Program

OH! San Diego 2020
Celebrating architecture, urban design & the built environment
One weekend. Free access. Iconic architecture. The doors are open for you to explore.

BALBOA PARK | BANKERS HILL | DOWNTOWN | GASLAMP | EAST VILLAGE | BARRIO LOGAN | POINT LOMA | LA JOLLA | CORONADO

 

BALBOA PARK

The largest cultural complex west of the Mississippi, Balboa Park is sometimes called the “Smithsonian of the West” for the impressive concentration of cultural institutions within its boundaries. Originally built for temporary use during the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition, the buildings here are beautiful enough to be considered attractions in themselves. The real draw is the culture, history, science and arts held within their walls. Highlights include eight gardens, 15 museums, a Tony Award-winning theater and the San Diego Zoo.

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1 TIMKEN MUSEUM OF ART | OH! SAN DIEGO HUB
1500 El Prado, Balboa Park

Self-guided tour / FRI 10AM – 4PM
Guided tour / FRI 11:30AM & 1PM

Considered to be one of the most important examples of mid-century southern California modernism, the Timken is known for the quality of the natural light illuminating its six intimately scaled galleries. In contrast to other Balboa Park structures, the building, constructed of travertine, bronze and glass, embraces the park beyond its walls by creating a light and airy “see-through” museum that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior.

John Mock, 1965

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2 SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART
1450 El Prado, Balboa Park

Guided archive/library tour FRI at 11AM & 2PM / Reservation required (Tour FULL) / Meet at Border Crossing sculpture at west side of Plaza de Panama

Guided architecture tour FRI at 12PM & 1PM / Reservation required (Tour FULL) / Meet at The Watchers sculpture at west side of Plaza de Panama

SDMA is the largest and oldest art museum in the region. Local business and civic leader, Appleton S. Bridges, funded the construction. The building was inspired by sixteenth-century Spanish Renaissance buildings in the plateresque style, which means ‘in the manner of a silversmith’. Forty years later, the west wing was completed and features the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden and the library, which holds more than 30,000 volumes spanning centuries and topics.

William Templeton Johnson, 1925 / Robert Mosher, 1966

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3 BALBOA PARK ARCHITECTURE WALKING TOUR 1915-1916
1350 El Prado

Guided tour / FRI 10AM & 11AM / Reservation required (Tour FULL) / Meet at the front steps of the Museum of Man

The tour will highlight the buildings and events from the Panama-California Exposition of 1915-16. Learn the history of the remaining buildings and gardens as well as those we have lost. From roller coasters to pipe organs, Balboa Park has a fascinating and unique history. Preservation architect David Marshall will be your guide. David is an avid collector of historic Balboa Park postcards and ephemera. In 2007 he authored the postcard history book San Diego’s Balboa Park.

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4 BALBOA PARK ARCHITECTURE WALKING TOUR 1935-1936
1549 El Prado

Guided tour / FRI 11AM– 12PM / Reservation required (Tour FULL)  / Meet at the El Cid statue in Plaza de Panama

The tour will cover the history of Balboa Park, from after the Panama-California Exposition to the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, and will highlight the buildings, gardens and events of this period. Lead architect Richard Requa’s intent was to represent humanity from early cultures into the future, resulting in an eclectic mix of architectural influences. Learn the history of the remaining 1935 campus as well as what has been lost and what will be restored. Cultural Landscape Historian Vonn Marie May will be your guide. Ms. May has written and documented cultural and historic landscapes throughout California.

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5 MINGEI MUSEUM
1439 El Prado

Guided hard hat tour / FRI 1PM & 3PM / Reservation required (Tour FULL)

Originally built as the House of Charm for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the Mingei has embarked on a major transformation of its mission-style building. This already award-winning project is now under construction with completion scheduled for 2021. Designed by local firm Luce et Studio, the newly designed space will feature areas for the community to gather and visitors to find respite, beauty and creative inspiration. Changes include a plaza and garden courtyard open to the public free of charge, additional entrances on the east and west sides of the museum and a dedicated education center. Be one of the first to experience the new Mingei and hear about the construction process.

Carleton Winslow, 1915 / David Rinehart, 1996 / Luce et Studio, 2019

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6 BOTANICAL BUILDING
1549 El Prado

Guided tour / FRI 11AM & 1PM / Meet at south end of the lily pond

This “must–see” San Diego destination was built for the Panama California Exposition and was one of only four Balboa Park structures intended to be permanent. The unique domed lath structure is at present the largest of its type in the world and houses more than 2,100 exotic plants. Plans are in the works to restore this important monument back to its original splendor and enhance the visitor experience. The San Diego Floral Association will host the tours of the building.

Carleton Winslow, 1915

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7 SAN DIEGO HISTORY CENTER
1649 El Prado, Suite 3

Self-guided tour / FRI 10AM-4PM
Guided tour of research archives / FRI 10:30AM, 1:00PM & 2:30PM / Reservation required 

Located in the Casa de Balboa, in an eclectic Venetian inspired building with decorative finials and an arched arcade, visitors can go behind the scenes of the History Center for a ‘show and tell’ presentation of the architectural resources housed in the center’s Architectural Drawings Collection. Archivist Renato Rodriguez will display one-of-a-kind items from the collection including original blueprints, presentation drawings, elevation drawings and floor plans for unique buildings that are still around, no longer here, or never built.

Frank Allen & Carleton M. Winslow, 1915 / Reconstructed, 1982

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8 INAMORI PAVILION AT THE JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
2215 Pan American Road E.

Guided tour / FRI 11AM / Reservation required (Tour FULL)

Inamori Pavilion is a backdrop to the Japanese Friendship Garden’s breathtaking lower canyon and the focal point for visitors seeking a peaceful, meditative retreat. Completed as part of the Garden’s third phase, the Pavilion’s ‘Sukiya Style’ architecture, representing sophistication and simplicity, complements the garden’s serene landscape and integrates the natural topography of the lower canyon. The design is also influenced by the ancient concept of ‘wabi-sabi’, recognizing beauty in imperfection and celebrating natural changes observed over time.

RNT Architects, 2015

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9 SPANISH VILLAGE ART CENTER
1770 Village Place

Guided tour every hour / FRI 10AM-4PM / Meet kiosk at entry

These quaint buildings and courtyards inspired by charming villages in Spain were originally built as gift shops and restaurants for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. Two years later, a group of artists reopened Spanish Village as an art destination, only to lose it to U.S. Army barracks during World War II. In 1947, the artists reclaimed and restored the village, which today continues to be a thriving community of over 200 independently juried local artists.

Richard Requa, 1935

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03/05
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Open House San Diego 2021
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San Diego Architectural Foundation

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Email
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Address
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San Diego, CA 92112-2228
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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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