Celebrating Balboa Park’s Centennial – The San Diego Natural History Museum

April 28th, 2015

San Diego Natural History Museum - Balboa Park

San Diego Natural History Museum – Balboa Park

In honor of Balboa Park’s Centennial Celebration, we will feature some of the park’s greatest attractions with a stop at the San Diego Natural History Museum.  Founded in 1874, the San Diego Society of Natural History is the oldest scientific institution in Southern California.  Not much happened in the early years, but the members did create a weather station and petitioned to create Torrey Pines State Reserve.

In June of 1912, the members met in the Hotel Cecil on 6th Avenue and few exhibits were installed in a single room and an alcove.  The society had opened its first museum!  In 1917, the society purchased a vacant building from the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.  The museum occupied three different buildings in Balboa Park before they even celebrated their 50th anniversary and finally moved into today’s location, designed by San Diego’s leading architect of the time, William T. Johnson.  The $175,000 Natural History Museum building was formally dedicated on January 14, 1933.

“Founded in 1874, the San Diego Society of Natural History is the oldest scientific institution in Southern California.”

In 1943, the United States Navy took over the Natural History Museum for hospital use, becoming the infectious diseases ward.  Some renovations took place in the facility, including the addition of an elevator designed to handle hospital gurneys and a nurses’ station between floors.  Both features remain in use today.  Once the staff was allowed to reoccupy the building, a major renovation took place and the board adopted a firm policy to restrict collections to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.

In April 2001, the new construction more than doubled the size of the old building from 65,000 square feet of useable space to 150,000 square feet.

 The museum presently houses a collection of permanent displays as well as other fascinating exhibits which constantly change and evolve – at present Coast to Cactus in Southern California in honor of the 100 year anniversary Centennial Celebration.  More praiseworthy exhibits currently featured include: Birds of the World, Skulls, Walking With Dinosaurs, Ocean Oasis, and Tiny Giants.

While you are at the San Diego Natural History Museum, stop and admire the spectacular tree outside the museum’s north entrance.  It’s the iconic Moreton Bay Fig Tree, which—like most of the other large trees in the Prado area of Balboa Park—was planted in preparation for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.  Since it was a few years old when it was planted in 1914, its age should probably be computed from about 1910, making this majestic tree more than 100 years old today.

For more information and program times and dates visit: BalboaPark.org

Interested in properties near the prestigious Balboa Park?  We encourage you to contact us right away.  Either use the form to the right give us a call. We are here to provide you the very best service in San Diego real estate.

The Latest Headlines

Eight Tips for Selling your Downtown San Diego Condo

One of the biggest mistakes people make when selling a house, is not understanding real estate value. It doesn’t matter at all what you think your home is worth. The value of......

read more

2012 Top Sales Associates

2012 was a great year for Gregg and Debbie Neuman; out of a list of ten, Prudential California Realty named them the top team in production. And that’s not all-the Luxury Real......

read more

Gaslamp Quarter San Diego Market Updates

Gaslamp Quarter – Market Updates Well known as the heart of downtown San Diego nightlife, the Gaslamp Quarter is comprised of a plethora of retail shops, upscale bars and taverns, business offices......

read more

Breeza San Diego Market Updates

Breeza – Market Updates Breeza Condos are in a prime location, well situated in the heart of Little Italy. April 2015 Breeza Market Update View the Breeza Market Update February 2015 Breeza......

read more

Treo San Diego Market Updates

Treo – Market Updates Treo, bounded by Kettner Boulevard and A, B and India streets, is a 24 story, 326 residence development found in the Columbia District. Built as mixed use, Treo’s......

read more

Marina Park San Diego Market Updates

Marina Park – Market Updates A welcoming private patio offers pleasant evenings and lazy afternoons right out the door from the stately living room. The Marina Park Downtown San Diego condos even......

read more

Villa Bay View San Diego Market Updates

Villa Bay View – Market Updates April 2015 Villa Bay View Market Update View the Villa Bay View Market Update February 2015 Villa Bay View Market Update View the Villa Bay View......

read more

Fahrenheit San Diego Market Updates

Fahrenheit – Market Updates Perched artistically at the corner of Tenth Avenue and Island Avenue, Fahrenheit is more than a place to live, it has been constructed as an architectural experience. Only......

read more

Porto Siena San Diego Market Updates

Porto Siena – Market Updates Located in Little Italy, Porto Siena offers 88 units in a 6-level building. Completed in 2002, this complex is features architecture and styling reminiscent of an Italian......

read more

Ready to Buy a Downtown San Diego Condo?

Have you spent years renting homes or apartments and have grown tired of paying all that rent money to someone else? If so, then it might be your time to consider purchasing......

read more

Get Listings and Articles Delivered Straight to your inbox