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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7, 2011 Balboa Park & pictures

Today we went up to Balboa Park, which is attached to the zoo but a totally different atmosphere.  Balboa Park, named after the Spanish explorer, was conceived in 1915 for its debut World Exposition in San Diego.  At a time before WWI, WWII and the great depression, and around the time the Panama Canal was completed after so many years of construction, we were fresh out of wars.  To celebrate the world transportation not having to go through the treacherous waters below South America, a World Exposition was agreed to by key countries everywhere.  The amazing buildings still exists and are used for massive cultural advancement--all public buildings for theater, art, music.  The Panama Canal was used as an excuse to attract more countries to show off the neo-classical architecture of their choice.  Today it is like a city of cultural buildings.

This first building is a redwood lattice botanical building for growing exotic plants from all over the world.  The reflecting pond in front was originally about two feet deep.  During World War I it was deepened so new sailors could learn how to swim.  During WWII there was a hospital in the buildings on the grounds for the military, and the pond was deepened once more to be used as therapy for injuried servicemen.

Grr, my computer won't print any more of the pictures I wanted to post.  Will have to try again later.
Anyway, the park has thirty gardens, buildings housing museums, art, science centers, railway information and of course the famous zoo.  I can't find any statistics in my paperwork but would guess there are about 600 acres included in this park which is right in the middle of residential downtown San Diego.  Pretty amazing.

Inside the Botanical Gardens looks a lot like Opryland.

One of the typical buildings.  This one houses the symphony and San Diego Dance Company.
This one is across the street from the above building.  It houses an art museum from pre-1900.

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