Fantastic architecture at Oceanside Civic Center.

Uniquely beautiful civic centers can be found all around San Diego County. I’ve photographed many of them. But the Oceanside Civic Center might be my favorite.

I walked randomly about the Oceanside Civic Center complex last weekend and was amazed by everything I saw.

As you can see from various plaques I photographed, the original Oceanside Fire Station (also called Oceanside Engine House and Police Station) was built in 1929/1930, and the original City Hall and Library were completed in 1934. They were designed by Irving Gill, a renowned San Diego architect who is now a recognized major figure in the modern movement. His welcoming simplicity, unadorned classic lines and graceful arches have appeared in various places on my blog. His style has been described as cubist. You can see that signature style in these photographs as well. Designing buildings for the City of Oceanside was the final monumental project of his career.

As you can see on another plaque, a City Hall renovation was completed in 1957, and as you can read in this article, a large new Oceanside Civic Center and Public Library were completed in 1990. The large complex “designed by Charles Moore emulated the styling of Irving Gill (with) the white arches and simple architecture…Moore remarked about Gill’s legacy: “We use his plain white walls, his unadorned concrete arcades, disciplined fenestration and flat roofs as our architectural vocabulary, and then allow ourselves the exuberance of bright colors with tiles in niches at the entrances, in the jambs and soffits of deep set openings, and through the contrast of palms and broad-leafed plants surrounding our structure.”

The Oceanside Museum of Art, with its exquisite 1972 Opus sculpture by James Hubbell situated near the entrance, is another beautiful part of the large civic center complex. It occupies the original City Hall.

In the same article, you can read that “After renovation of the interior of building, the Museum of Art opened to the public on October 6, 1997. In 2008, a new addition to the Oceanside Museum of Art was dedicated in 2008. The contemporary, three-level 15,000 square foot addition designed by architect Fredrick Fisher sits alongside the historic building designed by architect Irving Gill, who redefined the architectural landscape of Southern California.”

Should you ever visit Oceanside, California, look for the big colorful fountain at the corner of North Coast Highway and Pier View Way. Then take a stroll through one of the most fantastic civic centers you’re likely to ever see!

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Public art around the city inspires reading!

Public art that inspires reading can be found all across San Diego!

In the past I’ve photographed murals, sculptures, and even some beautiful glass panels that encourage reading. Often great books and authors are celebrated. Wisdom, knowledge, compassion and other timeless human values are shown to arise from reading. And, of course, there’s the simple enjoyment. Almost everyone loves to learn something interesting, or a good story!

After seeing artwork that promotes reading outside the Vista Library on Sunday, and posting photographs here, it occurred to me that I should link to more of this inspiring art!

What has my camera recorded so far?

Click the following links to see past photos!

Books fly in a children’s reading mural!

Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at UCSD.

Wise words inspire readers at the San Diego Library.

Sculpture of Mark Twain reading book on bench.

New mural painted on Union-Tribune building.

Art and wisdom outside National City library.

La Jolla Library and the Voyage of Discovery.

Wizard of Oz glass panels at Coronado Library.

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!

Art outside Vista Library celebrates learning!

Colorful artwork that encourages reading greets visitors to the Vista Library.
Colorful artwork that encourages reading greets visitors to the Vista Library.

Many fantastic works of art outside the Vista Library celebrate learning!

An imaginative sculpture and colorful murals greet the eyes of those who draw near this branch of the San Diego County Library. The art inspires us to read books, pursue knowledge, and fulfill our dreams!

I walked past the library yesterday and was absolutely amazed by what I discovered!

I took photos…

Front entrance to the public library in Vista, California.
Front entrance to the public library in Vista, California.

Sculpture at library's parking lot entrance. Climbing into Adventure, by Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling-Randall, 2012.
Sculpture at Vista Branch Library’s parking lot entrance. Climbing into Adventure, by Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling-Randall, 2012.

Up in the sky are many colorful wonders toward with the children together climb.
Up in the sky are many fantastic wonders toward with the children ascend.

A fantastic mural near front door of the library. Kids activate their imagination and ambitions with a book.
A fantastic mural near front door of the library. Kids activate their imagination and ambitions with a book.

The mural on the other side of the entrance, with a window to the library bookstore. Students pursue scientific knowledge.
The mural on the other side of the entrance, with a window to the Friends of the Library bookstore. Students pursue scientific knowledge.

Even a painted mouse in the mural is reading a tiny book.
Even a tiny painted mouse in the mural is reading a book.

Bike rack spells READ.
Cool bike rack spells READ.

Abstract mosaic near roof seems to depict bodies in our solar system.
Abstract mosaic near the library’s roof seems to depict bodies in our solar system.

A second mosaic glass mural. All three are titled Interconnected. Created by Cherrie LaPorte.
A second mosaic glass mural. All three are titled Interconnected. Created by Cherrie LaPorte.

The third mosaic glass mural. Abstract design shows how every element in the universe is interconnected.
The third mosaic glass mural. Abstract design shows how every element in the universe is interconnected.

Learning is celebrated with amazing artwork at the Vista Library.
Learning is celebrated with truly amazing artwork at the Vista Library!

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 original, historic San Ysidro Library.

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

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

I happened to walk by it last weekend.

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

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

THE PEOPLE OF SAN YSIDRO RECORD BY THIS TABLET THEIR APPRECIATION OF THE GIFT OF THIS LIBRARY BY BLANCHE H. AND FRANK B. BEYER - AUGUST 31, 1924
THE PEOPLE OF SAN YSIDRO RECORD BY THIS TABLET THEIR APPRECIATION OF THE GIFT OF THIS LIBRARY BY BLANCHE H. AND FRANK B. BEYER – AUGUST 31, 1924

An iconic El Camino Real Bell stands near the historic San Ysidro Library on San Ysidro Boulevard.
An iconic El Camino Real Bell stands near the historic San Ysidro Library on San Ysidro Boulevard.

Plaque at base of El CAMINO REAL BELL - Dedicated October 1, 2010.
Plaque at base of El CAMINO REAL BELL – Dedicated October 1, 2010.

View of east side of the original San Ysidro Library.
View of east side of the original San Ysidro Library.

The graceful, welcoming front of the first San Ysidro Library.
The graceful, welcoming front of the first San Ysidro Library.

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!

Del Mar’s sculpted Journey and A River of Time.

During a weekend walk around Del Mar, I paused to look at two bronze sculptures on Camino del Mar.

The first sculpture, by Del Mar artist Maidy Morhous, is titled Journey.

The realistic frame of a “hollow” suitcase was cast in bronze. This public art was installed upon a bench of granite at the corner of 11th Street in February 2020.

Maidy Morhous created another sculpture titled Baby Boomers Google. It depicts a stack of books topped with an apple, and had been placed on the sidewalk in front of the Del Mar Library. Tragically, it appeared to me that someone had stolen that sculpture from its granite slab.

UPDATE!

After doing a little more research, I now see that Baby Boomers Google is presently being repaired after vandals damaged it. I’ll post photos of it here should I run across it in the future!

Journey, 2020, by artist Maidy Morhous.
Journey, 2020, by artist Maidy Morhous.

A River of Time is a beautiful abstract sculpture that stands in the garden at the west entrance to the Del Mar Library. This public art was created by renowned San Diego artist James T. Hubbell.

A River of Time was unveiled in 1999.

You can see more of James Hubbell’s beautiful artwork around San Diego here and here and here and here.

A River of Time, 1999, by artist James T. Hubbell.
A River of Time, 1999, by artist James T. Hubbell.

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!

Amazing mosaic wall at the Del Mar Library!

Walk down the sidewalk to the front of the Del Mar Library and you’ll suddenly stop in your tracks. That’s because your eyes will be captivated by the amazing Del Mar Mosaic Wall!

The mixed media mural, created by artists Betsy Schulz and Pat Welsh with the help of community volunteers, was finished in 2003. Found objects, brick and stone were combined with clay forms to produce beautiful images of coastal wildlife, including sea birds and fish. The low walls beside steps climbing to the public library’s front entrance depict dozens of Garibaldi fish, each with the name of a donor to the project.

If the artist Betsy Schulz sounds familiar, that’s because she has created some of the most amazing mosaics around San Diego. If you want to see more of her work, click here or here or here or here or here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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

Read a book and take flight!

I love this fun street art on Aero Drive. You can find it right next to the Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch Library parking lot. Painted on an electrical box is what will happen when you read a book. Your imagination will take flight!

If the library is closed and books are unavailable, your mind can take flight in a different way. Simply turn north and watch as small airplanes take off and land at nearby Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (which is more commonly known as Montgomery Field.)

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 simple, fun walk in Point Loma!

Looking at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church from the intersection of Voltaire Street and Chatsworth Boulevard. The traditional New England style Red Brick Church was built in 1954.
Looking at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church from the intersection of Voltaire Street and Chatsworth Boulevard. The traditional New England style Red Brick Church was built in 1954.

First of all, I’d like to welcome new visitors to Cool San Diego Sights! I’m not sure how my website suddenly merited inclusion in Google News, but, what the heck, this amateur photo blogger will take it!

Cool San Diego Sights is mostly about a guy with a little old camera walking around our big city semi-randomly, experiencing the wonder of its neighborhoods, its people, and the world in general. Occasionally I’ll report something that’s newsworthy, but only if I happen to stumble upon it. All this walking and taking photos is really just a hobby and personal pleasure.

On Saturday I enjoyed a long walk that included several areas of Point Loma. After climbing those hidden stairs I blogged about on Saturday, I headed through residential Loma Portal and down into the tiny business district near the intersection of Voltaire Street and Chatsworth Boulevard.

I walked in a short counterclockwise loop, from the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church, toward Point Loma High School, down to the Point Loma Library, and back up to the spot where I had begun.

I had no plan other than to take photos of whatever caught my fancy!

I spotted a long mural along the roof of the building at 2168 Chatsworth Boulevard.
I spotted a long mural along the roof of the building at 2168 Chatsworth Boulevard.

Part of the mural titled San Diego from 1769 to 1969, painted by Jorge Imana. (I took many photos of this amazing mural and will post them to my blog shortly.)
Part of the mural titled San Diego from 1769 to 1969, painted by Jorge Imana. (I took many photos of this amazing mural and will post them to my blog shortly.)

An electrical box up the street was painted with all sort of guitars.
An electrical box up the street was painted with all sort of guitars.

More colorful guitar street art on another side of the box.
More colorful guitar street art on another side of the box.

As I walked by European Cake Gallery, I noticed the pastry chef peering out at Point Loma from the rooftop.
As I walked by European Cake Gallery, I noticed the pastry chef peering out at Point Loma from the rooftop.

Some fun but simple artwork on the windows of Coastal Sage Gardening.
Some fun but simple artwork on the windows of Coastal Sage Gardening.

The front entrance of the James Edgar and Jean Jessop Hervey Library in Point Loma.

Dedication plaque near library's front entrance. Dated September 20, 2003.
Dedication plaque near library’s front entrance. Dated September 20, 2003.

Looking back at where I was a moment ago.
Looking back at where I was a moment ago. It’s a gray, overcast day.

The other side of the architecturally interesting Point Loma Library. The glass near the roof resembles waves breaking on the beach.
The other side of the architecturally interesting Point Loma Library. The glass near the roof resembles waves breaking on the beach.

As I walked past the library I saw words written at my feet. It's all good!
As I walked past the library I saw words written at my feet. It’s all good!

Then I saw this rather interesting Padres fan.
Then I saw this rather interesting Padres fan.

A mouse has a secret door near the ground by the door of a Point Loma business.
A mouse has a secret door near the ground by the door of a Point Loma business.

That church looks familiar!

I'm already back at the Red Brick Church. A simple but fun walk in Point Loma!
I’m already back at the Red Brick Church. A simple but fun walk in Point Loma!

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!

Magic inside the San Diego Law Library!

Plaque outside the San Diego County Law Library, dedicated October 7, 1958. The building was renovated in 2011 with technological updates and multi-use spaces.
Plaque outside the San Diego County Law Library, dedicated October 7, 1958. The building was renovated in 2011 with technological updates and multi-use spaces.

Today I enjoyed guided tours of three notable downtown buildings. That’s because this is the weekend of the annual Open House event organized by the San Diego Architectural Foundation!

I’ve walked past the San Diego Law Library at Front Street and C Street numerous times over the years. The front of the building with its polished black granite and glass windows is attractive, but the effect is overshadowed by nearby buildings and a bit lost in the urban clutter. I always assumed the facility was for lawyers and people in the legal profession, so it never occurred to me to venture inside. When I stepped through the front door, I had no idea what to expect.

What I found was an inviting, spacious, light-filled law research library that is open free to the public!

During the tour I saw many functional spaces, including a reading room, a computer center, the jam-packed stacks, and a high tech meeting room–all designed to give the public access to vital legal information. For those who can’t make it downtown, educational programming and legal assistance are often beamed from a meeting room into far-flung San Diego County libraries.

Most of the spaces I saw are enlivened by displays of artwork. As you’ll see, at the end of the tour I was led through a surprising, magical door!

According to the Open House San Diego website: “When it was built in 1958, the county’s public law library was a state-of-the-art resource for people needing legal assistance. Over 50 years later, the building was completely renovated to bring back its original clean sight lines and mid-century modern design aesthetic. The building boasts an iconic floating staircase, black Escondido granite facings, floor-to-ceiling west-facing windows, white Carrara marble floors, a buried peek-a-boo time capsule, and one-of-a-kind spaces including a permanent hand-painted labyrinth and a Hogwarts-inspired lounge.”

Here are a few random photos that provide an idea of what you’ll find when you visit the San Diego Law Library. I was told anybody can use the library commons seating area, even if it’s simply to converse with friends or relax and read something you brought. They do ask that the limited computers are used exclusively for law related research.

A look at the comfy commons area, where anyone can lounge (and perhaps play chess) near the library's large front windows.
A look at the comfy commons area, where anyone can lounge (and perhaps play chess) near the library’s large front windows.

One display includes artwork concerning the Law Library's Topic of the Year: Tribal Law.
One display includes artwork concerning the Law Library’s Topic of the Year: Tribal Law.

The San Diego Law Library offers many sources of information, including their new Federal Indian Law and Tribal Law research guide.
The San Diego Law Library offers many sources of information, including their new Federal Indian Law and Tribal Law research guide.

Colorful art near the ceiling as I walk up some beautiful stairs.
Colorful art near the ceiling as I walk up some beautiful stairs.

Looking down at the commons lounge area and the adjacent computer center.
Looking down at the commons lounge area and the adjacent computer center.

Even this upstairs hallway is like an art gallery.
Even this upstairs hallway is like an art gallery.

Modern meeting rooms offer wi-fi and other technological capabilities.
Modern meeting rooms offer Wi-Fi and other technological capabilities.

What's that I see on the Break Room door? Flying books? Does this lead to Platform 9 3/4?
What’s that I see on the break room door? Are those flying books? Does this doorway lead to Platform 9 3/4?

The amazing break room offers those who work hard at the Law Library a welcoming retreat. It looks a lot like a student common room in the Harry Potter series!
The amazing break room offers those who work at the San Diego Law Library a welcoming retreat. It looks like a student common room in the Harry Potter series!

The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry can be seen from a window inside the San Diego Law Library!
The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry can be seen from a window inside the break room of the San Diego Law Library!

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!

Let’s celebrate Read Across America Week!

Soar to new heights. Read.
An outdoor mural near the Linda Vista library. Soar to new heights. Read.

Read Across America Week kicked off on Monday!

Read Across America Day, which begins a week-long celebration of reading, was created by the National Education Association. It’s held on the school day that is nearest to March 2nd. That’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday! And, as many of you know, Theodor Seuss Geisel was a famous resident of La Jolla in San Diego!

I thought I’d celebrate Read Across America Week with some past photographs concerning the written word. And photos that celebrate Dr. Seuss, too!

Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!
Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!

First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.

Eat. Sleep. Read.
Eat. Sleep. Read. A shirt for sale at the Festival of Books at Liberty Station.

Cat in armchair reads Of Mice and Men. On the shelves are Cat's Cradle, The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof...
Street art in Normal Heights. Cat in armchair reads Of Mice and Men. Book on the nearby shelves include Cat’s Cradle, The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof…

Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Library books are transported by public volunteers from an old branch library to a brand new building down the street. Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.

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.

Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley

Mark Twain is reading his own classic American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Sculpture of Mark Twain on a bench. The humorist is reading his own classic American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Mr. Samuel Clemens, American author of many famous books and stories, relaxes under a tree in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2015 TwainFest.
Mr. Samuel Clemens, American author of many famous books and stories, relaxes under a tree in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2015 TwainFest.

Moby Dick reading marathon on the poop deck of the 1863 tall ship Star of India.
Moby Dick reading marathon on the poop deck of the 1863 tall ship Star of India.

Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges . . . I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library . . .
Words engraved outside the San Diego Central Library. Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges. I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library.

Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.

A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody's front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody’s front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!

It’s Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham! This fun art was photographed outside the Legends Gallery in La Jolla, hometown of popular children’s book author Theodor Geisel.
It’s Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham! This fun art was photographed outside the Legends Gallery in La Jolla, hometown of popular children’s book author Theodor Geisel.

Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat are cast in bronze at UC San Diego in La Jolla, not far from the place where the famous children’s author resided much of his life.
Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat are cast in bronze at UC San Diego in La Jolla, not far from the place where the famous children’s author resided much of his life.

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!

Do you love to read? I love to write!

If you’d like to check out my short works of fiction (and a few poems), click Short Stories by Richard.