California-Pacific International Exposition, 1935-1936
supplementary information for the walking tour of Balboa Park

In the summer of 1934, Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition was in its second and final year. That same summer, several ambitious San Diegans decided that a fair here would help get the city out of its Great Depression doldrums. They arranged to use exhibits from the Chicago fair as a nucleus -- thereby giving people of the West a chance to see the exhibits they had heard about, but hadn't been able to see.

Invitations to exhibit were sent out around the world, and the California-Pacific International Exposition was scheduled to open the following summer.

The new fair needed several new buildings, mostly in the southwest area of the park, and San Diego architect Richard Requa was put in charge. Requa greatly admired the Spanish Colonial buildings along El Prado, but decided that the new buildings should add some cultural balance to the park's architecture. He therefore designed the majority of the new buildings to emphasize the Mayan and Indian architecture of the North American Southwest. Although not of the same caliber as the Spanish Colonial buildings along El Prado, these buildings make a valuable addition to your walk.

Copyright © by Carol Mendel
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Walking tours in this series:

Balboa Park
Cabrillo National Monument
Downtown San Diego
The Embarcadero
La Jolla
La Playa
Mission Bay Park
Mission Beach
Old Town
Shelter Island
Sunset Cliffs

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