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

Interior Improvements for your Downtown San Diego Condo

These days it is simply not enough to just throw your Downtown San Diego Condo onto the local real estate market and hope for the best. Agreed, sometimes this does work, but......

read more

Crown Bay San Diego Market Updates

Crown Bay – Market Updates The secret is out, Crown Bay offers the most competitive Homeowners Association fees in the Downtown San Diego Marina District. This downtown property offers plenty of amenities,......

read more

CityFront Terrace San Diego Market Updates

CityFront Terrace – Market Updates CityFront Terrace is located at 500 West Harbor Drive in the Marina District. Built in 1993, CityFront offers 13 stories and over 300 residences, which include one,......

read more

4 Benefits of Condo Living for Retirees

Retirement marks the beginning of a new and enjoyable stage in a person’s life, when you can reap the rewards of a lifetime of hard work. Without the constraints of a work......

read more

Condo Living for Families With Kids: What You Need to Know

As young parents, you want to provide your little ones with the best conditions to grow and thrive in. Although a suburban lifestyle in a large family home with ample outdoor space......

read more

What to Expect From Condo Living: All You Need to Know

Not too long ago, condos were considered to be just “starter” homes. People would rent or buy condominiums and leave as soon as they accumulated enough money to buy a home in......

read more

Downtown San Diego June 2014 Events

San Diego County Fair June 7-July 6 The Fab Fair is celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first visit to the United States, sparking the British Invasion in music and pop......

read more

Little Italy San Diego Market Updates

Little Italy – Market Updates With views of the San Diego Bay, old-world restaurants, charming shops and parks, downtown San Diego’s Little Italy has a small town feel in an opportune urban......

read more

4 Reasons to Downsize to a Condo

Although spacious homes come with a host of advantages, they are also notoriously time-consuming and costly to maintain. If you feel like owning a large house has become too overwhelming, it might......

read more

Park Blvd East/West San Diego Market Updates

Park Blvd East – Market Updates Park Boulevard East, located on the southeast corner of Park Boulevard and Island Avenue, features a great location in the center of the East Village and......

read more

Get Listings and Articles Delivered Straight to your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.