There’s an extremely important exhibit in Balboa Park that very few people see. The San Diego City Clerk Archives and Parks and Recreation Department have created a fascinating display of original historical documents concerning the creation and development of San Diego’s world-famous park.
Last weekend, I was poking my nose into the Balboa Park Club building to see if there might be folk dancing in the ballroom, when I spied old letters, maps, petitions, resolutions and photographs on a wall of the grand foyer. I almost missed them in the dimly lit corner!
The exhibit is titled 1,400 Acre City Park – The Journey to Balboa Park.
There are seven parts to the exhibit: Park Idea, 1868; Founding of City Park, 1868; Uses of City Park, 1868-1900; Plantings, 1893-1904; Park Designs, 1891-1905; 1400-Acre City Park Name Change, 1910-1913; and Park Activities Since 1915.
Among the many historical documents, I observed the original 1868 citizens petition for a public park; correspondence to Balboa Park visionaries George Marston and Kate Sessions; a letter from mayor Douglas Gunn to the Common Council; and the Board of Park Commissioners’ 1913 petition to give City Park the name of Balboa Park.
If you’re a San Diego history buff, this extraordinary “hidden” exhibit is a positively must see!
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