Old Globe, Copley Plaza
For the 1935-6 California-Pacific International Exposition a replica of Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre in London was built to stage abridged versions of his plays. After the exposition closed, the Old Globe Theatre was remodelled and it reopened in 1937 with a production of John Van Druten’s ‘The Distaff Side’. It burned down in a 1978 arson attack but it was rebuilt, opening in 1982 with a production of Shakespeare's ‘As You Like It’.
Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Although there are roads in Balboa Park, it is best viewed on foot or using the free tram service. Located near the centre of the park, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion dates from the 1915-6 Panama-California Exposition. The pavilion on the left houses one of the largest outdoor pipe organs in the world, named after John D. and Adolph Spreckels who donated the organ to the City of San Diego in 1914. The organ contains 4,530 pipes ranging in length from the size of a pencil to 9.7 metres (32 feet) high. The organ is still fully functional and in summer San Diego’s Civic Organist gives concerts every Sunday afternoon.
Japanese Friendship Garden
A Japanese Tea Pavilion was built in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition as a symbol of the strong cultural and commercial ties linking the USA and Japan. The Tea Pavilion stood for more than thirty years after the exposition closed. In 1950 San Diego developed a sister city relationship with Yokohama in Japan. The Japanese Friendship Garden was constructed in the 1990s to symbolise the shared ideals of the two cities. At the moment it is a relatively small garden covering only 0.8 hectares (2 acres), but there are plans to expand it.
Museum of Man & Museum of Art from Plaza de Panama
The Spanish-Colonial ‘church’ on the left of this picture was constructed for the 1915-6 Panama-California Exposition. It was designed by American architect Bertram G. Goodhue as the entrance to the exposition. It now houses the only museum in the city that is devoted to anthropology, the San Diego Museum of Man. Immediately behind the fountain of the Plaza de Panama is part of the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson, it opened in 1926.
Just like New York and San Francisco, San Diego decided that a large park was essential for the city. In 1868 560 hectares (1400 acres) of land was set aside for the City Park but nothing was done to develop it. From 1892, trees were planted by Kate Sessions in return for some land to establish her nursery but it was not until 1903 that a plan was established to develop the park. A competition in 1910 resulted in the name being changed to Balboa Park, after explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa who was the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean albeit from the coast of Panama not California. In 1915-6 and 1935-6 major expositions were held in Balboa Park and some of the buildings from the expositions plus others constructed afterwards have given the park a wide variety of interesting buildings many now used as museums.
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House of Charm
Built for the 1915-6 Panama-California Exposition, the House of Charm now houses two museums, the Museum of the Living Artist and the Mingei International Museum. The Museum of the Living Artist is an exhibition of works by San Diego artists run by the San Diego Art Institute. The exhibition changes every four to six weeks. The Mingei International Museum covers Folk Art, Craft and Design from cultures all around the world. There are many more buildings and museums than can be shown on this page, and Balboa Park is also home to the world famous San Diego Zoo.
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Marston House, 3525 Seventh Avenue
Located on the edge of Balboa Park, this Arts and Crafts house built in 1905 is closely linked to the park. It was the home of department store owner George White Marston who was involved in setting up the park. The house was designed and built by architects William Sterling Hebbard and Irving Gill while the 2 hectares (5 acres) of gardens surrounding it were initially designed by George Cooke but redesigned in the late 1920s. The furnishings in the house were designed by several well known designers of the era. In the 1980s the Marston family gifted it to the City of San Diego for the enjoyment of the public. Having been owned by the same family since it was built much of the original furniture was still in place. Marston House opened to the public as a house museum in 1987. Run by Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), it is open for tours year round on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click Tab 2 to see the living room complete with original furniture and carved relief over the fireplace,