The Journal of San Diego History
Winter 1982, Volume 28, Number 1
Edited by Thomas L. Scharf

Back to the article: The Rise and Fall of the Olmsted Plan

Olmsted plan

The Olmsted plan for the Panama-California Exposition, 1915.


John C. Olmsted

John C. Olmsted arrived in San Diego during December of 1910 and took charge of the general layout and landscaping plan of the Panama-California Exposition.

Frank P. Allen, Jr.

Frank P. Allen, Jr. was hired as Director of Works for San Diego’s Exposition on January 5, 1911. He demanded, and received, a salary of $20,000 per year.


Ground-breaking for the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, July 19, 1911.

Exposition buildings under construction

Exposition buildings under construction. [photo is taken from the Administration Building, the building in left background is the Science and Education Building, the excavation is where the California Building will be built, and the Indian Arts Building — now the House of Charm — is across the Prado on the right.]

Goodhue and Allen plan

An artist’s concept of the Goodhue and Allen plan for the exposition.

William Kettner and G. Aubrey Davidson

At the 1915 San Diego Exposition: Congressman William Kettner (second from left) and G. Aubrey Davidson (far right) vice-president of the exposition, 1909-1915.