Beautiful photos outside the Balboa Park Club.

Cacti in front of the Balboa Park Club. The building was created in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition to showcase the state of New Mexico.
Cacti in front of the Balboa Park Club. The building was created in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition to showcase the state of New Mexico.

Last Sunday, during my walk through the Palisades area of the park, I circled the Balboa Park Club searching for interesting photos. The earthy, very distinctive Pueblo Revival architecture of this building contrasts beautifully with the green plants that surround it.

The Balboa Park Club is located in the park's Palisades area. The building was enlarged and remodeled for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
The Balboa Park Club is located in the park’s Palisades area. The building was enlarged and remodeled for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Once called the New Mexico State Building, the architecture is in the attractive, very distinctive Pueblo Revival style.
Once called the New Mexico State Building, the architecture is in the eye-pleasing Pueblo Revival style.
Leafy green against earthy colors and textures.
Green leaves and shadows against earthy colors and textures.
Behind the Balboa Park Club is the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden.
Behind the Balboa Park Club is the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden.
White flowers beside the Balboa Park Club.
White flowers contrasted with the Balboa Park Club’s rain-streaked exterior.
Looking upward at one corner of the Pueblo Revival-style building.
Looking upward at one corner of the Pueblo Revival-style building. Ornamental wooden beam “vigas” project outward and cast slanting shadows.
A beautiful sight in Balboa Park.
A beautiful taste of the American Southwest in Balboa Park.

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Fun works of art discovered around Balboa Park!

A cat snoozes near the front door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village Art Center.
A cat snoozes near the front door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village Art Center.

Here are some random photos of fun artwork around Balboa Park. Mind you, the park is jammed with beautiful art from one end to the other. New discoveries await around every corner.

These few glances I happen to like. I hope you enjoy them, too!

A mirror by the moon reflects colorful patio tiles near Studio 18.
A mirror by the moon reflects colorful patio tiles near Studio 18.
Stunning mermaid artwork on a wall near the entrance of Studio 18.
Enchanting mermaid artwork on a wall near the entrance of Studio 18.
A fun artistic bench awaits walkers with tired feet in Balboa Park's Spanish Village.
A fun artistic bench awaits walkers with tired feet in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village. ¬†(I guess a dog’s appreciation of art requires a nose.)
Studio 6 in Spanish Village has clay classes for kids! Call the painted phone number!
Studio 6 in Spanish Village has clay classes for kids! Call the painted phone number!
A drinking fountain on El Prado built into the House of Charm features elegant shell-like artwork.
A drinking fountain on El Prado built into the House of Charm features elegant shell-like artwork.
This fun street art was painted on an electrical box next to the building that is home to the San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
This fun street art was painted on an electrical box next to the building that is home to the San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
The friendly face of a Scotsman gazes upon visitors to the House of Scotland!
The friendly face of a Scotsman gazes upon visitors to the House of Scotland!
This stunning stained glass artwork depicting Budapest can be found inside the House of Hungary. The artist is Isabel Piczek.
This stunning stained glass artwork depicting Budapest can be found inside the House of Hungary. The artist is Isabel Piczek.
Art deco image underfoot at the entrance to the Municipal Gymnasium. In 1935, this new building was called the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, erected for Balboa Park's California Pacific International Exposition.
Art deco image underfoot at the entrance to the Municipal Gymnasium. In 1935, the new building was called the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, erected for Balboa Park’s California Pacific International Exposition.
Section of frieze on the Federal Building, home to the San Diego Hall of Champions. The artwork was designed in 1935 by Richard Requa, who was fascinated by pre-Columbian Mayan motifs.
Section of frieze on the Federal Building, now home to the San Diego Hall of Champions. The artwork was designed in 1935 by architect Richard Requa, who was fascinated by pre-Columbian Mayan motifs.
Tibetan art on display in a glass case outside the Mingei Museum. A fierce deity with a frightful appearance!
Tibetan art on display in a glass case outside the Mingei Museum. A fierce deity with a frightful appearance!
Looking upward at Spanish Colonial Revival ornamentation on the Casa de Balboa.
Looking upward at rich Spanish Colonial Revival ornamentation on the Casa de Balboa.
Artistic leaves among fallen leaves. Photo taken on stairs between Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Artistic leaves among fallen leaves. Photo taken on stairs between Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
A colorfully spotted giraffe greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park!
A colorfully spotted giraffe greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park!

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!

To read a short story that I wrote about how to paint angels, click here!

Magic in Balboa Park as night falls.

Walking down toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as night approaches in Balboa Park.
Walking down toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as night approaches in Balboa Park.

I got off work a bit early today, so I took an evening walk through Balboa Park. Few people were still about as darkness began to descend. Just an ordinary Thursday in early February–a quiet time of year.

I managed to capture a few photos of Balboa Park’s wonderful magic as night fell.

North side of the House of Charm and Alcazar Garden. The lights have come on along El Prado.
North side of the House of Charm and Alcazar Garden. The lights have come on along El Prado.
Beautiful light shines from the facade of Casa del Prado.
Beautiful light shines from the facade of Casa del Prado.
Balboa Park visitors walk along El Prado as darkness nears.
Balboa Park visitors walk along El Prado as darkness nears.
Golden light behind the second story arches of the Casa del Prado.
Golden light behind the second story arches of the Casa del Prado.
Few people remain in the Japanese Friendship Garden as darkness falls. All is quiet and very beautiful.
Few people remain in the Japanese Friendship Garden as darkness falls. All is quiet and very beautiful.
Night produces rare magic near the Exhibit House at Balboa Park's Japanese Friendship Garden.
Night produces rare magic near the Exhibit House at Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden.
The ornate facade of the Museum of Man becomes rich with color when lit at night.
The ornate facade of the Museum of Man becomes rich with depth and color when lit at night.
Photo through arches of lights illuminating the outdoor patio of The Prado at Balboa Park, a fine restaurant located in the House of Hospitality.
Photo through arches of lights illuminating the outdoor patio of The Prado at Balboa Park, a fine restaurant located in the House of Hospitality.
The House of Charm, home to the Mingei Museum, like a glowing dream in the darkness.
The House of Charm, home to the Mingei International Museum, like a glowing dream in the darkness.

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Faces sing, play pipes at Spreckels Organ Pavilion!

Two young faces sing together on Balboa Park's outdoor Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The ornamentation is composed of plaster of Paris mixed with coir fiber.
Two youth sing together. ¬†Decoration on Balboa Park’s outdoor Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The faces are composed of plaster of Paris mixed with coir fiber.

Like many of the buildings created for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is decorated lavishly with unique plaster ornamentation. The impressive structure with its sweeping, semi-circular colonnade, designed by Harrison Albright in the Italian-Renaissance style, contains many sculptural figures and motifs, including human faces.

The other day I took a close look at the organ pavilion building and its colonnade. I noticed a number of different faces singing or playing pipes. Here they are!

The organ isn't playing and the benches are empty, but many still wander into the historic pavilion to marvel at its unique beauty.
The organ isn’t playing and the benches are empty, but many still wander into the historic pavilion to marvel at its unique beauty.
An exotic face made of plaster for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park appears to be singing.
An exotic face made of plaster for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park appears to be singing.
A youthful musician plays the pipes. Many figures made of plaster decorate the pavilion which is home to the majestic Spreckels pipe organ in Balboa Park.
A youthful musician plays the pipes. Many beautiful figures made of plaster decorate the pavilion which is home to the majestic Spreckels pipe organ in Balboa Park.
A cherub sings inside the pavilion's colonnade.
A cherub sings inside the pavilion’s colonnade.
Perhaps this is Pan playing the pipes--or just an ordinary person who loves making music.
Perhaps this is the Greek god Pan playing his pipes–or just an ordinary person who loves making music.

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!

Photo tour of Japanese Friendship Garden canyon.

Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden in beautiful Balboa Park carefully step across a stream that flows through a lush canyon.
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden in beautiful Balboa Park carefully step across a stream that flows through a lush canyon.

A few days ago I took you on a short photo tour of the upper level of the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. You can find that here. Now we follow our docent tour guide down a gently sloping path into the large canyon expansion below.

Of course, a few quick photos don’t really convey the profound beauty and tranquility of this place. And my understanding of the garden is quite limited. While our tour guide spoke of the garden’s careful creation, its tending, and the meaning of its elements, I was so absorbed in the surrounding beauty that I took only a few notes. Please read the photo captions, and forgive me for not knowing more. I’m still learning.

Gazing down from an overlook into the canyon expansion of the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego. This large section of the garden opened in 2015.
Gazing down from an overlook into the canyon expansion of the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego. This large section of the garden opened in 2015.
Before heading into the canyon, our docent tour guide talks a little about what we will see below.
Before heading into the canyon, our docent tour guide talks a little about what we will see below.
Beautiful handle on the Charles C. Dail Memorial Gate which leads into the canyon.
Beautiful handle on the Charles C. Dail Memorial Gate which leads into the canyon.
After stepping through the gate, the docent shows us a black pine. This one is being trained with a bamboo splint to assume an aesthetically beautiful shape.
After stepping through the gate, the docent shows us a black pine. This one is being trained with a bamboo splint to assume an aesthetically beautiful shape.
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden head down a path that leads from the Upper Garden into the Lower Garden. The winding path is a journey of discovery.
Visitors to the Japanese Friendship Garden head down a path that leads from the Upper Garden into the Lower Garden. The winding path is a journey of discovery.
Here we are, just walking along, feeling at peace, surrounded by so much natural beauty.
Here we are, just walking along, feeling at peace, surrounded by so much natural beauty.
Trees provide shade and fluttering leaves; a bench near a stone lantern allows for rest and meditation.
Trees provide shade and fluttering leaves; a bench near a stone lantern allows for rest and meditation.
We have arrived at the Dragon Bridge, where a serpentine dry waterfall creates the impression of flowing water.
We have arrived at the Dragon Bridge, where a serpentine dry waterfall creates the impression of flowing water.
The carefully-placed white stones in the dry waterfall were imported. But the yellowish boulders on top were found in the canyon. A Japanese garden must contain an element of what is native.
The carefully-placed white stones in the dry waterfall were imported. But the yellowish boulders on top were found in the canyon. A Japanese garden must contain an element of what is native.
One of three highly-prized cloud-like trees placed near the dry waterfall. Every part of the garden has been designed with the greatest attention to detail.
One of three highly-prized cloud-like trees placed near the dry waterfall. Every part of the garden has been designed with the greatest attention to detail.
Now we walk into an area full of cherry trees. In spring, if the preceding winter had a sufficiently cold period, the grove of 160 trees becomes magical with cherry blossoms.
Now we walk into an area full of cherry trees. In spring, if the preceding winter had a sufficiently cold period, the grove of 160 trees becomes magical with cherry blossoms.
Walking slowly along a winding path through the cherry tree grove. It's a November day in San Diego. But the Japanese Friendship Garden is beautiful in every season.
Walking slowly along a winding path through the cherry tree grove. It’s a November day in San Diego. But the Japanese Friendship Garden is beautiful in every season.
Approaching a second bridge where there is a pond and a turtle-shaped small rock island.
Approaching a second bridge where there is a pond and a turtle-shaped small rock island.
Our tour guide shows us a bamboo deer chaser, or shishi odoshi. You might recall that we saw another in the garden's upper level.
Our tour guide shows us a bamboo deer chaser, or shishi odoshi. You might recall that we saw another in the garden’s upper level.
Crossing the low bridge as bright water ripples gently past.
Crossing the low bridge as bright water ripples gently past.
The rock with a bent shape at the bottom of the small waterfall represents a salmon, which like we human beings fights to move upstream, against difficult currents.
The rock with a bent shape at the bottom of the small waterfall represents a salmon, which like we human beings fights to move upstream, against difficult currents.
We walk along the artificial stream. Many flowers can be seen here in spring, including azaleas and camellias.
We walk along the artificial stream. Various flowers can be seen here at different times of the year, including azaleas and camellias.
A tranquil scene at the Japanese Friendship Garden. There are five bridges, each with its own distinct character.
A tranquil scene at the Japanese Friendship Garden. There are five bridges, each with its own distinct character.
Sitting on a shady bench.
Sitting on a shady bench.
Now we are walking past an ornate Nara period Japanese stone lantern.
Now we are walking past an ornate Nara period Japanese stone lantern.
We come to the elegant Inamori Pavilion, which is used for special exhibits and events. The Sukiya-style building has a moat full of koi. The viewing deck, or engawa, looks out at a waterfall.
We come to the elegant Inamori Pavilion, which is used for special exhibits and events. The Sukiya-style building has a moat full of koi. The viewing deck, or engawa, looks out at a waterfall.
Gazing out at the sparkling waterfall and a bridge just beyond it.
Gazing out at the sparkling waterfall and a bridge just beyond it.
The Japanese Friendship Garden is treasured by many for its beauty, subtle wisdom, and serenity.
The Japanese Friendship Garden is treasured by many for its beauty, meaningful design, and serenity.
Photo of the beautiful Inamori Pavilion from nearby bridge.
Photo of the beautiful Inamori Pavilion from nearby bridge.

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!

Floral Association event honors Kate Sessions.

Photograph of the Marston House across the south lawn.
Photograph of the handsome Marston House across the south lawn.

Kate Sessions, the pioneering horticulturist who is often called the Mother of Balboa Park, was honored yesterday at an event held at the beautiful George Marston House and Gardens. Every year the San Diego Floral Association throws a special birthday party for Kate Sessions, who was born on November 8, 1857.

Many of the large trees that grow today around Balboa Park were planted in person by Kate Sessions over a century ago. That the annual floral party is held in the sprawling gardens of the 1905 Marston House is appropriate, because George W. Marston, successful businessman and founder of the San Diego Historical Society, was also an important advocate for Balboa Park. His old house, situated in the northwest corner of the park, is a fine example of the Arts and Crafts architectural movement. It was designed by famous architects William Sterling Hebbard and Irving Gill. Today it is the home of a historical museum.

The Marston House Museum and its lovely gardens are open to the public in the northwest corner of Balboa Park. The current exhibit is titled Irving Gill - Progress and Poetry in Architecture.
The Marston House Museum and its lovely gardens are open to the public in the northwest corner of Balboa Park. The current exhibit is titled Irving Gill – Progress and Poetry in Architecture.
Several vintage automobiles from the Early Ford V8 Club were on display in front of the house.
Several vintage automobiles from the Early Ford V8 Club were on display in front of the house.
Geraniums and other colorful plants were for sale on the Marston House grounds.
Geraniums and other colorful plants were for sale on the Marston House grounds.
The San Diego Floral Association, founded in 1907, is celebrating their second century of community service and horticultural education.
The San Diego Floral Association, founded in 1907, is celebrating their second century of community service and horticultural education.
Victorian attire and a food truck greet visitors to the fun annual event.
Victorian attire and a food truck greet visitors to the fun annual event.
Sunlight through gilded leaves.
Sunlight through Autumn-gilded leaves.
View of the Marston House from the north, across a section of the gardens.
View of the Marston House from the north, across a section of the gardens.
Beds of blooming roses in the Marston House gardens.
Beds of blooming roses in the Marston House gardens.
Sitting quietly on a bench among green hedges.
Sitting quietly on a bench among green hedges.
Fountain in the gardens of Balboa Park's historical Marston House.
Fountain in the gardens of Balboa Park’s historical Marston House.
Beautiful tiles with images of flowers.
Beautiful tiles with images of flowers.
A peek inside the lath greenhouse between the Marston House and its carriage house, which now operates as a museum store.
A peek inside the lath greenhouse between the Marston House and its carriage house, which now operates as a museum store.
A perfect yellow rose.
A perfect yellow rose.

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!

Sculpture and mural in Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer.

A historic sculpture and mural grace the grand foyer inside the Balboa Park Club.
A beautiful sculpture and large mural grace the grand foyer inside the Balboa Park Club.

Lovers of art should step inside the Balboa Park Club when visiting Balboa Park. The historic building’s grand foyer is dominated by two monumental works of art: a sculpture titled Four Cornerstones of American Democracy by Frederick Schweigardt, and a mural titled The Progress of Man by painter Belle Baranceanu. Both were created in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition.

Here are some photos. Please read the captions for more detailed explanations.

The Balboa Park Club is found directly west of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, in the area of Balboa Park called the Palisades.

The handsome Balboa Park Club building in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park.
The handsome Balboa Park Club building in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
The Pueblo Revival-style Balboa Park Club was originally the New Mexico State Building at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It was remodeled in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. (Click image to enlarge.)
The Pueblo Revival-style Balboa Park Club was originally the New Mexico State Building at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It was remodeled in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. (Click image to read sign.)
Folk dancing is a common activity in the large 13,000 square foot ballroom inside the Balboa Park Club.
Folk dancing is a common activity in the large 13,000 square foot ballroom inside the Balboa Park Club.
Photo just inside the entrance to the Balboa Park Club, looking left.
Photo just inside the entrance to the Balboa Park Club, looking left.
Old photo of same fireplace on the left of the building's entrance hall, taken in 1915 during the Panama-California Exposition.
Old photo of same fireplace on the left of the building’s entrance hall, taken in 1915 during the Panama-California Exposition.
1915 photo of main facade of the New Mexico State Building during the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
1915 photo of main facade of the New Mexico State Building during the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Inside the Balboa Park Club's grand foyer, looking back toward the entrance. At the center stands the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy, a 1935 sculpture by Frederick Schweigardt.
Inside the Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer, looking back toward the entrance. At the center stands the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy, a 1935 sculpture by Frederick Schweigardt.
Frederick Schweigardt created the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. The building then was called the Palace of Education.
Frederick Schweigardt created the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. The building then was called the Palace of Education.
Bronze dancer atop the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture. The cornerstones are Home, School, Community and Church.
Bronze dancer atop the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture. The cornerstones depicted are Home, School, Community and Church.
The Progress of Man, a large mural painted by Belle Baranceanu in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Step into the Balboa Park Club building to see it!
The Progress of Man, a large mural painted by Belle Baranceanu in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Step into the Balboa Park Club building to see it!
Belle Baranceanu created The Progress of Man mural in 1935. It is a traditional subject, painted with a modernist sensibility. She also painted a mural for the La Jolla Post Office.
Belle Baranceanu created The Progress of Man mural in 1935. It is a traditional subject, painted with a modernist sensibility. She also painted a mural for the La Jolla Post Office.
Education, medicine, science and printing are subjects included in The Progress of Man mural.
Education, medicine, science and printing are subjects included in The Progress of Man mural.
Another close look at The Progress of Man mural, which depicts technology and society in 1935.
Another close look at The Progress of Man mural, which depicts technology and society in 1935.
Two beautiful, historic works of art can be experienced in the Balboa Park Club's grand foyer.
Two beautiful, historic works of art can be experienced in the Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer. ¬†Simply step inside!

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!