A vibrant Color Story at San Diego History Center.

Texas Tractor, 2002, oil on linen.
Texas Tractor, 2002, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.

A great new art exhibition has recently opened at the San Diego History Center!

Carol Lindemulder: Color Story features a collection of vibrant paintings by a local artist who loves to travel about the landscapes of Southern California and the American Southwest. In her paintings, deserts, fields, mountains and small towns are frequently defined by swaths of radiant color–like patches of bright sunshine before your eyes!

Carol Lindemulder, a San Diego native, is a founding member of the Save Our Heritage Organization. She was responsible for the restoration of the Giant Dipper roller coaster in Mission Beach. Her paintings are informed by a deep knowledge of our region’s history, its backroads and lesser known spaces.

Head over to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park and see these amazing paintings for yourself!

Photograph of Carol Lindemulder painting.
Photograph of Carol Lindemulder painting.
Most of my paintings have a path--a road, a street, a river--a place from which we start the adventure.
Most of my paintings have a path–a road, a street, a river–a place from which we start the adventure.
The Road Less Traveled, 2003, oil on linen.
The Road Less Traveled, 2003, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.
Fish Creek Afternoon, 2012, oil on linen.
Fish Creek Afternoon, 2012, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.
Stonebridge Canyon, 2016, oil on linen.
Stonebridge Canyon, 2016, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.
October, Canyon de Chelly, 2002, oil on linen.
October, Canyon de Chelly, 2002, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.
When Shadow's Fall, 1996, oil on linen.
When Shadow’s Fall, 1996, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.
Ocotillo, 2010, oil on linen.
Ocotillo, 2010, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.
Storm from Temecula, 2001, oil on linen.
Storm from Temecula, 2001, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.
Henshaw After the Storm, 2007, oil on linen.
Henshaw After the Storm, 2007, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.
Just Around the Corner from the Stop Sign, 2013, oil on linen.
Just Around the Corner from the Stop Sign, 2013, Carol Lindemulder. Oil on linen.

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 of historic “Book Pass” in Mission Hills!

Community members line a sidewalk in Mission Hills, passing books from their old home to a brand new branch library!
Community members line a sidewalk in Mission Hills, passing books from old shelves to a brand new branch library!

A very exciting and historic event took place this morning in Mission Hills! Hundreds of people lined the West Washington Street sidewalk to pass books from the old, now closed Mission Hills Branch Library to the beautiful, larger, brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library!

The final 200 books from the old branch library were transferred along the sidewalk, hand-to-hand, by volunteer participants. Some were dressed as favorite book characters. All eyes glanced at the passing titles, and many smiles resulted!

Once every book had been transported to its new home, a Grand Opening ceremony was held in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. When the speeches were complete, community members streamed into the new building!

The very last book to be passed was The Hobbit. It was selected in a poll to make the fantastic journey.

And onward into the future we go!

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

–Bilbo Baggins

Volunteers for the Book Pass gather in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest-Harley & Bessie Knox Library.
Volunteers for the Book Pass gather in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library.
Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Members of the Book Brigade are getting ready on Block 3.
Members of the Book Brigade are getting ready on Block 3.
Someone reads while waiting for the Book Pass to begin.
Someone reads while waiting for the Book Pass to begin.
Look who I spotted! It's Balboa Park's Ranger Kim, with his cool new children's book!
Look! It’s Balboa Park’s Ranger Kim Duclo, with his cool new children’s book!
This persons favorite book is Peter Benchley's Jaws!
This person’s favorite book is Peter Benchley’s Jaws!
I spotted Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and Captain Hook!
I spotted Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and Captain Hook!
Here comes Professor Trelawney!
Here comes Professor Trelawney!
Near the old Mission Hills Branch Library, the Book Pass is almost ready to begin.
Near the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library, the Book Pass is almost ready to begin.
Volunteers are lined up, awaiting the first book!
Volunteers are lined up by the old branch library, awaiting the first book!
Cameras ready!
Cameras ready!
A fun moment in history is about to begin...
A fun moment in history is about to begin…
The final 200 books in the now closed branch library will be passed from hand to hand to the new Mission Hills Library.
The final 200 books in the now closed branch library will be passed from hand to hand to the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library.
Here they are!
Here they are on a book cart!
Empty shelves are all that's left in the old Mission Hill Library.
Empty shelves are all that’s left in the old Mission Hills Branch Library.
Here comes the first book in the Book Pass!
And here comes the very first book in the Book Pass!
Doing the wave! Too much excitement!
Doing the wave! Too much excitement!
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
The books head east through Mission Hills.
The books head east through Mission Hills.
Here they come!
Here they come!
People pause to look at titles as the books are passed along.
People pause to look at titles as the books are passed along. Most of the books are classic works of World Literature.
The cart is almost halfway empty!
Very quickly the cart is almost half emptied!
The smiling Bike Brigade showed up to transport some books!
The smiling Bike Brigade showed up to transport a few books!
There it is! The final book of the Book Pass is waiting at the bottom of this stack. The Hobbit!
There it is! The final book of the Book Pass is waiting at the bottom of this stack. The Hobbit! (It happens to be one of my favorites!)
The final 25 books represent the 25 most checked-out books in the history of the Mission Hills Branch Library. I noticed several were by Dr. Seuss.
The final 25 books represent the 25 most checked-out books in the history of the old, now closed Mission Hills Branch Library. I noticed several were by Dr. Seuss.
Finally, it's J. R. R. Tolkien's beloved novel The Hobbit.
Finally, it’s J. R. R. Tolkien’s beloved fantasy novel The Hobbit.
Bilbo Baggins has embarked on another journey. The Hobbit makes it's way to the brand new Mission Hills Library.
It seems Bilbo Baggins has embarked on another journey. The Hobbit makes it’s way to the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library.
Friends and neighbors are excited to be a part of history in San Diego.
Friends and neighbors are excited to be a part of history in San Diego.
A kid hurries across an intersection with The Hobbit!
A happy kid hurries across an intersection with The Hobbit!
Everyone holds up The Hobbit as many photographs are taken.
Everyone holds up The Hobbit as many photographs are taken.
One of many wonderful Book Pass memories for hundreds of volunteers.
One of many wonderful Book Pass memories for hundreds of participants.
A huge crowd accompanies The Hobbit across another intersection as the Book Pass approaches the new branch library.
A huge crowd accompanies The Hobbit across another intersection as the Book Pass approaches the new branch library.
The beautiful new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library is now in sight!
The beautiful new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library is now in sight!
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer poses with some kids for a photo.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer poses with some kids for a photo.
The Hobbit is approaching its new library home!
The Hobbit is approaching its new library home!
A favorite book held high for all to see!
A favorite book held high for all to see!
One last book and the historic Book Pass transfer will be complete.
One last book and the historic Book Pass transfer will be complete.
Many have gathered for the ceremony at the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library.
Many have gathered for the Grand Opening ceremony at the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library.
The Hobbit has reached its new home.
The Hobbit has reached its new home.
Speeches begin. The Mayor of San Diego addresses a large crowd. The new library is finally ready to open.
Speeches begin. The Mayor of San Diego addresses a large crowd. The beautiful new library, which was built in the Craftsman architectural style, is finally ready to open.
People eagerly head into the brand new Mission Hills Branch Library!
People eagerly head into the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library!
On we go!
On we go!

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!

A visit to the Air and Space Museum Annex!

Lots of cool sights await visitors to the free San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex!
Lots of cool sights await visitors to the free San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex!

One of the coolest free attractions in San Diego is located in East County at Gillespie Field. That’s where you’ll find the annex of Balboa Park’s famous Air and Space Museum!

Yesterday morning I ventured east to El Cajon to visit the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex for the very first time. I’d read that they have a collection of old aircraft, but I really didn’t know what to expect.

I was absolutely blown away!

The annex is a treasure trove of restored and unrestored aircraft, plus old exhibits once housed by the museum in Balboa Park. Volunteers at the Gillespie Field Annex are happy to show families around. Excited kids can sit inside commercial airline cockpits, and adults can marvel at the development of aviation technology over the years.

There are so many amazing displays in the hangar and outside, it’s hard to describe. So I offer you these photos with informative captions!

If you happen to be in San Diego, go check it out for yourself! While admission to the annex is free, they’d appreciate a few bucks in their donation box!

An imposing Atlas missile stands in one corner of the annex's parking lot!
An imposing Atlas missile stands in one corner of the annex’s parking lot!
Cockpit exhibits and aircraft in various stages of restoration stand outside the museum annex hangar.
Cockpit exhibits and aircraft in various stages of restoration stand outside the museum annex hangar.
Inside the hangar there's a ton of cool stuff, including many old exhibits from the main San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park.
Inside the hangar there’s a ton of cool stuff, including many old exhibits from the main San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park.
Replica of the Smithsonian's original Vin Fiz Flyer dangles from the ceiling. This one-of-a-kind Wright Brothers airplane was the first aircraft to fly coast-to-coast. The journey took almost three months!
Replica of the Smithsonian’s original Vin Fiz Flyer dangles from the ceiling. This one-of-a-kind Wright Brothers airplane was the first aircraft to fly coast-to-coast. The journey took almost three months!
Ryan X-13 experimental vertical take-off jet (VTOL) created by the Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego. This aircraft was test flown in 1955 at Edwards Air Force Base.
Ryan X-13 experimental vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet created by the Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego. This particular aircraft was test flown in 1955 at Edwards Air Force Base.
Looking past the Ryan X-13 Vertijet at other exhibits in the annex hangar, including a yellow Ryan Recruit military trainer.
Looking past the Ryan X-13 Vertijet at other exhibits in the annex hangar, including a yellow Ryan Recruit military trainer.
This particular Ryan X-13 was the result of a contract with the U.S. Air Force.
This particular Ryan X-13 was the result of a contract with the U.S. Air Force, as you can see by the markings.
Ryan ST-3KR (PT-22) Recruit, an aircraft used to train thousands of pilots during World War II.
Ryan ST-3KR (PT-22) Recruit, an aircraft used to train thousands of pilots during World War II.
In a glass display case nearby is a small model of a Ryan B-5 Brougham.
In a glass display case nearby is a small model of a Ryan B-5 Brougham. (You might recall that Charles Lindbergh’s famous Spirit of St. Louis, first plane to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo nonstop, was built in San Diego by Ryan.)
Numerous aircraft engines on display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex.
Numerous aircraft engines on display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex.
Wright R-3350-B Duplex-Cyclone 1939 aircraft power plant, at the time the most powerful radial engine in the world at 2000 HP.
Wright R-3350-B Duplex-Cyclone 1939 aircraft power plant, at the time the most powerful radial engine in the world at 2000 HP.
Pratt and Whitney 1830-17 Twin Wasp, used in several World War II aircraft.
Pratt and Whitney 1830-17 Twin Wasp, used in several World War II aircraft.
Wright J65 turbojet engine, 1954. This engine powered many military aircraft in the mid 20th century, including the very successful A-4 Skyhawk.
Wright J65 turbojet engine, 1954. This engine powered many military aircraft in the mid 20th century, including the very successful A-4 Skyhawk.
Marquardt RJ43-MA-9 ramjet engine used on Boeing CIM-10 Bomarc interceptor missiles during the 1960s. The ramjet produced speeds up to Mach 2.7, or about 1780 miles per hour.
Marquardt RJ43-MA-9 ramjet engine used on Boeing CIM-10 Bomarc interceptor missiles during the 1960s. The ramjet produced speeds up to Mach 2.7, or about 1780 miles per hour.
Rolls Royce Pegasus F402-RR-401 vectoring turbofan that powers the AV-8A Harrier short take-off and vertical landing aircraft.
Rolls Royce Pegasus F402-RR-401 vectoring turbofan that powers the AV-8A Harrier short take-off and vertical landing aircraft.
A long mural in the annex's hangar shows a variety of modern aircraft.
A long mural in the annex’s hangar shows a variety of modern aircraft.
Bleriot XI dangles from the ceiling. The revolutionary 1908 aircraft had a new Anzani engine that could run for one whole hour, allowing it to fly across the English Channel.
Bleriot XI dangles from the ceiling. The revolutionary 1908 aircraft had a new Anzani engine that could run for one whole hour, allowing it to fly across the English Channel.
Sopwith Pup Craftsmen of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, a volunteer aircraft building project back in 2000-2003.
Sopwith Pup Craftsmen of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, a volunteer aircraft building project back in 2000-2003.
Rearwin Cloudster 8135, once displayed on the museum floor in Balboa Park.
Rearwin Cloudster 8135, once displayed on the museum floor in Balboa Park.
One more look inside the hangar before I head outside to see lots more cool stuff.
One more look inside the hangar before I head outside to see lots more cool stuff.
The aircraft in the foreground is a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15. Mounted beyond it is a Ryan Model 147 Lightning Bug jet-powered reconnaissance drone.
The aircraft in the foreground is a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15. Mounted beyond it is a Ryan Model 147 Lightning Bug jet-powered reconnaissance drone.
Outside the hangar doors is the nose of an old Northwest Stratocruiser that once flew to Honolulu.
Outside the hangar doors is the nose of an old Northwest Stratocruiser that once flew to Honolulu.
Hundreds of switches and gauges inside the amazing cockpit of a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. One can sit in the pilot's seat and pretend to fly across the Pacific Ocean!
Hundreds of switches, dials and gauges inside the amazing cockpit of a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. One can sit in the pilot’s seat and pretend to fly across the Pacific Ocean!
Someone created this silly flying car named the Spirit of San Diego!
Someone created this silly flying car named the Spirit of San Diego! I kind of doubt they ever got this contraption off the ground.
Looking beyond a General Dynamics F-16N at a line of military aircraft displayed outside.
Looking beyond a General Dynamics F-16N at a line of military aircraft displayed outside.
North American F-86F Sabre from the Korean War period.
North American F-86F Sabre from the Korean War period.
Convair F-102A Delta Dagger built in San Diego 1956-1957.
Convair F-102A Delta Dagger built in San Diego 1956-1957.
An old Neptune Aviation Services P2V-7 aerial firefighting plane--Tanker 43.
An old Neptune Aviation Services P2V-7 aerial firefighting plane–Tanker 43.
I learned there are several restoration projects now underway at the museum annex at Gillespie Field. I believe this is an old Piasecki H-21 helicopter.
I learned there are several restoration projects now underway at the museum annex at Gillespie Field. I believe this is an old Piasecki H-21 helicopter. Looks like it needs some work.
Next to the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex parking lot stands a tall Atlas Missile 2-E! This missile was used for a static firing at Sycamore Test Facility.
Next to the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex parking lot stands a tall Atlas Missile 2-E! This missile was used for a static firing at Sycamore Canyon Test Facility east of MCAS Miramar. It used to stand at the entrance to Missile Park, beside the old General Dynamics complex in Kearny Mesa.
National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark Atlas Space Booster Family - San Diego, California - 1957. Developed by General Dynamics Convair and the U.S. Air Force.
National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark Atlas Space Booster Family – San Diego, California – 1957. Developed by General Dynamics Convair and the U.S. Air Force.
Visit the free San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex and you'll learn much about aviation history!
Visit the free San Diego Air and Space Museum’s Gillespie Field Annex and you’ll learn a whole lot about aviation history!

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 of Vietnam War Memorial in La Mesa.

At the center of La Mesa's HYFD Vietnam Memorial Park stands a three-sided monument containing many plaques.
At the center of La Mesa’s HYFD Vietnam Memorial Park stands a three-sided monument containing many plaques.

A beautiful memorial in La Mesa remembers Vietnam Veterans who gave their lives for their country. The Heartland Youth for Decency Vietnam Memorial Park was originally built in 1970, then restored and rededicated in 2014. It can be found at the corner of University Avenue and Nebo Drive.

A community group of young people called Heartland Youth for Decency (HYFD) built the monument at a time when there was a great deal of contention about the Vietnam War. Its purpose was to honor veterans from San Diego’s East County who were killed during that horrible war.

Here are photos that I took today. The small Memorial Park can seem lost in the endless hustle and bustle of surrounding streets. But words that speak of courage, grief and honor stand quietly waiting, for any who wish to see.

Read the captions for a bit more description.

Flags fly in the January breeze. A helmet atop a cross, signifying those killed during the Vietnam War.
Flags fly in the January breeze. A helmet atop a cross, signifying those killed during the Vietnam War.
Greater Love Hath No Man... Heartland Area Vietnam Deaths
Greater Love Hath No Man… Heartland Area Vietnam Deaths
We of Heartland Youth for Decency dedicate this monument to the young men from our own generation who have given their lives that we might be free.
We of Heartland Youth for Decency dedicate this monument to the young men from our own generation who have given their lives that we might be free.
A man died for me today...
A man died for me today…
A beautiful tile mosaic bench in the park with American flag and peace sign.
A colorful tile mosaic bench in the park with American flag and peace sign.
A second bench has a star at either end.
A second bench has a star at either end.
A bald eagle, symbol of the United States. Freedom Is Not Free.
A bald eagle, symbol of the United States. Freedom Is Not Free.
A simple, emotionally powerful letter at the base of the flagpole. ...Most of all, Father, I love you.
A simple, emotionally powerful letter at the base of the flagpole. …Most of all, Father, I love you.
To one side stands the POW/MIA Empty Chair. And the words: Lest We Forget.
To one side stands the POW/MIA Empty Chair. And the words: Lest We Forget.
Powerful symbols in a small La Mesa park.
Powerful symbols in a small La Mesa park.
American eagle and flag mosaic art on rear of the POW/MIA Empty Chair is by the Rainforest Art Project.
American eagle and flag mosaic art on rear of the POW/MIA Empty Chair is by the Rainforest Art Project.

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!

Giant seashell sculpture is a Growing Home!

A child of San Diego sits in an enormous sculpture of a living seashell, a Growing Home.
A child of San Diego sits in an enormous sculpture of a living seashell, a Growing Home.

Some amazing public art was installed in East Village about a week ago!

Growing Home is an enormous stainless steel sculpture of a sea snail’s living shell. Laser-cut into the upward coiling shell are notable events from San Diego’s history. The sculpture can be found on the east side of Park Boulevard near Petco Park and the downtown Central Library. It stands at the new Park 12 – The Collection luxury apartments.

Growing Home was created by Joe O’Connell and Creative Machines and is made of stainless steel with LED lighting. Creative Machines produces interactive and monumental art for clients around the world. They are based in Tucson, Arizona.

The shell represents the ever-growing city in which we live. As history has progressed, the shell has grown and grown.

I took these photos after a rain shower, so the large wet stones arranged next to the seashell seem to lie glistening on a beach!

Growing Home rises as public art at Park 12 - The Collection, new luxury apartments in San Diego's East Village.
Growing Home rises as public art at Park 12 – The Collection, new luxury apartments in San Diego’s East Village.
Growing Home, 2018, Joe O'Connell and Creative Machines, stainless steel and LED lighting. A city's history grows like the shell of a marine mollusk.
Growing Home, 2018, Joe O’Connell and Creative Machines, stainless steel and LED lighting. A city’s history grows like the shell of a marine mollusk.
History becomes an essential part of an ever-growing city--a city that is home to many.
History becomes an essential part of an ever-growing city–a city that is home to many.
Growing Home features headlines of events that have shaped San Diego history.
Growing Home features headlines of events that have shaped San Diego history.
The lattice dome of the San Diego Central Library rises beyond Park Boulevard.
The lattice dome of the San Diego Central Library rises beyond Park Boulevard.
Moments in history are preserved as words written in the growing shell.
Moments in history are preserved as words written in the growing shell.
Moments in San Diego history become part of our lives. The city is our home.
San Diego history become part of our lives. The city is our home.
The coiled, elongated shell of a sea snail is a Growing Home. Sit inside on a small bench for a fun photo!
The coiled, elongated shell of a sea snail. Sit inside on a small bench for a fun photo!
Growing Home rises at Park 12 - The Collection, in San Diego's East Village near Petco Park.
Growing Home rises at Park 12 – The Collection, in San Diego’s East Village.

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!

Make history at new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library!

Early sunshine on the handsome new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. It will be completed and open to the public in a little over two weeks!
Early sunshine on the handsome new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. It will be completed and open to the public in a little over two weeks!

If you live in Mission Hills or Hillcrest, or simply love the San Diego Public Library , you have the opportunity to take part in a unique and historic ceremony!

On February 26, 2019, members of the community will participate in a unique “Book Pass” to celebrate the grand opening of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library!

Sign up for this event and you’ll be one of many who line the West Washington Street sidewalk symbolically passing a few books from the old branch library to the beautiful, much larger new building!

According to the website: “We will line streets from the current library to the new location to pass along select books as part of a grand opening party. Each book passer will receive a free scarf and other promotional items to commemorate this historic day. The Book Pass will take place from 9 to 10 am. Registration, Donuts, & Coffee, will be at 8:00 am at the new library, 215 West Washington Street.”

Interested? Sign up here!

Photo of the old, permanently closed Mission Hills Branch Public Library.
Photo of the old, now permanently closed Mission Hills Branch Public Library.
Fall was followed by winter at the old library building. But it soon will be spring...
Fall was followed by the dead of winter at the closed old library building. But spring always follows winter…
The ceremonial Book Pass from the old branch library to the new branch library will head east along the West Washington Street sidewalk past these flowers.
The ceremonial “Book Pass” from the old branch library to the new branch library will carry books east along the West Washington Street sidewalk past these flowers.
Those who take part in the symbolic opening ceremony, as they approach the new branch library, will carry books past this flock of birds!
Books used for the symbolic opening ceremony, as they are carried to the new branch library, will pass by this flock of birds!
And the books will finally arrive at their much larger, very beautiful new home.
And the books will finally arrive at their much larger, very beautiful new home.
Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library opens on January 26, 2019!
The new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library opens on January 26, 2019! You can participate in its opening and become part of history!

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!

Sand sculpture murals show San Diego history!

Two bas-relief sand sculpture panels by renowned artist Charles R. Faust in the lobby of 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego.
Two bas-relief sand sculpture panels by renowned artist Charles R. Faust in the lobby of 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego.

Two amazing works of art can be viewed inside an office building in Bankers Hill. The small murals–sculptures made of sand that appear as bas-relief panels–decorate a wall in the lobby of 5th & Laurel, the building best known as the home of Mister A’s restaurant.

Commissioned by the now defunct Great American First Savings Bank to celebrate their Centennial in 1985, the two panels depict important San Diego landmarks and aspects of local history.

The two sand cast panels were created by Charles R. Faust (1922 – 2000), a prolific artist who for many years worked as the director of architectural design at the San Diego Zoo. His invention of moated animal enclosures in the mid-1950’s revolutionized how the world famous zoo and their Wild Animal Park near Escondido exhibited animals. He also designed the San Diego Zoo’s huge walk-in aviary–the first of its kind in the world.

After retiring from that job, Charles opened Faust Sand Casting in Ocean Beach with his son. Over his creative lifetime the art of Charles Faust would also include fine drawings, watercolors and oil paintings, many of which depicted life in the Old West, a theme he loved.

His sand sculpture murals have added beauty to many locations around San Diego. I photographed a couple of these murals in the past for Cool San Diego Sights, without realizing at the time they were created by Charles Faust. You can spot them here and here!

Yesterday morning I spoke to a security guard in the lobby of 5th & Laurel, and he said these two “sand art” panels were moved from a suite in the building where there used to be a bank. I believe they were in Suite 120, once the home of Pacific Premier Bank, and the future home of an upscale Italian restaurant. But I’m not sure about the exact history of these particular panels. If you know anything more about them, please leave a comment!

(Please note these photographs make the panels seem more yellowish than they are in reality, due to the indoor lighting and my modest camera.)

The left panel depicts early San Diego history, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the ranchos.
The panel on the left. It depicts early San Diego history, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the ranchos.
A friar outside the Spanish mission. The man on horseback might be a soldier from the old presidio.
A friar outside the Spanish mission. The man on horseback might be a soldier from the old presidio.
The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in California.
The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in Alta California.
Scenes from the Old West in San Diego.
Scenes from the Old West in San Diego, including an old wagon and a ride on a bucking horse.
A rancher or vaquero, and a herd of cattle.
A rancher or vaquero, and a herd of cattle.
The right panel depicts more San Diego landmarks. Images include Balboa Park, a streetcar, Coronado ferry, naval ship, farm and Victorian houses.
The panel on the right. It depicts many later San Diego landmarks. Images include Balboa Park, a streetcar, Coronado ferry, naval ship, farm and Victorian houses.
GREAT AMERICAN CENTENNIAL - 100 YEARS - 1885-1985
GREAT AMERICAN CENTENNIAL – 100 YEARS – 1885-1985
A sailboat and birds share San Diego Bay with a pre-bridge Coronado ferry and an old Navy warship.
A sailboat and birds share San Diego Bay with a pre-bridge Coronado ferry and an early 20th century Navy warship. In the upper right corner I spy a tiny Old Point Loma Lighthouse!
I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower.
I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower of Balboa Park.
I think I recognize the Long-Waterman House of Bankers Hill on the left. The house on the right might be a south view of the Britt-Scripps House, but I'm not certain.
I think I recognize the historic Long-Waterman House of Bankers Hill. The house to the right of it might be a south view of the Britt-Scripps House, but it appears a bit different.

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