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

Your Guide to Condo Financing

With its many services and amenities, and the opportunity for less home maintenance, condos are a popular option for people looking to experience the condo community lifestyle. Whether you’re a first-time home......

read more

5 Things To Do Before Moving Into a New Townhouse

You’ve finally done it. After months of sifting through the real estate market in San Diego, CA, looking for townhomes and condos for sale that meet your needs and preferences, you’ve found......

read more

235 on Market San Diego Market Updates

235 on Market – Market Updates If a quiet, more intimate setting appeals to your San Diego downtown senses, condo ownership at 235 on Market may be the perfect Real Estate opportunity.......

read more

Downtown San Diego August 2013 Events

Female Pro Surfing Competition – Ford Supergirl Pro     Aug. 2 Come out and see the very best that female surfing has to offer at the Oceanside Pier! The Ford Supergirl Pro presented......

read more

5 Tips on How to Furnish a Condo

Whether you are a young entrepreneur, a senior looking to downsize, or a newly married couple purchasing their first home, condominiums are the hottest trend in real estate. Condos are popular because......

read more

9 Innovative Ways to Reduce Your Mortgage Payment

As most homeowners can attest to, mortgage payments can be a huge burden, especially if you’re a first-time buyer searching for Chula Vista condos for sale. If you’re looking to reduce your......

read more

Benefits of a Downtown San Diego Condo

“The prices of Downtown San Diego condos are going up in some areas and down in other areas, but one thing is for sure, condos are here to stay! Condo living looks......

read more

Pros of Condo Living for Families

When it comes to choosing the perfect home for your family, the options seem endless. From traditional houses with sprawling yards to cozy apartments, there’s no shortage of choices. However, in recent......

read more

Element San Diego Market Updates

Element – Market Updates Contemporary design, unique floor plans, a coveted location, and incorporated retail space make up Element, an eight-story complex situated at the Southwest corner of Market Street and 15th......

read more

Timing is great for buying San Diego Condos

It looks like everything is becoming brighter and more promising this coming year. This includes buying downtown San Diego condos. You already physically inspected your prospect units. You still gone through everything......

read more

Get Listings and Articles Delivered Straight to your inbox

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