Mural at Civita celebrates San Diego!

Ranches, hot air balloons, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Ranches, hot air balloons, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

There’s a very cool mural inside a pedestrian tunnel at the Civita development in Mission Valley. I recently learned about this public art because it was nominated for a 2019 Orchid Award by the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

The 72-foot-long mural, which can be found under Via Alta next to the Civita Dog Park, was painted in 2018 by local artist and muralist Kevin Anderson. It depicts well-known and beloved places in the city of San Diego and the surrounding county.

San Diego County is so enormous, it’s geographic area is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware put together! Looking at this beautiful mural, you can see the county’s fantastic natural diversity, from the oceans to the mountains and deserts, not to mention San Diego’s rich history and culture.

Because this mural isn’t far from my work, I couldn’t resist walking over today to check it out!

Here are photos that you might enjoy!

View of the pedestrian tunnel that passes under Via Alta in Civita Park. The mural inside depicts many wonderful places around San Diego.
Outside view of the pedestrian tunnel that passes under Via Alta in Civita Park. The mural inside depicts many wonderful places around San Diego.
The Blue Angels, citrus and agriculture, San Diego County mountains, golf.
The Blue Angels, citrus and agriculture, the mountains of San Diego County, golf.
Potato Chip Rock, mountain biking, rural living.
Potato Chip Rock, mountain biking, rural living.
Julian apple pie, wildlife and wildflowers, the Palomar Observatory.
Julian apple pie, wildlife and wildflowers, the Palomar Observatory.
Mountains overlooking Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, cacti, bighorn sheep.
Mountains overlooking Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, cacti, bighorn sheep.
Beneath San Diego State University and Balboa Park, Civita Park has been painted in Mission Valley, along with the names of Civita Kids Art.
Beneath San Diego State University and Balboa Park, Civita Park has been painted in Mission Valley, along with the names of Civita Kids Art.
Junior Seau, Tony Gwynn, Petco Park, downtown and San Diego Bay.
Junior Seau, Tony Gwynn, Petco Park, downtown and San Diego Bay.
USS Midway, Coronado Bay Bridge, Star of India, Hotel del Coronado.
Little Italy, USS Midway, Coronado Bay Bridge, Star of India, Hotel del Coronado.
Mariachis of Old Town beneath the Serra Museum, SeaWorld, Mission Bay.
Mariachis of Old Town beneath the Serra Museum, SeaWorld, Mission Bay.
La Jolla Cove and Pacific Ocean aquatic life.
La Jolla Cove and Pacific Ocean aquatic life.
Surfing and paragliding along the cliffs of Torrey Pines.
Surfing and paragliding along the cliffs of Torrey Pines.

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!

Jessop’s Street Clock removed from Horton Plaza.

The historic 1907 Jessop’s Street Clock, San Diego’s biggest tourist attraction over a century ago, has been removed from Horton Plaza. I made the discovery after work today as I walked through downtown’s once popular but now almost vacant shopping mall.

Horton Plaza is to undergo redevelopment. The one-of-a-kind, gold-plated, precious gem-filled, award-winning Jessop’s Clock has been moved to a warehouse for refurbishment. According to a posted notice of application, the amazing street clock will be reinstalled at a new location.

To learn more about the history of the Jessop’s Street Clock, and see many more photographs, you can check out an old blog post of mine 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!

History and faith at St. Agnes Catholic Church.

On Saturday I stepped inside St. Agnes Catholic Church. It was one of three sites I visited in Point Loma during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO.

Donna Alves-Calhoun, author of the book Portuguese Community of San Diego, told me a little about the history of this church and the people whose lives are deeply linked to it.

I learned that an original church was built in 1908 by Portuguese fisherman families that had settled in La Playa, near the entrance to San Diego Bay. It was difficult for them to travel to Old Town or La Jolla to attend church services, so they built a small mission church in Point Loma.

In 1933 the new Mediterranean-style St. Agnes Catholic Church was built at the same location, using funds donated by the crews of local fishing boats.

The beautiful church’s bell tower was decorated with an illuminated statue of Our Lady of Good Voyage, which could be seen at a distance. Like a beacon it guided the Portuguese fishermen safely home. I also learned the extraordinary stained glass windows were made in Ireland, and the religious statues placed in corners of the church are from Italy.

After I moved around the church, looking up at the ceiling and its dark wooden beams painted faintly with tulips, Donna explained that many Dutch settled in the Azores. Like many who have descended from San Diego’s Portuguese fishermen, she herself possesses a measure of Dutch ancestry.

During the annual Festa do Espírito Santo celebration, a crown kept in a glass case near the altar, symbol of the supreme dominion of the Holy Spirit, is brought with other holy objects in a ceremonial procession from the U.P.S.E.S. Chapel and Hall to St. Agnes Catholic Church. The bringing of the “Coroa” remembers an historical gesture of compassion by Portugal’s beloved Santa Isabel, the Peacemaker and Holy Queen.

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!

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 panel on the left. It 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 Alta California.
The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in Alta California.
Scenes from the Old West in San Diego, including an old wagon and a ride on a bucking horse.
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 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.
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 early 20th century Navy warship. In the upper right corner I spy a tiny Old Point Loma Lighthouse!
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 of Balboa Park.
I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower of Balboa Park.
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.
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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An architectural landmark in University Heights.

Last weekend I enjoyed an easy walk through University Heights. My small adventure included a close look at an architectural landmark that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Teacher Training School Building–San Diego State Normal School. Today the monumental old building, located inside the San Diego Unified School District’s Education Center Complex, is officially designated Teachers Training Annex 1.

The 1910 building, built by engineer Nathan Ellery and architect George Sellon, is in the Italian Renaissance Revival Style. According to the Save Our Heritage Organisation website: “It is the only structure remaining from the 1897 San Diego State Normal School’s University Heights campus, the forerunner to present day San Diego State University. Originally functioning as a living laboratory for student teachers, it was transferred to the City of San Diego Schools in 1931 and served as the original Alice Birney Elementary School until 1951.”

Many in the community hope to see the historic building renovated and transformed into a new University Heights library, replacing the small branch library on Park Boulevard a couple blocks to the south.

Here are some exterior photos…

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!

San Diego landmarks, mysterious in the fog!

San Diego's distinctive County Administration Building appears ghostly in a morning fog.
San Diego’s handsome County Administration Building in the fog.

Early this morning an unusually heavy fog rolled into San Diego.

I love the dreamy quality of fog, so I took a long, quiet stroll around downtown before catching a trolley for work.

I floated around the County Administration Building, turned south when I reached the foggy bay, then steered east when I reached Broadway. Finally I ended up at Santa Fe Depot.

Please enjoy these photos of several San Diego landmarks engulfed by the gray, mysterious fog!

Mysterious photograph of foggy Waterfront Park and the County Administration Building.
Mysterious photograph of foggy Waterfront Park and the County Administration Building.
The historic tall ship Star of India appears through the fog on San Diego's Embarcadero.
The historic tall ship Star of India appears through a heavy fog on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
The beautiful Star of India appears to cut through a fog that hides San Diego Bay.
The beautiful Star of India appears to cut through a fog that conceals San Diego Bay.
A jogger stretches on the observation platform near Broadway Pier, beside the fog covered water.
A jogger stretches on the observation platform near Broadway Pier, beside the fog covered water.
United States Navy ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) docked in the fog at Broadway Pier, awaiting public tours during Fleet Week this weekend.
United States Navy ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) docked in the fog at Broadway Pier, awaiting public tours during Fleet Week this weekend.
People head down the sidewalk in the early morning fog.
People head down a San Diego sidewalk in early morning fog.
The tall Pacific Gate building rises through the gray fog in downtown San Diego.
The tall Pacific Gate building rises through the deep gray fog.
The iconic Santa Fe Depot in the fog, seen from the west.
The historic Santa Fe Depot in the morning fog, seen from the west.
Trolley tracks lead through a fog past Santa Fe Depot in San Diego.
Trolley tracks lead through a fog past Santa Fe Depot in San Diego.
The historic train station's Santa Fe sign stands out when contrasted with nearby fog engulfed high-rises.
The old train station’s Santa Fe sign stands out when contrasted with fog engulfed high-rises.

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!

A walk from Middletown to Broadway Pier.

Part of a long mural on the back of a building behind the Park 'N Fly Lot 1 on Pacific Highway.
Part of a cool mural on a building behind the Park ‘N Fly Lot 1 on Pacific Highway.

Today I got off from work a little early, so I decided to use my extra time for a walk from the Middletown trolley station down to the Embarcadero.

My main intention was to get photographs of a long mural I’ve glimpsed while driving along Pacific Highway near San Diego International Airport. The mural is a fair distance from the street, on the back of an old building behind the Park ‘N Fly Lot 1.

I snapped some photos of the cool mural, but as you can see, the results were not all that great. After doing some internet searching, I still know nothing about this artwork.

My walk turned west on Laurel Street as a series of airplanes came in for landings overhead. My eyes moved right and left searching for interesting sights, but nothing struck my fancy until I came to the big white anchor in the grassy median at the intersection of Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.

I vaguely recall learning something about this historical anchor–where it came from–but now when I do some searching I come up with nothing. The big anchor has been a landmark occupying that spot for as long as I can remember.

My leisurely walk south along the Embarcadero stalled when I came to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I’m a member, so naturally I had to enjoy the elegant passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley to do some quiet reading. When I noticed through a window that the sun was about to slip behind clouds, I ventured outside and took more photos.

The photograph of Sea Shepherd’s vessel Farley Mowat reminds me that I blogged about their mission to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise a couple years ago.

My walk then resumed, and I proceeded along the water to Broadway Pier.

The extensive mural on the building is blocked by parked cars and too distant from the street for a good photograph.
The long mural near Pacific Highway is blocked by parked cars and too distant from the sidewalk for a good photograph.
An airplane comes in for a landing at San Diego International Airport near the intersection of Pacific Highway and Laurel Street.
An airplane comes in for a landing at San Diego International Airport near the intersection of Pacific Highway and Laurel Street.
Here comes another plane for a late afternoon arrival.
Here comes another plane for a late afternoon arrival.
A plane lands at San Diego International Airport, just beyond a large white anchor at Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.
A plane lands at San Diego International Airport, just beyond the large white anchor at Harbor Drive and Laurel Street.
A closer photo of the historical anchor.
A close photo of the anchor. If I obtain more information about its history, I’ll post an update.
Circling the big anchor, my camera captured the skyline of downtown San Diego.
After I circled the big anchor, my camera captured the skyline of downtown San Diego.
Now I'm on the Embarcadero by the water, in the Crescent Area that I visited in my last blog post.
Now I’m on the Embarcadero by the water, in the Crescent Area that I visited in my last blog post.
Photo from the Steam Ferry Berkeley of Farley Mowat which is now docked in San Diego. Sea Shepherd's vessel will soon return to the Sea of Cortez to protect the vaquita.
Photo from the steam ferry Berkeley of the Farley Mowat, which is presently docked in San Diego. Sea Shepherd’s vessel will soon return to the Sea of Cortez to resume its urgent mission protecting the critically endangered vaquita.
The sun is still shining on the floating barge behind the Berkeley.
The sun is still shining on the floating barge behind the Berkeley.
People enjoy a look inside the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
People enjoy exploring the Spanish galleon replica San Salvador.
The sun shines out from behind clouds, and the masts of America, Californian and San Salvador.
The sun shines out from behind clouds . . . and the masts of America, Californian and San Salvador.
People relax on one of the benches along the edge of Broadway Pier. The fog-like marine layer is coming in over Point Loma as nightfall approaches.
People relax on one of the benches along the edge of Broadway Pier. The fog-like marine layer is coming in over Point Loma as nightfall approaches.
Spirit of San Diego is coming in from a harbor cruise.
Spirit of San Diego is coming in from a harbor cruise.
Piloting the incoming ship, with the USS Midway Museum in the background.
Piloting the incoming ship, with the USS Midway Museum in the background.
Downtown buildings reflected in windows of the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.
Downtown buildings reflected in windows of the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.
Late sunlight shines from beautiful high-rise buildings in downtown San Diego.
Late sunlight shines from high-rise buildings in beautiful downtown 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!