Monday, August 02, 2021

The Padres and Lane Field

Before the San Diego Padres built their “state of the art” ballpark downtown in 2004 (sponsored by Petco), they were located in Mission Valley at Qualcomm Stadium (1969-2003). 1969 was when the team went from the Minors to the Majors. Previously, they got their start in 1936 playing in the Pacific Coast League at Lane Field, located downtown near the water.

Here’s a vintage aerial view showing the field: 

What’s there now? A parking lot. What is it about amazing buildings and structures getting replaced by boring asphalt?!?

During her recent visit here, my Mom remembered going to games at Lane Field with the family. Here is what the well-dressed family of 1939 wore for such an occasion:

She also had fond memories of eating dinner at Chadwick’s Restaurant afterwards, run by the family of swimmer Florence Chadwick (the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions):

A vintage menu:

In driving around town with her, I was shocked to see that the building still stands. Appropriately, it is now called the House of Metamorphosis. It surely has changed!

Sometimes, dinner would be at the U.S. Grant Hotel, just a few blocks up Broadway from Lane Field. This Hotel is still in business today:

While driving up Broadway, Mom also pointed out the former YMCA Building:

…which is now the Guild Hotel. She recalled playing the piano there for sailors at the U.S.O. back in World War II.

A few more blocks up Broadway Street was Thearle Music Company, where my Mom took her piano lessons, riding a rickety elevator up to the second floor:

I was shocked to discover that the building still stands. I have walked by it numerous times, unaware of its significance to my Mom.

See more San Diego photos at my main website.


Anonymous said...

It's amazing that there is always some new snippet of information that makes life interesting. Lucky to have your Mom to discuss her childhood memories with you. What I find striking is the number of people waiting to buy a ticket for the game. The line is literally around and down the corner of the street. Way down! KS

Nanook said...

Some wonderful images, here. As per usual, seeing the cost of dining out can bring one close to tears when thinking of the prices charged these times. (I didn't notice a date for the menu - but still...)

And in this day and age of tearing down so much of the world surrounding us, it's nice to see a couple of lovely buildings that have stood the test of time, allowing them to bring pleasure to still more folks moving into the future.

JG said...

Nice pictures of downtown, Dave, thank you for posting these. We are fortunate that these places have survived in such good condition, and some still in business.

What fun to find out these connections over the years.

I see several buildings here that I recognize. I think that green monster behind the old YMCA was a Westin hotel when I stayed there. I know I have walked by the YMCA since I recognize the sign.

In your photo of the music building, I think the taller building behind it to the left with the terra cotta ornaments is now a Marriott Courtyard, where I have stayed several times, 6th & Broadway, if I recall.

I've never stayed at Grant Hotel, but had a drink in the bar more than once. Highly recommended.

Pretty sure I would like Chadwicks too. I'll have the filet, medium rare, I can handle $2.50 for dinner.


Daveland said...

JG - Wasn't the Marriott Courtyard once a bank? I seem to remember reading or maybe even you telling me that there's a vault in the lobby.