Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My How You've Grown

As a little kid, I remember groaning every time I heard that phrase from an adult: "My, how you've grown!" However, that dreaded childhood utterance does seem appropriate for these "Then and Now" shots of Balboa Park in San Diego.

First up is a September 1963 photo of The San Diego Natural History Museum which opened in 1933, designed by William Templeton Johnson. Here is a contemporary view from approximately the same angle. As you can see (or not see), the building is now virtually hidden by trees.

Walking closer, you can get a better view of the actual building itself.

I love the two sculpted felines atop the building; so Cleopatra-looking!

In 2001 the museum completed a major reconstruction, with a 90,000 square foot addition more than doubling its size. Here is a view of the back-side of the building, where the addition was built. It is a nice example of blending new with the old.

In this December 1961 building, my brother is standing near what is now the Spanish Village Art Center. It was originally built in 1935 to depict a charming old village in Spain for the second California Pacific International Exposition. In 1937, the Spanish village reopened as an art destination by a group of dedicated artists. During World War II the U.S. Army used the village for temporary barracks, and in 1947 it was reclaimed and restored by the artists. Over the last 60+ years, San Diego artists have continued to preserve and enhance this historical landmark by adding to its beauty with colorful flowers and unique entryways.

In this contemporary shot, there are taller trees and more pavement.

While the building still retains its charm, it badly needs a good coat of fresh paint.

This July 1958 photo shows the Laurel Street entrance into Balboa Park:

I had a difficult time duplicating the exact angle, as the Cabrillo Bridge (which is what you cross to get into the park) is currently under construction and tarps. Not conducive to taking photos!

I hope you enjoyed your "Then and Now" tour of Balboa Park!

Congrats to Ken from Friday's post Oz book giveaway contest. Please email me your mailing address: dvdpicasso@aol.com

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter and view my most recent photos on Flickr. See more vintage & current Balboa Park photos on my Balboa Park web page.


K. Martinez said...

I don't know. I kind of like the peeling paint.

Unknown said...

Skulls! O_o Ah man, there's an exhibit I want to see!! Every time I go to San Diego it is only to the Zoo. Time to make a date with Balboa Park! :)

outsidetheberm said...

Love Balboa Park - and its rich history. It's as close as one can get to visiting a vanished world's fair without a time machine.

Anonymous said...

It's a gem of a park. San Diego is fortunate to have such a well-preserved amenity so close to downtown.

On our last visit to the park, we rode the bus up from downtown, an easy jaunt. Time to go back for a pleasure visit.