Online petition to reopen the Starlight Bowl.

A performance in the Ford Bowl (now the Starlight Bowl) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. No known copyright restrictions image from Flickr.
A performance in the Ford Bowl (now the Starlight Bowl) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. No known copyright restrictions image from Flickr.

The historic Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park has been out of operation since 2011. The organization Save Starlight has been working diligently to bring this beloved open air amphitheater back to life!

If you’d like to lend a hand, consider signing this online petition. Add your voice to others who urge the City of San Diego to grant Save Starlight a lease, so that they can begin the needed renovations and finally open to the public!

I added my name to the petition a moment ago. Will you?

You, too, can sign the petition, or learn more about the project, by clicking 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!

Carlsbad history at St. Michael’s By-the-Sea.

The fascinating history of Carlsbad includes its very first church, St. Michael’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, built in 1894.

St. Michael’s By-the-Sea is located on Carlsbad Boulevard at Christiansen Way, a block south of Magee Park.

During a recent adventure in San Diego’s North County, I walked around the church’s original structure, which stands by several other later buildings.

I paused to read this plaque…

The first church built in Carlsbad was St. Michael’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Originally erected in 1894 overlooking the ocean on Oak Avenue, the quaint Gothic structure was moved to its current site in 1959 when Florence Shipley Magee donated an adjacent site for a new church.

Original redwood paneling, oak pews, and a Victorian pump organ are all still in good condition. The only alterations are a new entry, replacing one which led directly into the choir area at the front of the chapel, and a new heating and air conditioning system.

Far from being a relic of the past, the chapel is used for regular Sunday and weekday services as well as for weddings and funerals.

PLAQUE COURTESY OF THE CARLSBAD HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

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!

New beauty inside historic Santa Fe Depot.

I believe that efforts to revive the life and beauty of historically important buildings should be celebrated. So today let me celebrate a project underway inside San Diego’s historic 1915 Santa Fe Depot.

Earlier this week, as I was waiting for Jimmy at the Santa Fe Depot concession stand to microwave a burrito, I noticed some yellow tape. The enormous Waiting Room’s wooden benches were being sanded down and newly varnished!

When I walked through the depot this morning, the work had progressed. More of the benches were richly shining! Jimmy had informed me it took about one day to complete each bench.

The interior of an amazing space in downtown San Diego is becoming even more beautiful.

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!

Repairing the historic Old Adobe Chapel.

I recently learned that the historic Old Adobe Chapel in Old Town is being repaired and restored by the City of San Diego. I was told the roof leaks and a long, very serious crack was discovered along one wall. (I believe you can see it in one upcoming photo.)

I happened to be walking through Old Town yesterday when I remembered being told this. So I walked to 3963 Conde Street to see for myself.

The Adobe Chapel (also known as the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception) is designated California Historical Landmark No. 49. It was originally built in 1850. Initially the structure served as a home, then in 1858 it was turned into a church that would become a center for activity in early San Diego.

The old chapel has a rich history. It was said to be the wedding place of the character Ramona in Helen Hunt Jackson’s wildly popular 1884 novel of the same name. The Adobe Chapel would later be bulldozed and rebuilt in the 1930’s. To learn more about its history, visit the Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) website here and here. To enjoy a fascinating gallery of images, click here.

The Adobe Chapel is presently operated by SOHO. It is both a museum and special event venue. According to their website, it should be reopening, after repairs, sometime in 2022.

I see a long crack!
Photo of historical plaques and sign taken from a nearby parking lot.

ADOBE CHAPEL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

ORIGINALLY BUILT AS THE HOME OF SAN DIEGO’S JOHN BROWN IN 1850, THE HOUSE WAS CONVERTED TO A CHURCH BY DON JOSE AGUIRRE IN 1858. FATHER ANTONIO D. UBACH, FORMERLY A MISSIONARY AMONG THE INDIANS, WAS PARISH PRIEST HERE FROM 1866 TO 1907. IT IS SAID THAT HE WAS THE MODEL FOR “FATHER GASPARA” IN HELEN HUNT JACKSON’S RAMONA. IN 1937 THE WPA REBUILT THE ADOBE CHAPEL CLOSE TO ITS ORIGINAL SITE.

Old Adobe Chapel

BUILT IN 1850 AS A PRIVATE RESIDENCE. DEDICATED A PARISH CHURCH NOVEMBER 21, 1858 by FATHER JOHN MOLINER.

IN 1866, FATHER ANTONIO UBACH, THE PARISH PRIEST, WAS “FATHER GASPARA” OF HELEN HUNT JACKSON’S FAMOUS NOVEL “Ramona”

REBUILT BY UNITED STATES WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION 1937

A view of the Old Adobe Chapel from Conde Street in Old Town San Diego.

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!

Historical mural at new AC Hotel in San Diego!

A large new mural was finished several days ago in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter!

The permanent mural, which can be seen from Fifth Avenue, decorates the north side of the luxury, seven story AC Hotel by Marriott Gaslamp San Diego, which is presently under construction.

The image is inspired by historical photographs and represents the nearby stretch of Fifth Avenue as it appeared in the 1890s.

The tall building depicted on the left side of the mural is the Louis Bank of Commerce Building, which in the late 1800’s became home to the Oyster Bar, one of four saloons and gambling halls operated by Wyatt Earp when he lived in San Diego

The mural’s artists are Swank, Asylm and Vogue, from I.C.U. Art out of Los Angeles.

Awesome!

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Botanical Building’s deconstruction continues!

Out with the old first. Later in with the new!

The iconic 1915 Botanical Building in Balboa Park is in the process of being rebuilt. Three months ago I took a few photographs of some early “deconstruction” activity. Since then more of the lath structure near the ground has been removed, and the building looks increasingly skeletal!

I walked around the Botanical Building’s construction fence today and took these photos. You can contrast them with the photos I took in February here. That older blog post also provides some interesting details concerning this very important, historic project!

You can see how the Lily Pond directly adjacent to the structure has been drained.

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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 of the historic Old Scripps Building.

Enjoy a few photographs of the historic Old Scripps Building, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

Today the building is referred to as the George H. Scripps Memorial Marine Biological Laboratory. Located on the oceanfront campus a short distance south of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, it stands next to a grassy area called Pawka Green.

Built 1909-1910, the Old Scripps Building was the original home of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which back then was called the Marine Biological Laboratory. The rather modest building (in which founder and director William Emerson Ritter and his wife also lived) contained research laboratories, offices, and even a public aquarium.

Today, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has grown into a world-famous campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and is part of the University of California, San Diego.

The two-story Old Scripps Building might appear plain at first glance, but look again. The simple, elegant building was designed by none other than renowned architect Irving Gill. His pioneering Modernist designs often integrated simple lines and pure forms. In Southern California’s brilliant sunshine, his spaces are light-filled and welcoming. He also pioneered the use of reinforced concrete. This building is one such example.

In 1982 the Old Scripps Building, due to its historical importance, was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The adjacent Pawka green is dedicated to Steven Sitter Pawka, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography coastal oceanographer and waterman. His sophisticated observations and numerical models improved prediction of coastal waves throughout the world.

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!

Lakeside history on signs at Lindo Lake.

Lindo Lake in Lakeside has been the center of much interesting history. Should you walk past the restrooms near the southwest corner of Lindo Lake County Park, by the intersection of Woodside Avenue and Chestnut Street, you’ll likely notice information signs describing historical locations that are visible to curious eyes.

I paused to read each sign during my last Lakeside visit, then turned my camera in the direction indicated to capture a little of the history.

The Whitaker House is a stone building at the top of a prominent hill within the Lakeside Linkage County Preserve. Its design was inspired by architect Mary Jane Colter, whose buildings in the Grand Canyon include the Desert View Watchtower and the Hopi House. The style is known as National Park Service rustic architecture.

The Lakeside Inn, built by the El Cajon Valley Land Company in 1887 and demolished in 1920, was located near today’s post office building. This “Coronado of the Hills” boasted grand Victorian architecture, electricity, gaslights and running water.

Between 1906 and 1917, a 60 foot wide, 2 mile racetrack circled Lindo Lake. It was built by John H. Gay, who purchased the Lakeside Inn in 1904.

Famous drivers who raced on this historic track included legendary Barney Oldfield. One of the racetrack’s turns can be seen beyond the baseball field, where Chestnut Street turns to Lindo Lane.

The Lindo Lake Boathouse was built in 1887 on what was then a lagoon–the only natural lake in all of San Diego County. It has been moved several times and now sits on an artificial island.

Lindo Lake was originally fed by mountain streams. When subdividing their 3000-acre Lakeside Town site, the El Cajon Valley Land Company designated the lake and surrounding area as a public park.

In 1919 a court ruled the park, that had been claimed by Lakeside Inn owner John H. Gay, in fact belonged to the public. To celebrate, a blimp landed by the lake on July 5, 1920.

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!

Huge hole in Balboa Park’s Botanical Building!

Walk around the Balboa Park’s historic Botanical Building and you might do a double take. Because a huge hole is now open at the east end, allowing people to look into the monumental building’s interior!

I paused for a moment and took these photos over the construction fence. You can see how the old garden walkways have vanished, leaving the trees and plants rising from bare soil.

If you’d like to read about the Botanical Building and Gardens Restoration and Enhancement Project, and see artist renderings and historical photographs, click here.

Much of the work will repair damage “due to termite damage, rust and deferred maintenance.” The iconic Botanical Building will be restored to its original 1915 appearance. Amenities will also be added, like new restrooms, and a historically recreated pergola near its west end.

The Botanical Building is one of four structures built for the 1915 Panama California Exposition that were meant to be permanent. But after more than a century, a little tender loving care for one of the largest wood lath structures in the world is required!

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!

La Mesa’s famous movie history remembered!

In the early 20th century, La Mesa was home to the American Film Manufacturing Company. Some of the most popular movies of the time were filmed around San Diego!

The historic Wolf Building, at 8360 La Mesa Boulevard, has a plaque that recalls how the city was a pioneer in early motion pictures. The American Film Manufacturing Company made this new building and adjacent lot its home from August 1911 to July 1912. They created over one hundred “Flying A” Western “one-reelers” while in La Mesa…

According to this Wikipedia article, Flying “A” made over 150 films in San Diego County. The films were usually western adventures, comedies or an occasional local documentary…

The popular movie actors would make appearances at La Mesa parades and public events.

I’ve photographed the Wolf Building as it appears today. The Corner Store shoppers who haven’t read the nearby plaque probably don’t realize they’re experiencing a bit of motion picture history!

Also, I’ve posted two public domain images. The advertisements from the American Film Manufacturing Company are dated a few years after the studio departed La Mesa for Santa Barbara.

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!