Coronado’s Spreckels Mansion: then and now.

John D. Spreckels and his family owned the Hotel del Coronado during the first half of the 20th century.

In 1906 Spreckels began construction of a palatial home in Coronado. His mansion would stand at 1630 Glorietta Boulevard, across from his extraordinarily elegant Hotel del Coronado.

The Italian Renaissance style Spreckels Mansion, designed by renowned architect Harrison Albright (who also designed the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park), would be completed in 1908.

The above photograph was taken in 1915. The description of this public domain photo on Wikimedia Commons is: Promotional image of John D. Spreckels’ home on Coronado for marketing the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.

If the building appears familiar, that’s because much of it was incorporated into today’s Glorietta Bay Inn

Coronado Historical Landmark – J.D. Spreckels House – 1908. Dedicated 1977 Coronado Historical Association.

When I visited Coronado a couple months ago, the friendly Glorietta Bay Inn receptionists behind the front counter allowed me to take a few interior photos. What I found most interesting was one framed image on a wall.

The following is described as: a photograph of an original 1911 postcard of the Spreckels home, just after completion and before the addition of the music room in 1913…

Here are two more outside photos taken by my camera for comparison…

To learn more about John D. Spreckels, one of early San Diego’s most influential entrepreneurs, developers and philanthropists, read his Wikipedia article here.

You’ll learn his Coronado mansion included six bedrooms, three baths, a parlor, dining room and library at the cost of $35,000. At that time, Spreckels’ Mansion featured a brass cage elevator, a marble staircase with leather-padded handrails, skylights, marble floors and some of the Island’s most spectacular gardens. The home was built with reinforced steel and concrete, an earthquake precaution Spreckels insisted upon after living through the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Spreckels lived in the Glorietta Boulevard mansion until his death in 1926.

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!

Hotel del Coronado’s Ice House Museum.

Last summer a new museum opened at the world-famous Hotel del Coronado.

Located in the hotel’s historic ice house, between the old power plant and laundry building, the Ice House Museum tells the story of the world-famous Victorian beach resort.

Fascinating displays filling several walls pay tribute to those who’ve worked at the Hotel del Coronado over the decades, and the numerous celebrities who’ve visited.

I headed to the museum a couple weekends ago to check it out!

It was an overcast day–not the ideal weather for sunbathing on the nearby beach–so quite a few hotel guests were enjoying this free museum, too!

The grand entrance to the iconic Hotel del Coronado can be viewed north of the Ice House Museum. The late 19th century beach resort is in the Queen Anne architectural style.
The old ice house was built for hotel founders Babcock and Story’s Coronado Ice Company. The enterprise provided ice to the entire island. The ice house now contains a fascinating historical museum.
Prominent display inside the museum shows timeline of the Hotel del Coronado’s history. Elisha Babcock, Jr. and Hampton L. Story, founders of the Coronado Beach Company and developers of Coronado, built the hotel in 1888. The hotel was purchased by San Diego entrepreneur John D. Spreckels about a year later.
One wall features photos of many celebrities who’ve stayed at the famous hotel.
Legendary guests are remembered. Names I saw include American presidents Harrison, Taft, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush. Sports and entertainment celebrities include Frank Sinatra, Walt Disney, Carol Burnett, Cary Grant, Milton Berle, John Wayne, Peter O’Toole, Esther Williams, Babe Ruth, Kirk Douglas, Charlie Chaplin, Mickey Rooney, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe…
Artifacts recall unique aspects of the hotel’s rich history.
The beach near the hotel once featured an ostrich farm! A year before the Hotel del Coronado opened, fourteen ostriches were on permanent exhibition near Tenth and D Streets. In 1905, the greatly expanded ostrich farm moved to Mission Cliffs.
Six copies of this Orientalist style painting, titled On the March, by Germain artist Adolf Schreyer, were ordered in 1905 to decorate the elegant hotel’s walls.
Commemorative dinnerware. Bone china with a gold-embossed rim made for the Hotel del Coronado’s centennial celebration in 1988.
Some of the faces of dedicated hotel employees over the decades. Heart of the House. People who deliver the Del experience.
Just south of the Ice House Museum is the Hotel del Coronado Laundry building.
One walking path, leading back to the Hotel del Coronado’s main entrance, passes near the old power plant, with its prominent smokestack.

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A special song celebrates beautiful Coronado.

There’s a special, very beautifully written song that celebrates Coronado. The song, which has become beloved by many over the years, was written by composer and Coronado resident Joan Brown Goldberg, who passed away in early 2020.

I learned about The Coronado Song yesterday in Encinitas of all places. I was outside the old 19th century schoolhouse, lingering after a historical walking tour of Encinitas, when I approached a pianist who was playing among nearby vendors at a small crafts event.

The musician, whom you can see in my photos, is Famous Frank. He told me about Joan Brown Goldberg and how he’d played The Coronado Song during a music festival at the Emerald C Gallery a couple years ago. He described The Coronado Song as the unofficial theme song of Coronado.

I did a little searching, and discovered here that “…For a time the song with piano accompaniment was sold around town and at the Hotel del Coronado.”

I also found here that Joan Brown Goldberg “…was a talented composer, writing over 40 songs. Her most recognized work was ‘The Coronado Song,’ which won several international contests. The song was played before the annual Coronado July 4th Parade at the grandstand for 20 years.”

You can see some of the sheet music here.

I love the poetry and feeling in her lyrics. I’ve transcribed the words for the enjoyment of all.

THE CORONADO SONG

Music and Lyrics by Joan Brown Goldberg

Coronado, where the sun shines
Where the grand Hotel meets the sea
And the crashing waves
Will set you ablaze
And launch you into a dream.

Coronado, little island,
With skies as blue as can be
I long to walk on your tanned
California sand
And sit by your sparkling sea.

I miss your cold windy days
That grey winter haze
And fog horns blowin’ all night

Your summer perfume
Of jasmine in bloom
Your seaside seagulls in flight.

Coronado, on a sea breeze,
You know you’re haunting me so.
You are the Queen of the Coast
You’re the mariner’s host
And the most lovely Lady I know!

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Stunning mosaic at North Island Credit Union.

A colorful, truly stunning mosaic greets visitors arriving at the North Island Credit Union building in Kearny Mesa!

The large circular mosaic in the entrance plaza was created in 2008 and is titled Icons of San Diego. It was designed by artist Wick Alexander and installed using the LithoMosaic process.

The artwork pays tribute to iconic sights in San Diego, including the Coronado Bay Bridge, Balboa Park’s California Tower, the Santa Fe Depot and the Hotel del Coronado. Kids make a sandcastle on the beach, a surfer rides a wave, and hot air balloons float overhead!

If you’d like to read about the making of this very fine public art, click 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!

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Hotel del Coronado’s Winter Wonderland!

A fun Winter Wonderland can be enjoyed freely during this holiday season outside the Hotel del Coronado!

A huge Christmas tree, a Santa’s sleigh, a Polar Express, and all sorts of fun decorations invite visitors to take photographs on the world-famous hotel’s beachfront Windsor Lawn.

From what I could see, groups of tourists love the Winter Wonderland just as much as families and kids.

It all must be quite amazing when lit up at night!

Before I entered the Winter Wonderland from the beach, I had to check out a cool sand sculpture created by the Sandcastle Man. I’ve seen many of his sculptures over the years. I asked how long he’s been building castles by the Hotel del Coronado. He said fourteen years!

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!

Christmas tree rises at Hotel del Coronado!

Yesterday I noticed a giant white Christmas tree has risen outside the Hotel del Coronado!

Workers using a ladder were busy getting the beautiful tree and other holiday decorations ready at the hotel’s grassy fountain plaza, which is located at the corner of Orange Avenue and RH Dana Place.

I wonder what’s in those huge wrapped Christmas presents? Somebody must’ve been very, very good this year!

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!

Oil painting the iconic Hotel del Coronado!

img_0540-people-enjoy-the-grassy-area-in-front-of-the-famous-beach-resort-e1398111446464qq

One could make a convincing argument that the Hotel del Coronado is the second or third most iconic building in all of San Diego, after the California Tower in Balboa Park and perhaps the historic Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

The image of the uniquely grand and beautiful “Hotel Del” has been made famous in movies, on television, and through countless postcards sent around the world by enthralled tourists. Most people who think of Coronado immediately picture this impressive Victorian beach resort, the second largest wooden structure in the United States.

It’s said that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum used the fanciful architecture of the Hotel del Coronado as his inspiration for the Emerald City. (He wrote several Oz books at a house he rented in winter a few blocks away. To see photos of that house, click here!)

A month ago I used graphic software to change some of my photos of the California Tower into digital oil paintings. Yesterday, as I walked around Coronado, it suddenly occurred to me that I might do the same with the picturesque Hotel del Coronado!

I’ve altered some old photographs and a couple of new ones to make them appear like oil paintings! Just for fun!

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 trip to Coronado during the pandemic.

People sit on the grass at the Coronado Ferry Landing looking across San Diego Bay during the coronavirus pandemic.
People sit on the grass at the Coronado Ferry Landing looking across San Diego Bay during the coronavirus pandemic.

Today I went on a little mini-vacation. I walked from Cortez Hill where I live in downtown San Diego to Broadway Pier, boarded the Coronado Ferry and headed across the bay to one of my favorite places!

Today’s “trip” to Coronado was a bit different than usual, however. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic necessitated social distancing and frequent use of my face mask.

A crew member of the Silvergate ferry told me their ridership has begun to increase significantly now that San Diego has entered Phase 1 of the Reopening. Several weeks ago the ferry would carry perhaps 20 passengers for an entire day. Now there are easily 20 riders per trip.

As I walked through Coronado I saw people with and without face coverings, in groups, individually, in parks, on sidewalks. But most seemed to be conducting themselves in a considerate and measured way.

It appeared people were indeed very eager to be outside again after over a month of remaining mostly indoors. It was sunny and felt like summer. Restaurants were offering takeout service along the sidewalk. But many touristy shops were still closed.

Come along and read the photo captions…

More people sit near the small beach at the Coronado Ferry Landing.
Small groups sit spread out on the grass near the beach at the Coronado Ferry Landing.

This beach is usually much more active when there's no health crisis. A sometimes deadly, highly infectious novel coronavirus calls for social distancing.
This beach is usually much more active when there’s no health crisis. A sometimes deadly, highly infectious novel coronavirus calls for social distancing.

Fishing out on the blue water of San Diego Bay.
Fishing out on the blue water of San Diego Bay.

A few small groups were enjoying a Sunday early afternoon in Spreckels Park.
A few small groups were enjoying a Sunday early afternoon in Spreckels Park.

Bicycling has always been popular in Coronado, with tourists and locals alike. This street art depicts a fun bike.
Bicycling has always been popular in Coronado, with tourists and locals alike. This street art depicts a fun bike.

Something caught the attention of walkers in Rotary Park.
Something caught the attention of walkers in Rotary Park.

The COVID-19 crisis might prove fatal to the Lamb's Players Theatre. It's the most challenging time in their 49 year history. Perhaps send them a donation!
The COVID-19 crisis might prove fatal to the Lamb’s Players Theatre. It’s the most challenging time in their 49 year history. Perhaps send them a donation!

I spotted a UFO! It's the rather unique car of the Unarius Academy of Science, based in El Cajon. I once blogged about their spacey mural, if you recall.
I spotted a UFO! It’s the rather unique car of the Unarius Academy of Science. I once blogged about their spacey mural in El Cajon, if you recall.

Bicyclist heads down the street, with the Hotel del Coronado in the background.
Bicyclist rides along the street, with the grand, one-of-a-kind Hotel del Coronado in the background.

A couple heads down steps to the beach past signs concerning the latest coronavirus rules and regulations.
A couple heads down steps to the beach past signs concerning Coronado’s coronavirus rules and regulations.

People walk along beautiful Coronado Beach. The immense Disney Wonder cruise ship is parked in the ocean off San Diego waiting for the health crisis to end.
People walk along beautiful Coronado Beach. The immense Disney Wonder cruise ship is parked in the ocean off San Diego waiting for the health crisis to end.

If the Hotel del Coronado looks a bit different in this photo, that's because it's undergoing a big renovation during the pandemic.
If the Hotel del Coronado looks a bit different in this photo, that’s because it’s undergoing a big renovation during the pandemic.

Sign states that for the first time in 132 years, Hotel del Coronado has temporarily suspended operations.
Sign states that for the first time in 132 years, Hotel del Coronado has temporarily suspended operations.

Another look at large scale renovation underway at the world-famous Victorian beach resort.
Another look at major renovation underway at the world-famous Victorian beach resort.

As I walk back east along Orange Avenue, I pass the Coronado mural. I noticed it's printed on panels, not painted.
As I walked back east along Orange Avenue, I passed the Coronado mural. I noticed it’s printed on panels, not painted.

The marquee at the Village Theater indicates It's Intermission Time!
The marquee at the Village Theater indicates It’s Intermission Time!

One banner on the Orange Avenue median near Spreckels Park says Coronado We Stay Home Together. Support Our First Responders.
One banner on the Orange Avenue median near Spreckels Park reads: Coronado We Stay Home Together. Support Our First Responders.

The Coronado ferry will depart for downtown San Diego shortly. I stayed at a distance from the group ahead of me. They were told to don masks before boarding the ferry.
The Coronado ferry will depart for downtown San Diego shortly. I stayed at a distance from the group ahead of me. They were told to don masks before boarding the ferry.

The captain of the Silvergate poses for a photograph wearing his face mask. Thank you for taking us under the horns of the USS Midway and past a sea lion on a buoy!
The captain of the Silvergate poses for a photograph wearing his face mask. Stay safe!

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!

More fun artwork discovered around Coronado!

Marilyn Monroe of Some Like It Hot, filmed at the Hotel del Coronado, in colorful new street art. Art Outside the Box features painted utility boxes around Coronado.
Marilyn Monroe of Some Like It Hot, filmed at the Hotel del Coronado, in colorful new street art. Art Outside the Box features decorated utility boxes around Coronado.

As I walked around Coronado before the big Fourth of July parade, I noticed all sorts of cool public artwork I’d never seen before.

Most notably, a whole bunch of utility boxes have recently been jazzed up with images that represent the life and history of Coronado. The project, called Art Outside the Box, is sponsored by The City of Coronado Cultural Arts Commission and Caltrans. I photographed two of the eight boxes. I suppose I’ll swing by the other six some other day.

I also saw a couple of cool public restroom trailers that the City of Coronado uses during special events. I’m not sure how many of these exist, but I do recall seeing one years ago during a walk near the Hotel Del and Coronado Shores. It didn’t occur to me to photograph that one back then!

The two trailers I spied today at either end of Spreckels Park celebrate Coronado’s railroad history and the fun Tent City carousel, which today makes its home in Balboa Park.

Finally, I got some photos of a public piano that had been set up in Rotary Plaza. A plaque on it suggests that people passing by Sit a Spell and Play a Tune! It’s covered with images of Coronado landmarks.

Very cool!

Forgive me for being ignorant and not recognizing this face. If you know, leave a comment!
Forgive me for being ignorant and not identifying this face. UPDATE! Sharon left a comment indicating this is Jim Morrison. He lived in San Diego as a child and his parents lived in Coronado.

And I don't recognize this person, either!
And I can’t identify this person either! UPDATE! Sharon identified this as Bela Lugosi! He performed in San Diego, but I can find no Coronado connection…

Art Outside the Box celebrates Coronado's zip code 92118.
Art Outside the Box celebrates Coronado’s zip code 92118.

Surf breaks on a utility box. Coronado is not a true island, even if it's almost entirely surrounded by water.
Surf breaks on a utility box. Coronado is not a true island, even if it’s almost entirely surrounded by water.

Several public restroom trailers used during city events each celebrate a different aspect of Coronado history.
Unusual public restroom trailers used during city events each celebrate a different aspect of Coronado history.

Sign describes the history of Coronado's railroads. John D. Spreckels built a line that went up the Silver Strand, bringing passengers to the Hotel del Coronado and Tent City.
Sign describes the history of Coronado’s railroads. John D. Spreckels built a line that went up the Silver Strand, bringing passengers to the Hotel del Coronado and Tent City.

Graphic on restroom trailer shows the faces peering from a streetcar that ran along Orange Avenue to the original ferry landing.
Graphic on restroom trailer shows the faces peering from a streetcar that ran along Orange Avenue to the original ferry landing.

All aboard!
All aboard!

Another restroom trailer features images from Coronado's historic carousel at Tent City.
Another restroom trailer features images from Coronado’s historic carousel at Tent City.

The old Tent City carousel moved away from Coronado in 1922. Today it offers rides to young and old alike in Balboa Park!
The old Tent City carousel moved away from Coronado in 1922. Today it offers rides to young and old alike in Balboa Park!

The carousel was built in 1910 by the Herschell Spillman Co. builders in North Tonawanda, New York.
The carousel was built in 1910 by Herschell Spillman Co. in North Tonawanda, New York.

Sign describes the golden age of carousels and the history of one beloved merry-go-round that lives on in San Diego.
Sign describes the golden age of carousels and the history of one beloved merry-go-round that lives on in San Diego.

Another photo of the trailer.
Another photo of the trailer.

If these images seem familiar, you might have seen them in Balboa Park, where the historic carousel provides rides today!
If these images seem familiar, you might have seen them in Balboa Park, where the historic carousel provides rides today!

A cool public piano had been placed in Rotary Plaza during Coronado's Fourth of July Celebration.
A cool public piano had been placed in Rotary Plaza during Coronado’s Fourth of July Celebration.

Sit a Spell and Play a Tune!
Sit a Spell and Play a Tune!

The public piano is decorated with memorable images from around Coronado.
The public piano is decorated with memorable landmarks found around Coronado.

A look at the top of the piano.
A look at the top of the piano.

One more side of the Popcorn utility box. Orville Redenbacher was a resident of Coronado!
One more side of the Popcorn utility box. Orville Redenbacher was a famous resident of Coronado!

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!

More cool sights on a Coronado walk!

Elvis and cow in front of MooTime Creamery are decked out for Christmas.
Elvis and cow in front of MooTime Creamery are decked out for Christmas.

I love to walk around Coronado. It’s like taking a small vacation.

In the past I’ve posted all sorts of cool sights around the island. My adventure yesterday along Orange Avenue yielded even more fun photos!

Enjoy!

A funny Roman warrior stands guard outside Village Pizzeria.
A funny Roman warrior stands guard outside Village Pizzeria.

A zoom photo of the amazing Hotel del Coronado from a block or two up Orange Avenue.
A zoom photo of the north side of the Hotel del Coronado from a block or two up Orange Avenue.

A view of the elegant Spreckels Building erected in 1917, now home to the Bank of Coronado.
A view of the elegant Spreckels Building which was erected in 1917. It’s now home to the Bank of Coronado.

Fancy gold ornamentation around front entrance of the Bank of Coronado, an historical landmark.
Fancy gold ornamentation around front entrance of the Bank of Coronado, an historical landmark.

Inside the front door of the Coronado Museum of History and Art one can see a Model T Laundry Truck once used at the Hotel del Coronado.
Inside the front door of the Coronado Museum of History and Art one can see a Model T Laundry Truck once used at the Hotel del Coronado.

Santa Elvis at MooTime Creamery is sporting a wreath around his neck.
Santa Elvis at MooTime Creamery is sporting a wreath around his neck.

SEAL gifts and memorabilia for sale in the window of Bullshirt. Nearby Naval Amphibious Base Coronado is home to several SEAL teams.
SEAL gifts and memorabilia for sale in the window of Bullshirt. Nearby Naval Amphibious Base Coronado is home to several SEAL teams.

A fun tiki-style bamboo bike in front of Holland's Bicycles.
A fun tiki-style bamboo bike in front of Holland’s Bicycles. You can rent it for a ride around the beautiful island.

Beautiful autumn trees and grass in Spreckels Park.
Beautiful autumn trees and grass in Spreckels Park.

The small June Miller Garden at the base of a tall palm tree in Spreckels Park. The gazebo in the background is the setting of Concerts in the Park during the summer.
The small June Miller Garden at the base of a tall palm tree in Spreckels Park. The gazebo in the background is the setting of Concerts in the Park during the summer.

A joyful Victorian house on Orange Avenue reminds those passing by that it's the holiday season in Coronado.
A joyful Victorian house on Orange Avenue reminds those passing by that it’s the holiday season in Coronado.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.