Bits and Pieces of Balboa Park

Balboa Park is too big to cover in one or two posts, so I’ll do one every now and then. Otherwise you’d be bored senseless by all the photos.

A little bit of history first. According to the web site, Balboa Park, at 1200 acres, is the largest urban cultural park in the U.S. It includes the San Diego Zoo, which is adjacent; several museums, theaters and gardens. It was the site for the 1915 Panama–California Exposition and 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.

Most of the museums run along a beautiful promenade called El Prado, which runs through the center of the park. Many of the buildings are done in the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture style, a mix of European Spanish architecture and Spanish Colonial architecture of Mexico.

One of my favorite buildings is the Museum of Man with the California Tower.

Museum of Man

There’s a carillon inside the tower that chimes the time every quarter hour.

Some examples of the architecture:

Spreckels organ columns

Balboa Park Museum detail

A lot of the museums look like this. The architectural detailing is called Churrigueresque, named after the Spanish sculptor and architect, José Benito de Churriguera. I can’t imagine how long it took the carvers to do even one of these buildings.

museum rooftop

Even the rooftops are ornate.
Random fact: scenes from Citizen Kane were filmed in Balboa Park, and they used animals from the San Diego Zoo.

weathered door

A weathered door.

Prado sign

Balboa Park has a wonderful restaurant called The Prado and it has the loveliest outdoor patio that can partly be seen here:

Prado patio

I’ll be sure to take photos inside when we eat there again.

Finally, an orchid growing inside the Botanical Building:

pink orchid


About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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8 Responses to Bits and Pieces of Balboa Park

  1. bonniegunkel says:

    That architecture is beautiful! Great shots Carole…thanks for sharing.

  2. I was thinking the same thing about how long it took them to carve those intricate details. I hope they had some kind of mold or form to work from. Wow! It’s just stunning. I hope people look up and notice it all.

  3. Caroline says:

    Fascinating. I love those tiny details. It’s beautiful. I’d love to visit that park.

  4. TBM says:

    Ah, I’m getting a little homesick. I grew up two hours north of San Diego.

    • I really missed California when the weather turned on the East Coast. Instead of looking forward to winter, I kind of dreaded it. Winter is my favorite season here.
      But look at all the culture London has…I envy that!

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