A quick peek: Art and history inside Casa de Balboa.

Tables, banners and art inside the comfortably air-conditioned Casa de Balboa. The Casa 1915 Mexican Grill hasn't opened yet at this early hour. It serves hungry visitors to the building's three museums.
Tables, museum banners and painted artwork inside the Casa de Balboa. The Casa 1915 Mexican Grill hasn’t opened yet at this early hour. It serves hungry visitors to the building’s three museums.

Here are a few photos of what you might see should you step inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa. The Casa de Balboa is located on the south side of El Prado, between the House of Hospitality and Zoro Garden. The ornate building, which has undergone numerous name changes and even a complete reconstruction during the past century, today is the home of three excellent museums: the San Diego History Center, the Museum of Photographic Arts, and the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

On a hot day the Casa de Balboa is a good spot to cool off and perhaps grab a bite to eat. One can also see a number of interesting things inside the building, including beautiful artwork and fascinating bits of history.

I begin with these two fantastic paintings . . .

Point Loma, Charles Reiffel, oil on canvas, 1937. San Diego History Center. Painted for the City Curriculum Project, Works Progress Administration, the mural originally hung in Memorial Junior High School.
Point Loma, Charles Reiffel, oil on canvas, 1937. San Diego History Center. Painted for the City Curriculum Project, Works Progress Administration, the mural originally hung in Memorial Junior High School.
Farm Landscape, Charles Reiffel, oil on canvas, 1937. San Diego History Center. Painted for the City Curriculum Project, Works Progress Administration, the mural originally hung in Memorial Junior High School.
Farm Landscape, Charles Reiffel, oil on canvas, 1937. San Diego History Center. Painted for the City Curriculum Project, Works Progress Administration, the mural originally hung in Memorial Junior High School.
A peek into MOPA, the Museum of Photographic Arts, which is located inside Balboa Park's Casa de Balboa.
A peek into MOPA, the Museum of Photographic Arts, which is located inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa.
Another peek. The San Diego History Center, inside Balboa Park's Casa de Balboa, is where photos, documents and other recordings of our city's past are carefully preserved for posterity.
Another quick peek. The San Diego History Center, inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa, is where photos, documents and other recordings of our city’s past are carefully preserved for posterity.  One current exhibit celebrates the San Diego Zoo.
These stairs lead down to a place that kids love, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. A working railway semaphore signal rises from the lower level.
These stairs lead down to a place that kids absolutely love, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. A working railway semaphore signal rises from the lower level.
It's almost 10 o'clock, when the museums open. Cafe 1915 Mexican Grill employee carries a sign to be placed outside the Casa de Balboa, along El Prado where people walk.
It’s almost 10 o’clock, when the museums open. Cafe 1915 Mexican Grill employee carries a sign to be placed outside the Casa de Balboa, along El Prado where people walk.
Video on a wall inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa shows old photographs from the Panama-California Exposition Digital Archive. More material is sought from the public
Video on a wall inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa shows old photographs from the Panama-California Exposition Digital Archive. More material is sought from the public.
Our 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition forever changed Balboa Park and helped put San Diego on the map. We invite you to contribute to this digital archive at pancalarchive.org
Our 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition forever changed Balboa Park and helped put San Diego on the map. We invite you to contribute to this digital archive at pancalarchive.org  (To read this, click the image and it will enlarge.)
Art inside the Casa de Balboa. An identical image of Junipero Serra can be seen outdoors in the facade of the Casa del Prado. This might be a duplicate, or perhaps it was used in the latter's creation.
Art inside the Casa de Balboa. An identical image of Junipero Serra can be seen outdoors in the facade of the Casa del Prado.
Preserved bit of history features an image of a friar at Mission San Diego, which was established in 1769.
Preserved bit of history features an image of a friar at Mission San Diego, which was established in 1769.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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