Creating a huge bronze mural for Balboa Park!

A couple of incredible projects are now underway that will improve and beautify the Palisades area of Balboa Park.

One project I wrote about yesterday. Two life-size grizzly bear sculptures and two flagpoles will be added to the roof of the San Diego Automotive Museum. You can read that blog post here.

The second project concerns the historical building directly across Pan American Plaza: today’s Municipal Gymnasium. This building was originally built for the 1935-1936 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park and was called the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries.

Back in 1935, a large themed mural greeted visitors above the entrance to the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries. It was a bas-relief designed by Arturo Eneim, carved out of layers of wallboard. It’s long gone.

But that mural is coming back! And it will be made of cold cast bronze!

In late 2021 I visited the San Diego studio of Bellagio Precast where the 12′ x 20′ cold cast bronze fiber glass reinforced concrete mural is being created. You can see interesting photos from that visit, plus renderings and more description, by clicking here. And here.

I visited the same studio again a couple days ago and observed how the enormous mural is coming together, piece by piece!

Architectural plans for the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries mural are spread near a small model at Bellagio Precast in San Diego.

A small model of the cast bronze mural, which includes industrial imagery, an electrical generator, and three human figures.

Here’s the mold used for the small model’s creation. You can see how the images are reversed.

The design for the electrical generator element that will be included in the large, finished mural.

And here is the generator! Just one element of many that will be pieced together to create a mold for the massive cast bronze mural.

More elements to be incorporated into the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries mural include huge gears!

This monumental project is being undertaken by the Balboa Park Committee of 100.

I’ve learned the fantastic mural should be completed and installed above the entrance to the Municipal Gymnasium building around September this year!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Richard Schulte

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

6 thoughts on “Creating a huge bronze mural for Balboa Park!”

  1. Thanks for creating this wonderful site. Do you know what’s happening to the three statues (Horton, Hahn and Wilson) that were in Horton Plaza?

    Also – do you have a list of statues of real people in San Diego??

    And who are the three people in the bas relief being re-created for the Gymnasium/Palace of Electricity?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Pete Wilson is still there. Not sure about the other two right off the top of my head. Who those three people are in the mural–I guess they represent engineers or others who work in the industrial world.


  2. Thanks for the info, and for getting back to me so quickly.

    I did some on line searches for statues of real people in San Diego and found somewhere upwards of 30.

    BUT ONLY TWO OF REAL WOMEN – Sojourner Truth at UCSD and Kate Sessions at the Laurel St. entrance to Balboa Park.

    Also – I know Schulte is a fairly common name, but do you have relatives in the New York area??

    Liked by 1 person

      1. (Apologies if this is a duplicate – not sure if it went through)

        Thanks, Richard. I’m familiar with that statue – it’s a generic young girl.

        Here’s some La Jolla trivia:

        it’s actually the second statue in honor of Ellen Browning Scripps to occupy that site. The first was dedicated in 1926 and stolen in 1995. NEVER FOUND!!

        The one there now was its replacement – dedicated in 1997.


        Liked by 1 person

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