Wednesday, March 25, 2009

San Diego 1935: Palace of Travel, Transportation and Water.....

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.

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