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

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

Understanding Market Values – How to Price your Home

One of the biggest mistakes people make when selling their property is not understanding real estate value. It doesn’t matter what you think your home is worth. The value is determined by......

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

Questions to Ask when Financing your Downtown San Diego Condo

“Home finance has blossomed into an incredibly diverse and complicated industry. This is good and bad. There are at least a hundred ways to borrow the money for your Condo now. There......

read more

Park View San Diego Market Updates

Park View – Market Updates Park View is a three story complex located at 1650 Eighth Avenue on Cortez Hill. Developed in 1980, this is one of older downtown San Diego developments.......

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

Smart Corner San Diego Market Updates

Smart Corner – Market Updates Smart Corner is a mixed-use condominium and retail project located at Park Boulevard and C Street, in the Core District of Downtown San Diego. Completed in 2007,......

read more

Bayside San Diego Market Updates

Bayside – Market Updates If you’re looking for a vibrant, cosmopolitan lifestyle, Bayside will suit your needs wonderfully. Built by Bosa Development in 2009, the community offers exceptional panoramic views, incomparable amenities......

read more

Downtown San Diego September 2013 Events

Victory Outreach Drama Aug. 31-Sept. 1 Victory Outreach is presenting a 2-day event to uplift the people in the community of San Ysidro with hope for a more prosperous future. Today, the......

read more

Village Walk San Diego Market Updates

Village Walk – Market Updates Village Walk is a colorful mid-rise building in a colorful Little Italy location. Building amenities include a courtyard with fountain, clubroom and fitness center. April 2015 Village......

read more

Get Listings and Articles Delivered Straight to your inbox

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