Rescued art in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado.

Original staff plaster memorial to Fray Junipero Serra, founder of the Franciscan missions in Alta California.  Was part of the 1915 Exposition's Food Products Building.
Original staff plaster memorial to Fray Junipero Serra, founder of the Franciscan missions in Alta California. Was part of the 1915 Exposition’s Food Products Building.

In the outdoor Panama-California Sculpture Court at Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado you’ll discover a small collection of rescued art. Most of these sculptures and decorative motifs are made of staff, which is gypsum plaster mixed with hide glue, reinforced with fibers. They were found in 1975 dumped in an unused corner of the nearby Casa de Balboa.  Many are remnants of the old Food and Beverage Building from Balboa Park’s 1915 Panama-California Exposition and were designed by architect Carleton Monroe Winslow. Visitors today can admire these beautiful historical pieces up close.

Castle, on left side of the base of Serra Memorial, depicts the heraldic emblem of the former Spanish Kingdom of Castile.
Castle, which was located on the left side of the Serra Memorial, depicts the heraldic emblem of the former Spanish Kingdom of Castile.
One of four identical heads created in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition. It was located on the Varied Industries Building facade.
One of four identical heads created in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition. It was located on the Varied Industries Building facade.
Plaster models of famous 17th century Spanish painters Velazquez, Murillo and Zurbaran.  Used to cast sculptures above what is now the San Diego Museum of Art.
Plaster models designed in 1924 of famous 17th century Spanish painters Velazquez, Murillo and Zurbaran. Used to cast sculptures above what is now the San Diego Museum of Art.
This round staff plaster Spanish Conquistador vignette, dated 1914, formed a pendant beneath sculptural groups on the Varied Industries Building.
This round staff plaster Spanish Conquistador vignette, dated 1914, formed a pendant beneath sculptural groups on the Varied Industries Building.
Freestanding figure of a woman in flowing robes titled Religion.  It stood atop the 1914 retablo of the Varied Industries Building.
Freestanding figure of a woman in flowing robes titled Religion. It stood atop the 1914 retablo of the Varied Industries Building.
Unused cast concrete replica of an original 1914 angel head finial.  Cast for the 1971 reconstruction of the Casa del Prado.
Unused cast concrete replica of an original 1914 angel head finial. Created for the 1971 reconstruction of the Casa del Prado.
Beautiful works of art in Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
Beautiful works of art in Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
Plaster column seen through arch of Casa del Prado.
Angelic column seen through arch of Casa del Prado.

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Lingering images from an abandoned library.

Figures above entrance of old San Diego Central Library.
Figures associated with books linger in relief above entrance of old San Diego Central Library.  Literature East, by famed local artist Donal Hord, 1953.

San Diego’s old Central Library on E Street was never really much to look at–in my opinion, at least. It was just a small, nondescript, almost colorless building across from the downtown Post Office. When the brand new gleaming Central Library opened in East Village, the doors of the old library were shut forever. But a few notable images–beautiful works of art near the entrance–still remain.

The classic Literature Panels at either side of the library entrance were created in 1953, when the building was new, by important San Diego artist Donal Hord, whose iconic works can be seen throughout the city. These reliefs depict readers and writers of books in human history.

Because of poor health as a child, he spent many hours in the San Diego Public Library and developed a love for reading.

Elegant art depicts history, music, culture and learning.
Timeless art by an internationally renowned San Diego sculptor depicts books and their association with history, music and culture.  Literature West, by Donal Hord, 1953.

Clock shows midnight on closed San Diego library.

Clock shows midnight on east side of closed San Diego library.

The lamp of learning still burns on the little-used sidewalk.
A lamp still burns on the vacant library’s front sidewalk.
The empty sidewalk contains images tread by many feet.
The empty sidewalk contains images once tread by many feet.
Graphic on sidewalk in front of old library tells of dreams, boldness and genius.
Graphic on sidewalk in front of old library tells of dreams, boldness and genius.
Books still line the parking lot behind vacant library.
Books still line the parking lot behind vacant library.
Little remains to be seen at the old Central Library.
Little else remains to be seen at the old Central Library.

A national tribute to Bob Hope and the military.

Bronze audience listens to a Bob Hope comedy routine.
Bronze audience listens to a Bob Hope comedy routine.

Perhaps you fondly remember Bob Hope. Millions do. I do.

In San Diego, a fantastic tribute to the legendary comedian can be found on the Greatest Generation Walk, just south of the USS Midway Museum. Sixteen life-sized bronze figures show Bob doing a comedy routine for assorted American service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. An outdoor speaker plays old recordings of him telling his inimitable jokes. For five decades Bob Hope entertained the troops during his many USO tours.

Thanks for the memories.

The famous profile of legendary comedian Bob Hope.
The famous profile of legendary American comedian Bob Hope.
USS Midway can be seen behind the bronze service members.
USS Midway can be seen behind the bronze service members.
USO tours by Bob Hope over many decades are recalled.
USO tours by Bob Hope over many decades are recalled.
Man poses with bronze sculptures of American military.
Man poses with bronze sculptures of American military heroes.
Bob Hope entertains troops by USS Midway Mueum and Unconditional Surrender statue.
Bob Hope entertains troops by the USS Midway Museum and the Unconditional Surrender “Kiss” statue.
A national tribute to Bob Hope and the military.
A National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military.

Cancer Survivors Park: Hope, beauty, healing.

Today with modern medicine there's a pretty good chance of beating cancer.
Today with modern medicine there’s a pretty good chance of beating cancer.

Cancer Survivors Park is located at Spanish Landing, across Harbor Drive from San Diego International Airport. It’s an inspiring place of hope, beauty and healing.

At the center of the park is an arrangement of bronze sculptures by renowned artist Victor Salmones, representing people from all walks of life dealing with cancer. The journey can be complicated and difficult. A walkway that meanders through the park features plaques containing useful, positive messages.

If you also feel inspired, please feel free to share.

Some people have been cured from every type of cancer.
Some people have been cured from every type of cancer.
People from all walks of life can get cancer.
People from all walks of life can get cancer.
Cancer is the most curable of all chronic diseases.
Cancer is the most curable of all chronic diseases.
Bronze forms represent people beginning to undergo medical treatment.
Bronze forms represent people beginning to undergo medical treatment.
Realize that cancer is a life threatening disease but some beat it. Make up your mind you will be one of those who do.
Realize that cancer is a life threatening disease but some beat it. Make up your mind you will be one of those who do.
People like you and I start the difficult journey to have their cancer eliminated.
People like you and I start the difficult journey to have their cancer eliminated.
Make a commitment to do everything in your power to help yourself fight the disease.
Make a commitment to do everything in your power to help yourself fight the disease.
Beginning cancer treatment can be a bit scary and confusing.
Beginning cancer treatment can be a bit scary and confusing.
Find a qualified doctor in whom you have confidence who believes he can successfully treat you.
Find a qualified doctor in whom you have confidence who believes he can successfully treat you.
Young lady begins cancer treatment, feeling uncertain.
Young lady begins cancer treatment, feeling uncertain.
Treat your cancer promptly, properly and thoroughly and have a positive mental attitude.
Treat your cancer promptly, properly and thoroughly and have a positive mental attitude.
Happy family emerges from cancer treatment with a brand new life.
Happy family emerges from cancer treatment with a brand new life.
Get state of the art treatment. Know all your options. Knowledge heals.
Get state of the art treatment. Know all your options. Knowledge heals.
Bicyclist rides through San Diego's Cancer Survivors Park.
Bicyclist rides through San Diego’s Cancer Survivors Park.
Cancer Survivors Park is located at Spanish Landing, near Lindbergh Field.
Cancer Survivors Park is located at Spanish Landing, near Lindbergh Field.

Small bubble bath child: a bronze sculpture.

Small bubble bath child bronze sculpture.
Small bubble bath child bronze sculpture.

This bronze sculpture can be found near the Shelter Island public pier, on the other side of the children’s playground.  It’s called Bubble Bath, by artist Dan Hill.  The tiny work of art is easy to miss while walking along the bay.  According to the Port of San Diego website, the sculpture was erected as a memorial to a toddler.

Sculpture of toddler on rock near Shelter Island playground.
Sculpture of toddler on rock near Shelter Island playground.

Breaking the Chains on MLK Promenade.

breaking the chains on mlk promenade

This enormous steel sculpture, created by renowned artist Melvin Edwards, is called Breaking the Chains. It stands near the middle of the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, right next to the Convention Center trolley station.

The MLK Promenade is a pedestrian and bike path that stretches along Harbor Drive, from a point near Seaport Village down to the Gaslamp. It’s an excellent place to enjoy the sunshine and take in various sights, including the fun Children’s Museum, fountains, public art, and showy waterfront hotels. Along the walk are tributes to the famous civil rights leader and his cause of human equality. Many of his most inspirational quotes are engraved within and beside the walkway.

Every year, during Martin Luther King Day weekend, the promenade comes alive with the annual Multicultural Festival!

Huge chain links emerges from ground on the MLK Promenade in San Diego.
Huge chain links emerges from ground on the MLK Promenade in San Diego.
Someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate.
Someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate.
Breaking the Chains sculpture in San Diego.
Breaking the Chains sculpture in San Diego.

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