The faces of the Panama-California Sculpture Court.

Anglo-Saxon Queen, 1914. Staff plaster original statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Anglo-Saxon Queen, 1914. Staff plaster original statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.

Visitors walking through the Panama-California Sculpture Court in the Casa del Prado are greeted by many unexpected faces–faces that peer out of San Diego’s past.

The sculptures in the building’s courtyard were used in various ways to decorate the facades of buildings in Balboa Park during its colorful history. Most of the pieces are made of staff, which is a type of plaster reinforced with fibers. The artwork in the Panama-California Sculpture Court was rescued in 1975, found abandoned in a corner of the Casa de Balboa.

Please read the photo captions for information about each piece.

One of several fantastic pieces of rescued art in the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
One of several fantastic pieces of rescued art in the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
Religion, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Religion, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Mission Indian Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Mission Indian Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Spanish Conquistador, 1914. Staff plaster original vignette from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Spanish Conquistador, 1914. Staff plaster original vignette from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Grotesque Mask, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Grotesque Mask, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Junipero Serra Memorial, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Food Products Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Junipero Serra Memorial, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Food Products Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Finial, 1971. Unused cast concrete replica of 1914 original, for the reconstruction of the building now known as the Casa del Prado. Christian Mueller, Jr., modeler.
Angel Head Finial, 1971. Unused cast concrete replica of 1914 original, for the reconstruction of the building now known as the Casa del Prado. Christian Mueller, Jr., modeler.
Velazquez, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Velazquez, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Murillo, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Murillo, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Zurbaran, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Zurbaran, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.

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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Dance and culture at the House of Spain.

Flamenco dancing during the House of Spain lawn program in Balboa Park.
Flamenco dancing during the House of Spain’s lawn program in Balboa Park.

Today the House of Spain in Balboa Park hosted the lawn program at the International Cottages. The cultural event featured music, folk dancing, tasty food and many welcoming smiles. Flamenco dancers strutted and whirled on the stage, adding life to an already wonderful day in the park.

Here are some photos…

Getting a big pan of tasty paella ready. I had some and it was really good.
A big pan of tasty paella. I had some and it was really good.
Many flowers and interesting exhibits can be seen inside the House of Spain's cottage.
Many flowers and interesting exhibits can be seen inside the House of Spain’s cottage.
A model of a Spanish galleon, very much like the one Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
A model of a Spanish galleon, much like the one Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
Art on the wall shows a bird's-eye view of Fort Guijarros. The old Spanish fort was built in 1797 on Ballast Point where it guarded San Diego Bay.
Art on the wall shows a bird’s-eye view of Fort Guijarros. The old Spanish fort was built in 1797 on Ballast Point where it guarded San Diego Bay.
Beautiful ceramic artwork on display inside the House of Spain's cottage in Balboa Park.
Beautiful ceramic artwork on display inside the House of Spain’s cottage in Balboa Park.
The featured entertainment during the cultural event was Spanish folk dancing.
The featured entertainment during the cultural event was Spanish folk dancing.
A dance of fuego--fire. This powerful, very expressive dance mesmerized those watching in the audience.
A dance of fuego–fire. This powerful, very expressive dance mesmerized those watching in the audience.
Fluidity and passion.
Fluidity and passion.
A colorful whirl of life.
A colorful whirl of life.

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First Responders at San Diego Automotive Museum.

1972 Harley-Davidson police Servi-Car, a unique vehicle once used by law enforcement, exhibited at the San Diego Automotive Museum.
1972 Harley-Davidson police Servi-Car, a unique vehicle once used by law enforcement, exhibited at the San Diego Automotive Museum.

The San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park has a great exhibition called First Responders that will be ending soon. Visitors to the museum can check out a range of vehicles, from fire engines to motorcycles, that have been used by San Diego’s first responders.

Car and motorcycle enthusiasts who’ve never been to the museum are really missing out. The San Diego Automotive Museum is jammed with beautiful, historic vehicles, including some that are literally one-of-a-kind.

In addition to their permanent collection, other exhibits now in the museum include a Harley-Davidson Collection, Evel Knievel’s motorcycle from Viva Knievel, Fonzie’s motorcycle and jacket from the television show Happy Days, and Louie Mattar’s Fabulous Car (which is arguably the most amazing car ever made).

First Responders will come to a close on May 29, 2017.

San Diego Lifeguard Service vehicle. One can also see these on the beach!
San Diego Lifeguard Service vehicle. One can also see these on the beach!
A variety of old photos show vehicles used by first responders in the past.
A variety of historical photos show vehicles used by first responders in the past.
An iconic 1926 Buick police paddy wagon.
An iconic 1926 Buick police paddy wagon.
Mannequins lie inside a M997 HMMWV Maxi-Ambulance used by the military.
Mannequins lie inside a M997 HMMWV Maxi-Ambulance used by the military.
Fire fighting vehicles on exhibit include a Brush Fire HMMWV and a 1966 Dodge D-500 fire truck.
Fire fighting vehicles on exhibit include a Brush Fire HMMWV and a 1966 Dodge D-500 fire truck.

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Lamp and lantern exhibit at Model Railroad Museum!

Old photo and advertisement show an electric Sport-Lite lantern.
Old photo and advertisement show an electric Sport-Lite lantern.

Personally, I love the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. The massive train layouts and their realistic landscapes, tiny scale buildings, streets and fun details make me feel like a kid again.

During a recent visit, I was excited to see the museum had a fine exhibit concerning the history of railroad lamps and lanterns.

I took a few photos for you to enjoy and I added descriptive captions, but I suggest a visit in person. There’s so much to absorb, so much history and sheer fun!

You can see photos of the museum’s gigantic model train layouts here!

Exhibit inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, located near the N-Scale layout, shows old railroad lamps and lanterns, and recalls their history.
Exhibit inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, located near the N-Scale layout, shows old railroad lamps and lanterns and recalls their history.
Railroad lanterns were held by hand, and manual signals were used for night communication. Railroad lamps are mounted on train cars and railroad tracks.
Railroad lanterns were held by hand, and manual signals were used for night communication. Railroad lamps were mounted on train cars and railroad tracks.
Two examples of switch lamps. They were mounted to a railroad track switch and indicated the current position of the switch.
Two examples of switch lamps. They were mounted to a railroad track switch and indicated the current position of the switch.
Old diagram of an Adlake No. 1221 marker lamp.
Old diagram of an Adlake No. 1221 marker lamp.
Three models of old conductor's lanterns. Buck's Pattern, Daisy, and The Boss.
Three models of conductor’s lanterns: Buck’s Pattern, Daisy, and The Boss.
Three lantern hand signals: the train has departed, proceed, and apply the air brakes.
Three lantern hand signals: the train has departed, proceed, and apply the air brakes.
Three additional lantern hand signals: back up, stop, and release the air brakes.
Three additional lantern hand signals: back up, stop, and release the air brakes.
Over time signals and colors used for railroad communication became standardized. This sign describes what different color lights indicate.
Over the years signals and colors used for railroad communication became standardized. This sign describes what different colored lights indicate.
Fixed globe railroad lanterns began to be used in the 1840s. At night they allowed railroad workers to communicate.
Fixed globe railroad lanterns began to be used in the 1840s. At night they allowed railroad workers to communicate.
Marker lamps were hung on the train's caboose to identify the train and show where it ended.
Marker lamps were hung on the train’s caboose to identify the train and show where it ended.
A fascinating exhibit concerning the history of railroad lamps and lanterns is now on display in Balboa Park's unique San Diego Model Railroad Museum!
A fascinating exhibit concerning the history of railroad lamps and lanterns is now on display in Balboa Park’s amazing San Diego Model Railroad Museum!

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Vikings invade Balboa Park at House of Denmark!

Playing a once-popular medieval northern European game called Hare and Hounds in Balboa Park.
Playing a once-popular medieval northern European game called Hare and Hounds in Balboa Park.

This afternoon’s lawn program at the International Cottages was presented by the House of Denmark. I swung on by about an hour before the music and dance began, but lingered for a bit to check out several exhibits concerning Viking culture and history. I learned a lot!

Read the photo captions for explanations!

People enjoy a sunny San Diego afternoon outside the House of Denmark among the International Cottages.
People enjoy a sunny San Diego afternoon outside the House of Denmark among the International Cottages.
Poster inside the House of Denmark. Royalty in this oldest kingdom in the world has descended in a straight line for a thousand years.
Poster inside the House of Denmark. The royalty of this oldest kingdom in the world has descended in a straight line for a thousand years.
The House of Denmark had its lawn program this Sunday. Inside their cottage, many treats could be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park.
The House of Denmark had its lawn program this Sunday. Inside their cottage, many Scandinavian treats could be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park.
This very friendly gent was showing everybody how woodworking was done by Norse craftsmen. The Vikings controlled a large area of Europe and used local materials. He was using our own native Toyon for wood.
This very friendly gent was showing everybody how woodworking was done by Norse craftsmen. The Vikings controlled a large area of Europe and used local materials. He was using our own native Toyon for wood.  Soaking the wood in water makes it easier to carve.
All sorts of handmade wooden utensils. Good steel was somewhat rare back in the Viking days, so carving tools were prized possessions.
All sorts of handmade wooden utensils. Good steel was somewhat rare back in the Viking days, so carving tools like weapons were prized possessions.
Some Viking helmets on display along with chainmail hauberks!
Some Viking helmets on display along with chainmail hauberks!
A ceremonial drinking horn, axes, and other fascinating objects collected or created by Viking enthusiasts at the event.
A ceremonial drinking horn, axes, swords, and other fascinating objects collected or created by Viking enthusiasts at the event.
The gentleman with the shield told me all about Norse customs, mythology and history. He is a member of the Guardians of Midgard!
The gentleman with the shield told me all about Norse customs, mythology and history. He is a member of the Guardians of Midgard!

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!

A final look inside the San Diego Hall of Champions.

The San Diego Hall of Champions now occupies the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park. The sports museum will soon close.
The San Diego Hall of Champions now occupies the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park. The sports museum will soon close.

San Diego’s Hall of Champions will soon close. I was told yesterday that the museum’s final day is uncertain, but most likely imminent. So you’d better hurry on over to Balboa Park before it is gone forever.

A couple days ago news broke that the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park’s Palisades area, which has been the location of the Hall of Champions for many years, will become the home of a brand new San Diego Comic-Con museum. It’s an exciting bit of news and should revitalize this slightly less active section of Balboa Park. I’m sure the neighboring museums will benefit from what is sure to be a very popular attraction. But it’s so very, very sad to see the Hall of Champions come to an end.

I learned the plaques from the Breitbard Hall of Fame will be relocated to the Western Metal Supply Co. at Petco Park, and the Padres will claim the exhibits that pertain to their team. The San Diego Chargers exhibits will head up to Los Angeles now that the team has moved north. Other sports artifacts and bits of memorabilia will be claimed by their respective owners: athletes, teams, collectors and sports organizations. So, I suppose, the history of athletic achievement in San Diego will live on.

Here’s one final look inside the Hall of Champions.  It’s where many fantastic memories were made and preserved. San Diego has been home to some of the world’s greatest champions, including baseball’s Tony Gwynn, skateboarding’s Tony Hawk, NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson, golf’s Phil Mickelson, basketball’s Bill Walton, boxing’s Ken Norton, diving’s Greg Louganis, sailing’s Dennis Conner . . . and many others.

Peering into the entrance of the Hall of Champions. Colorful exhibits celebrate San Diego champions from a wide variety of sports.
Peering into the entrance of the Hall of Champions. Colorful exhibits celebrate San Diego champions from a wide variety of sports.
Large banners inside the museum entrance honor an athlete's dedication, confidence, focus, determination and character.
Large banners inside the museum entrance honor an athlete’s dedication, confidence, focus, determination and character.
A San Diego Chicken suit worn by Ted Giannoulas. The funny mascot is known and loved worldwide.
A San Diego Chicken suit worn by Ted Giannoulas. The funny mascot is known and loved worldwide.
Tony Gwynn jersey and memorabilia near the Hall of Champion's indoor cafe.
Tony Gwynn jersey and memorabilia near the Hall of Champion’s indoor cafe.
A big National League Champion pennant above the front door of the Hall of Champions, won by the San Diego Padres in 1984.
A big National League Champions pennant above the front door of the Hall of Champions, won by the San Diego Padres in 1984.
A large statue of Muhammad Ali stands above an event space where many local sports award ceremonies are held. Ali fought Ken Norton at the San Diego Sports Arena in 1973.
A large statue of Muhammad Ali stands above an event space where many local sports award ceremonies are held. Ali was defeated by Ken Norton at the San Diego Sports Arena in 1973.
The Hall of Champions honors local high school coaching legends.
The Hall of Champions honors local high school coaching legends.
The San Diego County Officials Hall of Fame.
The San Diego County Officials Hall of Fame.
The Dragonfly II human powered vehicle is on display in the museum.
The Dragonfly II human powered vehicle is on display in the museum.
Sign describes the Dragonfly II. Richard Byrne of San Diego rode it to a first place finish at the 1983 Human Powered Speed Championships held on the Indianapolis race track.
Sign describes the Dragonfly II. Richard Byrne of San Diego rode it to a first place finish at the 1983 Human Powered Speed Championships held on the Indianapolis race track.
One display case contains old high school sports souvenir programs.
One display case contains old high school sports souvenir programs.
Another case holds objects related to the Padres slugger Nate Colbert.
Another case holds objects related to Padres home run slugger Nate Colbert.
The San Diego Hall of Champions has an extensive Moores Family Baseball Exhibit.
The San Diego Hall of Champions has an extensive Moores Family Baseball Exhibit.
The exhibit features many memorable moments in San Diego Padres baseball history.
The exhibit features many memorable moments in San Diego Padres baseball history.
Top players in Padres history include Trevor Hoffman, Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley. Bruce Bochy is remembered as a fan favorite coach.
Top players in Padres history include Trevor Hoffman, Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley. Bruce Bochy is remembered as a fan favorite manager.
Remembering the 1984 National League Champion Padres.
Remembering the 1984 National League Champion Padres.
Major League Baseball's Padres are a beloved sports team in San Diego.
Major League Baseball’s Padres are a beloved sports team in San Diego.
Notable Padres players in the 1970's include Randy Jones, Rollie Fingers, Dave Winfield and Gaylord Perry.
Notable Padres players in the 1970’s include Randy Jones, Rollie Fingers, Dave Winfield and Gaylord Perry.
Display recalls the 1954 PCL Championship, won by the Padres.
Display recalls the 1954 PCL Championship, won by the Padres.
Another display shows the San Diego Padres in their earliest years.
Another display shows the San Diego Padres in their earliest years.
On July 4, 1871 San Diego was a dusty little border town of barely 2300 hardy souls. On this day baseball was first played in our city!
On July 4, 1871 San Diego was a dusty little border town of barely 2300 hardy souls. On this day baseball was first played in our city!
One section in the Hall of Champions honors San Diego Collegiate Stars of football.
One section in the Hall of Champions honors San Diego Collegiate Stars of football.
Local college football memories live on at the Hall of Champions.
Local college football memories live on at the Hall of Champions.
Alvin Hall played five seasons for MCRD, and ranks as one of the Marine Corps' greatest running backs.
Alvin Hall played five seasons for MCRD, and ranks as one of the Marine Corps’ greatest running backs.
The San Diego Chargers exhibit at the Hall of Champions includes many player jerseys.
The San Diego Chargers exhibit at the Hall of Champions includes many player jerseys.
The San Diego Chargers produced many fond memories for local football fans.
The San Diego Chargers produced many fond memories for local football fans.
Trophies and plaques from the exciting Don Coryell era Chargers.
Trophies and plaques from the exciting Don Coryell era San Diego Chargers.
More football memories from the 90's.
More NFL football memories from the 90’s.
This display shows some San Diegans who starred in the NFL, including Marcus Allen, Junior Seau, Terrell Davis, Art Powell and Marshall Faulk.
This display shows some San Diegans who starred in the NFL, including Marcus Allen, Junior Seau, Terrell Davis, Art Powell and Marshall Faulk.
The San Diego Chargers won the AFL Championship in 1963.
The San Diego Chargers won the AFL Championship in 1963.
Exhibit fondly remembers the early days of the San Diego Chargers.
Exhibit fondly remembers the early days of the San Diego Chargers.
Display case at the Hall of Champions dedicated to San Diego basketball's original NBA Clippers and Rockets.
A display case at the Hall of Champions dedicated to San Diego basketball’s original NBA Clippers and Rockets.
Jerseys and equipment from different incarnations of the San Diego Gulls hockey teams.
Jerseys and equipment from different incarnations of the San Diego Gulls hockey team.
Surfing is a major sport in Southern California. So many surfboards are displayed in the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Surfing is a major sport in Southern California. So many different surfboards are displayed in the San Diego Hall of Champions.
The underside of one of Tony Hawk's practice skateboards shows a lot of wear!
The underside of one of Tony Hawk’s practice skateboards shows a lot of wear!
Motocross exhibit at the Hall of Champions.
Motocross exhibit at the Hall of Champions.
An exhibit features a NASCAR racing suit worn by 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who grew up in El Cajon.
An exhibit features a NASCAR racing suit worn by 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who grew up in El Cajon.
An inboard hydroplane that set a world record in 1975.
An inboard hydroplane that set a world record in 1975.
Designed by San Diegan Steve Ball, this 850 C.C. inboard Hydroplane is on display at the Hall of Champions.
Designed by San Diegan Steve Ball, this 850 C.C. inboard Hydroplane is on display at the Hall of Champions.
Two walls on the Hall of Champions' second floor contain the Breitbard Hall of Fame, celebrating great San Diego athletes.
Two walls on the Hall of Champions’ second floor house the Breitbard Hall of Fame, celebrating great San Diego athletes.
A random photograph of one section of the Breitbard Hall of Fame.
A random photograph of one section of the Breitbard Hall of Fame.
Dennis Conner has been called America's greatest sailor.
Dennis Conner has been called America’s greatest sailor.
Bill Walton is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Bill Walton is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Another wall on the second floor of the Hall of Champions contains Sports Illustrated covers that feature San Diego athletes. Dennis Conner with Ronald Reagan, and Phil Mickelson winning his first major.
Another wall on the second floor of the Hall of Champions contains Sports Illustrated covers that feature San Diego athletes. Dennis Conner with Ronald Reagan, and Phil Mickelson winning his first major.
Heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton prepares for his first defense.
Heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton prepares for his first defense.
As of June 2008, the Sports Illustrated feature story has included San Diegans 113 times.
As of June 2008, the Sports Illustrated feature story has included San Diegans 113 times.
Tony Gwynn, the best hitter since Ted Williams.
Tony Gwynn, the best hitter since Ted Williams.
UCLA's red-hot redhead, center Bill Walton.
UCLA’s red-hot redhead, center Bill Walton.
Randy Jones' threat to win 30.
Randy Jones’ threat to win 30.
A sculpture of Muhammad Ali in a corner of the Hall of Champion's second floor.
A sculpture of Muhammad Ali in a corner of the Hall of Champion’s second floor.
Now we check out the second wall of the Breitbard Hall of Fame. Golf's Craig Stadler was a product of the San Diego Junior Golf Association.
Now we check out the second wall of the Breitbard Hall of Fame. Golf’s Craig Stadler was a product of the San Diego Junior Golf Association.
Ken Norton began boxing in the Marine Corps while stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Ken Norton began boxing in the Marine Corps while stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk makes San Diego proud.
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk makes San Diego proud.
Marshall Faulk broke NCAA rushing records at San Diego State University.
Marshall Faulk broke NCAA rushing records at San Diego State University.
Greg Louganis of San Diego has been called the greatest diver of all time.
Greg Louganis of San Diego has been called the greatest diver of all time.
Junior Seau is remembered with love by many in San Diego. He was an NFL football great.
Junior Seau is remembered with love by many in San Diego. He was an NFL football great.
The statue of Muhammad Ali looks down at tables set for a special evening event at the San Diego Hall of Champions.
The statue of Muhammad Ali looks down at tables set for a special evening event at the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Gazing down at the front entrance of the sports museum from the second floor.
Gazing down at the front entrance of the sports museum from the second floor.
The lower level of the Hall of Champions is dedicated to sailing. It isn't surprising that San Diego has produced many of the greatest sailors in the world.
The lower level of the Hall of Champions is dedicated to competitive sailing. It isn’t surprising that San Diego has produced many of the greatest sailors in the world.
One of many displays that recalls sailing's very rich history in San Diego.
One of many displays that recalls sailing’s very rich history in San Diego.
Two small sailboats inside the museum.
Two small sailboats inside the San Diego Hall of Champions.
San Diego has produced many sailing World Champions.
San Diego has produced many sailing World Champions.
Every U.S. Olympic sailing team since 1964 has featured at least one San Diegan.
Every U.S. Olympic sailing team since 1964 has featured at least one San Diegan.
A look into the Hall of Champion's Bill Koch America's Cup Gallery.
A look into the Hall of Champion’s Bill Koch America’s Cup Gallery.
A model of America, the racing schooner that beat many British competitors in 1851, establishing the America's Cup. A replica full-size boat makes San Diego Bay its home.
A model of America, the racing schooner that beat many British competitors in 1851, establishing the America’s Cup. Today, a replica full-size boat makes San Diego Bay its home.
A timeline shows America's Cup history and traditions, including the evolution of the racing craft.
A timeline shows America’s Cup history and traditions, including the evolution of racing craft.
San Diego Yacht Club's Dennis Conner won the America's Cup four times.
San Diego Yacht Club’s Dennis Conner won the America’s Cup four times.
Painting of Oracle vs. Alinghi, 2010. By artist Tim Thompson.
Painting of Oracle vs. Alinghi, 2010. By artist Tim Thompson.
A replica of the America's Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy in the world.
A replica of the America’s Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy in the world.

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!

Nudist colony recreated in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden!

Sign warns of simulated nudity at the Zoro Gardens in Balboa Park. It's a one day recreation of the historic 1935 nudist colony, arranged by Parkeology, supported by various art institutions.
Sign warns of simulated nudity at the Zoro Garden in Balboa Park. It’s a one day recreation of the historic 1935 nudist colony, arranged by Parkeology, supported by various art institutions.

The historic 1935 Zoro Garden Nudist Colony was recreated today in Balboa Park!

The unusual one day event was produced by Parkeology, an organization that according to their flyer “is a public art series that excavates sites, stories, and sense of our urban parks”.

In 1935, San Diego opened the California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park, trying to replicate the enormous success of the earlier 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The main intent of this “world’s fair” was to promote economic activity during the Great Depression. Various lowbrow entertainments created for the exposition were designed to lure a popular crowd.

Well, today’s recreation of the Zoro Garden Nudist Colony certainly did draw some eyeballs, and a very wide range of reactions!

It was interesting to note most participants appeared to be college age females. The literature suggests the motivation for the event was at least partly political, stating “the reincarnation of the 1935 nudist colony can be an accessible, diverse, intersectional, gender-non-conforming and body positive social experiment.”

One thing I know for certain. Take a walk through lively Balboa Park on any given day and you never know what surprises you might stumble upon!

Visitors to Balboa Park view a reenactment of the nudist colony that was a sensational attraction here during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Visitors to Balboa Park view a reenactment of the nudist colony that was a sensational attraction here during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
A variety of placid picnic-like activities are undertaken by the supposed naturists. The literature suggests a political motivation--a body positive social experiment.
A variety of placid, picnic-like activities are undertaken by the supposed naturists.
Body suits worn by people in the Zoro Garden simulate nudity.
Flesh-colored bodysuits worn by people in the Zoro Garden simulate naked bodies.
A variety of reactions are provoked by this rather unusual sight in San Diego's most popular public park.
A variety of reactions were provoked by this rather unusual sight in a public park.
One of the nudist actors photographs another. One thing is for certain--one doesn't see this everyday!
One of the friendly “nude” actors photographs another. Not the sort of performance one often sees!

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