Friday, March 13, 2009

San Diego 1935: Plaza del Pacifico.....

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.

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