The Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries was located on the east side of the California-Pacific International Exposition's Plaza de America, immediately south of the Federal Building. Architect Richard Requa designed the structure to represent the similarities in mass and form between ancient Mayan, Aztec and modern 20th-century architecture. The large rectangular building consisted of plain unadorned walls, decorated with vine-filled planter boxes at the parapet level; while centered along the front facade was a large projecting marquee-style entrance portal, decorated with Mayan and Aztec style fibre-wallboard ornamentation. The floor of the building's entrance featured a colored-concrete panel representing "Electricity and Industry", and a large verdigris-finished panel, located over the entrance, depicted various forms of industry, carved in high-relief. Within the building were located many electrical and industrial exhibits, the main feature of which was the "House of Magic" where popcorn was popped with ice and music transmitted over a beam of light, among other amazing wonders. Electrical demonstrations were presented in a 300-seat theatre, where lecturers explained the intricate details of modern electrical science; while a large-scale "Electric Farm" showed how electricity could be used to improve rural living.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
The Palisades Café was located at the north end of the California-Pacific International Exposition's Plaza de America, immediately west of the Standard Oil Tower to the Sun. The low Pueblo-style structure featured a deeply-arched entrance portal opening into a large rectangular patio, which contained numerous dining tables covered by brightly colored umbrellas and awnings. Situated along two sides of the open-air patio were several indoor dining rooms, a bar, and cocktail lounge with a dance floor. The entire facility was capable of accommodating several hundred persons, and was second in size only to the Café of the World, located on the Plaza del Pacifico.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The Hollywood Motion Picture Hall of Fame was located at the north-west corner of the Plaza de America, along the west side of the California-Pacific International Exposition's Avenida de Naciones. Architect Richard Requa designed the structure in an Indian Pueblo-style to compliment the nearby Palace of Education, which was situated immediately north of the building. Simulated adobe walls, small square windows, projecting wood vigas, and tall wood-pole ladders created the illusion of an ancient Pueblo-style structure; which was enhanced by desert landscaping consisting of many varieties of cacti and aloe. Large red letters spelling "Hollywood" sat at the top of the front facade, above a rectangular entrance portal, proclaiming the nature of the displays located within. The interior contained a large motion-picture memorabilia museum featuring hundreds of items, including Shirley Temple's shoes; and a motion-picture sound stage, where live Hollywood performances were rehearsed and filmed.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Palace of Education was originally constructed as the New Mexico State Building for the 1915-16 exposition, and was located on the west side of the Avenida de Naciones, which passed by the western side of the House of Pacific Relations. For the California-Pacific International Exposition the Pueblo-style building was doubled in size by the addition of a large wing at the rear of the structure, and the interior was completely remodeled. The building's former open-air patio was enclosed, and became the educational exhibit's Theme Room. At the center of the square Theme Room was placed an octagonal fountain, created by sculptor Frederick Shweigardt, representing "The Four Cornerstones of American Democracy"; while the room's rear wall featured a large mural, painted by local artist Belle Baranceanu, depicting "The Progress of Man". Exhibits in the building represented all aspects of education, and included displays from the University of California system and various State Colleges, in addition to exhibits illustrating business education, industrial education, physical education, art education, education of the deaf and blind, journalism, navigation, and many other educational fields. At the rear of the building was located a large cactus garden, containing many varieties of cacti and other desert plants.
Friday, March 27, 2009
The Standard Oil Tower to the Sun was located at the north end of the Plaza de America, across from the California-Pacific International Exposition's Federal Building. The Mayan-style structure consisted of a rectangular exhibit building, edged with vine-filled planter boxes situated along the parapet, and a three-sided 108-foot high tower, covered with geometrically-patterned ornamentation copied from ancient Yucatan monuments. The building's main entrance was located at the base of the tower, facing north toward El Prado, and was flanked by walls covered with Mayan-style ornamentation. Colorful murals were located above both the curved main entrance and a secondary entrance facing south toward the Plaza de America, and illustrated the beauties of nature found throughout the western National Parks. Colored flood-lighting illuminated the building during the evening hours, creating patterned shadows upon the fibre-wallboard ornamentation. The building's interior contained murals and dioramas depicting National Park scenes; and a small theatre showed a series of motion-pictures describing the natural wonders of the various National Parks.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The California-Pacific International Exposition's Federal Building was located at the north-east corner of the Plaza de America, facing El Prado; and was designed as a permanent reinforced-concrete structure, to be converted into a theatre after the close of the exposition. Architect Richard Requa based the design of the building on the Palace of the Governor, located within the ancient Mayan settlement of Uxmal, in Yucatan, Mexico. The massive square building featured a low front wing with a triangular-shaped entrance portal, containing a colorful window of reverse-painted glass depicting a standing Mayan priest and a crouching submissive Indian. Flanking the entrance were low towers scored to resemble large stone blocks, covered at their upper levels with elaborately massed and colored Mayan-style ornamentation, created from fibre-wallboard. Wide geometrically-patterned cornices surrounded the structure's two roof levels, and a columned Mayan-style portico overlooked a small tropical garden situated at the rear of the building. The spacious interior contained exhibits representing more than twenty departments of the United States Government.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Palace of Travel, Transportation and Water was located on the east side of the California-Pacific International Exposition's El Prado, south-west of the Organ Amphitheatre. Architect Richard Requa designed the large exhibit structure, which combined elements of both modern and pre-Columbian architecture. The building's main entrance faced El Prado, and consisted of a large rectangular portal enhanced with geometrically patterned Mayan-style ornamentation; while three colorful panels, located above the entrance, illustrated several modes of travel and transportation. Situated north of the building were the spacious California Gardens, filled with large beds of many varieties of flowers grown within the state. At the building's north-east corner, facing the California Gardens, was a second uniquely designed entrance, featuring three cascading waterfalls; at the top of which was situated a colorful stylized-mask of Aztec origin, flanked by large letters spelling "Water Palace". At night the structure was bathed in colored light from concealed sources, and the north entrance was reflected in a Moorish-style pool, surrounded by large decorative urns. Within the building were located numerous exhibits telling the story of advances made in travel and transportation during the past four-hundred years; which included comprehensive displays by the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads. In the Water Palace section of the building the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District Company featured an exhibit explaining its project of supplying water to Southern California from the soon to be completed Boulder Dam.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Situated at the center of the Palisades section was the spacious Plaza de America, surrounded by many of the California-Pacific International Exposition's new exhibit structures. The Plaza de America consisted of a large rectangular space containing lawns, colorful flowers, and many varieties of trees and shrubbery; with broad roadways and walks providing access to the exhibit buildings, many of which were decorated with Aztec and Mayan-style ornamentation. Hollywood set-designer Juan Larrinaga decorated the new structures using fibre-wallboard; which was glued together in several layers, cut and carved into various shapes, mounted onto ply-board, coated with a waterproofing solution, and finished with cement-paint. The unique multi-colored ornamentation was then attached to the stuccoed walls of buildings to create decorative panels, cornices, and moldings. The structures located around the Plaza de America consisted of the Palace of Travel, Transportation, and Water; Federal Building; Standard Oil Tower to the Sun; Palace of Education; Hollywood Motion Picture Hall of Fame; Palisades Café; Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries; California State Building; and the ultra-modern Ford Motor Company Building and adjacent Ford Bowl. The plaza's centerpiece was the Firestone Fountains, which produced misty-sprays of water synchronized to rise and fall with the melodies of both recorded and live music. By night, the fountains were illuminated in rainbow hues using sophisticated underwater lighting; and were complemented by the colored lighting projected upon the surrounding buildings and landscaping.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Situated on the west side of the Callé Prensa, across from the Christian Science Monitor Building, was a group of fifteen small structures known collectively as the House of Pacific Relations. The tile-roofed Mediterranean-style cottages, located on the former site of the 1915-16 exposition's Montana State Building, were arranged around a tree-shaded park and housed representatives of the twenty-one nations that participated in the California-Pacific International Exposition. A curved row of flagstaffs, placed at the main entrance to the House of Pacific Relations group, flew the colorful flags of the participating nations; while a meandering pathway circled the landscaped park and provided access to the various national cottages. The countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, Italy, China, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Uruguay, Honduras, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Argentina shared their unique customs and cultures in a spirit of international peace and amity. During the course of the exposition each participating nation presented a two-day program, broadcast by radio throughout the United States, highlighting the characteristic music, songs, and dances of its people.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The Christian Science Monitor Building was situated south-west of the Organ Amphitheatre along the Callé Prensa, formerly the eastern portion of the Via de los Estados during the 1915-16 exposition. The modest two-level Spanish-style structure featured an arched entrance-portal, a small roof-garden, and Mission-tile roofs. The interior was dedicated to the teachings of Christian Science, and contained historical displays, a Christian Science reading room, and a special section devoted to the writings of founder Mary Baker Eddy. The building was flanked on the south by the moderne-style Latter Day Saints Building; and on the north by the California-Mission style Press Building, which had previously been the Kansas State / Theosophical Building during the 1915-16 exposition.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The Organ Amphitheatre was located within the spacious Plaza del Organo, which adjoined the Plaza del Pacifico at the south end of the flower-bordered Esplanade. For the California-Pacific International Exposition the Plaza del Organo, formerly known as the Plaza de los Estados, was partially enclosed by the addition of a low curved wall bordered by colorful landscaping. A decorative wall-fountain, resembling one located along the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, was also added and faced north toward the Esplanade; while a new roadway, named El Prado, skirted the enclosed plaza's north-western side connecting the Esplanade to the Palisades area, located south-west of the Organ Amphitheatre. The Spreckels Organ Pavilion, remaining from the 1915-16 exposition, was improved by the addition of amplification equipment and a new console; and a temporary extension of the pavilion's stage accommodated larger groups of performers. During the evening hours a rotating beacon of colored search-lights, placed atop the pavilion's roof, created a simulated "aurora borealis" effect, visible for many miles surrounding the exposition grounds.
Friday, March 20, 2009
The Palace of Natural History was situated immediately adjacent to the California-Pacific International Exposition's main entrance, on the north side of the Avenida de Palacios. The large Spanish-Renaissance style reinforced-concrete structure, designed by architect William Templeton Johnson, was built on the site of the former Civic Auditorium; known as the Southern California Counties Building during the 1915-16 exposition. After the Civic Auditorium was destroyed by fire in 1925, local philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps donated the funds necessary to construct the three-level building, which was named the Natural History Museum and opened to the public in 1933. Over 300,000 specimens of wildlife, shells, fossils, minerals, and flora were contained within the spacious structure; in addition to a complete research library and laboratory. The Civilian Conservation Corps also maintained a comprehensive exhibit in the building during the exposition.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The Palace of Foods and Beverages was located directly across from the Palace of Better Housing, on the north side of the Avenida de Palacios, and had been known as the Varied Industries and Food Products / Foreign and Domestic Industries Building during the 1915-16 exposition. For the California-Pacific International Exposition the large L-shaped building was filled with displays from numerous manufacturers and distributors of food products. One of the most prominent exhibits was that of Coca-Cola, whose display featured an enormous "Fountain of Light" situated over a counter where bottles of Coca-Cola were sold. Chase and Sanborn Coffee, Royal Baking Powder, Globe "A-1" Flour, Fleischmann's Yeast, Kraft Cheese Products, Challenge Butter, Spreckels Sugar, Sparkletts Water, Beechnut Gum, and National Biscuit Co. were among more than fifty exhibitors who displayed their products within the building.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The Palace of Better Housing was situated on the south side of the Avenida de Palacios, immediately east of the House of Hospitality, and had been known as the Commerce and Industries / Canadian Building during the 1915-16 exposition. Within the commodious structure were located displays assembled by numerous manufacturers of home improvement products; ranging from asphalt roofing and porcelain bathroom fixtures, to furniture and fencing. At the rear of the building, in a tree-shaded park, was located the extensive two-part exhibit of the Federal Housing Administration. The "Modeltown" portion of the exhibit featured detailed scale-models of modern homes, each with a plaque describing the many features of the building, the materials used, and the exact cost of its construction. The 56 model-homes on display were designed by a variety of outstanding Southern California architects. The second portion of the exhibit was known as "Modernization Magic", and contained scale-model representations of dilapidated buildings; each of which suddenly changed, by a clever mechanical device, into a completely remodeled modern structure. A full-scale modern home, constructed entirely of steel, was also located in the F.H.A. exhibit; while live radio programs were broadcast from the Radio Exhibit's outdoor-theatre, located along the Palace of Better Housing's south facade.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Botanical Building and Gardens were located on the north side of the Avenida de Palacios, between the Café of the World and the Palace of Foods and Beverages. The large redwood-lath covered building, and the adjoining Botanical Gardens, functioned much the same for the California-Pacific International Exposition as they had during the 1915-16 exposition. Rare varieties of tropical plants, ferns, vines, and delicate flowers thrived within the building and its heated conservatory; while the gardens outside were planted with many types of palms and flowering shrubs. A fountain was added to the small lagoon, directly in front of the building, which produced sprays of water in a rainbow of changing colors during the evening hours. The large water-lily filled Laguna de las Flores, extending towards Avenida de Palacios, was re-named Laguna de Espejo because of its smooth mirror-like surface which reflected picturesque views of the surrounding architecture and landscaping.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The House of Hospitality was situated across from the Café of the World, at the south-east corner of the Plaza del Pacifico and the Avenida de Palacios, and had been known as the Foreign and Domestic Arts / Foreign Arts Building during the 1915-16 exposition. The structure was extensively remodeled, prior to the California-Pacific International Exposition, using the insurance compensation received after the Civic Auditorium fire of 1925. In the building's re-design, architect Richard Requa placed an open-air patio at the center, added a second floor, and created a terraced garden on the south side facing the canyon, where a projecting wing of the building had been removed due to deterioration. The rectangular interior patio was based on one found in Guadalajara, Mexico; and contained a paved court with palm and tropical-plant filled planter-beds at each corner, surrounded by arched open-galleries. An octagon-shaped polychrome-tile covered fountain was placed at the patio's center; and featured a stone representation of a native Mexican woman, created by local sculptor Donal Hord, pouring water from an olla into a tiled pool. A small stone well, with a wrought-iron exedra, was located at the south-east corner of the patio; and multi-color glazed pots, filled with varieties of flowers, were hung from the patio's iron railings. On the south side of the building was situated a triple-terraced garden, copied from one in Ronda, Spain, known as the Casa del Rey Moro Garden. The rectangular upper terrace, adjoining the building's arched two-level south gallery, was paved in herringbone-patterned brick and flanked by two vine-covered pergolas. At the center of the terrace was a polychrome-tile fountain, with a delicately perforated imitation-alabaster fountain-head. Two iron-railed brick stairways led down to the middle terrace, which was faced by a semi-circular fountain niche, surrounded with colorful tile. The middle terrace contained two large flower-filled planter-beds, edged with ball-shaped shrubs. A pair of curving iron-railed brick stairways led to the lower terrace; which contained four small planter-beds, a brick-bordered lily-pond, and a stone well with a double-column supported exedra. Curved benches, built into the garden's low retaining wall, overlooked the lushly landscaped canyon below. The interior of the House of Hospitality contained several beautifully decorated meeting and banquet rooms, offices for exposition officials, and a 600-seat auditorium. The auditorium was accessed from the central patio, and entered through a massive set of panelled and stencilled doors, surrounded by a wide intricately-carved stone frame. The Casa del Rey Moro Café, located on the south side of the building's ground-floor, contained a spacious and colorfully-stencilled Spanish-style dining room; and also featured al-fresco dining, beneath floral-patterned umbrellas, on the Casa del Rey Moro Garden's upper terrace.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The California-Pacific International Exposition's Café of the World was located at the north-east corner of the Plaza del Pacifico and the Avenida de Palacios, and was known as the Home Economy / Pan-Pacific Building during the 1915-16 exposition. The interior, which had a total seating capacity of 1,250 persons, contained a restaurant with a large main dining room, two 70-foot long oval-shaped cocktail bars, and a corner coffee shop. The restaurant's dining room, seating 850 guests, was designed to represent an open-air Spanish courtyard, and featured a simulated sky overhead and support-columns disguised as palm trees. The deluxe restaurant featured international cuisine from various countries of the world, in addition to continuous cabaret entertainment and a large dance-floor. The two cocktail bars were presided over by twenty "international" bartenders, who served mixed drinks priced at 35-cents each; while the coffee shop served simple meals, and was open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The Palace of Fine Arts was located at the north end of the Plaza del Pacifico, and stood on the former site of the 1915-16 exposition's Sacramento Valley Counties / United States Government Building. Prior to the California-Pacific International Exposition the Spanish-Renaissance style reinforced-concrete structure, designed by architect William Templeton Johnson, was known as the Fine Arts Gallery; and completed in 1926. An imposing arched entrance portal, surrounded by delicate Plateresque ornamentation, provided access to the two-level building; which featured hundreds of works-of-art. Opening from a large main foyer, containing an ornate fountain, were several galleries containing Old World and contemporary paintings; in addition to fine displays of sculpture, tapestries, mosaics, carvings, metalwork, jewelry, painted fabrics, prints, and rare bindings. The building also contained a modern craft-ware exhibit; featuring pottery, glassware, and other items produced by several local artists.
Friday, March 13, 2009
The California-Pacific International Exposition's Plaza del Pacifico was a spacious tree-bordered quadrangle that had been known as the Plaza de Panama during the 1915-16 exposition. The attractive plaza was flanked by the House of Charm and Palace of Photography on the west side; and the House of Hospitality and Café of the World on the east. Situated at the north end of the plaza was the imposing Palace of Fine Arts; while the opposite end was dominated by a bronze equestrian statue of El Cid, the Conqueror, placed atop a lofty concrete pedestal. The central feature of the plaza was a fifty-foot high tile-roofed structure known as the Arco del Porvenir, containing a broad arch which spanned the Avenida de Palacios. At the structure's north and south sides were placed large reflecting pools, elevated above the level of the surrounding plaza and bordered by greenery and flowers. The Arco del Porvenir's main purpose was to serve as an unobtrusive source for the Plaza del Pacifico's night-time colored flood-lighting, in addition to functioning as a control-room for the exposition's central public address system. By night the towers, buildings, and trees surrounding the plaza were painted with a rainbow of light projected from the upper-story of the Arco del Porvenir; while the reflecting pools below glowed from hidden underwater lights in a myriad of colors.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The Palace of Photography was located on the north side of the California-Pacific International Exposition's Avenida de Palacios, between the Palace of Science and the Plaza del Pacifico; and was originally named the Science and Education Building during the 1915-16 exposition. Over 500 exceptional photographic prints, selected from thousands submitted to the Fifth Annual Salon of Photography, were shown; in addition to displays from various manufacturers of photographic supplies and equipment. The Eastman Kodak Company exhibit illustrated the history of photography, and also featured a small motion-picture theatre where news events of the exposition were presented. Eastman Kodak also introduced its new "fool-proof" Kodachrome color film, for use in small movie cameras, which could be purchased in the complete photographic supply store located within the building.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The House of Charm was situated on the south side of the Avenida de Palacios, between the Alcazar Gardens and the Plaza del Pacifico; and was known as the Indian Arts / Russia and Brazil Building during the 1915-16 exposition. The building's unique name for the California-Pacific International Exposition was given due to the nature of the exhibits contained within, which were of special appeal to women. Numerous manufacturers of cosmetics, lingerie, gloves, shoes, purses, frocks, and other items of feminine interest displayed their wares in the building. Lectures and demonstrations were also presented on the subjects of home economics and cosmetology.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The Alcazar Gardens were located on the south side of the California-Pacific International Exposition's Avenida de Palacios, immediately east of the Palace of Science, and occupied the area known as the Montezuma Gardens during the 1915-16 exposition. The colorful gardens were patterned after those within the enclosure of the Royal Alcazar in Seville, Spain; and featured large boxwood hedge-framed planter-beds, divided by three paved cross-avenues. At the two intersections of the avenues were situated low polychrome tile-covered fountains, each featuring a decorative fountain-head which spurted water into a shallow tile-lined basin. Four tile-covered benches were located at right-angles surrounding each fountain; and a Roman-style pergola, remaining from the Montezuma Gardens, stood at the west end of the garden. Along the garden's south side were situated two prominent Spanish Renaissance-style gateways, both leading to pathways surrounding a spacious lawn overlooking Palm Canyon, which was spanned by a rustic wooden bridge. At the Alcazar Garden's south-west corner was a smaller gateway. This gateway opened to a path leading to a curved rustic pergola overlooking Cabrillo Canyon, situated along the west side of the exposition grounds.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Located at the west end of the Avenida de Palacios, the Palace of Science occupied the former California State Building of the 1915-16 exposition, and faced the Plaza de Mexico; formerly named the Plaza de California. Prior to the California-Pacific International Exposition the permanent reinforced-concrete structure, with its tiled dome and two-hundred foot tower, contained the educational collections of the San Diego Museum. The museum temporarily re-arranged many of their permanent anthropological exhibits to accommodate new scientific displays for the duration of the exposition. Exhibits representing every branch of science, from the most abstract of pure science to the latest innovations in the applied sciences, were shown. One of the more popular displays in the building was "Alpha the Robot", a 2,000-pound chrome-plated steel giant, who performed numerous tasks upon simple spoken command.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Several months after the closing of the 1916 Panama-California International Exposition, the majority of the remaining exposition buildings were converted into a temporary Naval Training Camp, due to the United States' involvement in the World War. The buildings were used as barracks and schools for thousands of new recruits, as well as offices for Navy personnel. By the early 1920's the structures were showing their age, due to both the elements and hard use by the Navy for several years; and monies were allotted by the City of San Diego to make necessary repairs. In 1921 the former Southern California Counties Building was converted into San Diego's first Civic Auditorium at great expense. However, the building was completely destroyed by fire on the evening of November 25th, 1925, just prior to the annual Fireman's Ball; and the Natural History Museum was constructed on the site in 1932. The exposition's Sacramento Valley Counties / United States Government Building was replaced by the permanent reinforced-concrete Fine Arts Gallery in 1926, with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. Appleton Bridges. By Spring of 1933 many of the aging wood-framed "temporary" exposition buildings were in deplorable condition. Sagging foundations, termite and moisture damage, cracked and falling plaster, broken ornamentation, and leaking roofs plagued the structures, which were subsequently condemned by city inspectors. The citizenry of San Diego were appalled that the beloved buildings were soon to be demolished, and a massive public outcry convinced the city to attempt to save the structures until permanent replacements could be funded. Local architect Richard Requa was hired to prepare an independent estimate for repairs, after the city's repair estimates were found to be exorbitant. Mr. Requa proved that the buildings could be repaired for much less than what the city estimated, and extensive renovation work soon began. Within several months the exposition buildings once again looked new, with the addition of concrete footings and foundations, replacement of damaged wood, repaired plaster and ornamentation, new roofing, and waterproof painting of exteriors. Only the former San Joaquin Valley Counties Building, and the Kern and Tulare Counties Building, had been found to be beyond repair and were demolished. In 1934 an idea was conceived to stage a second exposition, taking advantage of the newly renovated 1915 structures. San Diego's economy was at a standstill, due to the Great Depression, and an exposition was seen as a way to both create jobs and stimulate spending. The second season of Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition was coming to a close, and exhibits could be easily transferred to San Diego at minimal expense. The public was appealed to, fundraising soon began, and by late 1934, planning of the California-Pacific International Exposition was underway; with an opening date set for May 29th, 1935. Since the existing exposition structures would not accommodate all the displays intended, an additional section was planned south-west of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and named the Palisades. New exposition structures in this area were designed in an architectural progression from ancient to modern, beginning with the simple Pueblo-styled Palace of Education, Hollywood Motion Picture Hall of Fame, and Palisades Cafe; contrasting with the Aztec and Mayan-styled Palace of Travel, Transportation and Water, Federal Building, and Standard Oil Tower to the Sun; continuing with the merging of ancient and modern styles in the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, and the California State Building; and culminating with the ultra-modern Ford Motor Company exhibit building. Smaller structures of simple Spanish design were introduced in the area west of the Organ Pavilion; such as the Christian Science Monitor Building, and a group of fifteen international cottages known as the House of Pacific Relations. El Prado was re-named Avenida de Palacios, and the existing 1915 buildings were enhanced with colorful awnings and banners. The Plaza de Panama became the Plaza del Pacifico; featuring a central tile-roofed structure, with a broad archway spanning the Avenida de Palacios, and flanked by two large reflecting pools. North-east of the Avenida de Palacios was the amusement zone, known as the "Zocalo"; which also extended south into Spanish Canyon, re-named "Gold Gulch", and contained a simulated old-west mining town. The high-point of the exposition was the extensive use of colored flood-lighting, which illuminated buildings and landscaping in a myriad of hues during the evening hours.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
During the final months of 1915, a decision was made to continue the Panama-California Exposition for a second year. Prior to the closing of San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition, on December 4th, plans were finalized to transfer many of the international exhibits to San Diego. The World War made it difficult to return a majority of European exhibits to their home countries, and the exposition in San Diego provided a temporary safe-haven for these displays, a number of which were art treasures. The first 2-1/2 months of 1916 were spent extensively re-arranging building interiors to accommodate the new exhibits, and the completely revised Panama-California International Exposition was dedicated on March 18th. The California State Building, being of permanent fire-proof construction, was utilized for the valuable art exhibits from France and Luxembourg; and many of the building's archaeological exhibits were relocated to the nearby Science and Education Building. The Indian Arts Building was re-named the Russia and Brazil Building, and contained the displays from those two countries. U.S. Forestry, Army, and Navy exhibits were placed in the former Sacramento Valley Counties Building, re-named the United States Government Building; and the adjacent Home Economy Building became the Pan-Pacific Building, and housed displays from Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Alaska, and the Philippine Islands. The former Foreign and Domestic Arts Building was re-named the Foreign Arts Building, and contained the exhibits of Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, India, Persia, Turkey, Egypt, and Japan. The spacious Commerce and Industries Building was cleared of its many domestic exhibits, and transformed into the Canadian Building; one feature of which was a flowing mountain stream stocked with fish and live beaver. Across from the Canadian Building, the former Varied Industries and Food Products Building became the Foreign and Domestic Industries Building, and contained displays from Holland, Switzerland, and several Central American countries, in addition to numerous exhibits from United States manufacturers. The Kansas State Building was converted into an educational center for the Theosophical Institute; and a new Spanish-Colonial style structure was built near the entrance to "The Isthmus", to house the United States Fisheries Exhibit. The former Open-Air Theatre and Tractor Exhibit Building, located at the north end of the Alameda, were replaced with an automobile exhibit and demonstration course; and the Nevada State Building became the U.S. Agricultural and Horticultural Building. Decorative fringed-arches were added along the length of "The Isthmus", in addition to several new attractions such as "Elizabeth - The Living Doll" (a midget), Grizzly Gulch (a revised version of the Forty-Nine Camp), Sultan's Harem (a risqué belly-dancing attraction), "Captain" (an educated horse), Alligator Farm (featuring live alligators), Ice Skating Rink (in the former Alhambra Cafeteria building), and the Exposition Zoo (a menagerie of caged wild-animals; which soon became the nucleus of the future San Diego Zoo, formed in late 1916).
Friday, March 6, 2009
The Panama-California Exposition's amusement area was located at the east side of the grounds, parallel to the Alameda, and was known as "The Isthmus". Lining the broad 2,500 foot-long street were more than fifty rides, attractions, and concessions. On either side of the main entrance to "The Isthmus" were situated two prominent structures: the Alhambra Cafeteria and the "War of the Worlds". The Alhambra Cafeteria was the largest restaurant on the exposition grounds, and served as an informal dining choice for visitors, compared to the more formal Cristobal Café located nearby. The "War of the Worlds", entered through a mock battleship, was a futuristic fantasy attraction simulating a war in the year 2000, in which New York City was destroyed by sophisticated weapons, wielded by Asians and Africans arriving in scores of battleships and airplanes. Situated on both sides of "The Isthmus", heading north from the Alhambra Cafeteria and the "War of the Worlds", were scores of other interesting attractions, such as: Neptune's Wonderland (a deep-sea aquarium), Palais du Danse (a dance hall), Temple of Mirth (a fun-house), L.A. Thompson's "Anfalula Land" (a 6,000 foot-long racing coaster with a sound apparatus), Forty-Nine Camp (a California pioneer mining camp), Captive Balloon (a tethered hot-air passenger balloon), Oriental Joy Garden (a Japanese-themed retail concession), Gem Mine (a simulated underground mining attraction), California and The Missions (illustrating California's chain of twenty-one Spanish Missions), Panama Film Company (showing how motion-pictures were produced), Chinatown (simulating the old Chinese quarter in San Francisco), Hawaii - Old and New (featuring grass-skirted hula-dancers), Cawston Ostrich Farm (containing live ostriches), Toadstool (a circular-motion ride), Panama Canal Extravaganza (demonstrating a 250-foot long working model of the Panama Canal), and the Santa Fe Railroad's "Painted Desert" (a spacious enclosure containing pueblos, tepees, and simulated cliff-dwellings, occupied by Indians from the Apache, Navajo, Supai, Tewa, and Tiwa tribes). Scattered among the numerous attractions were ice cream, popcorn, peanut, candy, cider, and soda stands; in addition to restaurants featuring Chinese, German, Spanish, and American food. By night, the many fanciful structures located along "The Isthmus" were outlined with a myriad of incandescent bulbs, giving a festive glow to the humanity-thronged street.