Tuesday, March 24, 2009

San Diego 1935: Plaza de America.....

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.

No comments: