San Diego California's Balboa Park (Postcard History Series)
  • Alternative view 1 of San Diego California's Balboa Park (Postcard History Series)
  • Alternative view 2 of San Diego California's Balboa Park (Postcard History Series)

San Diego California's Balboa Park (Postcard History Series)

5.0 1
by David Marshall
     
 

Balboa Park began in 1868 when San Diego's civic leaders dedicated 1,400 prime acres to create an urban oasis. Originally the land, crisscrossed with canyons and dominated by native scrub, was called

simply "City Park." In later years, Balboa Park hosted two successful world expositions: the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition and the 1935-1936 California

Overview


Balboa Park began in 1868 when San Diego's civic leaders dedicated 1,400 prime acres to create an urban oasis. Originally the land, crisscrossed with canyons and dominated by native scrub, was called

simply "City Park." In later years, Balboa Park hosted two successful world expositions: the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition and the 1935-1936 California Pacific International Exposition. The unique evolution of the park included occupation by the U.S. Navy, a zoo, a Native American village, and even a nudist colony. Balboa Park also suffered periods of neglect and demolition before citizens groups united to save and restore the beloved Spanish Colonial Revival buildings.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738547541
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
07/25/2007
Series:
Postcard History Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,137,751
Product dimensions:
6.64(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.38(d)

Meet the Author


As an architect, author David Marshall has been involved in the restoration and reconstruction of many of the old exposition buildings. He dug into his personal collection of over 5,000 postcards to create this illustrated history of Balboa Park. More than 200 historic images have been compiled for this book--most never before published. These glimpses of the past will help the reader appreciate the colorful history of one of the most enchanting urban parks in the United States.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

San Diego California's Balboa Park (Postcard History Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
David Marshall knows Balboa Park in and out and then and now. His new book is a postcard history of the iconic park's structures and a fascinating work for anyone interested in the past - and future - of Balboa Park. Just when you think you knew something about Balboa Park after having been a visitor all your life, along comes David Marshall with a book that compresses several generations' worth of history into 128 pages of photos supported by explanative text. Marshall is an architect with Heritage Architecture and Planning and over the years has amassed a comprehensive collection of postcard and photo images of the park from its earliest days. Postcards were once a simple way of promoting places and events in the US they were a cheap way to prove to the folks back home that you'd actually been to the fair -- in this case, the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and San Diego's proximity to it as the nearest Homeland port on the Pacific Coast. That fair was very big news in 1915 and much intrigue surrounded it--including whether there would even be one in San Diego. San Francisco was still the major port on the West Coast then, and its 1915 Pan Pacific Expo was backed by Congress and had the full support of the US government behind it. San Diego's was smaller and less glitzy, but no less interesting. It was the first time that San Diego city government planned for a world-class affair, coughed up the funds to pay for it, hired some major architects and approved a plan for the elegant structures we enjoy today. It was a bid to put San Diego on the map and make it a primary American port on the Pacific coast. That the plan failed--San Diego's harbor is bare of shipping--is a legacy we have today. What the city lost in commercial clout, it gained in iconic beauty the park has served San Diego very well ever since 1915 - far better, in some ways than San Diego served it. San Diego's Balboa Park is visual and historical feast that presents the life of the park as an ever-evolving place. Far from being a stable, inert area, at various times Balboa Park held many more buildings than are there now, and some of the buildings that remain were once very different from what you'll find today. The purpose of the park has morphed a lot over the years as well in 1915, San Diego held its coming out party--a kind of quinceañera or batmitzvah for the new, bejeweled dame on the coast. In 1916, there was another fair to follow the commercial success of the first, then the First World War came and the Navy took the park for the duration as a training ground. It's bizarre to see images of sailors taking bayonet drills on the Prado or learning how to row a boat in the lily pond and it's chilling to think that the Navy once considered keeping the park for a base, permanently. Fortunately, the city got the sailors out of the park and off to NTC instead--and put in the zoo. Marshall's zoo images are a hoot, to say the least and worth the price of the book by themselves. How un-PC San Diego's promotions sometimes were in that less 'sensitive' age who knew that Orangutans could smoke? Indeed, who knew that the park once held a Café of the World that seated 850 or that the Old Globe once hadn't any roof, or that nude women were on display daily during the exhibition held in the park in 1935? This was California Pacific International Exposition and it was a bold attempt to shake San Diego out of the doldrums of the Depression and create awareness of the city as a tourist destination. This time, the Expo succeeded like the proverbial charm and nudged the city on the tourist-town track its been on ever since. Do you recall the Science and Education Building? The Vanishing Gardens? The Formal Gardens? They're gone now, as are many of the park's wonderful sites. Most were victims to time, neglect, ever-expanding parking lots and expedient shortsightedness. Marshall offers glimpses of the