Our museums and archives are temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Loading Events


Events for April have been canceled.

We are working to present our programs in virtual format.

Sign up to receive updates!

Free Tuesday Talk: Balboa Park: Architectural Inspirations from Old Spain (and Elsewhere)

The watershed moment for Balboa Park came in 1915-1916 when San Diego held the Panama-California Exposition. The fair organizers hired New York’s Bertram Goodhue as the exposition’s lead architect. Goodhue’s plans for the buildings in Balboa Park differed dramatically from previous exposition traditions. Rather than using the accepted style of Beaux-Arts, classical Greek or Roman, Goodhue designed his buildings in the exotic Spanish Colonial Revival style. Many longtime San Diegans don’t realize that Goodhue drew inspiration from real 16th century buildings in Spain and Mexico, often borrowing features and details in order to make his “dream city” in Balboa Park feel as authentic as possible. Architect and historian David Marshall will show what buildings inspired Goodhue and the other designers of the park’s world-renowned architecture.

Architect David Marshall is President of the highly respected preservation firm of Heritage Architecture & Planning. David’s firm specializes in the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures. He has worked on many significant buildings, including several in Balboa Park. Those projects include the House of Hospitality reconstruction, Organ Pavilion lighting restoration, Museum of Art façade restoration, Museum of Man exterior repairs, and Cabrillo Bridge seismic strengthening. Currently David is the architect for the International Cottages expansion and the California Tower seismic retrofit.  

Other projects include: the Western Metal Supply Company building at PETCO Park, Old Police Headquarters, and the Hotel del Coronado. David graduated from Cal Poly Pomona and joined Heritage in 1990. David is past President of the Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), was on the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board from 2002 to 2008, and was president of the California Preservation Foundation.

David is currently Board Chair of Friends of Balboa Park and is an avid collector of historic San Diego postcards and ephemera. In 2007 he authored the postcard history book San Diego’s Balboa Park for Arcadia Publishing. David has lived in San Diego County since 1967 and currently resides in La Mesa with his wife and son. 


Come to the History Center on the second Tuesday of each month for a presentation about our shared history—both popular and obscure—and uncover something new! Join a monthly conversation about San Diego’s untold stories relevant to a changing community.

Free Tuesday Talks are always free with Give Forward admission.


April 14
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA 92101 United States