Balboa Park is known as San Diego’s crown jewel. Maintaining it takes a lot of work.
The nearly 150-year-old park and those who care for it face significant challenges in ensuring the park remains the iconic destination it is today.
Some of the park’s beloved trees have fallen prey to the drought, recent storms and old age. Many of the park’s historic facilities are crumbling and in need of repairs. And one of the top architects of some of the city’s long-range plans for the park estimates about half of them remain unfulfilled – and unfunded.
Here’s a breakdown of five of the biggest challenges confronting Balboa Park.
The number of needed repairs is staggering.
Most San Diegans are struck by the beauty of the Spanish Colonial buildings that line the El Prado walkway. But those buildings – and many others throughout the park – are falling apart.
A chunk is missing from the arcade walkway near the Timken Museum.
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Lisa you should mention the US Navy's land grab that started 100 years ago. That's as bad as the landfill.
If it's so hard to find parking, why not charge 25 cents an hour for parking in the busiest spots during the busiest times of day on the busiest days of the week? Besides making it a little easier to find parking, it would also raise revenue for repairs. That's two benefits for the price of one, and who doesn't like two for one deals?
How can a city that takes in $1,000,000,000 + a year never have any money for civic improvements? Why can't we just use the profits from having the Chargers here to fix everything?
Balboa Park - "The Soul of San Diego" according to a Legler-Benbough Foundation Report, has a lot of blackness in it, as Lisa Halverstadt illuminates in this article. Perhaps Lori Saldaña as an alternative to Kevin Faulconer in the Mayor's Race, can create an independent team to create and implement solutions. Mr. Faulconer was on the City Council that approved creation of The Balboa Park Conservancy and Balboa Park Celebration Inc. Entities (Audit Committee Chair) and approved a non-competitively awarded contract (as Mayor) for December Nights to The Conservancy.Balboa Park has a role in San Diego's future. Let's ensure that ALL of The Park operates under Parkland Uses.
@Kevin Swanson "Let's ensure that ALL of Te Park operates under Parkland Ises." Care to edit that? ;-)
Mike Hansen may be corrected in that the B St yard is no longer dedicated park land (it wasn't dedicated because the city needed the site for maintenance uses). It was part of the original 1400 acres of the park. However, both the Master Plan and subsequent Precise Plan show the site as park. I personally have never heard that the site will never be park land. Just because a site isn't designated park land does not mean it can't be a park. The Master Plan took 9 years to complete and the B St yard was discussed heavily during the process. I would hate to give up on that site. It will take time to relocate the uses to be sure, but as this is the gateway to the park for many, it is important that that relocating the uses is at least explored.
"Some longtime park advocates think the city could do more to reduce parking woes if it focused more on getting people to the park sans car or encouraged them to park elsewhere."The Mid-City Rapid (215) and existing route 7 both provide frequent service along Park. There's really no reason parking should be an issue. The means is already in place for a lot more people to access the park without needing to park a vehicle.
The plethora of excuses spewed by city officials in this article is disgusting. Our city managed to come up with $300 million for a football stadium when a billionaire threatened to leave town, but Balboa Park repairs remain elusive. I guess Mayor Faulconer and the rank and file at city hall consider the Chargers stadium to be the city's crowns jewel, not Balboa Park.
It's my understanding that the part of the City Operations yard closest to "B" Street, as shown in your photo is not on dedicated park land and will never be removed. The part closest to 26th Street (probably 2/3rds of the acreage) is on park land and should be removed. The largest building on that area, when I was inside there was used for scenery storage for the Junior Theatre (admittedly an actual park usage) but they were using more space for set storage than the La Jolla Playhouse, the Globe, and the San Diego Rep combined. This building needs to leave soon, and it would be easy, as it is on the edge. There are many non-park usages in tha part of this lot, that are forbidden by City Charter, such as storing shopping carts found citywide. Even the old Hillcrest neon sign was kept there, while its auction bidders got their space ready. Somebody just needs to move that fence in 20 feet every year and let them figure out how not to waste space. It's time for the media to get a tour inside there and demand an explanation for the use of each square foot in there.
Since it was such an outstanding idea, methinks the City of San Diego ought to set up a conservancy to build a new football stadium. Alex Spanos, Fred Maas, and Mark Fabiani could be put in charge of such a committee. Then the politicians who are trying so hard to spend our money on that could instead focus city money and efforts on saving Balboa Park.