oldest parks in san diego

Major Eastern American parks were founded in the 19th century as public necessities in growing cities or in the 18th and 17th centuries as common grounds for pasturage, recreation, parades and public meetings. Horton’s land coup spurred local talk of reserving pueblo lands on the edge of New Town before they were sold too quickly and too cheaply. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Parks in Old Town, San Diego, CA. Aviara has covered gazebo areas with BBQ pits for parties (reservations needed) 2. Balboa Park. Sessions.”90 The men wanted a not immodest, 1,000 food wide strip of the west side of the park between Fir and Juniper streets. 3, 9 (unnumb. 1322, Filed: December 2, 1901. She felt that the nursery, open to the public (on foot) and planted with both native and previously untested exotic species, would provide, “a continual incentive to our citizens to encourage and foster work in our park.”82, On February 16, 1892, the City approved a ten year lease to Kate Sessions of thirty-two acres in the northwest corner of City Park, away from the most likely area of early public improvements at the southwest.83 In return for the nursery land and free City water, Sessions was to plant and maintain in the park each year, 100 “choice and varied sorts of trees” for the City and provide annually 300 “ornamental trees” in crocks or boxes to plant in City streets, plazas and playgrounds.84 Every year thereafter Kate gave the City more trees than her lease required and she never used more than ten of the thirty-two acres leased.85, Within a few months of securing the lease, Kate had cleared the land of sagebrush and stones and planted thousands of items. Emma Scripps, “She Said It With Flowers,” California Garden, Autumn, 1953, Vol. The “schemers and landsharks” of San Diego, led by City Attorney Charlie Taggart, were not deterred by state sanction of City Park.27 They got their man in Sacramento, State Senator James McCoy, to quietly introduce a bill on November 17, 1871, to repeal the 1870 park reservation act.28Luckily San Diegans soon heard of the bill. (SDU, 11/4/69, 2:3). Apart from the historic significance, the park offers amazing views of San Diego's harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado and Naval Air Station North Island. No. See: Jerry Mac Mullen, The Southwest Corner. Ten acres is generally cited as the size of the Ladies Annex Park but see footnote 62 below for the correct acreage, 13.9 acres. Reservations: (858) 565-3600, (877) 565-3600. SDU, 11 /4/87, 5:3, “City Trustees-Beneficent Project of the Late J.M. 7. It is interesting to note that a “powder-house” stood in the middle of Boston Common, a City Park ancestor, in the 18th century (Whitehill, p. 45). In 1867, Alonzo Horton set aside New Town Plaza (now Horton Plaza) and later sold it to the City for $10,000 (Smythe, p. 621). Cleveland /Schmucker. Watch forms come to life at the blacksmith and woodworker shops, and read a newspaper from the 19th century. Cleveland /Schmucker. Smythe, p. 619, states that the petition was signed by “all the leading citizens, and nearly all the voters, of San Diego.” “My recollection is that you and I really located the park. The first major debate on how to use City Park took place in December, 1886. Morse also loved to grow a profusion of flowers around their cottage at 10th and G Streets. Years later, Emma (Mrs. Frederick T.) Scripps recalled that when she and her parents arrived in San Diego from England in August, 1890 they were told of a park near 6th and Laurel. By Darcie Brown , Contributor Dec. 26, 2016 By Darcie Brown , Contributor Dec. 26, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. I really didn’t have in mind that the land should be used for a public park, but merely as a means of saving it for the city. The park is named for Don Juan Pantoja y Arriola, a Spanish navigator who drew the first map of San Diego Bay in 1782. Enjoy San Diego's year-round wonderful weather at any of these parks. 22. 1890-91. No. The story of San Diego’s City Park between August, 1902 and November, 1910, when it was named Balboa Park and the 1915 Exposition preparations began, is nearly as lengthy and intricate as that we have reviewed between 1868 and 1902. 99. . Letter of June 11, 1935 from Mrs. Winifred Davidson, Ocean Beach, CA, to Beatrice L. Fish; In Biographical File, “Daniel Cleveland,” SDHC. Luce wrote in the San Diego Sun an eloquent rejoinder to Manasse’s request: In the wet season the Park in its native condition, carpeted with affileria and green bushes, is much more pleasant to look upon than the sowed barley fields.” Within one month. Vol. Despite rife land speculation in San Diego, City Park remained intact until 1902 mainly due to the efforts of relatively few, although well-placed people who appreciated the unique, mild climate, diverse vegetation and dramatic scenery of San Diego. A different figure of 1,100 remaining unencumbered park acres in Balboa Park is given by: San Diego Park and Recreation Dept. File, “J.G. by Summer Furzer | Mar 1, 1977 | | 0 comments, The Journal of San Diego History Regional Parks, Lakes and Beaches. The newspaper warned that extensive litigation might be required later to remove Ryan. In February, 1892, even before the Sessions lease had received complete City approval, Riley R. Morrison and S.G. Blaisdell requested City Park land for “experimenting in growing trees and flowers under the same terms granted to Miss K.O. Sign-up for our e-newsletter: Mr. Parsons had been for fifteen years Superintendent of New York’s Central Park and was an ardent disciple and friend of Frederick Law Olmsted. Before City Park, three plazas with varying degrees of landscaping, had been founded in Old and New San Diego.1 The thought of setting aside more San Diego park lands was said to have circulated since 1850.19 Beside experience with public plazas, most American San Diegans of 1868 were familiar with larger, more ornate parks in their native Midwestern, East Coast and even European homes. The Cliffs. Of San Diego’s considerable sights, 1,078-acre Balboa Park, particularly its world-famous zoo, is one of the best-known and best-loved attractions for City residents and visitors. CCO, B.P.-1, No. Like Morse, Estudillo stood up for the park in later years. 16. Richard W. Amero, Balboa Park: Fairy City or Country Park. 3, The Kate – Sessions Issue (San Diego: San Diego Floral Association), p. 7. 25. The Union reminded all: “The city park, if preserved intact, will make a magnificent pleasure-ground in future years when this city has expanded as it must in obedience to nature’s laws. Marston V. 11, p. 8, from an article on E.W. Don’t barter the natural beauty of the Park for a few dollars rental.108, The City Park cause received major impetus in March, 1899, when the will of Dr. John Allyn bequeathed $3,000 for City Park landscaping and roads.109. Daniel Cleveland, friend of E.W. In April, 1873 an artesian well was bored to water at 300 feet but insufficient pressure did not bring it to ground level (SDU, 4/24/73, 3:3). Harland Bartholomew and Associates, Master Plan for Balboa Park, San Diego, California (San Diego: City of San Diego, June, 1960), p. 12. (Balboa Park… Committee, p. 3). The paper recommended that a 10 acre school site be chosen on high land in the south part of City Park, not far from downtown but away from the fire dangers of built up areas and provided with healthy air and fine views. In June the Pastime and Silver Gate gun clubs obtained City approval to use (but not lease) one acre of the park near Cabrillo Canyon and the line of Maple Street for a trap shooting range.94 At the same time the Common Council (Delegates and Aldermen) approved the petition of Company “A,” National Guard Naval Reserve, to operate a rifle range in City Park near the range already occupied by Company “B.”95 In December, 1893, the Delegates moved to let Mr. Timothy Ryan “occupy” 200 to 300 acres of City Park with his plant nursery for twenty-five years! The three-story Children’s (or Orphan’s) Home and nearby Woman’s Home were both built in the turreted, Victorian, “Queen Anne modern Style.”55. 2. I thought I covered it all, when I realized I neglected to tell you about the historic part of San Diego, the old town. p. 91. Aviara is a popular venue for children’s birthday parties with its ample space and multiple play areas 3. In 1882 the Union noted that if some plants, flowers and “artistic decorations” were set out in City Park and irrigated with water from the reservoirs there, the large, nearly empty reserve could become “the glory of a flourishing seaport city.”41 In December, 1884, eleven persons and one corporation (Allison Brothers), including George W. Marston, A. Klauber, Charles S. Hamilton and several other prominent San Diego businessmen, petitioned the City Trustees to allow them to plant, at their cost, eucalyptus trees along a rough road in City Park and to make further improvements as their funds allowed.42 The Trustees granted the request and a partial survey of the park was made in January, 1885.43 Apparently business affairs or other reasons sidetracked the sponsors from carrying out the project at that time. Marston Collection, SDHC. Another source says Cleveland discovered only one fern species. After the American annexation of California in 1848, the City of San Diego was chartered and in 1853 filed claim again to its eleven square leagues of pueblo land. CCO, B.P.-1, No doc. Settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Company bought the forty-five acre Boston Common in 1634 from the Reverend William Blaxton. 77. How hard it is to read the future! Through the 1870’s an Indian rancheria or cluster of homes was allowed to remain in the south part of the park near 8th and Date.34 At the southwest corner of the park, closest to settled San Diego, contractors dug out large amounts of dirt from the hillside and residents dumped heaps of barbed wire, tin cans and barrel staves.35 In March, 1873 the newly formed San Diego Water Company obtained City permission to drill a well in Pound (now Cabrillo) Canyon.36 Two reservoirs, with 70,000 and 100,000 gallon capacities, were built atop the mesa flanking the canyon.37 In the 1870’s the City set up an animal pound in the westernmost canyon of City Park, thereafter known as Pound canyon. Secondly, Plaza de Pantoja, named for Juan Pantoja de Arriaga who made the first survey of San Diego harbor in 1782, was deeded to the town in 1850 by land developers William H. Davis (an Estudillo in-law) and Andrew B. In 1769, Gaspar de Portola and Junipero Serra built the San Diego Presidio and the Mission San Diego de Alcala on a hill above the San Diego River. Kate Sessions was born in San Francisco in 1857 and studied agriculture at the University of California at Berkeley in 1878-81.80 Kate came to San Diego in 1883 and opened a nursery on Coronado Island in 1885.81 Later land prices soared there and in January, 1892, Miss Sessions asked the Common Council to lease her a part of City Park where she could establish a commercial and experimental nursery. San Diego: 1964, p. 42-4, SDHC. But the 1886 debate may have encouraged a much more ambitious park venture of the following year. While the Howard Tract, Ladies Annex and Golden Hill improvements in City Park brought both constructive and questionable proposals for the park’s further development, the Sessions nursery lease brought on a veritable landslide of requests and suggestions for more intense private and public use of City Park. The Commissioners summarized: “If these leases applied for are granted, there will be no limit to them.”91 The Commission added that, “in the near future,” it hoped to raise funds to survey and “properly lay out the whole park system.”92. For many years Golden Hill Park was the greenest, most admired area of City Park.73 This section contained City Park’s first golf course-a nine-hole, oiled-green, dirt fairway creation, San Diego’s first park playground.74 Unfortunately a seven year drought in the 1890’s killed off the west side of Golden Hill Park, about two-thirds of the Ladies Annex plantings and much of the Howard Tract improvements. It's probably … Some thought that the land could be reserved, either temporarily or permanently, as a public park. Hopkins, p. 322, notes that Smythe erred some in describing the Carruthers incident: “It is difficult to see how she (Carruthers) ‘stole a march’ on the same Trustees who had the full say of the sale of the land (to her) as well as the setting of it aside for a park.”. One wonders what precedents of public city parks, especially those founded on municipal common lands, could have given Morse and/or Estudillo the idea to establish a park. Morse then proposed, and Horton accepted, that since 40,000 pueblo acres were still available, they should reserve nine instead of just two pueblo lots, or 1,440 acres for the park, although two days before, Morse and/or the two other trustees had sold forty acres in the southwest corner of the park site, nearest New San Diego’s center, to Isabella Carruthers for a housing addition. San Diego, CA 92101, For general inquiries: Originally built in 1850, it is the oldest park in the city of San Diego. 22, 69, 72, 96. The Marston pamphlet text is contained in: Heilbron ed., History of San Diego County, pp. Marston Collection, SDHC. Hopkins, pp. Ibid. Morse, born and raised in New England, where every town has a public park- realized that if San Diego was to have a public park it must be gained through the reservation from sale of a part of the pueblo land for that purpose while this land still remained in the ownership of the City.” (see M.G. See Walter Muir Whitehill, Boston, A Topographical History (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1959), pp. Asst. Here stray cattle and horses were impounded until bailed out by owners.38 In August, 1881, the City allowed a merchant, Mr. Wentscher, to construct a gunpowder magazine on a 300 square foot, southeast corner of Pueblo Lot 1136 in City Park, far removed from any public or private buildings.39 On August 8, 1881, City Trustees allotted (but did not deed) five acres at the south central edge of City Park for the San Diego High School.40 Joseph Russ, then California’s largest lumber dealer, donated wood to build the school which was completed and occupied in 1883. [1] The park is named for Don Juan Pantoja y Arriola, a Spanish navigator who drew the first map of San Diego Bay in 1782. 82, CCO, B.P.-1, Doc. 5. Showcase Community. They proposed to accentuate and artfully frame nature: “. But in fact the Russ School grounds had in the 1880’s, “little or no improvement further than the clearing of the brush away, and the surface was strewn with small pebbles for the most part and poorly adapted to any sport.” H.C. Hensley, Early San Diego, Reminiscences of early days and people, 3 vols. As a horticulturist she could honestly combine simultaneously her commercial, botanical and public park interests. SDU, 9/22/35, n.p., Ada Perry, “Kate Sessions’ Title ‘Mother of Park’ Earned One,” in Kate Sessions Notebook, Kate Sessions Box File, SDHC. In 1542, Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay under the Spanish flag and was the first European to discover California. It also received recognition from the California Office of Historic Preservation, Save Our Heritage Organisation, and the San Diego City Council and Mayor. In the late 18th and early 19th century Spanish village of Old San Diego there was the central plaza, albeit dusty and unimproved, considered essential in ancient Spanish and Mediterranean town life. Richard F. Pourade, The Glory Years. Horn, Part 1, p. 10. Immediately a “public safety committee,” composed of G.W. After the above arguments the City Trustees resolved to ask the State to authorize San Diego to sell 760 acres of City Park and to approve the barracks exchange.48 Then no further steps were and the whole matter died away. Horn, Part 1, p. 10. Once a real estate dealer hotly called Estudillo, “you old barnacle,” because of his defense of the park against private encroachments.”17 Don Jose, more comfortable in Spanish than English at that time, was not sure what barnacle meant but he did not like the way it was said. City Park supporters won their first battle with the indignation and organization which would characterize their subsequent efforts. View Homes In This Community. 91. 79. (SDU, 6/23/70, 2:3). Another would-be park poacher came forward in January, 1899. This history of City Park in 1868-1902 has presented the major figures, issues and possible motives related to the founding, attempted reductions, actual and proposed uses and tenacious preservation of the 1400 acre tract. 154; The Chamber of Commerce Park Committee, formed by George Marston, J.T. Believe it or not, the oldest structure that still exists in San Diego (outside of the walls of the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá) contains a golf Pro Shop! Olmsted be hired to design all of City Park.77 At the same time, a mansion owner, attorney John Gay, asked to fence off an adjacent sector of the park for his private family use.78 And three promoters asked for a fifty year lease of 100 prime acres of City Park, nearest downtown, for a Southwest International Exposition and also a botanical garden to sweeten the commercial pill.79 Neither proposal received final City approval. Things to Know: 1. No. The early history of Balboa Park, called “City Park,” “the Big Park” or just “the park,” before 1910, vividly illustrates some important San Diego conflicts, accomplishments and setbacks in the areas of physical environment and financial profit. Pantoja Park is a public park located in the Marina District of Downtown San Diego, California. By April, 1890 the one month of free water cartage by Pioneer Truck Company expired. One of the oldest areas in California, the earliest settlement in the west coast of the US from the end of the 18th century, the old town area was built as a historic state park to resemble life in California back in the 1850s. Easy payments given to ACTUAL BUILDERS. A few eucalypti stood in the bare, hard ground like giant giraffes with their long legs and a tuft of leaves for a head. SDU, 3/19/73, 3:3. McKean, in on the repeal scheme with Taggart, was the only Trustee to sign the petition. The selected site also prevented other realtors from later taking that land and competing with Horton in that prime, high area overlooking the bay or near downtown. San Diego Union and Daily Bee, 5/27/15, p. 2. Hopkins, p. 327. Cleveland / Schmucker; On August 27, 1904, Morse wrote Horton: “On looking up the city records I find the enclosed data: While extending all reasonable encouragement to legitimate enterprise, the people should guard with jealousy the city park… against the greedy assault of land-hunters.”96, Also in these years, City Park especially near downtown, was plagued by squatters’ homes.97 It was proposed in 1894 that the usurpers be made to pay a nominal rent to acknowledge City ownership of the land.98, When the Howard Tract was forfeited to the City in 1896, it seemed to some like a vacuum begging to be filled. . Balboa Park Citizens Study Committee. 49, 1/31/89, 3; in Newspaper Box File III, SDHC). The scramble did not end until August, 1902, when the Chamber of Commerce began its campaign for a comprehensive City Park plan and improvement program. CCO, B.P.-1, Doc. Dates for the first plantings at Plaza de Pantoja vary from 1868 (Carl H. Heilbron, ed., History of San Diego County(San Diego: The San Diego Press Club, 1936) p. 153, to 1887 (MacPhail, p. 10). At its peak her nursery contained about 20,000 plants.86 She experimentally grew twenty varieties of eucalyptus, eight each of acacia and bamboo, Eastern elm, Spanish cork oak, Azorean honey plants, Hawaiian kukui trees and the Banyan tree.87 Many of the Torrey pines, Monterey cypresses, eucalyptus and oaks now growing in northwest Balboa Park were planted there by Kate Sessions.88 On Sundays in the 1890’s up to 100 San Diegans walked through the Sessions San Diego Nursery to enjoy or be converted to the pleasures of plant life.89. Approximately onemile long and half a mile wide, Old Town adorns the setting for the first Spanish settlement in California. For many years Kate Olivia Sessions was one of the major advocates of planning, laying out and planting the entire 1400 acre San Diego City Park as a public, recreational and botanical garden. He and I signed the report, as the committee previously appointed. San Diego Woman Who Is A Winner.” In Kate 0. Just south of Torrey Pines, the Cabrillo National Monument Historic Park commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay in 1542, the first European explorer to set foot on the West Coast of the United States. [6], "Pantoja Park – An Urban Slice of Serenity",,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 April 2020, at 22:40. SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY January 2011 segment from "San Diego's Historic Places" about Heritage Park in Old Town. 1312, Filed: 1/ 18/97. 12. Letters of E.W. The San Diego Union (Weekly), Jan. 4, 1872, 2:4, noted that the people of San Diego were “unanimous” in requesting the legislature not to reduce or do away with the park. With over 85 cultural and recreational facilities, Balboa Park is a must-see. CCO, B.P.-1, Doc. San Diego Parks and Recreation oversees nearly 40,000 acres of developed and undeveloped open space, more than 340 parks and 25 miles of shoreline from Sunset Cliffs to La Jolla. no., follows Doc. Daniel Cleveland, who helped draw up the 1871 park petition, was a one-time Mayor of San Antonio, Texas (1865), an amateur botanist and naturalist. Los Angeles Times, 4/28/95, n.p., “Flower Culture. At the 191S Exposition in Balboa Park, J.G. It is tremendously ironic that in the late 1880’s several San Diego realtors countered development pressures brought on City Park by those who did not yet see the eventual need for a 1,400 acre park but who, upon realizing that, would later work hard to preserve and improve the public open space. Covered gazebo areas with BBQ pits for parties ( reservations needed ).... Restoration received a Grand Orchid award from the Reverend william Blaxton condominium project, fun shows and delicious.. Printers, Inc., 1973 ), p. 26 Diego Union ( sdu! 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