Photos of original, historic San Ysidro Library.

Front of the original San Ysidro Library, built in 1924.
Front of the original San Ysidro Library, built in 1924.

The first public library in San Ysidro was built in 1924. It still stands on San Ysidro Boulevard, between West and East Park Avenue.

I happened to walk by it last weekend.

The building is small compared to the modern, much larger San Ysidro Library on Beyer Boulevard that opened a year ago. But the smaller scale of this original library provides much of it’s charm. The modest architecture with its graceful curves is also welcoming. Had this little library been open, I would’ve stepped right inside.

Instead, I walked around the outside and took a few photos.

THE PEOPLE OF SAN YSIDRO RECORD BY THIS TABLET THEIR APPRECIATION OF THE GIFT OF THIS LIBRARY BY BLANCHE H. AND FRANK B. BEYER - AUGUST 31, 1924
THE PEOPLE OF SAN YSIDRO RECORD BY THIS TABLET THEIR APPRECIATION OF THE GIFT OF THIS LIBRARY BY BLANCHE H. AND FRANK B. BEYER – AUGUST 31, 1924
An iconic El Camino Real Bell stands near the historic San Ysidro Library on San Ysidro Boulevard.
An iconic El Camino Real Bell stands near the historic San Ysidro Library on San Ysidro Boulevard.
Plaque at base of El CAMINO REAL BELL - Dedicated October 1, 2010.
Plaque at base of El CAMINO REAL BELL – Dedicated October 1, 2010.
View of east side of the original San Ysidro Library.
View of east side of the original San Ysidro Library.
The graceful, welcoming front of the first San Ysidro Library.
The graceful, welcoming front of the first San Ysidro Library.

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Views from the Glorietta Bay Marina Building.

Looking southeast across beautiful Glorietta Bay Marina in Coronado.
Looking southeast across beautiful Glorietta Bay Marina in Coronado.

Check out these scenic views from the second level of the Glorietta Bay Marina Building in Coronado!

To the east you can see the many boats docked in Glorietta Bay, the green trees of Coronado Municipal Golf Course beyond, and tiny glimpses of distant downtown San Diego.

To the south lies the Coronado Civic Center and its Glorietta Bay Park Promenade. There’s some public art that way. See photos of a beautiful fountain here and crazy rooftop sculpture here.

To the west rise the ten white Coronado Shores condominium towers.

And finally to the north, you can see public art titled “Imagine Tent City” which I once blogged about here, plus the distinctive former Hotel Del Coronado Boathouse, with its Victorian architecture–now home to Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.

The Glorietta Bay Marina Building was dedicated in 2009. Wonderful views surround it.
The Glorietta Bay Marina Building was dedicated in 2009. Wonderful views surround it.
Plaque near stairs to outdoor second level of the Glorietta Bay Marina Building.
Plaque near stairs to outdoor second level of the Glorietta Bay Marina Building.
Looking northeast. In the distance rises part of San Diego's downtown skyline.
Looking northeast. In the distance rises part of San Diego’s downtown skyline.
Looking south toward Coronado's City Hall and Civic Center.
Looking south toward Coronado’s City Hall and Civic Center.
Two of the Coronado Shores towers to the east. Just beyond, unseen, lies the Pacific Ocean.
Two of the Coronado Shores towers to the west. Just beyond, unseen, lies the Pacific Ocean.
To the north you can see Coronado public art titled Imagine Tent City.
To the north you can see Coronado public art titled Imagine Tent City.
And you can also see the Hotel Del's historic Victorian boathouse.
And you can also see the Hotel Del’s historic Victorian boathouse.

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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San Diego’s historic Samuel I. Fox Building.

A very unique historic building stands at the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway in downtown San Diego.

The Samuel I. Fox Building, built in 1929, always attracts my attention when I walk by. It’s earthy colors seem to change depending on the time of day, due to shifting sunlight and shadow.

The Samuel I. Fox Building was designed by renowned architect William Templeton Johnson, who also masterminded the San Diego Museum of Art and Natural History Museum buildings in Balboa Park, the Serra Museum in Presidio Park, and the La Jolla Athenaeum. He is one of several architects responsible for the San Diego County Administration Building.

He also designed the extraordinary San Diego Trust and Savings Bank Building, which stands directly to the north across Broadway. You can see photos of that building, where William Templeton Johnson kept his office, here.

A Gaslamp Quarter plaque near the Samuel I. Fox Building’s entrance describes its history:

Entrepreneur Samuel Fox built this four-story structure for a half of a million dollars. It was intended to accommodate his Lion Clothing Company, which was the sole tenant until 1984. It boasts 16-foot ceilings, antique oak wood paneling, heraldic lions in full relief, and an over-hanging tile roof. The building was recognized as an artistic masterpiece and a merchandising success.

A few days ago I took these exterior photos.

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The new Portside Pier is ready to open!

The latest addition to San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero is about to open. The new Portside Pier, a 4-in-1 restaurant and public observation deck operated by Brigantine, is set to open this Tuesday, July 28!

I’ve been watching the construction of this unusual dockside building for well over a year. You might recall I posted some photos late last year here. The Portside Pier is located directly next to the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic tall ship Star of India.

This new bayside eatery replaces the much-beloved Anthony’s Fish Grotto, where many San Diegans enjoyed great seafood meals and a view of the sparkling bay for 70 years. Before it was demolished, I blogged about good old Anthony’s Fish Grotto here and here. I blogged about its demolition here!

Portside Pier features four eateries: Brigantine Seafood and Oyster Bar, Miguel’s Cocina, Ketch Grill & Taps, and Portside Coffee & Gelato. The new structure has a fair amount of outdoor seating, which I suppose allows them to open during the current coronavirus pandemic restaurant restrictions.

I look forward to walking up onto the public observation deck and grabbing something to eat in the near future!

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Photos from under the historic Cabrillo Bridge.

Few people admire Balboa Park’s historic Cabrillo Bridge from below–unless it’s a brief glimpse as they drive into or out of downtown San Diego along State Route 163.

Today I followed a dirt trail from Balboa Park’s West Mesa down to the base of the Cabrillo Bridge. I started at Nate’s Point Dog Park, descended quickly and soon found myself walking under the 40 feet wide, 120 feet high, 1,505 feet long marvel of engineering. (The dramatic main span is 450 feet.)

The very beautiful Cabrillo Bridge, which crosses Cabrillo Canyon, was finished in 1914 in time for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The multiple-arched cantilever structure was the first bridge of its kind in California. According to Wikipedia: “An initial design for the bridge was developed by Bertram Goodhue that featured three large arches. The design was to be similar to Toledo, Spain’s Alcántara Bridge. However, Frank P. Allen, Jr. convinced Balboa Park commissioners to choose a cheaper design by Thomas B. Hunter of San Francisco that looked similar to other bridges in Mexico and Spain.”

The Cabrillo Bridge with its seven arches is made of reinforced concrete. 7,700 cubic yards of it! Inside the bridge there is 4,050 tons of steel. You might notice how the bridge’s graceful design resembles a Roman aqueduct. It has a simple, classic appearance that is both iconic and pleasing to the eye.

In 1975 the Cabrillo Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1986 it was designated a San Diego Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

In a couple of my early photos, which I took periodically as I walked down the trail, you can see Balboa Park’s distinctive California Tower rising just beyond the east end of the bridge.

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Preparing a grand entrance for The Shell!

Great progress continues to be made building The Shell, the new outdoor summer stage of the San Diego Symphony!

I noticed during my waterfront stroll today that a new wider walkway has been poured to provide better access to Embarcadero Marina Park South. I also noticed from a distance that The Shell’s uniquely designed entrance is really taking shape.

Next summer, when you head down to San Diego’s beautiful bayfront to listen to the greatest music in the world, it appears to me that the one making a grand entrance will be you!

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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An oddly colorful building in Little Italy!

Another avid walker and blogger, icelandpenny, saw my post from yesterday and noticed a colorful building in one photograph.

This morning I walked through Little Italy past that unusual building to get a closer look.

Seen from one side, the coloring of the building’s front on Union Street is a little bit like a crazy quilt. In my opinion, the cheerful way it has been painted is both a lot of fun and uniquely attractive!

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!

Interesting sights as I walked to the trolley.

The old Anton Mayrhofer Residence, located at 2nd Avenue and Cedar Street. The small Victorian house has been designated City of San Diego Historical Landmark no. 299. Anton Mayrhofer was born in Austria in 1856.
The old Anton Mayrhofer Residence, located at 2nd Avenue and Cedar Street. The small Victorian house has been designated City of San Diego Historical Landmark No. 299. Anton Mayrhofer was born in Austria in 1856.

Early this morning I photographed a variety of interesting things as I walked west from Cortez Hill to the Little Italy trolley station.

An unexpected religious encounter as I cross an intersection heading toward the trolley station.
An unexpected religious encounter as I cross an intersection heading toward the trolley station.
Bougainvillea against a wall.
Bougainvillea against a wall.
Another person on another journey.
Another person on another journey.
We Stand Together in the Wildflower Salon window.
We Stand Together in the Wildflower Salon window.
The Circus Girl in another window.
The Circus Girl in another window.
The architecturally interesting new The Continental Lofts building in Little Italy.
The architecturally interesting new The Continental Lofts building in Little Italy.
Tiny potted plants inside hive-like hexagons in front of Queenstown Public House.
Tiny potted plants inside hive-like hexagons in front of Queenstown Public House.
Half-covered smiles.
Half-covered smiles.
Those huge wooden doors at the now permanently closed Indigo Grill.
Those huge wooden doors at the now permanently closed Indigo Grill.
A mysterious paper collage on top of a sidewalk electrical box.
A mysterious paper collage on top of a sidewalk electrical box.

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!

Major construction projects underway in Balboa Park!

Numerous major construction projects are now underway in Balboa Park!

It appears workers were very busy while the park was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today the center of Balboa Park reopened to the public, and as I walked around I was surprised to see all the construction activity!

The above photo and the one that follows shows the long-planned public viewing platform being built around the park’s landmark Moreton Bay Fig tree!

I once blogged more information concerning this project here.

The next three photos show how the Mingei International Museum’s major transformation is well underway! I believe the construction you see on one side of the building is going to be the Mingei’s new theater.

If you want an idea of how things will look when finished, you can visit my blog post concerning the Mingei’s transformation here.

I was really surprised to see that the Palisades area of Balboa Park has begun it’s historic transformation!

Half the old parking lot–the side nearest the San Diego Air and Space Museum–will be turned into a pedestrian plaza featuring lawns and a monumental fountain that will recall the Firestone Singing Color Fountains of the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition!

Finally, I saw a great deal of progress has been made building the five new structures at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages! The new cottages will be the future home of nine nations.

I’ve blogged about this long delayed project on several occasions. You can see a map of the project here, and see photos I took of the groundbreaking ceremony in 2016 here.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Stonehenge, stacked blocks, and a La Jolla Project.

Looks somehow familiar?

No, this work of art in UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection isn’t titled Stonehenge. But that’s what many students call it.

Environmental artist Richard Fleischner created this monumental public art, La Jolla Project, in 1984. His artwork explores how universal architectural forms might be integrated into a natural setting. For his La Jolla Project, he used stones quarried in New England and cut near Providence, Rhode Island, on the other side of the continent. A whole lot of human calculation and labor was required to create something that appears extremely simple.

To me, it looks like an enormous giant sat down on a green patch of grass and stacked some toy blocks. The blocks are scattered and assembled in several ways, often forming columns, benches and arches. These simple blocks remind the viewer that all architecture–all existing physical matter in fact–can be broken down into the most rudimentary shapes we learn in basic geometry.

As you walk around La Jolla Project, you feel you’ve entered a strange otherworld that is somehow different from ordinary space and time. It’s a place where abstract forms have materialized in a familiar, park-like landscape. Did they descend from the stars? From the hand of a gigantic, playful child? From the realm of pure ideas? (As I think about it, these vertical forms almost appear like words spelled out with an alien alphabet, including a punctuation mark here or there.)

Should you ever visit UC San Diego, wander through this mazy construction and perhaps arrive at your own conclusion.

But first you must find La Jolla Project on the Revelle College lawn south of Galbraith Hall, beside Scholars Drive South, north of the La Jolla Playhouse.

Bring a compass.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!