Old sculptural figures at San Diego High School.

I’ve often wondered about these sculptural figures that surround the rim of a planter in front of San Diego High School. Depicting academic and athletic endeavors, the figures are very weathered.

San Diego High School, the oldest high school in our city, began as the Russ School in 1882. In 1907 a new building, often referred to as the Grey Castle, opened. South of the Grey Castle, Russ Auditorium was dedicated in 1926.

The Russ School, Grey Castle and Russ Auditorium are all long gone. You can read the fascinating history of San Diego High School here and here and here.

After searching the internet, I must assume these amusing figures are the gargoyles from the façade of Russ Auditorium mentioned in the first two articles. Was the planter at one time a fountain? I’ve searched for old photographs that might provide clues, but without success.

Do you know anything about these old figures, which are seen in front of San Diego High School’s entrance when heading up Park Boulevard? If you do, please leave a comment to help preserve a little history!

Football.
Geography.
Geometry.
Music.
Mathematics.
Baseball.

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Old Town’s plaza cannon in for repairs!

If you’ve wondered what happened to the cannon that usually stands near the center of Old Town San Diego’s central grass plaza, I learned on Saturday that it’s in for repairs!

The old cannon’s wooden carriage is being restored at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s blacksmith shop.

Seven years ago I blogged about this particular cannon here. I had read at the time it was called El Capitan, and that it was one of two cannons still remaining from the Spanish Fort Guijarros that was built in 1797 at Ballast Point near the entrance to San Diego Bay.

The other cannon, cast in Manila in the 18th century, is called El Jupiter. That one is on display in the Serra Museum atop Presidio Hill. Find a photo of that cannon here.

As you can see, the two cannons do not appear identical. I was told by a friendly gentleman working in the blacksmith shop that this Old Town plaza cannon has a less certain history than its companion El Jupiter. He said there are indications it might have been made in England. We surmised it might have been taken by the Spanish during a conflict at sea. Its exact origin seems to be a mystery.

If you’d like to see this mysterious cannon and its carriage and ask your own questions, head over to the blacksmith shop on a weekend when they are likely to be open. And linger to watch the smiths hammering away at red hot iron!

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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Sea lion at Chase Bank in Pacific Beach.

A sea lion likes to hang out in front of Chase Bank in Pacific Beach. Perhaps you’ve seen it near the corner of Garnet Avenue and Mission Bay Drive!

I don’t know how I missed this bronze sculpture the day I walked around the bank building to photograph its mosaics back in late January. To see the extraordinary mosaics, which depict figures from San Diego history, click here.

Does anyone out there know the story of this sea lion sculpture? Do you have any memories?

It’s standing on soil covered with wood bark in what might have once been a fountain or pool of water, but I can’t tell. When I walked past the fun sculpture on Saturday, I could find no indication of when it was created or by whom.

Please leave a comment if you happen to know anything!

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!

Mysterious public sculpture in North Park.

I walk past this sculpture at the corner of University Avenue and Bancroft Street every so often, and when I do I always search for a plaque or other indication of when it was created and by whom. To me it’s a complete mystery.

For many years this flame-like sculpture with patterned tiles at its base has welcomed people driving west into North Park from City Heights. I have no doubt someone out there knows its story–but I sure don’t!

If you know anything, I’d be very curious to read your comment!

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!

Huge boulder crushes car on L Street!

An enormous boulder dropped from the sky and crushed a car that was parked by the sidewalk on L Street!

I witnessed the strange, tragic aftermath with my own eyes, as I walked past Southwest Boulder & Stone in Chula Vista.

Because no one will believe me, I took several photographs!

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!

Fog at Balboa Park’s Desert Garden.

Early this morning, an overnight fog obscured Balboa Park’s Desert Garden.

As the rising sun began to brighten the fantastic cacti of the Desert Garden, banks of fog lingered in Florida Canyon and beyond, appearing like ghostly, faraway islands…

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 teddy bear and a broken heart.

I saw this on Sunday. Valentine’s Day.

I was walking past a bus stop in North Park when my attention was arrested by a large teddy bear. The bear was sitting alone at the end of the bench. I looked around. Absolutely nobody was nearby.

I had to pause to take in this strange sight. Then it occurred to me: either this cute, very loveable teddy bear had been accidentally left behind, or it had been left there intentionally.

Either scenario meant heartbreak.

It’s one small story in the city that you and I will never know.

What made my discovery really weird–almost eerie–is that for weeks I had been working on a short story concerning a similar teddy bear on the streets of a city.

Even though the story is very short, it had persistently troubled me. I knew it had potential. But I couldn’t seem to get it right.

Seeing that mysterious bear inspired me to work on the story with renewed purpose.

I published The Teddy Bear yesterday. Since then I’ve made a number of changes. But I think it might be finished. It remains painful. Like many of my little stories it has a surprise ending.

If you’d like, you can read it here.

Yellow bison on Golden Hill rooftop!

Why is there a big yellow bison standing on the roof of an apartment building in Golden Hill?

You can see this very odd sight on the southeast corner of Broadway and 21st Street.

I spoke to some folks walking across the street. They’ve lived in the neighborhood for ten years. They told me the big yellow bison has been standing up on that rooftop for at least a decade. They guess the building owner must really like bison!

Seems as good an explanation as any!

Does anyone out there know anything about this peculiar sculpture? Leave a comment!

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 city reflected from puddles.

Last night it rained. This afternoon the winter storm arrives in earnest. It will be raining on and off in San Diego for most of the week.

This morning I walked from Cortez Hill to Golden Hill and back. As I moved through downtown, I noticed interesting reflections in the sidewalk puddles.

Whenever I found a good rain puddle, I peered through the shining, magical portal and glimpsed fragments of a mysterious city…

I have lots of cool (and unusual) photos from my Golden Hill walk coming up, so stay tuned!

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

Historical plaque near Paradise Valley Hospital.

There’s a mysterious bronze plaque in National City near Paradise Valley Hospital.

You can see it on Euclid Avenue, north of 8th Street, right next to a bus stop and hospital sign. The archway to long-vanished Paradise Valley Sanitarium also stands nearby.

There’s no visible indication of who placed the plaque, or when. Just these words in bronze:

SITE OF ORIGINAL WELL

FAITH AND PRAYER WERE REWARDED IN
NOVEMBER 1904, FOR AT THIS SITE GOD
GAVE OUR PIONEERS WATER. MRS. ELLEN
G. WHITE IN REVEALING WHAT GOD HAD
SHOWN HER SAID, “IT MAY NOT BE AT THIS
SPOT, IT MAY BE SOMEWHERE ELSE ON THIS
ESTATE, BUT THERE IS PLENTY OF WATER
SOMEWHERE.” TO THIS DAY, THE SUPPLY HAS
NOT FAILED. OUR PRESENT WELL TAPS THE
SAME CHANNEL, BUT BECAUSE OF DRAINAGE
PROBLEMS IT IS ON A HIGHER LEVEL
APPROXIMATELY 700 YARDS EAST.

A little research indicates that the Ellen G. White mentioned was one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

According to Wikipedia: In 1883, Dr. Anna L. Potts started construction of Mount Paradise Sanitarium seven miles from San Diego. The thirty room sanitarium was finished in 1887. But in 1895, lacking water and patients, Dr. Potts closed Potts Sanitarium…in 1900, Ellen G. White…repeatedly received strong impressions from God that the region was a good location for a sanitarium and hospital. During Mrs. White’s visit to San Diego in 1902, Paradise Sanitarium was for sale for $11,000. Real estate prices slowly declined as the drought continued…later Mrs. White and a wealthy friend, Mrs. Josephine Gotzain, bought it for $4,000. There still was no water, so Ellen White hired a well digger and water was found at 98 feet…

More history concerning Paradise Valley Sanitarium–which became a world-famous health resort, and which was eventually replaced by Paradise Valley Hospital–can be found on this page!

(As you can see in my above photograph, somebody tried to cover up the plaque’s text with black paint or ink.)

No copyright image of Paradise Valley Sanitarium from adventistdigitallibrary.org

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!