Sunrise at Balboa Park’s Desert Garden.

This morning I spent a few minutes in Balboa Park’s Desert Garden, enjoying a beautiful sunrise.

I had hoped to take photos of new snow on the mountains east of San Diego, but they were too distant for my small camera. What I did discover as I walked down one path was completely unexpected, and indescribably powerful…

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!

Marine Corps Recruit Depot brass plaque at City Hall.

A large plaque presented by Marine Corps Recruit Depot to the City of San Diego commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the United States Marines.
A large plaque presented by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to the City of San Diego commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the United States Marines.

A couple mornings ago, when I visited the San Diego City Administration Building’s lobby, I noticed a large brass plaque in a glass display case against the east wall. The shining badge-like plaque is several feet in length.

Upon closer inspection, I read the words:

Marine Corps Recruit Depot
San Diego, California
Department of the Navy
United States Marine Corps
Presented to City of San Diego
by the
Officers and Enlisted Personnel
Marine Corps Recruit Depot
on 10 November 1975
The 200th Anniversary of the Corps

A smaller descriptive plaque on top of the display case reads: “This plaque is made from brass shell cases of ammunition fired by Marines in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.”

I’ve searched the internet for information regarding this fantastic Marine Corps Recruit Depot plaque, but have found nothing.

Does anyone know its history?

Where was it made? Was it presented to the City of San Diego back in 1975 during a special ceremony? Has it always been on display inside City Hall?

Please leave a comment if you have any additional information!

A closer photo of the shining brass plaque, which is on display inside the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building.
A closer photo of the shining brass plaque, which is on display inside the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building.

(Another amazing Bicentennial Plaque–one presented to San Diego by the United States Navy–can be seen on the Embarcadero near the USS Midway Museum. To read a fascinating article about the origin of that historic bronze plaque, and see photos of its forging, click here!)

A quick peek inside St. Paul’s Cathedral.

View of St. Paul's Cathedral in Bankers Hill from across Fifth Avenue.
View of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral from across Fifth Avenue.

I swung by St. Paul’s Cathedral in Bankers Hill a couple weekends ago during the San Diego Architectural Foundation 2018 OPEN HOUSE event. A friendly gentleman named Bob who belongs to this Episcopal church showed me the original Great Hall which was completed in 1929, then the impressive interior of the cathedral, or “big house” as he called it, which was finally completed in 1951.

St. Paul’s Cathedral was designed by architect Philip Frohman, who is best remembered as the designer of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The building contains elements of both Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The original pipes of the historic church organ date from 1887. They were brought by ship around Cape Horn, to serve as the first organ in Old Town San Diego.

The cathedral was visited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1983 during her trip to San Diego aboard Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia. I was told that she spoke to the congregation and enjoyed listening to Evensong.

I gleaned a few odd bits of information during the informal tour and have included them in my photo captions.

Looking north at the impressive cathedral and its stained glass windows from Nutmeg Street.
Looking north at the impressive cathedral and its many stained glass windows from Nutmeg Street.
St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego was designed by famed architect Philip Frohman.
St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego was designed by famed architect Philip Frohman.
Ladies exit through an arcade of elegant columns.
Ladies exit through an arcade of elegant columns.
A gentleman in the church's courtyard greeted visitors for the weekend architectural event.
A gentleman in the church’s courtyard greeted visitors during the weekend architectural event.
Construction of St. Paul's Parish House or Great Hall began in 1928.
Construction of St. Paul’s parish house or Great Hall began in 1928.
The most notable thing I saw in the Great Hall is the incredible original wooden beamed ceiling, which is showing signs of age.
The most notable thing I saw in the Great Hall is the incredible original wooden beamed ceiling, which is showing signs of age.
Turning my camera for another shot of this amazing ceiling.
Turning my camera for another shot of this amazing ceiling.
Sunlight enters through a rose window.
Sunlight enters through a rose window.
A plaque in the courtyard area between the Great Hall and cathedral. This garden commemorates the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to this church on February 27, 1983.
A plaque in the courtyard area between the Great Hall and cathedral. This garden commemorates the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to this church on February 27, 1983.
Inside the beautiful cathedral, looking east from the nave toward the chancel and historic pipe organ.
Inside the beautiful cathedral, looking east from the nave toward the chancel and historic Great Organ.
People have quietly entered the sacred place. The gray interior walls allow the stained glass lancet windows, created by Judson Studios in Pasadena, to fill the eyes of worshipers.
People have quietly entered the sacred place. The gray interior walls allow light from the stained glass lancet windows, created by Judson Studios in Pasadena, to fill the eyes of worshipers.
This small Lady Chapel to the east was built in 1975. It is used for weddings and other celebrations. It contains a much smaller organ.
This small Lady Chapel to the east was built in 1975. It’s used for weddings and other celebrations. It contains a smaller organ.
The cathedra, or bishop's throne, off to one side.
The cathedra, or bishop’s seat, off to one side.
More resplendent stained glass, like celestial visions shining through darkness.
More resplendent stained glass, like celestial visions shining through darkness.

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!

Searching for street art in Chula Vista.

Some cool street art near the corner of E Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Chula Vista.
Some cool street art near the corner of E Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Chula Vista.

Late this morning I took a walk through one section of Chula Vista. I headed east on E Street from the trolley station, south on Broadway, then back west on H Street. I drive through this commercial area once in a while and haven’t noticed much in the way of street art, but I hoped I’d find some fun examples during my walk.

I found almost none.

Chula Vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, with many neighborhoods that are beautiful. The section I walked through is bit more on the gritty side. The streets are lined with auto repair shops, tire stores, old strip malls, motels and trailer parks. Many utility boxes–and building walls–are spray painted not with murals but gang graffiti.

I did meet some very nice people during my walk. Others looked at me a bit strangely as I carried my camera down the sidewalk.

Another side of the same box, one block from the E Street station of the San Diego Trolley.
Another side of the same box, one block from the E Street station of the San Diego Trolley.
Hastily scrawled graffiti is more common on the electrical boxes in this gritty section of Chula Vista.
Hastily scrawled graffiti is more common on the electrical boxes in this part of Chula Vista.
Fading art on base of wall on Broadway, around the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers IAM Local 755 parking lot. I am defending our freedoms.
Fading art on base of wall on Broadway, around the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers IAM Local 755 parking lot. I am defending our freedoms.
An unusual rusted metal sculpture near the front of Fiesta Hall Chula Vista on H Street.
An unusual rusted metal sculpture near the front of Fiesta Hall Chula Vista on H Street.
This walk is just about completed. I've arrived near the H Street station of the San Diego Trolley.
This walk is just about completed. I’ve arrived near the H Street station of the San Diego Trolley.
A small plaque among some flowers. Chula Vista Transit Center. November 1981.
A small plaque among some flowers. Chula Vista Transit Center. November 1981.
A nearby utility box is painted with colorful designs.
A nearby utility box is painted with colorful designs.

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!

Loving bench plaques near Coronado’s City Hall.

Plaque on a bench. In loving memory of Linda Sanford Fleming our Coronado Queen. July 4, 1938 - May 6, 2005. From her devoted family and friends.
Plaque on a bench. In loving memory of Linda Sanford Fleming our Coronado Queen. July 4, 1938 – May 6, 2005. From her devoted family and friends.

During my walk last Saturday I rested for a bit on a bench near Coronado’s City Hall. After looking about the beautiful place, I noticed most of the nearby benches featured memorial plaques. I read a few and was touched by words of love and optimism.

Perhaps you’d enjoy seeing a few of these plaques…

A few beautiful paths near Coronado's City Hall feature benches where one can rest and enjoy the day's sunshine.
A few tranquil paths near Coronado’s City Hall feature benches where one can rest and enjoy the day’s sunshine.
A plaque on another bench. In loving memory - Clarence and Mary Muirhead - 65 year Coronado residents fondly remembered by their family.
A plaque on another bench. In loving memory – Clarence and Mary Muirhead – 65 year Coronado residents fondly remembered by their family.
Bicyclist rides past City of Coronado City Hall, next to San Diego Bay.
Bicyclist rides past City of Coronado City Hall, next to San Diego Bay. Coronado Shores buildings, near the Pacific Ocean, rise in the background.
In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
In honor of Sue and Bill Williams. Look at the sunny side and make your optimism come true.
In honor of Sue and Bill Williams. Look at the sunny side and make your optimism come true.
More benches by the bay offer a view of boats in the nearby Glorietta Bay Marina.
More benches offer a view of boats in the nearby Glorietta Bay Marina.
In memory of Kathy Griffin, beloved daughter and sister. July 25, 1959 - July 28, 2006. What we have lost Heaven has gained. Love family and friends.
In memory of Kathy Griffin, beloved daughter and sister. July 25, 1959 – July 28, 2006. What we have lost Heaven has gained. Love family and friends.
In loving memory of Lloyd McKinley Harmon. August 1, 1891 - September 16, 1968. Mayor of Coronado in 1952 and 1953 ... and Olive Genevieve Harmon. July 4, 1907 - April 3, 2005.
In loving memory of Lloyd McKinley Harmon. August 1, 1891 – September 16, 1968. Mayor of Coronado in 1952 and 1953 … and Olive Genevieve Harmon. July 4, 1907 – April 3, 2005. Absent but Dear.
A sailboat out on the wide blue water.
A sailboat out on the wide blue water.
Ensign Van Andrew Wilson, U.S. Navy SEAL. September 3, 1982 - January 26, 2006. His training was finished here. He achieved his goal. The greatest mission lies ahead.
Ensign Van Andrew Wilson, U.S. Navy SEAL. September 3, 1982 – January 26, 2006. His training was finished here. He achieved his goal. The greatest mission lies ahead.

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!

Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque–cleaned!

San Diego's historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque has been cleaned!
San Diego’s historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque has been cleaned!

Look what I spotted recently during a walk along the Embarcadero. The historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque, part of the Greatest Generation Walk near the USS Midway Museum, has been beautifully cleaned. The corrosion is gone!

Whoever is responsible–it looks great!

The fascinating origin of this once mysterious Navy plaque, forged in 1975 on fleet repair ship USS Ajax, was revealed here.

In that blog post you can see a photo of the old corrosion, which has now been removed!

History and holidays at Coronado Rotary Plaza.

Rotary Plaza in Coronado includes several interesting features, including a clock, fountain and community Christmas tree.
Rotary Plaza in Coronado includes several interesting features, including a clock, fountain and community Christmas tree.

During my recent walk through Coronado, I paused for a bit at Rotary Plaza to check out the old clock, pleasant fountain and community Christmas tree. I read a few plaques near each of these features and learned a little about the history of the place. I’ve never seen the very tall star pine lit at night during the holidays, but I bet it’s quite a sight!

Coronado Rotary Plaza (sometimes called Rotary Park) is located on Orange Avenue at Isabella Avenue.

A handsome old clock and bench await passersby in Coronado Rotary Park.
A handsome Rotary International clock and peaceful bench await passersby in Coronado Rotary Park.
Plaque on the clock reads Presented to Coronado by the Rotary Club of Coronado for Rotary International's Centennial, February 23, 2005.
Plaque on the Electric Time clock reads Presented to Coronado by the Rotary Club of Coronado for Rotary International’s Centennial, February 23, 2005.
The bubbling Jim Vernetti Fountain in Coronado's Rotary Plaza, dedicated 2009.
The bubbling Jim Vernetti Fountain in Coronado’s Rotary Plaza, dedicated 2009.
A Hanukkah menorah stands in Rotary Plaza during the holiday season. (The trunk of the large Coronado star pine Christmas tree is in the background.)
A Hanukkah menorah stands in Rotary Plaza during the holiday season. (The trunk of the large Coronado star pine Christmas tree is in the background.)
Walking along Orange Avenue toward Rotary Plaza and the high Coronado Rotary Club Christmas Tree, which is lit at night.
Walking along Orange Avenue toward Rotary Plaza and the high Coronado Rotary Club Christmas Tree, which is lit at night.
In May, 1936, the Rotary Club planted this starpine for the citizens of Coronado. This tree given by Emily T. Thompson in memory of her husband Charles.
In May, 1936, the Rotary Club planted this starpine for the citizens of Coronado. This tree given by Emily T. Thompson in memory of her husband Charles.

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!