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

6 Modern Condo Interior Design Ideas

Contemporary living requires a suitable personal space. A home perfectly mirrors the lifestyle of its owner, and it all starts with the design and style of the condo. If you are downsizing......

read more

Moving Into a New Condo: All You Need to Know

Now that you’ve put your signature on the dotted line, your condo purchase is finally complete. You can start planning for the future and getting ready for a new and exciting condo......

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

Nexus San Diego Market Updates

Nexus – Market Updates Nexus Condos have an innovative stepped architecture with burnished brick, metal trellises, projected balconies, rooflines and exposed steel beams. Amenities include a fitness center, clubhouse, underground parking and......

read more

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

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

Horizons San Diego Market Updates

Horizons – Market Updates This downtown San Diego luxury condo is located in the beautiful Marina District, and has a wonderful family atmosphere. The Horizons East tower is packed with amenities that......

read more

Palermo San Diego Market Updates

Palermo – Market Updates Located in Little Italy, the exterior design of the Palermo property is a throw back to the era of industry. Completed in 2004, the six story building combines......

read more

Condos & Their Resale Value: 4 Factors to Consider

Condos were once thought to be homes that singles or young couples bought as their first investments. Nowadays, the market has broadened to include homeowners, entrepreneurs, families, seniors, and investors who recognize......

read more

Downtown San Diego October 2013 Events

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park Through Nov. 2 A haunted forest in the darkness of night is beckoning for you to come and walk upon its trail. Are you ready to......

read more

Get Listings and Articles Delivered Straight to your inbox

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