History comes alive during tour of Spanish Village.
Spanish Village Art Center, in beautiful Balboa Park, is where you’ll find the colorful studios of many fine San Diego artists. Last year I blogged about the history of this fascinating place. A small exhibit in Gallery 21 recounted how Spanish Village was created for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, and traced the village’s evolution over subsequent decades. Unfortunately, that exhibit no longer exists. But I did record much of it. To enjoy an overview of the history, you can revisit my old blog post by clicking here.
Last Saturday I was given a terrific tour of Spanish Village by a super friendly guy named Jeff. During the tour, Jeff showed me some unusual, unexpected features of Spanish Village and delved into its often surprising history.
(Fortunately, Jeff gave me some notes that I will reference in this blog. Should you enjoy a tour yourself, you can probably obtain your own copy!)
Please read the photo captions where I provide descriptions and very short explanations. As you’ll see, many interesting changes in Spanish Village have taken place over the years. And I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface!
If something I’ve written is inaccurate, or needs some elaboration, leave a comment! What memories do you have?
Click here to check out the Spanish Village Art Center blog! Support these great artists!
In 1935, when Spanish Village opened, visitors strolled down simulated Old World streets, which featured restaurants and shops in picturesque, open-arched buildings. The architecture was inspired by the Andalusian region of southern Spain. In addition to wine shops, a cocktail lounge and a Chinese Bazaar, one could buy flowers and enjoy music, art . . . and even a high wire trapeze act!
You can see in the above old photograph a no-longer-existing building at the center of today’s large patio. It separated Spanish Village into two “streets” that visitors could enjoy.
Over the years, resident artists have built out the small open air shops to create practical but unique enclosed spaces. Some of the open arches have been filled in, or can now be seen inside certain studios.
I live in downtown San Diego and walk like crazy! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!