Some pics of Balboa Park restoration in progress.

Two fountains near the reflecting pool, at either end of the Botanical Building, have fallen into disrepair.
Two fountains near the reflecting pool, at either end of the Botanical Building, have fallen into disrepair.

This year Balboa Park is celebrating its centennial. A hundred years ago, for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, many event structures were created out of plaster, with the idea that they would be temporary. But San Diego fell in love with the park as it was and changed its mind. It would be a shame to lose so much beauty. Today much of Balboa Park, after many years of maintenance and restoration, is like a glowing vision preserved from San Diego’s past. But time marches on. And more work always needs to be done.

During a quick walk this afternoon through Balboa Park, I paused to look at some construction that is underway near the monumental El Cid statue, at the south edge of the Plaza de Panama. A friendly guy who was working there told me a little bit about three current restoration projects.

Here are my pics! Please read the captions, where I provide some more information.

Funds for many Centennial restorations and improvements have been provided by the Friends of Balboa Park.
Funds for many Centennial restorations and improvements have been provided by the Friends of Balboa Park.
Plaque recalls how the second identical plaster fountain (next to the Timken Museum of Art) was restored back in 1965 by The Thursday Club.
Plaque recalls how a second identical fountain (next to the Timken Museum of Art) was restored back in 1965 by The Thursday Club.
The passage of time has been unkind to the impish faces on two fun Balboa Park fountains.
The passage of time has been unkind to the impish faces on two fun Balboa Park fountains.
One of two guardhouses on either side of El Prado, at the west end of the Cabrillo Bridge.
One of two guardhouses on either side of El Prado, at the west end of the Cabrillo Bridge.
The stately guardhouses are being repaired this summer. The plaster ornamentation on top is in bad shape.
The stately guardhouses are being repaired this summer. The plaster ornamentation on top is in bad shape.
A close look at the plaster artwork at the top of one guardhouse's tile roof. The hundred year old material has crumbled.
A close up photo of the plaster finial at the apex of one tile roof. The hundred year old material has crumbled.
The decorative finial has already been removed from the second guardhouse, and is being reconstructed.
The decorative finial has already been removed from the second guardhouse, and is being reconstructed.
Guy working on restoring the balustrade next to the El Cid statue. The walkway will now be ADA accessible.
Guy working on restoring the balustrade next to the El Cid statue. The walkway will soon be ADA accessible.
The old wooden balustrade is being replaced with modern material that should last much longer. Hopefully another hundred years!
The old wooden balustrade is being replaced with modern material that should last much longer. Hopefully another hundred years!
This hard-working guy at the balustrade construction site was nice enough to talk to me and smile for the camera!
This hard-working guy at the balustrade construction site was nice enough to talk to me and smile for the camera!

UPDATE!

During a walk in mid-September, I noted the balustrade is completely finished, and so are the two fountains! They look awesome–like new!

Both fountains--on either side of the Botanical Building--have been beautifully restored!
Both fountains–on either side of the Botanical Building–have been beautifully restored!

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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