Photos of the historic Old Scripps Building.

Enjoy a few photographs of the historic Old Scripps Building, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

Today the building is referred to as the George H. Scripps Memorial Marine Biological Laboratory. Located on the oceanfront campus a short distance south of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, it stands next to a grassy area called Pawka Green.

Built 1909-1910, the Old Scripps Building was the original home of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which back then was called the Marine Biological Laboratory. The rather modest building (in which founder and director William Emerson Ritter and his wife also lived) contained research laboratories, offices, and even a public aquarium.

Today, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has grown into a world-famous campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and is part of the University of California, San Diego.

The two-story Old Scripps Building might appear plain at first glance, but look again. The simple, elegant building was designed by none other than renowned architect Irving Gill. His pioneering Modernist designs often integrated simple lines and pure forms. In Southern California’s brilliant sunshine, his spaces are light-filled and welcoming. He also pioneered the use of reinforced concrete. This building is one such example.

In 1982 the Old Scripps Building, due to its historical importance, was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The adjacent Pawka green is dedicated to Steven Sitter Pawka, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography coastal oceanographer and waterman. His sophisticated observations and numerical models improved prediction of coastal waves throughout the world.

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Building a mountain at Grand Canyons of La Jolla!

A second Mount Soledad is coming to La Jolla!

The small mountain will rise from The Map of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla, in a plaza filled with educational artwork at Kellogg Park.

I learned about this wonderful project on Saturday during my walk along the La Jolla Shores beach boardwalk.

The sculpture will depict canyons running from Mount Soledad down deep into the Pacific Ocean. Those visiting The Map of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla Educational Plaza will be able to visualize in three dimensions what is shown in two dimensions in the large, colorful mosaic at their feet.

The Grand Canyons of La Jolla project is the work of the Walter Munk Foundation For the Oceans, which is responsible for the The Map mosaic in the plaza, plus signs and another nearby sculpture.

The Map mosaic is the plaza’s extraordinary centerpiece. It beautifully represents the local shoreline and underwater canyons in the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve.

Lines drawn in The Map concern ocean wave dynamics, calculated by Walter Munk, a world-renowned scientist who worked and taught for many years at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Over a hundred sea creatures also appear in the mosaic.

Signs at one edge of The Map detail the birds, fish and other marine life one might see above or below the water off La Jolla. A second completed sculpture, near the place where the small Mount Soledad will appear, concerns the Kumeyaay in the coastal region. It also shows intertidal sea life, cast in bronze.

Should you walk down the boardwalk (honorary Walter Munk Way) at La Jolla Shores beach, make sure to visit The Map. And watch for the coming of a second small Mount Soledad!

Walter Munk developed ocean wave prediction theory.

To learn more about Walter Munk’s scientific contribution during World War II, his groundbreaking work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, his worldwide recognition, and why surfers love him, click here.

To watch a Walter Munk Foundation video concerning The Map click here.

Read an article about the mosaic’s debut in 2020 (replacing an earlier “map” at this location) by clicking 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!

Beautiful photos from the foot of Scripps Pier.

Today I went for a very long walk through La Jolla. I started at the San Diego VA Medical Center and proceeded through the UC San Diego campus, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla Shores, and finally into the Village of La Jolla. I have loads of photos to share in the days ahead!

I’ll start off with photos that were taken during the middle part of my walk. As you can see, I had reached the foot of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, which juts into the Pacific Ocean at the world-famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

This pier is an important tool that is used for carrying out ocean research. It has a variety of environmental monitoring stations and supports small boats and scientific diving operations. It also pipes seawater to laboratories on the campus. You can read more about the history of Scripps Pier here.

It was a perfect day. Surfers were out on the waves. Families played on the sunny beach below, or in the shade under the pier. Sunbathers lay on the sand.

A welcoming platform near the foot of the pier is a place where people can relax in chairs and enjoy the view.

A gift to honor Jim Ax, Mathematician-Mariner who loved the “Savage Sea” – Kevin and Brian Keating
Urban runoff biofilter. The rocks, gravel, soil and plants filter runoff so it does not pollute the beach and ocean.

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!

Ocean Beach art along Bacon Street!

This set of photos was taken during my Sunday walk along Bacon Street in Ocean Beach. I’ve photographed lots of murals and street art over the years all around OB, but it’s the first time for these.

Ambling casually south down Bacon Street from West Point Loma Boulevard to Newport Avenue, I probably didn’t see everything.

Much of this street art is obviously years old. It presents a laid-back, sometimes mystical, even freaky OB vibe. The ocean, beach and surfing are dominant themes!

If some photos seem oddly framed, nearby parked cars often presented a challenge.

Oh–I also photographed a huge, very colorful mural in an alley during this walk–I’ll post those pics in the next few days!

I’ve included the artists in my captions–if I spotted signatures. (I believe the Ocean Beach mural in the above first photograph might be by San Diego graffiti artist Shark, but I’m not sure.)

If you know more about any of these, leave a comment!

The artist signature appears to be ZORE or ZOKE, 2015.
Mural at OB Suds Car Wash includes dog, Ocean Beach Pier and a scrubbing octopus!
Ocean Beach is known for its many feral parrots.
Beautiful watery scene by artist Isela (Azul) Gutierrez (@azulnomadart).
Art by Simmage Designs (@simmage).
Surfing mural on fence by Katie Gangi.
This cool car, pier and sunset mural, I believe, is by Dentlok Tattoo Arts.
Mustard instead of suntan lotion? A hot dog reclining on the beach. By artist Jack Stricker (@JackStrickerArt), 2018, at the Arizona Cafe.

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!

Beauty at the Meditation Gardens in Encinitas.

Some of the most beautiful gardens in San Diego County can be found in Encinitas. I visited one of those gardens this weekend.

The Meditation Gardens at Self-Realization Fellowship is a quiet retreat for those who like to walk or sit quietly in a place where the mind can find peace and the spirit, inspiration.

Pathways wind through a lush, carefully tended world. Benches in green nooks invite rest and reflection. There are exotic plants, trees and flowers, ponds filled with bright koi, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Like distant poetry, surfers far below ride the curling rhythmic waves of Swami’s.

The Meditation Gardens recently reopened after a long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors to the garden, as the Self-Realization Fellowship website suggests, might discover “a greater realization of the Divine Presence that lies within.”

The amazing garden is free to the public.

Enjoy a sample of its beauty…

This is the site of the Golden Lotus Temple, built in 1937. Here thousands came to services conducted by Paramahansa Yogananda… In 1942 cliff erosion made the temple unstable and later it had to be dismantled…

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!

John Denver honored on Encinitas plaque.

Head west through Encinitas along J Street. When you reach the end, climb the stairs to the J Street Viewpoint.

You’ll discover beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, unexpected works of public art . . . and a small plaque.

John Denver

December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997

John Denver, songwriter, singer, actor, humanitarian and an activist for world peace and the environment was a founder of The Hunger Project and Plant-It 2000 which sponsored tree plantings in Encinitas.

“Though the singer is silent, there still is the truth of the song.”

Your friends will always remember you.

“If peace is our vision, let us begin.”

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!

Mystic Whaler tall ship visits San Diego.

The Mystic Whaler is visiting San Diego. I saw it docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego this afternoon.

With a name like Mystic Whaler, you might think this tall ship is circling the globe searching for the elusive Moby Dick.

Wrong!

The beautiful ship is from Connecticut, and after a passage through the Panama Canal, it’s making its way up the West Coast. Mystic Whaler’s ultimate destination is the Channel Islands, where it will serve as an educational ship for the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. A bunch of school kids are in for a real adventure!

The 83-foot-long Mystic Whaler is a reproduction of a late 19th-century coastal cargo schooner. You can read a great article concerning its history and future here.

The crewmember I spoke to was super nice. Good luck!

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!

Silvery beach photos at Fletcher Cove.

Many beaches in San Diego County will cause you to simply stare. They are that beautiful. The beach at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach is no exception.

I enjoyed a long walk in Solana Beach today. I photographed some incredible public art (as you’ll see in the next few days), but how does an artist compete with nature’s complex, sublime, and inexhaustible beauty?

That blue sky and clouds reflecting from silvery wet sand were captured with a mere press of a camera button. Then, standing near the ocean’s edge, I turned right and left and pressed the button a few more times…

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!

Pelicans and sea lions near La Jolla Cove.

To observe pelicans or sea lions in San Diego, simply take a walk by the ocean where the shore is rocky.

On Sunday I walked near La Jolla Cove.

Yes, I’ve photographed both pelicans and sea lions in the past, but look what I saw!

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!

Christmas tree and wreaths on Crystal Pier!

The holiday season in Pacific Beach is so overflowing with “good tidings” that decorations extend over the ocean!

Perhaps this post should be titled “Christmas tree, wreaths, and the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine on Crystal Pier” because that’s what I saw this afternoon!

(I learned The Mystery Machine golf cart, decked with tinsel and Christmas ornaments, is utilized by the operator of the Crystal Pier Bait and Tackle store. The vehicle has won awards in many parades!)

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!