The Highs and Lows of the Botanical Building in Balboa Park

by Richard Amero

Alfred D. Robinson (1867-1942), founder and president of the San Diego Floral Society, suggested the construction of a lath house as a feature of the Panama-California Exposition, which was to open in the City of San Diego on January 1, 1915. The idea was not part of plans prepared by landscape architect John C. Olmsted and architect Bertram Goodhue, primary designers of the Exposition as it was first envisioned. However, the idea caught on. Olmsted and San Diego architect Irving Gill, who was supposed to assist Goodhue, expressed their approval.1 The form the lath house was to take was not clear.2 It was thought a trellis-like arbor could be situated in a canyon, but thoughts and lath house grew larger. It was, as Robinson wrote, a dream:

Where was I? Ten minutes earlier I had thirsted for green meadows and trees in a sun-baked land, now I had entered the garden of Eden. Palms and ferns and flowering plants and vines on all sides, sending out their delicate scents upon the night air to mingle with the odor of the moist earth and recent rain, a draught as intoxicating as champagne. I opened my mouth and drew in a long breath with a sigh of supreme satisfaction, then turned to my friend with a look of almost stupid inquiry. He understood and said, “Let’s get seats and I will explain.”

We were in the largest lath house ever projected as a pleasure resort. Where the band played and we sat was a great central dome, 500 feet in diameter, arched over by a domed roof rising fifty feet in the air. Up its supporting columns ran choice vines, jasmines of such sweet savor, begonias and tecomas of gaudy hue and the curious Dutchman’s pipe. Palms from many lands and of many forms lined the borders and were in beds here and there while begonias and other foliage plants nestled at their feet. In the air hung orchids with their strangely beautiful blossoms.

From this central court ran out six great arms or aisles and in each were gathered and growing in graceful harmony a great family of plants. There were thousands and thousands of varieties and each was plainly labeled. The lighting had been carefully planned so as not to strike the eye offensively and the whole effect was absolutely entrancing.3 .

Neither Olmsted nor Gill stayed with the Exposition long enough to see plans for the lath house brought to fruition. They retired from the scene, one after the other, in disagreement with ideas and policies that were being promulgated by Director-General of the Exposition D. C. Collier, Director of Works Frank P. Allen, Jr., and architect Goodhue.4 These new ideas led to the construction of the Panama-California Exposition on the level central mesa of Balboa Park rather than on uneven land at the southern border.

Although information is scarce about steps that led to the Botanical Building as it materialized, a drawing survives showing how Carleton M. Winslow, Goodhue’s architect on site, thought the building should look. His sketch shows a massive 600 feet square by 100 feet high structure with an ornate Spanish-Renaissance front and lateral wings which appears to have relegated the use of lath to a minor place. Band concerts were to take place in a central court.5 In front of this grandiose monument a long oblong pool extended south toward the main east-west avenue on which most of the exhibit buildings were to be placed.

Though Winslow created the drawing, Goodhue was the controlling mind behind it.6 For it was Goodhue’s idea to lay out the buildings in a straight east-west line that would be broken by major and minor north-south axes and softened by an arcade that ran from building to building. Not only was Goodhue an incorrigible romantic who had succumbed to the charm of Spanish-Colonial buildings in Old Mexico, he was also haunted by images of reflecting pools he had seen on a trip to Persia in 1902. He had already laid out similar pools on the grounds of the Gillespie mansion in Santa Barbara and he would do so again in his Spanish-Colonial design for the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.7

For reasons lost to posterity, Goodhue, Winslow and Allen changed the appearance of the Botanical Building from a Spanish-Renaissance palace to the simplified and functional shape that now appears. In his book, The Architecture and Gardens of the San Diego Exposition, Winslow claimed he was responsible for the design and Thomas P. Hunter, who was also the engineer for the Cabrillo Bridge, solved structural problems. As controlling architect, Goodhue was in charge of execution. Regardless of who conceived the ideas, he got the credit for designing the buildings. This is standard architectural practice as the firm, rather than the individual, still gets credit and applause.

Many writers have speculated about a prototype for the Botanical Building.8 It was not the first large lath enclosure built in the United States as there was a lath structure at the Henry E. Huntington Garden in San Marino, California.9 The building resembles the Umbracle, or shady garden structure, designed by Josep Fontsere i Mestre and put up for the Universal Exposition of 1888 in Barcelona, Spain.10 This elongated building uses louvers (laths) in a generous manner to shade subtropical plants. Entrances, however, are at the ends of the building, iron columns inside hold up the roof, and the louvers are shaped into half arcs which meet at the top. As the exterior is hidden by plants, it is impossible to see the building as a whole. Unlike San Diego’s Botanical Building, its inside is its most distinguished aspect. Visitors can sit on wrought-iron settees while they contemplate the scenery. One would like to think that someone in San Diego knew of its existence. Until this can be established, the resemblance between the two buildings must be set down as coincidental.

Newspaper reports indicate that excavations for the building in San Diego began in August 1913,11 By November 1913, steel had arrived.12 Newspapers do not indicate if the steel came from the Kahn Company, the company that had supplied steel for Cabrillo Bridge.13 In July 1914, the San Diego Sun reported the building was complete,14 well in advance of the January 1, 1915 opening, so plants could be placed inside. Director of Works Allen, who was acclaimed as an expert in economy and efficiency, was in charge of construction.15 Billed as “the largest lath house in the world,” its measurements were 250 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 60 feet tall,16 somewhat smaller than the 600 feet square, 100 feet high building proposed in 1912.

The building had three names. Its unofficial name, which was soon discarded, was Horticultural Building, its official name was Botanical Building, and its popular name was Lath Palace. Its rounded forms are what critics call soft and feminine. When opened in 1915, a series of white stucco arches ran the full length of the front, suggesting a lower story. Five arches, forming an entrance, projected forward in the middle. Two of these arches, on left and right sides, were topped by octagonal Persian-style domes. These served as entrances while intervening arches were enclosed by glass panes separated into panels by horizontal and vertical sash The glass panes were later replaced by redwood dowels that let in light while offering seclusion in the manner of harems in Moslem countries.17 This departure from original specifications probably occurred during a sweeping renovation in 1957-59. Aesthetic loss was negligible.18

The upper central section is marked off from the barrel vaults of side wings by a large arch enclosing straight vertical laths which is surmounted by a dome on which stands a small open cupola that provides a unifying grace note. There is a congruity of form and scale between center dome and side vaults. Steel trusses in vaults and dome support 70,000 feet of redwood lath, which is curved to conform to the shape of the building. The color of the redwood was as the name indicates.

In 1915 the interior held a number of palms, bamboos, banana trees, and Aralia elegantissima and Aralia chabrierii that Superintendent of Landscaping Paul Thiene had prepared for transplanting from park nurseries beginning in 1912. The majority of plants grew from subsoil and were not potted. Linnets, thrushes and canaries inhabited bird cages secreted among the larger plants. The plants were watered by hand or by overhead pipes equipped with spray nozzles. A problem, not evident in 1915, was the rapid growth of bamboo, Ficus pandurata and Aracuaria bidwillii under the vaults and a single Cocos plumosa palm under the dome. These towering plants grew through overhead laths. As a result, beginning in 1917, they were removed or cut down.19

For many years after 1915 a long steel and glass greenhouse projected north from the back of the central portion. This feature was most like greenhouses that had been built for other expositions and parks. It was functional in shape and was so concealed behind the Lath Palace that few people knew how it looked. Visitors could see the greenhouse only from the inside. Windows were glazed and the atmosphere was humid. No drainage had been supplied for the subsoil, a defect that had to be remedied in 1923.20

Here grew the tropical plants that astonished visitors to expositions . . . Anthuriums, Crotons, Dracaenas, Monstera Deliciosa, Philodendrons, Platycerium Alcicorne (staghorn ferns), and Isolepsis, a spiky, grasslike ground cover. Water lilies, including the long-leaved Victoria regia and the smaller-leaved Victoria cruziana and Myriophyllum prosperpinacoides formed a canopy over a pool in the center. Lagodium japonicum, a climbing fern, which along with Myriophyllum were later found to be nuisance species, and Philodendron asperatum twined around steel pillars. Goniophlebium and Nephrolepsis ferns hung from baskets and twenty-five to thirty-five feet long aerial roots of Vitis Utilis, a relative of the grape vine, dropped from the ceiling. An extensive irrigation system kept water in the pool warm. The water was circulated to a small pond in front of the Lath Palace where its mild temperature permitted the growth of lotuses, Nelumbo nucifera and Alba grandiflora. Faced with the enormous number of plants in the greenhouse, Park Superintendent John Morley, at the close of 1916, declared it was too small and expressed his desire for a larger model.21

A small 50,000 gallon pond in front of the Botanical Building, sometimes called La Lagunita, approximately 43 feet wide and 50 feet long, is separated from a larger 250,000 gallon pond, sometimes called La Laguna, approximately 43 feet wide and 195 feet long, by a wooden balustrade walkway topped at both ends by urns, two on each side, in which grow blue agaves. The depth of the water in La Lagunita varies from 8 inches to 5 feet; the depth in La Laguna varies from 2 feet to 7 feet. Robert M. Golden replaced wood balustrade and plaster urns with concrete in 1964 at a cost to him of $15,000.22

Both lagoons were designed to be reflecting; however, algae and animal waste sometimes made the water as thick as “asparagus soup.”23 At the outset the lagoons did not contain fish, but did contain aquatic plants ranging from lilies (Nymphae, lotuses (Nelumbo), Water Hyacinths, Water Poppies, Parrot’s Feathers, Thalia, Arrowhead, Water Iris, and Cape Pondweed.24 Growths increased in density as they approached the upper end of La Laguna. According to architect Winslow, the density of plants in La Lagunita was “almost swamp-like.”25 When opened to the public in 1915 some of the plants were transplanted from boxes to the underwater soil; others were submerged, box and all, to a depth of from eight to twelve inches.26 All the plants in 2002 are potted with the exception of two small soil beds at the northeast and northwest ends of the big lagoon.

During World War I La Laguna was converted into a swimming pool so sailors at a Naval Training Station, then located in Balboa Park, could learn to swim. A cement liner was placed on the bottom. Some citizens protested.27 The San Diego Union, reported the overall depth as five feet.28 Since the depth of La Laguna has always been shallow, it is doubtful how efficacious the pool was for swimming, though it was a good subject for photographs.

After the war, both ponds reverted to original uses. Planting followed the plan that had been established for the 1915-16 Panama-California (International) Exposition. Many plants were donated. Others came from City of San Diego nurseries, located in Balboa Park A departure from the original planting scheme occurred sometime in the 1970’s when two Everglades Palms, Acoelorraphe wrightii, 15-30 feet in height and in width, were added at the upper end of the large pond in front of the balustrade.29 Staff justified the sprawling Palms by claiming they “framed” the Botanical Building.

World War II entailed another major change when the depth of the big pond was increased by two feet and resurfaced for use as a swimming pool for patients at a Naval Hospital that had taken over former Exposition buildings and grounds. Diving was not allowed. Protesters were accused of being “unpatriotic.”30 The surface has been lined with impermeable materials ever since, making boxes for plants necessary and creating a maze in the now congested pool.

After the war, attempts were made to restore the ponds with limited park funds. Responding to pressures, the City Council of San Diego overruled the City of San Diego Park Commissioners and allowed fly casters to use the large pond.31 After protests mounted, the Council decided to permit the use of the pond for bait casting with fly casting on weekends32 These uses were discontinued when a fly casting pool was opened in Morley Field in 1949.

C. E. Wylie Construction Company and Southland Electric donated labor and materials for the installation of a scum-suck water filtration system in 1994.33 Since then the ponds have been relatively clear, sometimes better, sometimes worse, depending on ambient, animal and people conditions.

Other than regular patch-ups, major restorations were conducted in 1949, 1964 and 1999.

The ponds have been beset by constant problems which may be summarized as:

Attempts to improve its reflecting capability while allowing its use as a setting for aquatic plants.
Attempts to reduce algae and other undesirable objects, including goldfish, koi, turtles, and refuse.
Attempts to discourage its use by wanton visitors who fall in accidentally or intentionally.
Attempts to deter wild fowl, mostly ducks, from settling on its waters, consuming fish and vegetation and leaving droppings.
Attempts to control mosquitoes by the use of larvae-consuming minnows.

While trying to solve one problem the larvae-eating, gambusia minnows caused another as citizens wrote to the Park Department and newspapers complaining about their drab appearance in contrast to the colorful and ejected koi.34

La Lagunita and La Laguna have many pleasing features, but it is the larger pond that reflects the Botanical Building and provides the City of San Diego and numerous artists with, in their opinion, the most picturesque view in the City.

The Botanical Building and the ponds are passive areas, where people walk and stop to look and enjoy. They have the merit of containing small detail in the rich variety of plants and flowers that dot its surfaces and of creating a pleasing whole (except for the addition of the two Everglades Palms). Not the least of their charms, is the fantastic symphony of colors — of whites and greens and reds and blues — that was created.

Of the original Lath Palace and Greenhouse, the Lath Palace is all that remains today. It is admired because of its plastic values, dramatic location at the head of two reflecting lagoons (no longer transparently clear), and contrast with the hard-edge character of other buildings in the park.

If Alfred D. Robinson were alive today, one wonders what he would say about the Botanical Building. As it is not a showcase for his favorite plants — azaleas, begonias and ferns — he would probably prefer the more functional and plainer structure for fuchsias at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, where plants are sheltered by wood frames and netting rather than the laths he found so comforting. His expression of opinion after viewing the completed Botanical Building is clear enough:

The mind is staggered in contemplating the horrible possibilities in a lath house treated ornately. Even a dome-shaped roof is only permissible under special circumstances and where great space is covered. This, for one reason, because a certain proximity of the lath roof seems necessary for best effects.35

Returning to the subject as editor of California Garden in 1915, Robinson conveyed the impression that his heart was elsewhere:

Though the Garden did not succeed in getting a lath house covering acres which could have been built for the cost of the elaborate Horticultural Building, such a one is bound some day to be in Balboa Park. It will have groupings of shrubs and plants, ferny nooks and fragrant arbors and the visitor to our city shall find it a place to walk and a place to talk, a garden with sunshine tempered to order, wind changed to a whispering zephyr, a garden of Eden without a serpent.

Let us be thankful for our Horticultural Building. With that title it could hardly be a true lath house, but let us think of ten acres under a lathed-in pergola, partly on the flat, partly going in steps down into a canyon, lighted cunningly as with fireflies, and let us think hard enough to bring the reality before some other place seizes the idea and reaps the reward of originality.36

As with Robinson, so Eugen Neuhaus, professor of design at the University of California, had mixed feelings about the Botanical Building in Balboa Park. His words are worth quoting:

A Botanical Building in San Diego is a joke. I cannot help it. A climate which will produce Poinsettias, the tender Bignonias, the Begonia, and the Bougainvillea in such profusion outdoors surely needs no sheltered buildings to produce an array of flowers, which seemed as if confined in a hospital for observation.37

In her published writings about planting conditions in San Diego, nursery woman Kate Sessions was silent about the Botanical Building.38

Anyone who has visited the many conservatories in the United States, like the Conservatory in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, the Conservatory in Garfield Park, Chicago, the Conservatory in Como Park, Saint Paul, and the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, must experience a letdown when they are inside the Botanical Building. Gardeners are conscientious and knowledgeable about plants, but they are constrained by the size of the building, by the many potted plants that have to be taken out as blooms fade, and by the unruly nature of plants that periodically burst through the roof.

Mildew, termites and rust are perpetual problems. Pigeons are a nuisance as are — though the gardeners might not like to say so — people who are continually taking away plants by the roots and as cuttings.39 The pots in which so many of them grow makes the stealing all the easier.

For all its limitations and diminutiveness almost no one in San Diego wants to do away with the Botanical Building. History tells us that City bureaucrats proposed doing this in 1944,40 but even in its most dilapidated state in the years following World War II, San Diegans wanted to hold on to the building because it lifted their spirits in a manner that nothing else could. As Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) put it in his poem, “Thoughts in a Garden”:

Mean while the Mind from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness:
The Mind, that Ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find.
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other Worlds, and other Seas:
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green Thought in a green Shade.

The Botanical Building in Balboa Park was renovated in early 2002 to restore damaged lath and otherwise defective fixtures within the building at a cost of $534,000.00, approximately ten times the $53,386.00 cost of the building in 1915,41 and eight times the $68,069.00 cost of renovation between 1957 and 1959.42 During the 2002 restoration an attempt was made to determine the color of the building when it was presented to the City in 1915. Although there are many colored postcards of the building from this period and many paintings by artists showing how the building looked from 1915 onward, the Winterthur Museum Conservation Laboratories, located at Wilmington, Delaware, ascertained its original color by examining sample pieces consisting of two bolt and nut assemblies, an interior truss paint sample adhered to pressure sensitive tape, and one wood sample that had been sent to it for analysis.43

Word came back from Winterthur that the substratum color for the interior steel truss was “dark gray” (commercial equivalent Benjamin Moore 2139-10, River Rock). The color for the “wood fragment”was described (or not described) as “wood substrate, degraded” (commercial equivalent Benjamin Moore 2139-20, Dakota Woods).44 Thereupon City of San Diego Historic Resources Board staff decided that to reproduce the building’s original color, laths in the building should be painted “Benjamin Moore 2137-20, Char Brown.” The discrepancy between the findings of Winterhur Museum Laboratories and of Historic Resources Board staff is accounted for by the Historic Resources Board sense that “the consultant’s color selection for the wood appears too green.”45 Valid or not, the consultant’s advice was not followed.46

The result of this skittish faith in laboratory tests of bolts, trusses and wood fragments, that may have been sandblasted in 1957-59, that were painted over during and even between restorations, and could be replacements that were changed so frequently that the word “original” has no meaning, is that San Diego in 2002 has a building that looks nothing like the building with which they are long familiar. Whether or not the new somber treatment is an “improvement” is for San Diegans to decide. They cannot, however, say that the color of the building before them is “historic,” unless that history began in 2002 and not in 1915.

Carleton M. Winslow, who designed the Botanical Building, declared that the laths were redwood (red-wood) and that the steel trusses were painted to match the redwood.47 He said “match” and not “complement.” By no stretch of the imagination can redwood be considered black or gray or green. Minutes of the Park Board, May 15, 1973, claim “a clear stain” had [originally] been used.” No documentation exists to show the color of the redwood was altered during restorations in 1924 or 1933. Steel trusses were, however, sandblasted and painted and window frames replaced in 1933.48 Likewise, there is no indication that architect Richard Requa’s suggestion to replace the dark brown color of the lath with green over “the central portion of the building, facing the pool, and on the raised bands spaced along the arched dome over east and west wings” for the second year of the California-Pacific International Exposition (1936) was acted upon.49 A 1941 guidebook to Balboa Park described the color of the redwood lath as “brown.”

A photograph of the exterior of the Botanical Building published in “A Book of Memories for the Ages” by Lillian Pray-Palmer in 1925 and a colored postcard issued by Western Publishing & Novelty Company, Los Angeles, circa April 1935, show that the vertical laths, inside the large arch above the center entrance, were covered by Rhoicissus Capensis, an evergreen creeper, that was confined within the borders of the arch. Other postcards for the 1935-36 California-Pacific International Exposition show the laths minus the growth. Based on available evidence, it is likely that the creeper was added during a renovation in 1924.50 Whatever the reason for its presence and for the presence of eucalyptus trees growing in front of east and west wings, both were removed for the 1935-36 Exposition because they were regarded as blemishes. Not impressed by this explanation, Requa wanted to replace the absent creeper with green paint.

After a gap caused by World War II when the Botanical Building was vandalized and allowed to deteriorate, restorations in 1957-59, 1973 and 1994 varied from perfunctory to precise

An unsigned article in Point Newsweekly, May 6, 1955, stated the building “began life as a Santa Fe station” that “was dismantled and reassembled in the park.” No source is given for this belated assertion, though Leo Calland, Park Superintendent, was quoted prominently in the article. In February 2, 1975, San Diego Evening Tribune reporter Patricia Dibsie quoted nurseries supervisor George Kempland as saying “This building originally was supposed to be a station where trains turned around. That equipment was supposed to go beneath the huge dome located in the center of this structure.”

A lawyer would consider the words “supposed to be” as conjecture and not fact. Why trains should turn around under such an ornate dome is best left for railroad engineers to explain. Curiously, the building in Balboa Park that most resembles a Roundhouse, where locomotives actually turn around on a turntable for positioning in stalls for maintenance, is the circular Ford Building. The turntable at the center was usually left exposed, though sometimes it was covered by a conical roof held up by steel braces with an opening at the top for smoke to escape. A Roundhouse in Truckee, California, built for the Southern Pacific Railroad and torn down in the 1940’s, was an example.

During the extensive 1957-59 renovation twelve miles or 70,000 feet of new redwood replaced the old and the building lost its side front arcades, its mullioned windows at the entrance, and its glass-enclosed northern wing. The destruction of the greenhouse necessitated repair and replacement of the irrigation system. A 1960 Master Plan for Balboa Park called for reconstruction of the glass extension, but the San Diego Zoo preempted this project by acquiring land near the former extension for expansion.

Minutes of the San Diego Park Board, June 19,1973, indicate that an inferior grade of redwood was used to replace damaged laths in 1973. To compensate for its deficiencies, horizontal batten lath was inserted to steady vertical laths and “pigmented stain” was used on laths in place of a preexisting “clear stain.” The Facilities Committee of the Park Board criticized the Public Works Department for allowing these modifications to take place.51 The color of the redwood lath was changed to a dark brown at this time. During a $321,000 facelift in 1994 it was reported that the steel arch framework was replaced and reinforced.52 A lead-based paint, discovered inside the building, was removed. Newspapers do not tell how much of the steel framework was replaced or where the lead paint was discovered or how it was removed.53 In any case, laths were again painted “dark brown.” Rightly or wrongly, this color was thought to match the color of the original redwood. And it is this color that in 2002 was replaced by a somber “char brown” with a hint of green.

No matter how funereal and unhistoric the Botanical Building may now look, the City is not about to replace 70,000 feet of redwood lath to correct the error. The moral of the story is that restorers should not be too quick to confirm findings based on their fascination with fallible technologies.

To those who persist in denying that the original color of the laths in the Botanical Building in Balboa Park was red-wood, despite evidence to the contrary, one can only reply in the words of Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888):

To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.54


1. California Garden, November 1911.
2. “From Seed to Center: Seven Decades of Floral Service,” by Sharon Siegan, Journal of San Diego History, Summer 1979, 213-217.
3. California Garden, August 1911.
4. San Diego Sun, September 11, 1911.
5. Outwest Magazine, October 1912, 261.
6. San Diego Union, September 14, 1912, 10.
7. Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue by Richard Oliver, Architectural History Foundation and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1983.
8. San Diego Union-Tribune, June 23, 1992, A-2.
9. California Garden, September 1911, 9.
10. Strolling through Barcelona: Landmarks of a City, by Nuria Casas, Soler & Lourdes Mateo, 1996, 104.
11. California Garden, August 1913, 7.
12. San Diego Union, November 28, 1913.
13. San Diego Union, December 20, 1912, 10.
14. San Diego Sun, July 3, 1914, 6.
15. San Diego Union, June 8, 1913, 13.
16. San Diego Union-Tribune, August 4, 1997.
17. National Register Nomination Form for El Prado Complex, Balboa Park,prepared for the Committee of 100 with the assistance of Mr. Jean Stern, December 1, 1975.
18. Ibid.
19. Reports by Superintendent of Parks John Morley, August & October 1917.
20. Report by Superintendent of Parks John Morley, November 1923.
21. Annual Report by Superintendent of Parks John Morley, 1916.
22. San Diego Union, February 26, 1964.
23. San Diego Union-Tribune, July 24, 1994.
24. California Garden, March, 1916.
25. The Architecture and Gardens of the San Diego Exposition, by Bertram Goodhue & Carleton Winslow, Paul Elder & Company, San Francisco, 1916, 128.
26. “Care of Pools and Water Lilies,” by Kate Sessions, California Garden, February, 1927.
27. San Diego Union, January 11, 1918.
28. San Diego Union, May 9, 1918.
29. Trees and Gardens of Balboa Park, by Kathy Puplava and Paul Sirois, City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department, Tecolote Publishers, 2002, 84.
30. San Diego Union, August 12, 1945.
31. San Diego Union, January 8, 1948.
32. San Diego Union, August 21, 1947.
33. San Diego Union-Tribune, July 29, 1994.
34. San Diego Union-Tribune, July 22, 1999.
35. California Garden, August 1914.
36. California Garden, July 1915.
37. The San Diego Garden Fair, by Eugen Neuhaus, Paul Elder & Company Publishers, San Francisco, 1916, 71.
38. The Complete Writings of Kate Sessions in California Garden, 1909-1939, San Diego Floral Association, 1998.
39. San Diego Union, August 2, 1970, B-1.
40. Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners, December 13, 1944.
41. San Diego Union-Tribune, May 30, 2002.
42. San Diego Union, March 21, 1959, A-18.
43. Microscopy Report: Sample Results, October 18, 2001, in Files, San Diego Historical Resources Board, City of San Diego Planning Dept., San Diego, Calif.
44. Paint Analysis Report from Winterthur Museum Conservation Division, Conservator Richard Wolber, no date.
45. Letter, From Nicole Purvis to Alejandra Michaelson, Ali Sohelli, Subject: Balboa Park Botanical Building, December 13, 2001, in Files of City of San Diego Historical Resources Board, City of San Diego Planning Dept., San Diego, Calif.; San Diego Union-Tribune, May 30, 2002.
46. Letter, From Angeles Leira, City of San Diego Planning Department, to Richard Amero, July 3, 2002.
47. The Architecture and Gardens of the San Diego Exposition, 1916, 130.
48. City of San Diego Interdepartmental Communication, from Oscar G. Knecht, Assistant Chief Inspector, to A. V. Goedell, City Manager; Subject: Building Survey, March 22/23, 1933.
49. Suggestions for the Improvement of the Buildings and Grounds of the California-Pacific International Exposition, 1936 by Richard Requa.
50. San Diego Union, February 3, 1924.
51. Minutes of the Park Board, May 15, 1973.
52. Trees and Gardens of Balboa Park, by Kathy Puplava and Paul Sirois, 108.
53. San Diego Union-Tribune, November 6, 1994, H-2.
54. Table Talk, by Amos Bronson Alcott.

NOTE: Copies of source documents used in this article may be found in the “Amero Collection” on file in the San Diego History Center Research Library in Balboa Park. In regards to those areas in which information is not available, the author welcomes the contribution of substantiating data.

Return to Amero Collection.