid the graceful Spanish Colonial architecture on the Prado, the current city council voted unanimously in early August to let Sefton determine the design of the entryway and stick his name on it.
September 21, 1989, San Diego Union, D-6. Robert L. Pincus: Sorolla’s strength comes to light at Museum of Art
September 22, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Dee Anne Traitel: Park & Recreation Board backs House of Charm site for Children’s Museum
September 24, 1989, San Diego Union, E-1. Robert L. Pincus: Museum of Photographic Arts focuses its collection.
September 28, 1989, San Diego Daily Transcript, 1-A, 3-A. House of Charm still untenanted; no slam-dunk item is returned to City Council, by Tim McClain.
Though she wasn’t there in person, Mayor Maureen O’Connor managed to play a big role in yesterday’s three-hour discussion by the Public Facilities and Recreation Committee on the selection of a new tenant for the House of Charm in Balboa Park.
The mayor is a strong proponent of moving the Children’s Museum from La Jolla into the desirable spot, and her support was mentioned and alluded to frequently by a number of competitors for the space. Some insinuated that the matter had already been decided in the Children’s Museum favor.
In the end yesterday, the PF&R committee was unable to reach a decision and instead sent the item to the full City Council. Before the council takes action, city staff was instructed to determine whether it was financially feasible to have both the House of Charm and Federal Building ready for new tenants at the same time, while also finding a new home for the municipal gym now housed in the Federal Building.
As it stands today, the House of Charm is a crumbling structure beyond salvation. The city has set aside $5 million to demolish the building in the Prado area of Balboa Park and reconstruct it to include 48,000 square feet of usable space. When the city tested the waters for interest in April, it received seven proposals. Those submitting plans were the Children’s Museum, Hall of Champions, Institute of American Music, Mingei International Museum of Folk Art, Old Globe Theater, San Diego Art Institute and Worldbeat Productions.
On the surface, the Art Institute appeared to have the greatest claim to space, as it had occupied a portion of the House of Charm for the last 35 years.
After a review that included advice from an eight-member ad hoc advisory panel, the City Manager’s office returned early this month with a recommendation that Mingei be granted the space, subleasing a portion to the Art Institute.
The manager also recommended that the city try to move the San Diego Model Railroad Museum from its space in the Casa de Balboa, where it has a long-term lease, into the new basement of the House of Charm. Moving the railroaders would provide expansion room for the Hall of Champions.
The Children’s Museum would be located into the Federal Building once a new gym was opened at a site away from the park, something not planned to take place for six to nine years, but that could be accelerated.
On September 11, the Balboa Park Committee supported almost all of the manager’s recommendations, deleting references to the railroad museum. The museum’s board indicated it was not interested in tearing up its lease and destroying unmovable intricate displays in order to relocate into new, smaller quarters.
Last week, the matter went before the Park and Recreation Board. After a personal appearance by Mayor O’Connor, the board voted 7-1 to recommend that the Children’s Museum be given all of the space.
Yesterday’s session was played out before a packed house and had to be moved from a smaller conference room to the main council chambers. Still there was a shortage of seats. Best represented were the Art Institute, Children’s Museum, Old Globe, Mingei and Model Railroad Museum. When speakers from the various groups finished saying their pieces, the resulting applause almost made it seen like some kind of talent show where audience support was a crucial factor in selecting a winner.
At one point the Art Institute presented a scroll signed by 2,385 people asking that it remain in the House of Charm. The Children’s Museum did the institute one better by unveiling a scroll containing more than 4,000 signatures.
The manager’s recommendation was in trouble from the outset.
Tom Hall, managing director of the Old Globe, told the four PF&R members present (Councilwoman Judy McCarty arrived about half way through the discussion) that a new compromise was in the works. Under it, the Hall of Champions would move to the Federal Building and Mingei would take the majority of the House of Charm, providing space for the Art Institute, and in the basement, rehearsal room for the Old Globe.
(The Old Globe has been hot for more rehearsal space for a while now, though it plans to do so by building a new structure behind the theater face steep opposition from foes of any new commercial development in the park. Moving into the House of Charm is considered a solution.)
Though all four players getting new space supported the solution, still left with no place to go, except possibly the old Hall of Champions spot, was the Children’s Museum.
Support for putting Mingei and Art Institute in the House of Charm came from a variety of speakers, including Dick Bundy, chairman of the Central Balboa Park Association and letters read into the record from Ernest Hahn and U. S. Rep. Jim Bates.
Don Wood, president of Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, was a member of the ad hoc committee and supported the manger’s recommendation.
“The whole report is a solid attempt to meet the needs of all the organizations involved,” he said.
In a thinly-veiled attack on the attitude of the Children’s Museum, Wood said, “A number of organizations acted as if they had a clam-dunk and they didn’t have to compromise. That was noted by the committee.”
Wood said if the committee went ahead and backed the Children’s Museum, “the only message you’re getting out to the public and children is to get your fix in early, and don’t worry about the public process.”
Representing the Art Institute was Charles Sullivan, who said the organization was surprised when during the review process its members heard Mayor O’Connor claim on a television show that the Children’s Museum was moving into the House of Charm.
Paul Downey, the mayor’s press secretary, disputed those charges. He said the mayor said she favored the Children’s Museum for the site, a position she first advanced during her State of the City speech in January, not that it was a done deal.
“I think they have misconstrued or misquoted what the mayor said,” Downey said. “The mayor was supportive of giving the space to the Children’s Museum. If anyone took that as being that it was absolutely going to be there, they were mistaken. By no means is it a done deal. These people might no know the process, I suppose.”
As to the manager’s contention that the Children’s Museum best belongs in the Federal Building where bus access is easy and the site opens to a wide lawn, Downey said other factors come into play.
“Part of the argument for the Children’s Museum is to have access to the other museums in the Prado area of the park,” he said.
Sullivan also said the Children’s Museum has no experience running such a large space (it now operates 10,000 square feet) and it was basically for the rich. His comments were disputed later by museum supporters who said the annual cost for a family to belong is $30, and special provisions are made for those who cannot afford it.
Barbara Bry, director of the Children’s Museum, eased the tension somewhat with her opening comments that she would support taking the Federal Building if the city could get it ready at the same time the House of Charm was ready. Bry said the big problem with the Children’s Museum, which drew 90,000 visitors in the last fiscal year, is a lack of space and having to turn away groups.
Maria Garcia, school principal, told the committee that if this was indeed the year of the child and not just a clever slogan made up by a public relations firm, it would support the Children’s Museum.
George Driver, president of Kids Place, scolded the committee, saying it could not compare the needs of arts organizations with those of the children in these days of drugs and gang activity.
“The youth deserve their rightful place in the park and they are asking for it,” he said.
When the public discussion ended, Filner proposed that the item be returned to staff to see if it was possible to have the House of Charm and Federal Building ready at the same time. If it was, then Mingei, the Art Institute and the Old Globe would get the House of Charm. The Railroad Museum would stay put and Worldbeat Productions gets first crack at occupying an old water tank it’s asked for. The Children’s Museum would move into the Federal Building as the primary tenant with thought given to adding a mezzanine space for the Hall of Champions.
Once the details of the compromise were worked out, Filner wanted the report to come back to PF&R, reasoning that if it failed the committee had a tough recommendation to make.
Filner’s suggestion was fine with Henderson but rubbed Councilman Ed Struiksma the wrong way. Struiksma wanted the item to go directly to the City Council without the Filner-requested information so a decision could be made post-haste. He was supported by councilwomen Abbe Wolfsheimer and Judy McCarty.
Henderson then ruffled a few feathers by saying that if the committee took Struiksma’s suggestion it would be “sending a message to the community that there is great impropriety” in this particular decision-making process.
An irritated McCarty asked Henderson to be more specific. He responded by defending Filner’s suggestion as the appropriate way the committee system works. But McCarty wasn’t satisfied and wanted more about the alleged “impropriety.”
“The suggestion has been made that the council votes have already been counted,” he said, mentioning the comments about the Children’s Museum being unwilling to share the space and the mayor’s statements on Channel 10’s “Inside San Diego” show.
By moving with “undue haste,” he said, the committee adds fuel to that argument.
McCarty dismissed that scenario and said that she, for one, had yet to make up her mind. The vote was 3-2 with Henderson and Filner opposing sending it directly to the council.
September 28, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Compromise is key at House of Charm, by Kathryn Balint.
A dispute over who will occupy the new House of Charm in Balboa Park will be fought next month before the San Diego City Council unless a compromise is reached.
The Children’s Museum, now in the La Jolla Village Square shopping center, and the Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art, at the University Town Center shopping mall, want to move in once the city completes construction in 1991 of a replacement for the old House of Charm on the Prado.
Their conflicting wishes have turned into a political struggle with Mayor O’Connor supporting the Children’s Museum and City Manager John Lockwood and at least two council members favoring the art museum.
The latest battle was waged yesterday before the council Public Facilities and Recreation Committee, which reached no consensus.
The committee’s five members did agree to direct Lockwood to see whether a compromise could be worked out by allowing the Mingei Museum to have the House of Charm while renovation of the park’s Federal Building for the Children’s Museum.
The members, however, could not agree on whether the issue should be heard again by the committee or heard next by the nine-member council. A 3-2 vote sending the question to the full council was an indication of how politically charged the question of what institution should occupy the House of Charm has become.
Councilman Bruce Henderson said he wanted the topic to be heard again by the committee, which he heads so that the details could be ironed out. Councilman Bob Filner agreed. The two also said they want the Mingei Museum to move in.
When council members Judy McCarty, Ed Struiksma and Abbe Wolfsheimer proposed that the full council, including the mayor, hear the issue, Henderson said this would give the appearance of impropriety. He said the committee should try to resolve problems before sending them to the council.
McCarty said she hopes that in the full council the controversy will be “worked out so everyone gets something.”
September 28, 1989, San Diego Union, D-3. Debate delays House of Charm decision, by Noel Osment.
A City Council committee yesterday failed to recommend specific tenants for Balboa Park’s House of Charm after its renovation in 1991, but compromise plans devised by some of the contending groups raised the hope of a solution.
After about three hours of testimony and debate, the council’s Public Facilities and Recreation Committee voted to send the question to the full council as soon as possible after additional information is supplied by the city manager’s office.
In a report issued September 13, this office recommended the Mingei Museum of International Folk Art be the primary tenant of the House of Charm with the San Diego Art Institute remaining in the facility as a subtenant. The report also recommended the Children’s Museum be housed in the Federal Building, when it can be made available. The building is currently used as a gymnasium.
The Children’s Museum, also a contender for the House of Charm, went into yesterday’s meeting with the apparent support of Mayor O’Connor, who has publicly favored it as the main tenant.
The Art Institute, which has been a tenant at the House of Charm for 35 years, and the Children’s Museum has both amassed large and spirited groups of supporters for yesterday’s committee hearing.
Several dozen children, including a fourth-grade class from Fletcher Elementary School, were there, many bearing colorful homemade posters. Along with parents, museum board members and volunteers and staff they were there to plead the case of the Children’s Museum.
An equally large force (albeit all adults) appeared on behalf of the Art Institute.
On hand in smaller numbers were representatives of other contenders for the space: the Old Globe Theater, the Mingei Museum and the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Before testimony began a compromise plan was offered by the Old Glove in conjunction with the Mingei and the Art Institute.
Instead of asking for the entire House of Charm, the Old Globe would settle for office and rehearsal space in the basement with Mingei and Art Institute above.
The Hall of Champions also withdrew its application for the House of Charm. Jack Monger, the hall’s director, however, said it is urgent that the hall find larger space, particularly since it has a potential $4 million donor to pay for expansion.
Children’s Museum representatives said they would be happy with the Federal Building — if it could be acquired within a reasonable amount of time.
That is a big “if,” and, in the end, timing is the bottom line.
The crucial question, summarized by Councilman Bob Filner, is whether arrangements can be made to convert the Federal Building for other uses at about the same time as the renovation of the House of Charm.
The catch is that new gymnasium facilities — slated to be built somewhere outside of the park — must be made available before the Federal Building can be taken over.
Thus, the council committee directed the city manager’s officer to do a study and report — probably within several weeks — on the feasibility of speeding up the release of the Federal Building.
Filner said the full council action could be taken with four to six weeks.
September 28, 1989, San Diego Tribune, D-1. Kids Arts Fest grows to full weekend
September 29, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Sharon F. Griffin: Zoo seeks cuts with offer of early retirement
Voluntary early retirement will be offered to 129 employees at the Zoo, the Wild Animal Park and the Zoological Society of San Diego in an effort to cut the work force, society officials said yesterday. The 129 positions represent 7.5 percent of the 1,726 union and non-union workers employed by the society, which operates both the Zoo in Balboa Park and the Wild Animal Park near Escondido.
Society spokesman Jeff Jouett said yesterday that the organization was “positioning” itself for some lean years. Specifically, he said Zoo attendance has dropped and the society faces some major capital expenditures.
“We are on the heels of three very good years: 1986, ’87 and ’88 were top attendance years for the whole Zoo’s history,” Jouett said. However, he said, “1989 is dropping back to the pre-panda days. In 1990, we will not have a Tiger River or a Sun Bear Forest to open, so we expect attendance to be at normal levels.” Additionally, the society has some major building projects in progress.
“Our gorilla exhibits are now under construction for completion in 1991, and that’s an $11.5 million project,” Jouett said. “We have to rebuild Wegeforth Bowl, which is where we have our sea lion arena, and that’s about a $5 million project.
“So we see these big expense items on the horizon, and we see that we don’t have anything in the rest of 1989 or 1990 to entice people to come to the Zoo.”
About 55 percent of the society’s expenses are for labor, Jouett said. About 79 percent of its income is from admissions, food and merchandise sales, and rides on the monorail, Skyfari or buses. Employees eligible for the early retirement program must made a decision by October 27, and retirement must occur no later than December 31. The option affects a range of workers from top executives to building and grounds keepers.
The special retirement program is available to workers 50 years of age and older who have at least 10 years of pension service as of January 1, 1990.
Those who accept the offer would get a one-time, lump-sum payment equal to $1,000 times the number of years of pension service. And pension benefits would be calculated as if the employees were two years older and had completed an additional three years of pension service.
Efforts yesterday to reach Bill Martin, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 481, which represents about 800 of the society’s 1,500 employees were unsuccessful.
Jouett said the society has set no goal for how many people it hoped would take advantage of the program.
“How many will take advantage of it, we don’t know,” Jouett said. “This is just a way for use to make an offer to our longtime employees and perhaps give us the opportunity to economize and eventually do more with less here.”
Jouett also offered no projections on how much the society might save.
“The exact amount of savings remains to be seen,” he said. “It depends not only on how many people accept but how successfully we can restructure.”
September 30, 1989, Part Ii, 1, 6. Former San Diego City Councilman Mike Gotch . . . has been chosen to be executive director of the public agency that is planning a 43-mile long regional park that will stretch from the foothills of Julian to the Pacific at Del Mar.
October, 1989, Adelante, 5. SOHO: On July 25, 1989, the 60-year old Fire Alarm Station Building in Balboa Park became City landmark 235. Prior to that, it was given a reprieve from the wrecking ball by a seven to two City Council vote, allowing the city’s Park and Recreation Department to occupy the building and use it for temporary office space after a $250,000 renovation. The money will be available from the Florida Canyon Outlay Fund, which set aside a sum of money when San Diego and the Navy swapped land in Florida Canyon in order that a new Naval Hospital could be built.
October 1, 1989, San Diego Union, A-3. It’s time to scream — loudly — for quieter recreation, by Richard Louv.
Farmer-poet Wendell Berry writes of the war between the two ethics in America. “The standard of the exploiter is efficiency, the standard of the nurturer is care. The exploiter’s goal is money, profit; the nurturer’s goal is health — his land’s health, his own, his family’s, his community’s, his country’s . . . The exploiter typically serves an institution or organization; the nurturer serves land, household, community, place. The exploiter thinks in terms of numbers, quantities, “hard facts”; the nurturer in terms of character, condition, quality, kind.”
October 1, 1989, San Diego Union, H-9. Tom Krasovic: Tennis court rental dispute simmers.
October 5, 1989, Letter, From Richard Amero, To John Witt, City Attorney . . . Is not the occupancy of a Balboa Park building (by the Park & Recreation Department) a violation of the existing City Charter?
October 5, 1989, Letter, From Richard Amero, to State Historic Preservation Officer . . . As I have suggested to you before, no public or private building should be put on a local or national register until those who don’t want it there are encouraged to come forth and have their say.
October 5, 1989, San Diego Union, B-11. Edward L. Fike: The Old Globe, the city’s grande dame.
Generations of San Diegans have been bewitched by the Old Globe’s magic. That grand old theater is indispensable to the city’s advancing cultural life.
October 6, 1989, San Diego Daily Transcript, 5B. Through generation and sale of electricity; Methane from Trash Dumps Paying Off For County.
Three tons of trash and garbage, which have been buried during the past few years in San Diego County’s major landfills, are beginning to pay off — with methane gas generated being collected and burned to generate electricity which is sold to San Diego Gas & Electric Co.
October 6, 1989, San Diego Tribune, F-5. Herb Lawrence: Sefton’s bank makes donation for entrance to Balboa Park designed by landscape architect Patrick Caughey, who is with Wimmer, Yamada and Associates.
Jack Krasovich, deputy director of the city Department of Park and Recreation, said the city hopes to beautify the park’s other seven entrances in the future.
October 7, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Annual massing of colors at Organ Pavilion tomorrow
October 7, 1989, San Diego Union, B-5, B-6 Woman’s body found in park
October 8, 1989, San Diego Union, F-41, F-42. Casting for details; craftsman restores, duplicates buildings’ decorative touches, by Carol Olten (photo of restoration craftsman Don Johnson).
Don Johnson hunches his shoulders over the plaster mold of a giant goldfish mounted on a workbench outside an El Cajon apartment building.
With sculptor’s tools he carefully refines the surface of the piece, sloping the curves of the fin more gently, popping out details of the eyes and mouth. Later, he will fill the mold with plaster or a similar material.
Johnson makes the goldfish for table bases, one of the bread-and-butter items of his trade. But his true loves are the rococo Beaux Arts-inspired moldings and ornaments adorning many local historic buildings, lions that roar from cornices, gargoyles that run along eaves, and half-human, half-beast creatures that loom over column capitals.
For the past several years, Johnson has been restoring and re-creating many of them.
Johnson defines himself as neither mason nor plasterer, although his work combines the skills of both. With his wife Linda, he runs a small master craftsman business out of El Cajon called the Don Johnson Ornamentation.
It’s not a 9-to-5 job, and the projects are sometimes sporadic. Johnson is also a truck driver who drives an 18-wheeler when ornamentation work is slow.
So far, however, he has built up an impressive portfolio. In includes work on such downtown landmarks as the Kravasne Building, the Bijou Theater, Old City Hall, the Marston Building, and Horton Grand Hotel.
Johnson also has been active in restoring some of the decorative details on Balboa Park’s aging buildings from the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition.
“It drives me almost crazy to walk around the park and see how so much of this fantastic ornamental work is not being taken care of properly on the old buildings,” Johnson said.
“They’ve just kept painting it and painting it over the years instead of recasting and replacing some of the pieces as they decay. The layers of paint spoil the effect of the great detail in the work and cause the ornament to disintegrate even more because the materials can’t breathe. It’s awful. You try to take a piece off a building to get it recast now, and it falls apart in your hands.”
October 9, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Mike Konon: ‘Nature’s Fury’ shakes up public at Science Center
October 9, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. Letter, Eugene K. Chamberlin, North Park: Placing Thoreau, Gandhi, Tolstoy and Martin Luther King together clearly discussing human issues, would represent a major approach to public part. Locating the bronze quartet in Balboa Park . . . would get their message to this community which sorely needs it.
October 10, 1989, San Diego Union, B-7. Letter, Monty Griffin, San Diego: Mayor O’Connor’s heavy hand appeared again in the September 21 San Diego Park and Recreation Board decision awarding sole tenancy of the to-be-reconstructed House of Charm building in Balboa Park to the Children’s Museum.
October 11, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Reuben H. Fleet center to receive science grant
October 12, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Tom Blair: San Diego Zoo’s contribution to Soviet Art Festival a poster of a Russian bear.
October 13, 1989, Letter, Rudolf Hradecky, Deputy City Attorney, to Richard Amero . . . Please be advised that the Park and Recreation Department will be occupying the Fire Alarm Building in Balboa Park on a temporary basis. We have concluded that this is a permissible use of dedicated park land.
October 13, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1. Sharon T. Griffin: Police to enforce law on feeding homeless.
October 15, 1989, Letter, From Richard Amero, To John Van De Kamp, Attorney General, Sacramento, Calif. . . . I . . . request that you take steps to cancel the Charter of the City of San Diego until such time as the City of San Diego commits itself to compliance with (existing) statutes and/or laws.
October 16, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. John Gilmore: Banker’s gift marks birthday.
Banker Tom Sefton celebrates birthdays in grand fashion.
The president of San Diego Trust & Savings Bank gave the city a $150,000 present yesterday, must a way for the bank to say thanks for supporting San Diego Trust which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
The gift is a newly renovated west entry to Balboa Park on Laurel Street, that had its grand opening during a three-hour party yesterday.
October 16, 1989, San Diego Union, B-3. Linda Kozub: Plaza named for Sefton
City Councilman Bob Filner, in presenting Tom Sefton the key to the city, described San Diego Trust & Savings Bank as “our own home-grown institution.”
Calling Sefton “Mr. Savings,” Filner said the Sefton Plaza now opens a key park entrance, and that “the key to the city will open the rest of San Diego.”
October 16, 1989, San Diego Union, Festival-10 Christopher Reynolds: Cultural groups vie for bit of House of Charm, by Christopher Reynolds.
Location, location, location.
The City Council is scheduled to decide this afternoon the next tenant of 48,000 square feet of prime Balboa Park real estate, thereby settling a rivalry among seven cultural groups, fueled in part by Mayor O’Connor’s early statement of her preferences in the matter. But as recently as last Friday the rivalry raged on.
A Soviet Bargain . . . The San Diego Museum of Art is charging $5 a head for its 27-egg Faberge show, October 22 to January 7, but you can catch the same show in the State Museum of the Moscow Kremlin (January 30 to March 15) for just one ruble. Air fare not included.
October 17, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1. Joseph Thesken: City gives children House of Charm; Museum to share Balboa Park site with art institute.
The Children’s Museum of San Diego and Mayor O’Connor came out the winners yesterday in the contest over which institutions will occupy the new House of Charm in Balboa Park when it is built in late 1991 or early 1992.
San Diego City Council members unanimously approved a compromise plan in which the Children’s Museum will be the building’s primary tenant with San Diego Art Institute the secondary tenant.
The vote came after nearly three hours of public debate, often punctuated by speakers’ sharp criticisms of O’Connor and her equally sharp retorts.
To accommodate the Mingei museum and another applicant, the Hall of Champions (now located in the Prado’s Casa de Balboa), the Hall of Champions would move into larger quarters in a restored Federal Building, and the Mingei museum into the space to be vacated by the Hall of Champions.
October 17, 1989, San Diego Union,D-4. Christopher Reynolds: Council votes to give coveted space to Children’s Museum.
Overruling the city manager in a compromise decision, the City Council yesterday selected the Children’s Museum of La Jolla as the next main tenant of Balboa Park’s much coveted House of Charm building.
Under an arrangement engineered by Councilman Ron Roberts and Mayor O’Connor, the new building will be shared by the Children’s Museum, which will get most of it; the San Diego Art Institute, which will get 7,500 to 9,000 square feet; and, perhaps, the Old Globe Theater.
The Mingei museum counts the mayor’s husband, Bob Peterson, among its past major contributors, and the museum is organizing a Soviet folk art exhibit for the mayor as part of the San Diego Arts Festival, Treasures of the Soviet Union, which beings Sunday.
The city manager’s report noted that car traffic next to the House of Charm could imperil children and instead suggested the Federal Building, which lies next to a large grassy area. Children’s Museum officials discounted the danger.
October 19, 1989, San Diego Union, D-8. Welton Jones: Park’s Federal Building has theatrical roots.
(Balboa Park’s Federal Building) was built to house a 2,700-seat theater.
October 20, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-1, B-5. Preston Turegano: Entertainers invited to park fest on no-tips basis.
. . . this Sunday, the city will allow street entertainers to perform in the park only if they agree not to accept tips or gratuities because of Super Powers Sunday, a public celebration of the Soviet arts festival that officially begins tomorrow night with a performance of the opera “Boris Godunov.”
Penny Scott emphasized that a city ordinance says public land cannot be used for private gain.
October 20, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-10. EDITORIAL: Soviet Arts Festival — “You will be content,” San Diego.
As Mayor O’Connor noted, the festival isn’t an elitist function, it is intended to achieve the far more admirable goal of making Soviet art and culture accessible.
It’s rumored that Faberge was reluctant to reveal to the czar what he had in store as he fashioned the intricate imperial Easter eggs.
Faberge would merely assure him, “Your majesty will be content.”
San Diego will be, too.
October 20, 1989, San Diego Tribune, C-1. Susan Freudenheim: Eggs excessive, but hard to resist
October 20, 1989, San Diego Tribune, Soviet Arts-3. Gordon Smith: City’s first festival could be beginning of planned arts, tourism alliance.
In a way, though, “The San Diego Arts Festival: Treasures of the Soviet Union” has already had a profound impact on San Diego. Whether it turns out to be the city’s last art festival or the first of many, it has already “forced a lot of people to think about art<’ said Hugh Davis, director of the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art. “And it has helped the city get a better picture of what its strengths and weaknesses are culturally.”
Los Angeles Times, October 22, 1989, B-1, B-9, B-10. Leonard Bernstein: Soviet Arts Festival Skeptics Watch Fiscal Performance.
Nearly two years after Mayor O’Connor announced creation of a $6.25-million cultural experiment, San Diegans today get a first glimpse of whether “San Diego Arts Festival: Treasures of the Soviet Union” is worth $3 million in public funding.
For the next 22 days, the festival’s financial success will be closely watched by opponents who were skeptical about the expenditure of $3 million in hotel tax revenue on a project that also has drawn mixed reviews for artistic merit.
O’Connor has pledged hat the festival will return $1 million in profit to city coffers to fund recreation programs that would have been eliminated. The money has been built into the 1980-90 fiscal budget.
Los Angles Times, October 22, 1989, B-8. Michael Granberry: Festival offers mixed bag of prices, availability; some events have been sold out for months and some may be out of pocketbook range, but there are choices.
If you want to see the Georgian State Singing and Dancing Ensemble at the Spreckels Theater, you’re out of luck. It sold out weeks ago.
The same holds true for the Tbilisi State Marionette Theater at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater. If you’re a San Diego school kid, however, you may get in free as part of a field trip.
Tickets to some events of the 3-1/2 week Soviet Arts Festival, which officially begins today, are hard to come by. Others are on the high end of the price scale. Top price for the six-hour Soviet play “Brothers and Sisters” at the Old Globe Theater is $125. (That does not include a dinner.).
October 22, 1989, San Diego Union, A-1. John Gaines: Arts festival to focus on Soviet masterpieces — and U.S. dollars.
October 22, 1989, San Diego Union, C-1. Maureen O’Connor, Mayor of San Diego: Commentary — visiting art treasures afford San Diegans an intriguing glimpse of the Soviet soul.
But as with all miracles, reading about it is not enough. You must experience it for yourself.
Enjoy the art.
Celebrate the history.
And marvel that it has happened at all.
October 23, 1989, Letter, From Peter E. Kingren, Analyst, Public Inquiry Unit, Department of Justice, Sacramento, Calif., To Richard Amero . . . The California Attorney General’s office is not funded to provide private legal representation to individuals or groups who are involved in a dispute with local government agencies. Further, we have no constituted authority to overturn or attempt to influence a properly constituted local governing body.
October 23, 1989, Letter, From Kathryn Gualtieri, State Historic Preservation Officer, to Richard Amero . . . When and if the nomination (of the Fire Alarm Building in San Diego) is scheduled for hearing by the State Historical Resources Commission, you may express your views on the eligibility of the building in writing or in person at the meeting.
October 23, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Gordon Smith: San Diego rolls out red carpet for Soviet performers; police estimate Balboa Park crowd at 60,000.
The 10,000-15,000 people who filled the Organ Pavilion and watched from surrounding lawns and roadways showed no signs of leaving. Moments later, as a group of children’s folk dancers from Soviet Georgia performed acrobatic whirls and leaps on stage, the rain tailed off. By mid-afternoon the skies were virtually clear.
With Super Powers Sunday over, the festival’s focus will shift to a variety of museums and theaters around the city.
October 24, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-6. EDITORIAL: A super Super Powers Sunday.
If there was any lingering doubt that San Diegans were in the mood for a vibrant arts festival, the public’s response to Super Powers Sunday in Balboa Park had to dispel it once and for all.
About 65,000 people took Mayor O’Connor up on her invitation to experience the arts and culture of the Soviet Union. They overflowed the Organ Pavilion, jostled each other — for the most part good-naturedly — along the Prado and lined up at the Starlight Bowl and in front of every refreshment and souvenir stand.
The master chefs from the Soviet Republic of Georgia fixed a feast at $2 a plate, for 20,000 people. They probably could have prepared 40,000 servings of marinated beef, chicken Kiev, sturgeon, a spicy bean salad — and still sold out.
Thousands of spectators delighted at the doll-like beauty and grace of the Soviet Georgian children who performed folk dances, whirled on their knees and rattled sabers on the stage of the Organ Pavilion. Others lined up to see the Soviet arts exhibits in the museums along the Prado.
Those who couldn’t get in to see the popular Faberge egg exhibit and other museums’ Soviet offerings could still view painted wooden Easter eggs from the Soviet Union’s Ukrainian region at a free display in the House of Pacific Relations.
The Soviet Union was hardly the only culture represented. The Germans brought Oktoberfest to the festival, serenading the crowds with polka music and doing brisk business in freshly grilled bratwurst. Native Americans and Mexican fold dancers also entertained the spectators.
Enthusiastic festival-goers scooped up everything laid before them. In other words, the kickoff of the three-week festival, “Treasures of the Soviet Union,” was a success.
The cancellation of the “Masterworks in Metal” exhibit at the B Street Pier is perhaps the major disappointment of the festival. For political reasons, Soviet Georgian officials refuse to send their icons. The Soviets reportedly will substitute an exhibit of their gold works. We hope so.
If anything, the very popularity of Sunday’s event caused its problems. So many people jammed the park that one has to shudder over what might have happened had it not rained briefly at midday.
City officials wisely had arranged shuttles from auxiliary lots around the city. The system was completely overwhelmed, with traffic jams backed up on freeways and Park Boulevard; lines even formed on Pershing Drive to get into the huge temporary lot on the east side of Balboa Park.
The lesson, we think, is that future mega-events in Balboa Park are going to require more peripheral lots and shuttle services and a traffic plan to get cars parked in a quiet and orderly fashion.
The public’s enthusiasm also suggests that more than one Super Powers Sunday should have been scheduled during the three-week festival.
The major will now have the pleasant task of planning events for a public that can’t seem to get enough of the cultural fare she offered.
October 25, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-1. Treasures of Soviet Union.
October 25, 1989, San Diego Union, B-7. Letter, Bill D. Slaughter, former Development Associate, San Diego County Special Olympics . . . charity event to benefit mentally retarded citizens. set for September 16 at Price Theater canceled because of lack of public participation, contrasted with an Old Globe Theater’s black-tie, fund-raising event at which $75,000 was netted.
October 26, 1989, San Diego Union, E-1. Robert L. Pincus: Treasures of Soviet Union . . . Eggs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be
October 26, 1989, San Diego Union, E-6. San Diego Arts Festival
October 28, 1989, San Diego Tribune, A-2. Soviet Arts Festival opened on a Super Powers Sunday in Balboa Park
October 29, 1989, San Diego Union, C-2. EDITORIAL: Opening ceremonies of San Diego Arts Festival ‘89 in Balboa Park is glittering success.
This three-week spectacle has already achieved its objective of focusing attention on San Diego as a growing center for art and culture as well as forging closer cultural links between the United States and the Soviet Union and providing educational resources for 150,000 schoolchildren.
October 31, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. Joseph Thesken: Children’s Museum/Art Institute to share House of Charm.
The San Diego City Council voted unanimously yesterday to have the Children’s Museum of La Jolla and the San Diego Art Institute share the new $5 million House of Charm to be built in 1992 in Balboa Park. Voting on a compromise on allocation of space in the building, the council decided that the museum will be the primary tenant. It also endorsed construction of a subbasement in the building for an Old Globe Theater rehearsal hall.
In addition, the council unanimously approved a plan whereby the Hall of Champions, now in the Casa de Balboa, in the park could move into the park’s Federal Building when it is renovated in the early 1990s. If that move were made, the Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art in La Jolla would be allowed to move into the Hall of Champions’ present quarters in the Casa de Balboa.
However, a snag developed in the compromise when an official of the Museum of Photographic Arts, also a tenant in the Casa de Balboa, said his board wanted the council to consider letting the photo museum expand into the Hall of Champions’ present space. “We don’t want to upset any compromise plan,” Murray Galinson, the photo museum’s board chairman, told the council. “We don’t want to move into the House of Charm, but we are interested in space to be vacated by the Hall of Champions, because we are overcrowded.” Galinson said his board was not aware of the Hall of Champions’ offer to move into the Federal Building until two weeks ago and was not asked to participate in City Manager John Lockwood’s discussion with park tenants.
Lockwood said the Hall of Champions would be given 180 days to determine whether the Federal Building could be remodeled in a manner acceptable to its board members.
Galinson asked for a similar amount of time for his board to give Lockwood its views on occupying the Hall of Champions’ present site. However, Councilman Bruce Henderson said of the compromise: “We’ve gone through this, and I’d like to confirm our commitment to Mingei.” Councilwoman Judy McCarty agreed.
However, Councilman Ed Struiksma said: “Let’s open it up, so the photographic museum has a chance.”
Councilman Ron Roberts agreed.
Said Mayor O’Connor: “We can work this out.”
She called on Henderson, chairman of the council Park Facilities and Recreation Committee, to devise a solution.
Henderson moved that the Mingei museum receive the Hall of Champions’ space if the latter relocates to the Federal Building,. He added that the council should “aggressively seek out a solution.”
October 31, 1989, San Diego Union, D-4. Council yesterday set up plan for House of Charm, by Christopher Reynolds.
The results left the Children’s Museum officials satisfied, Hall of Champion officials pondering a move from their current home into the park’s larger Federal Building, and the city staff looking for a place to offer the Museum of Photographic Arts when park space next becomes available.
Museum of Photographic Arts officials unsuccessfully asserted that park buildings other than the House of Charm shouldn’t be leased out without a separate public Request for Proposals. On a 5-4 vote (with council members Abbe Wolfsheimer, Ron Roberts, Wes Pratt and Ed Struiksma dissenting), the council discounted that argument and earmarked the Casa de Balboa for the Mingei museum.
October 31, 1989, San Diego Union, D-5. San Diego Arts Festival
November 2, 1989. San Diego Tribune,. E-1. Fiesta de la Cuadrilla this weekend
November 4, 1989. San Diego Tribune, B-1. Urban Corps: an avenue out of street life
November 7, 1989. San Diego Tribune, B-8. William Polk: U.S. District Judge William B. Enright rejects lawsuit to bar crèche in park; says it does not violate rights of non-Christians.
November 9, 1989. San Diego Tribune, B-2. Robert Dietrich: Rites to honor war veterans
November 9, 1989. San Diego Union,. II-8. Atheist suit to block Nativity scene dismissed
November 9, 1989. San Diego Union, C-6. Soviets’ benefit to aid homeless, quake victims in San Francisco
November 11, 1989. San Diego Union, B-9. Soviet arts festival to end with prayers service for peace
November 13, 1989. San Diego Tribune, C-1. Soviet arts Fest ends on peaceful note.
November 13, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-8. Reaching across countries and religions; prayers for peace conclude Arts Festival.
As the sun set over San Diego — and on San Diego’s ambitious and sometimes controversial Soviet arts festival — religious leaders and others gathered yesterday in Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion for the final event of the city’s extravaganza: a multi-faith prayer vigil for peace.
The service culminated with an Orthodox vespers service, led by Archpriest Zurab Siradze, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.
November 13, 1989. San Diego Union, B-1. Pro-choice rally held in Balboa Park.
November 13, 1989, San Diego Union, B-6. EDITORIAL: Pigeon control.
Within 14 months, the park pigeons numbered only about 1,500, two years into the program, when the feeding was stopped, the population dropped to 850, where it has remained. This is a perfect number of pigeons for a park, city officials believe. Enough birds to feed and tickle a child’s fancy without the mess that pigeon proliferation can mean.
November 14, 1989, San Diego Union, C-5. Council gives raves to festival.
The City Council yesterday heard its first report on the finances of the first San Diego Arts Festival and promptly issued rave reviews.
“I felt good about the idea, and I’m delighted to see the way it’s turned out,” said Councilman Ron Roberts. “It was an important cultural investment and I don’t think there’s any point in stopping there.”
During the council session, other satisfied comments came from Mayor O’Connor — who has put the festival atop her agenda since unveiling the idea in January 1988 — and Councilwoman Judy McCarty. The councilwoman, who was a reluctant supporter when the council set aside $3 million for the festival last September, yesterday said the major “showed leadership” with her handling of the project.
In a brief summary, festival executive director Bruce Herring offered the following figures. Gross ticket revenues have reached $2.5 million. With several events still running, about 218,000 tickets have been sold, one-fourth of them to customers from outside San Diego County. Attendance at paid and free events combined is expected to reach the organizer’s goal of 500,000.
Last September, the council contributed $2.97 million in hotel tax revenues to the $6 million festival, which began October 21 and officially closed last weekend. (Many festival exhibits will be displayed for up to another seven weeks.) At the urging of Councilman Bruce Henderson, the council eventually gave another $25,000 to an alternative “freedom festival” dedicated to cultures under Soviet domination worldwide.
November 15, 1989. San Diego Tribune, B-8. EDITORIAL: The festival ends, new arts era begins.
What few mistakes were made should be viewed as a valuable learning experience for a city carving a niche for itself on the international cultural scene.
November 16, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-2. The city of San Diego has affirmed its decision not to extend Clairemont Mesa Boulevard through Mission Trails Regional Park. . . . The costs of building new city parks will be borne by developers of all classes of property — not just by those who build residences, the San Diego City Council has decided.
November 16, 1989. San Diego Union, B-10. EDITORIAL: San Diego Art Festival success.
Despite the limited time available to organizers, the festival earned top marks for scope and quality. It sets the standard for what Mayor O’Connor hopes will be many more art festivals to come.
November 17, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-3. Park Board wants share of Fest fund; plans playground isle in Mission Bay lagoon.
Bruce Herring, administrative director of the recent San Diego Arts Festival: Treasures of the Soviet Union, reported that about $1 million from the festival will go into the city’s general fund.
“I’d like to see some of the money the city gained from the Soviet Arts Festival go into building a landmark playground in Mission Bay,” Park and Recreation Board member Mark Bruce said yesterday.
November 18, 1989. San Diego Tribune, B-1. Floyd Smith, restaurateur, feeds homeless in Balboa Park
November 19, 1989. San Diego Union, E-4. Isabelle Wasserman: Exhibit at Museum of Photographic Arts to focus on issues at border.
November 20, 1989, San Diego Union, B-4. Regional park in North County costing at least $100 million a loser in poll conducted by Decision Research of San Diego for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG); police, streets are higher priorities.
November 22, 1989. San Diego Tribune, B-1. Obituary: Samuel Wood Hamill
November 22, 1989. San Diego Union, A-11. Obituary: Samuel Wood Hamill
November 23, 1989. San Diego Union, C-11. Cirque du Soleil
November 23, 1989. San Diego Tribune, B-17. Lawn bowlers want to boost game’s image
November 25, 1989. San Diego Tribune, B-3. OPINION: Hamill leaves an architectural legacy.
November 25, 1989, San Diego Union, B-1, B-7, B-8. Barbara Moran: Reservoirs, parks fill with trash; hazards mounting with illegal dumping.
November 25, 1989, San Diego Union, B-14. EDITOIRAL: IN BRIEF — REAL CHANGE . . . A campaign by the city of San Diego and a host of social service agencies to discourage street dwellers is a creative step in the right direction. Citizens who really want to help street people should join in the “Real Change” drive by declining to give panhandlers spare change.
November 26, 1989. San Diego Union, C-2. EDITORIAL: Parks, yes; bonds, no.
It is no surprise that a recent opinion survey shows that a plan to raise property taxes to finance regional parks and preserves in San Diego County stands scant chance of passage. This is the case even though a solid majority supports the proposal and is willing to pay higher taxes to implement it.
The only solution is passage of a constitutional amendment allowing the will of the majority to prevail — even on the question of higher taxes.
November 30, 1989, San Diego Tribune, B-9. Mayor O’Connor urges funds for children’s projects be set aside from more than $1 million in revenue generated by the city-sponsored Soviet arts festival.
December, 1989, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 Newsletter: Balboa Park, by Chairman Monty Griffin.
Culminating an arduous ten-year struggle, the City Council in July adopted a new Balboa Park Master Plan. This ambitious, four-phase, 20-year, $105 million plan proposes major reconstruction or renovation of aging Central Mesa buildings; substantial changes in auto access, circulation and parking; recovery of four large non-conforming areas — the old Navy Hospital, the Arizona landfill; the Central Operations Station and the City Parks Maintenance Yard — as parkland; a reclaimed water irrigation system, implementation of the 1976 Florida Canyon Master Plan; and improved lighting and public safety measures. Increased transient occupancy taxes (TOT) are to fund the Plan programs.
However, many more old issues and new challenges arose in 1989. Solicitation of tenants for the House of Charm following its reconstruction; retention and refurbishment of the Fire Alarm Building; preparation of a Palisades/Prado Precise Plan; groundbreaking for the Japanese Garden in Gold Gulch; fencing of the Zoo perimeter and landscaping of its parking lot; demolition of Navy Hospital buildings; rejuvenation and rededication of the west entrance to the Prado as Sefton Plaza; recovery of the Arizona landfill; preliminary planning for the Organ Pavilion garage; the Prado arches project; and CALTRANS Highway 163 guardrails were just some of the Park-related activities, projects and issues with which C-3 was concerned.
The largest C-3 sponsored project was an Eastside Balboa Park Precise Plan position paper, prepared by a multi-organization task force committee including C-3 members, which provides major guidelines, recommendations and priorities for vital improvements to the Eastside of Balboa Park.
December 1, 1989. San Diego Union, B-2, B-8. Museums to observe AIDS day
December 1, 1989. San Diego Union, D-1. Parks put on a festive face
December 2, 1989. San Diego Tribune, A-1. Balboa Park celebration renewing Yuletide spirit.
“If you can’t have snow, this is the next best thing, said Laurie Gomez, a clothing-store manger from San Carlos, who brought her sister and nephew along last night. “It’s such a beautiful sight. This really puts you into the Christmas spirit.”
December 3, 1989, Letter, From Richard Amero, To City Manager, San Diego: The city should have an inventory made of furnishings in the St. Francis Chapel and the former Fine Arts Gallery and be responsible for their upkeep . . . list of original fixtures in 1915, some of which are now missing.
December 5, 1989, San Diego Union, B-11. Letter, Tito Steere, Fallbrook, objecting to proposals in San Diego Union editorial “Park, yes; bonds, no” (November 26, 1989) . . . We property owners fought long and hard to insure that we would not be taxed to death by those non-tax-paying voters who are easily swayed by propaganda, such as contained in your editorial.
December 7, 1989. San Diego Union, B-4. City says homeless feeding site in Balboa Park must move
December 8, 1989. San Diego Tribune. B-2. Neighbors seek to put brakes on noise from auto races at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium; San Diego Automotive Museum staged Grand Prix to raise money
December 8, 1989., San Diego Union,B-4, B-12. Undocumented migrant guilty of murder in jogger’s death in Balboa Park
December 10, 1989. San Diego Union. E-1. “Altars to the past” exhibit at Centro Cultural de la Raza
December 13, 1989. San Diego Tribune. C-8. Bowery, Old Globe production to aid homeless, AIDS patients
December 15, 1989. San Diego Tribune. A-1. Nativity scene in Balboa Park severely damaged by vandals
December 16, 1989. San Diego Union, A-1. Atheists condemn Nativity scene vandalism
December 16, 1989. San Diego Union, B-1. Spray paint used to deface Balboa Park Nativity scene
December 19, 1989 San Diego Tribune, B-4. Vandalized Nativity scene undergoes facelift for Christmas
December 19, 1989. San Diego Union,. B-6. OPINION: An ugly crime
December 20, 1989. San Diego Tribune. B-10. OPINION: Nativity scene vandalism draws ire
December 20, 1989. San Diego Union. B-3. Guards, citizens to protect restored Nativity scene
December 21, 1989. San Diego Union, B-3, B-4. Police misquoted on attributing vandalism of Nativity scene to atheists
December 21, 1989. San Diego Union,. B-9. Hate crime destruction at Nativity scene outrages readers
December 22, 1989, San Diego Union, B-7. Louise Schwartz: Spreckels Organ Pavilion magnificent structure.
The Spreckels Organ Society, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the organ, is adding a full-length “Bombarde,” the name given to the low-toned pipes, to the organ’s division of pipes.
During the park’s upcoming Diamond Jubilee year, the San Diego Master Chorale will join organist Robert Plimpton in a repeat of the Easter Day, 1915, performance of Haydn’s oratorio, “The Creation.” Another concert will feature Plimpton with opera singer Virginia Sublett to commemorate the appearance during the Panama-California Exposition of Madame Schumann-Heink.
December 31, 1989, Publicity Release: Celebrate Balboa Park Diamond Jubilee, 75 years, 1915-1990 . . . New Year’s Eve party at the Federal Building, Balboa Park, on December 31st, followed by an official opening ceremony at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion on New Year’s Day.
Return to Amero Collection.
BALBOA PARK HISTORY
1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 | 1904
1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909
1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914
1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924
1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934
1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944
1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949
1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954
1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959
1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964
1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974
1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984
1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994
1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999