I love the park and have spent hours on end going through the early Pan Pacific exposition photos at the San Diego History Center and researching my beloved park's history, which included International Expositions in both 1915 and 1935.
I relish nothing more than a walk down its paths and a smell of its rose garden. It has so many jewels, the Timken, the botanical garden with its stunning bismarckia Palms standing front right, the Organ Pavilion and more.
My earliest memories include the park, the zoo, the museums, watching the Chargers play at Balboa Stadium. My older sister riding a tortoise during a taping of the Johnny Downs show at the children's zoo.
And if you have to ask who Johnny Downs or Bob Dale was, well you are not a San Diegan.
Personally I like to get there at first light, before the hominids arrive.
I know more about its architects and original buildings than a human probably should as well as the botanical names for much of its flora.
Did you know that the Marines trained in the Laguna de las flores you see in my photograph during World War I? But the park is much older than that, having been conceived way back in 1868.
There is a battle going on over the future plans for the park. Two opposing commentaries in today's Union Tribune here and here.
Roger Showley and the Committee of One Hundred seem to think it is okay to do away with what little parking is left in the park. James Kidrick of the Air and Space Museum has a different vision. I am somewhere in between. But I take issue with something Showley writes.
On most days, there’s ample parking — just not 10 feet from the front door of the zoo, museum or theater of your choice. There would be more if close-in spaces were not routinely taken up by employees, downtown workers and Naval Hospital patients and staff.
The last thing I want to see is a bunch of modernist architects monkey with Bertram Goodhue's grand plateresque vision of the park. I saw what they did to the Santa Fe Railroad building and the attendant Contemporary Art monstrosity. Let's leave it well enough alone. I still find the "leftover expo buildings, many stripped of their Art Deco charm" charming, imagine that?
What do you think?